Big US Election News: Pols and Polls

Yesterday most of Israel and world media were focused on the Knesset and Israeli Presidential elections. But in the US, voters were also on their way to the polls.

In Virginia, in a primary election in one of the sleepiest of districts, (I lived there, so please just trust me!) and usually insignificant of elections, there was a major upset. The top ranking US Republican in Congress lost to an unknown Tea Party challenger in a primary election.

US Congressman Eric Cantor was a senior Republican member of Congress and the only Jewish Republican in the US House of Representatives.

image Eric Cantor,

Cantor answered questions at a press conference in Jerusalem, Israel, in August 2013.

image US Congressmen in Israel

He was leading a delegation of newly elected Republican Congressmen, many of whom had never visited Israel.

image Eric Cantor

Cantor was on top less than a year ago, he was a leader for the future.

Last night as I was going to sleep in Israel, I saw Cantor tweeted that everyone should go and vote, that was first I heard of the Tuesday election.

This morning my husband’s first words were, “You did not tell me Cantor lost!”

One of the leading Republicans and Jews in Congress was voted out. The polls were wrong.

Was it because he was seen as too soft against Obama?

There will now be much speculation on this upset by David Brat, it happened because?

All I can think of is that famous question, is it good for the Jews?

In this case, I am afraid the answer is no. Eric Cantor was a strong voice for Israel in Congress.

Full disclosure: Eric Cantor’s father and my father played poker together years ago in Richmond, Va. That folks was the big action in the district.

About Real Jstreets

I lived in the United States, Canada and Australia before moving to Israel in the midst of the Second Lebanon War. For the last seven years, walking the streets of Jerusalem, the scenes I saw every day did not resemble the ones familiar in the Western media. Now I try to share those positive images with the world, what is really happening in Jerusalem, Israel, The Real Jerusalem Streets

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  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Maybe not good for the Jews, but better for America.
    He lost because of his lax stance on Illegal immigration.

    • http://www.rjstreets.com Real Jstreets

      There were multiple reasons obviously, and illegal immigration issue was certainly a factor.

    • Art Deco

      The material interests of Jews are uninjured. However, vociferous Jewish Republicans often have a sentimental or ideological investment in open borders (or, at least, lax immigration law) and will see this as an injury. Examples of this would include Tamar Jacoby, Jennifer Rubin, and Jonathan Tobin.

  • Jim from Iowa

    Anti-immigrant sentiment and low voter turnout did Cantor in. Soft on Obama? Cantor is more obstructionist and politically to the right of Speaker Boehner. Suburban Richmond is very conservative and it is unlikely any Democrat can win there in a general election. But the national media is ready to pounce on this Tea Party guy for the first inappropriate thing he says or does.

    • walt kovacs

      anti illegal immigrant sentiment…..not legal immigrant

      • Jim from Iowa

        Maybe you’re right, Walt. But why are so many Tea Party members against any kind of immigration reform? Sound economic policy would encourage an expansion of the visa program for educated, talented foreign workers to come to America and become productive citizens.

        • Art Deco

          But why are so many Tea Party members against any kind of immigration reform?

          Because ‘immigration reform’ is code for amnesty. Amnesty now means more amnesty in the future. Strange as it may seem to you, Jim, some of us are not on board with the elite’s population replacement policy.

          Sound economic policy would encourage an expansion of the visa program
          for educated, talented foreign workers to come to America and become
          productive citizens

          Again, see the work of George Borjas. The benefits to be had by the extant population from trade in labor is small (assessed at 0.1% of GDP at that time). Sound social policy suggests we craft an immigration policy which allows people through the screens who nestle well here and have an affinity for the people who already live here (no matter what their skill set is).

          • Jim from Iowa

            If amnesty means not breaking up families living and working here in America, then I’m for amnesty. I’m also in favor of having more people like my Indian surgeon who treated me for my thyroid cancer come to America and provide excellent care to other Americans. I appreciate the tone and thoughtful arguments you make here, Art, but you seem to suggest that the Tea Party people have a thought-out coherent immigration policy of their own. They don’t.

            • Art Deco

              The Tea Party incorporates a set of dispositions, not a delineated programme of government.

              We are perfectly capable of training surgeons from our domestic population and it’s not doing the people of India any favours to be poaching their skilled workforce. Again, trade in labor has small welfare benefits.

              I’m not sure what you are referring to when you say ‘breaking up families’, unless you mean knocking-up your girlfriend should be your insurance against being arrested and deported for traveling to the United States in violation of the law. I’d say it would be interesting were that principal applied to people in violation of the law generally.

          • jhertzli

            The so-called “illegal aliens” violated a social contract (a contract in restraint of trade at that) they didn’t sign in the first place.

          • jhertzli

            The so-called “illegal aliens” violated a social contract (a contract in restraint of trade at that) they didn’t sign in the first place.

          • jhertzli

            The so-called “illegal aliens” violated a social contract (a contract in restraint of trade at that) they didn’t sign in the first place.

    • http://www.rjstreets.com Real Jstreets

      Low turn out could be why Cantor was tweeting to go vote. Negative ads gave Brat lots of media exposure too.

  • walt kovacs

    cahtor may have been the most unintellectual member of congress and with this congress, that is saying a lot

    dont care that hes jewish….because i dont think he is actually jewish….because he is that stupid

    and the republicans have created a monster called the tea party and it will be their undoing

    that “big tent” now only includes, crazy white people

    • http://www.rjstreets.com Real Jstreets

      Republicans need one candidate with a brain to get back in the race. Democrats have great brains up for leadership?

    • Art Deco

      He was smart enough to pass the Virginia bar exam and work in the real estate business. I suspect his intellectual heft is adequate for most people’s purposes.

  • Travis

    Typical tea party – wage war on other Republicans instead of defeating Democrats. Cantor is a good man and Brat sounded like a putz with his “God won it for us” statement.

    • Art Deco

      I’ve seen contentions he ran afoul of local activists, not supralocal Tea Party groups, who concentrated their funds in Mississippi and Nebraska, &c.

      The trouble here is that the House Republican leadership, including Cantor, give every indication of jonesing for an end-run around the majority of their own caucus in order to institute an amnesty for illegal aliens in co-operation with the Democratic congressional caucus. There’s apparently masses of people in suburban Richmond who’s trust has been lost.

      The Republican leadership might look to seeing to the interests and sentiments of their constituents and not the Chamber of Commerce or industry rent-seekers.

  • Art Deco

    While we are at it, members of Congress vary in their degree of affection for Israel, but antagonism to Israel is quite unusual and generally limited to obnoxious gauche sectaries, ethnic Arabs, and a few eccentrics like Paul McCloskey and Paul Findley. The odds that Dr. Brat will be a problem for supporters of Israel are low.

  • rsfan1

    I’m an American Jew and I’m glad Cantor lost. I don’t give a damn about Cantor’s religion, just his policies. Many conservative Christians are more pro-Israel than American Jews.

    • 12

      they are pro-Israel because of Cantor and because of trying to get the Jews on their side, I can assure you with Cantor gone and the “tea partiers” become more mainstream their support for Israel is going to be non existent

    • 12

      they are pro-Israel because of Cantor and because of trying to get the Jews on their side, I can assure you with Cantor gone and the “tea partiers” become more mainstream their support for Israel is going to be non existent

    • 12

      they are pro-Israel because of Cantor and because of trying to get the Jews on their side, I can assure you with Cantor gone and the “tea partiers” become more mainstream their support for Israel is going to be non existent

      • rsfan1

        I support the tea party, I’m Jewish and I support Israel. They aren’t trying to get the Jews on their side. The tea party doesn’t care about religion or race. You must be a liberal.

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