David Brat’s Victory Over Eric Cantor, The NYT Sounds An Alarm

Either the censors of the New York Times, also known as the "editors," were taking a long weekend, or the Times felt that it had to issue a warning to the ruling elite last Sunday. They are in danger of losing their Empire, both domestic and foreign. All this is heralded by the defeat of the deeply malign Eric Cantor by the libertarian-leaning, GOP populist, Professor David Brat.

The Times began thus: "The day after Eric Cantor became the first congressional leader in modern times to lose his seat in a primary, one of the biggest aftershocks occurred not on Capitol Hill or in the sprawling Richmond suburbs…. but on the New York Stock Exchange."

The first to fall was one of the titans of the military industrial complex, Boeing. Said the Times, "The share price of Boeing tumbled, wiping out all the gains it had made this year, a drop analysts attributed to the startling defeat (of the Israel Firster, Cantor)."

But it went beyond that. Continued the Times, Brat , is an "economics professor who campaigned on throwing corrupt Wall Street bankers in jail (and) railed against crony capitalism…" Further, "Mr. Cantor’s loss is much more than just symbolism. He has been one of Wall Street’s most reliable benefactors in Congress. And Mr. Brat used that fact to deride the majority leader as someone who had rigged the financial system. In one recent speech, he accused lawmakers like Mr. Cantor of favoring ‘special tax credits to billionaires instead of taking care of us, the normal folks.’"

Them’s fightin’ words, and they clearly disturbed the big financial bourgeoisie. The NYT report quoted one of the biggest of them, who might fear that Professor Brat would like to toss him into the clink: "Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman’s chief executive, called the loss of Mr. Cantor ‘stunning’ and praised him as a sensible legislator in an interview on CNBC." Blankfein should console himself that Professor Brat is speaking only of jail not tumbrils. One might wonder at this point why progressives like Tom Hayden and Katrina Vanden Heuval are not rushing to embrace Professor Brat. After all, on all these points he is closer to what they parade as their beliefs than is Obama whom they have supported with some vigor. Could their reticence be due to the lack of a "D" trailing after his name? If not running on empty, they are certainly running on herd instinct.

On a critical point, however, the Times got David Brat wrong. As the indispensable Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com points out, the Tea Party was involved only marginally, if at all, something of which the Times seem to be aware but not anxious to disclose, labeling Brat as "Tea Party-inspired," a typical NYT misleading ambiguity. Raimondo offers the following corrective: "(The mainstream pundits) settled on a neat little narrative early on: the election was all about immigration, they told us, and Brat is a “Tea Party” politician with “nativist” tendencies. That explanation, however, soon fell apart when it was revealed that the Tea Party groups had done exactly nothing to help Brat: indeed the leader of Tea Party Patriots, one of the biggest national groups, wouldn’t even take his phone calls. …. Furthermore, it turned out Brat had campaigned not only or even primarily on the immigration issue – which only came up in the last few days of the campaign…" Raimondo goes on to make it clear that Brat made a big campaign point of his opposition to NDAA and the Surveillance State and tells us that we should: "Take a gander at Brat’s answers to a questionnaire sent out by Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty: he opposes US military action in the absence of a declaration of war, and he’s against all ‘foreign aid.’"

All this is enough to make an antiwarrior giddy with enthusiasm. But unfortunately there may be a fly in the ointment. As the very principled, some might say uncompromising, libertarian conservative Joe Ureneck of Boston (who praises Brat’s position on domestic and social issues) warns us, Brat’s Achilles heel may be his attitude toward the military budget and the U.S. military presence around the world. Here unfortunately Brat shows signs of being positively Hillaryesque, as is evident in this post-election interview with Chuck Todd:

TODD: …Do you consider yourself an interventionist or an isolationist?

BRAT: I think the press is in the habit of doing juxtapositions like that that don’t capture reality well. I’m a Ph.D. in economics and so you analyze every situation uniquely because every international situation is unique.

So I don’t have a pattern that fits every single incidence, but I think it’s absolutely necessary that the United States does project its power abroad. I think our Defense Department is bigger than the next ten combined. Without that I think would you have chaos, without our commitment to rights abroad and keeping the peace. But that does not mean that we should not ask some of the European countries to pay up part of the bill now. They’ve all become rich and developed and so it’s time to share the burden.

So let us say that Professor Brat has a way to go before meriting the accolade of "anti-interventionist." That means that everyone, who is in a position to do so, educate Brat about the importance of anti-interventionism and to insist that he move in that direction. Let us hope that he then comes closer to being a Ron Paul or Justin Amash. Otherwise he should be punished – tossed out.

But let us not deny that the election of Brat is a great step forward and a sharp blow to the neoconservatives and their near indistinguishable comrades, the "humanitarian" imperialists among the Dems and progressives. Because he demands no wars without Congressional vote and because he is against the surveillance state, the victory of David Brat is another defeat for the hawks in the GOP and an important step forward for antiwarriors.

This article originally appeared on Unz Review. John V. Walsh also writes for CounterPunch.com and DissidentVoice.org inter alia. By day until recently, he labored over the physiology of neuronal cells. He can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com.

20 thoughts on “David Brat’s Victory Over Eric Cantor, The NYT Sounds An Alarm”

  1. http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/good-riddan

    "Its possible to describe Rep.Eric Cantor as a serial sell-out. But that would be giving an unprincipled politician driven by an unalloyed ambition to climb the greasy pole of Washington power too much credit. In truth, Cantor never campaigned for any recognizable principle; he merely maneuvered his way to the top of the House GOP hierarchy by following in the tawdry footsteps of modern GOP bagmen like Tom DeLay and Roy Blunt. … So his record speaks for itself. Rep. Cantor was a statist who had learned to lip-sync the platitudes of the modern Republican right. But on the defining issues of our times, he did not trust the free market for a moment, and did not have the slightest clue as to what fiscal rectitude requires after decades of Keynesian borrow and spend.

    The fraught moment came on October 3, 2008 when he helped Hank Paulson, the Goldman Sachs plenipotentiary then occupying the 3rd floor of the Treasury Building, force the House GOP rank-and-file into a catastrophic retreat. That is, after properly rebuking the White House demand to bail-out the Wall Street gambling houses by voting “no” on the first TARP consideration, House Republicans were forced into a shameful about face on the second vote.

    As much as anyone else, Eric Cantor bears the blame for this final and irreversible triumph of Big Government. It marked the full-dress return of the Keynesian policy model—-the prior defeat of which had been the one and only victory that the Reagan era actually accomplished on the battlefield of ideas. But Cantor’s platitudinal conservatism was so shallow that in the hour of crisis when principle actually matters, he could not recognize that he was being led down the primrose path by an out-and-out Keynesian money printer at the Fed and an economically illiterate Wall Street front-man at the Treasury."

    1. That is a serious misuse of the word "Keynesian." Keynes would never have approved of the bailouts. He was for government borrowing and spending to stimulate economic activity, not to rescue crooked crony capitalists from their own madness.

      1. Then he should have written a treatise that was understandable and clear, and not his hodegepodge and diarreha of pseudo-mathematical fakery of "General Theory", "most of which was wrong, and what was right wasn't even original" (citing Hazlitt from memory). The learnings of which he thought would also apply more easily in National-Socialistic Germany, this being a command economy and all.

        Keynes was everything evil and despicable that can be found in court jesters and court economists. Enough.

      2. "He was for government borrowing and spending to stimulate economic activity, not to rescue crooked crony capitalists from their own madness."

        His proposition that "government borrowing and spending" would "stimulate economic activity" was designed exactly to rescue "crooked crony capitalists from their own madness." And his earlier writings, like that of Greenspan who followed him, proves that he went to the dark side with full awareness of what he was doing.

        "There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."—John Maynard Keynes, "The Economic Consequences of the Peace"

      3. I­m mak­ing ­over $­1­3k a month working ­part tim­e. I kept hea­ring other p­eople tell me­ how much m­oney they can ma­ke­ online­ so I d­ecide­d to look int­o­ it. Wel­, it was all tru­e and ha­s totally ch­anged­ my life. ­This is­ wha­t I do,

        ??????????????? W­­­W­­W.J­­­U­M­P­9­­­5.C­­­O­M


  2. Eric Cantor is a chickenhawk, corporate welfare-loving, Israel-First scumbag. His defeat is a good thing in and of itself.

    Yeah, David Brat has got to earn his stripes as a noninterventionist. Let's hope he does.

  3. I challenge the notion that the current Democrats and "progressives" act out of humanitarian concerns. They, like Bill Clinton, sat on their hands during the Rwanda genocide and that was certainly a time for "humanitarian interference". But AIPAC wasn't funding any such action at that time and there was obviously no chance to make a buck out of any such action. Basically these people (the Clintons, Pelosi, and Reid) are corrupt. This is only a little better than the Republicans (McCain, Graham, Cantor, etc.) who are not only corrupt but also insane.

  4. I don't know who Dave Brat's Democratic opponent is. I hope Brat wins the final election if his opponent is anything like Ehud Barack Obama or Hillbilly Clinton.

  5. A very good and informative article indeed . It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views. I hope to see more informative and useful articles in future.

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  7. For as long as he is for empire, he will have to kiss the ring on Wall Street. He is another in the chain of fakes, telling people the obvious, that the economy is in shambles, and bankers have fleeced us. But the reason they can and will continue to fleece us, is the need to fund wars which we continue to support more or less.. So, he will continue to do the same. And come Hillary and her fanaticism, we may as well get used to the idea of nuclear war. US is like a truck going down a mountain road without breaks. And the adrenaline rush is keeping necons in charge of this crazed adventure — and the delusional fervor is getting worse and worse. The absence of real debate at present is just a sign that the debate is pointless. It will not stop the truck, so everyone is just hanging on. Hoping to survive. There is no energy even in international relations — everyone is just nodding heads, letting us continue the crazed run, knowing that the crash is just around a bend, if not the first one, then another down the road. So, the best is to keep quiet, pretend not to notice, and just stay the hell out of the way!

  8. The fact that Brat (and you've gotta love the name!) doesn't have a "D" proceeding his name wouldn't affect me at all, were I a Virginian. That's where being a true independent comes in. I hope he's elected to Congress, and does indeed become a real "brat" as far as the rest of (the majority of) them are concerned.
    I'm a Dennis-Kucinich liberal, but I will NOT be voting for our Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate (in Michigan), the truly awful Israeli-firster Gary Peters. His Tea-Party opponent will get my vote.

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