A Glimmer of Hope?

I was decidedly unimpressed with the European elections. In some ways, they reminded me of the 2010 congressional elections. I wanted to think the people woke up and realized it was a horrible mistake putting the liberal democrats in power, but I knew better. I wanted to think the GOP learned some hard lessons and was ready to become a right of center political party. Again, I knew better. Two years later the GOP put up the Monopoly Guy and the people voted for the head nitwit in charge.

This from Virginia has me thinking I may be too pessimistic. Cantor should sail to victory. His primary opponent is a nobody and his district is R+11 according to the Cooke Partisan Voter Index. Given the tenor of this election, Cantor should expect to win by a landslide. That’s not the case as it appears Cantor is in for a serious battle to win the Republican nomination.

The campaign manager for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor isn’t backing down from their new campaign-trail flyer lauding Cantor for fighting against President Barack Obama’s amnesty bill.

“He stopped the bill when it came out of the Senate,” Ray Allen, Cantor’s campaign manager, told The Daily Caller.

The defender-against-amnesty claim appeared in flyers sent to GOP primary voters near Richmond, Va., two weeks before the vote on June 10. “Conservative Republican Eric Cantor is stopping the Obama [and Sen. Harry] Reid plan to give illegal aliens amnesty,” says one of the flyers.

But his critics, including primary challenger and economist Dave Brat, are hitting back: Cantor’s claim has prompted hoots of contempt, some anger and some Bronx cheers from the many activists who have fought the massive push by progressives, media outlets and business groups to double the current inflow of 2 million immigrants and guest workers each year.

“7th district votes are not going to fall for these outright lies that Brat is selling,” Allen said.

But the flyers “suggest that Eric Cantor is scared,” said Zachary Werrell, Brat’s campaign manager.

Cantor said “immigration reform” was a top priority for 2013, said Werrell, but now “he’s realizing that voters in his district are overwhelmingly against it, and all of a sudden, he’s saying he’s against amnesty.”

“Is there any limit to the degree of lying that may be deemed off limits during the campaign?” said an article by Daniel Horowitz, policy director for The Madison Project.

“It is perfidious that these people use their money collected from pro-amnesty special interests to paint themselves as anti-amnesty so they can win re-election and pass amnesty,” said Horowitz, in an article headlined “Establishment Campaign Strategy: Shameless, Cowardly, and Perfidious.”

There are a few possibilities. One is this is an inside Washington game. There are financial benefits to playing both sides of the fence. With billions being poured into the amnesty push, driving a hard bargain is good business for a greedy politician. Cantor has always struck me as unusually craven, even by modern political standards. I think the guy would pawn his children for political advantage.
The most obvious and most likely answer is their internal polling is concerning. This story from a couple weeks back suggests his primary opponent is doing a bit better than expected. This could just have been a ham-handed way to sure up support. Republican consultants continue to operate as if the Internet was never invented and voters cannot look up past statements and the candidate’s voting record. Still, picking an immigration fight is not the smart play.
Except maybe if immigration is starting to make the ground shake. I’m generally pro-immigration and what our ruling class is pushing makes me want to vomit. It is hard to know where the public stands because the polling is so sketchy. This from the Wall Street Journal is a good example. None of the questions get at the issue in a sensible way.  Option three may as well ask the respondent if they would like a ride on a flying carpet.  I found this old story covering a few polls and the results are mixed.
The thing polling does not capture and what is most important to politicians. That is which way the tide is going. They obsess over it. It is not enough to be the on the right side of the issue after it has majority support. A wise pol is right there at the front of the mob when they have the advantage. That may be what we’re seeing with immigration and Cantor. The tide is rising and he wants to get on the right side of the issue, even if he takes some lumps in the process.
If that’s true, then maybe there’s hope for us yet.