The defeat of Eric Cantor this week in a primary election in Virginia sent shock waves through the Republican leadership. It should have. The message was clear. Listen to your constituents or be voted out of office. However, the Washington establishment has forgotten how to listen.
The Hill posted an article today announcing that Representative Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) was running to replace the defeated Representative Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as House Majority Leader. The establishment Republican candidate is Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), currently the majority whip.
The article reports:
Labrador received support for his late-breaking bid Friday from a fellow conservative stalwart. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).
In his endorsement, Amash said he could think of “no one more qualified to be our next leader” than Labrador. He also took aim at GOP leadership, arguing that Cantor’s stunning loss should be a lesson in caution for anyone eager to simply move McCarthy up the ladder.
“Washington Republicans can bury what happened last Tuesday with piles of excuses. But if they view Tuesday as an anomaly, they do so at their own peril,” he said. “We can’t respond to a stunning loss by giving a pat on the back and promotion to the same team. It’s time for someone new, someone conservative.”
Amash has repeatedly split with party leaders on a host of legislative issues, and is currently facing a primary challenger who has been boosted by business groups seeking to oust him.
This will be a test for the Republican party. The Tea Party (and the conservative movement) are not dead. Republicans and many Democrats are tired of Washington spying on them, intruding into their lives, and passing legislation that lowers their standard of living. The guilt falls on elements of both parties.
If you are tired of the non-listening establishment that has been running Washington lately, call your Republican house member and let him know that the promotion of the ‘next in line’ is not a good idea. It’s time for new people and new ideas.