Hello Red State community! I used to be a member here a few years ago and have been running my own blog in Virginia since 2006. I eventually left Red state as my life got more complicated with marriage and kids so this slowed down some. Anyways, Eric Cantor's defeat has finally given me cause to rejoin to share with you a smaller, yet I think just as important reason for Eric Cantor's defeat. It boils down to one word.
Starting this spring, Eric Cantor and his chief consultant Ray Allen, along with various other goons from his Young Guns network, invaded county and congressional district Republican conventions and manipulated the rules to slate off Republican activists to deliver congressional district chairmanships to his allies. This first happened at the Virginia Beach mass meeting back a few months ago. The contest was between State Sen. Frank Wagner and Republican activist Curtis Colgate for the chairmanship of Virginia's second district. Wagner was the establishment pick and Colgate the grassroots. Wagner and his Young Gun allies slated off hundreds of activists that were being elected to the second district convention. It was petty, unfair, and ridiculous. When the 2nd CD convention met thankfully the slating was reversed and Colgate was elected chairman, though as of now I do believe it is still being contested to the State Central Committee. There was another story out of rural Campbell County in Virginia's 5th district where Allen and Cantor's Young Guns succeeded in slating and later on winning the 5th District chairmanship. A sitting Republican delegate was actually slated. The tide was turned in the 3rd District, where 2012 Ron Paul state chairman turned 20-something conservative leader Chris Stearns beat back slating to get reelected to his chairmanship. The real omen came a few weeks ago right there in Cantor's 7th district when incumbent chairman Linwood Cobb was ousted shockingly by Dave Brat-backed Fred Gruber.
So what does all this mean?
If it wasn't for Cantor's bullying across the state, his attempt to disenfranchise Republican activists (and not just tea partiers), outraged Republicans across the state. The blogs, Facebook, and Twitter exploded in the last few months over these actions and it gave Brat at the very least statewide sympathy if not an army of potential volunteers who didn't need much motivation. Cantor's district is dead center in the state and its not that hard to get to. Nobody would have given Dave Brat the time of day no matter what he attacked Cantor with if it weren't for this colossal mistake rooted in Cantor's vanity and dream to somehow become the Republican boss of Virginia. Cantor needlessly angered so many people that suddenly everyone was willing to give Brat a listen. He is a college professor, this is not someone who will easily be distorted as some sort of nut job unfit for office. He is thoughtful, smart, and hardworking. Cantor then went into negative overdrive, calling Brat a "liberal college professor" and pointing to a paper one of his students wrote who he was an adviser to, all the while insulting everyone's intelligence. He is also notorious for not having very good constituent service.
In short, Dave Brat is talking to the air if Eric Cantor doesn't decided to bully his way through the state party, slating good activists and creating enemies everywhere. Forget amnesty, forget asking if Democrats voted (its an open primary) ... Eric Cantor lost because he attacked his own party across local, county, and congressional district conventions. Around Virginia, the word "slating" was spat out and Cantor owned it. Let me tell you, the supporters of Young Guns and slating where all over social media laughing, bragging, and making fun of the grassroots for beating them at their own game, meaning conventions. It was nasty. It was only after all of that was Brat then able to expose Cantor's record on amnesty, spending, TARP, etc etc. It was just the icing on the cake.