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Eric Cantor Earns An Opponent In Dave Brat

Dave Brat

Any limited government constitutional conservative who thinks that establishment Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-7) isn’t such a bad guy and might serve as a viable and more conservative alternative to Speaker John “Let’s Make A Deal” Boehner should take a look at who he is hanging out with this weekend.

Cantor is heading to the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida to speak to the "Main Street Advocacy" organization. Attending the event  costs $5,000 a person. It is hosted by the Main Street Partnership, the progressive “Republican” group headed by former Representative Steve LaTourette of Ohio.

We put the word “Republican” in quotes because LaTourette’s group has come under fire for taking money from left-leaning unions, George Soros backed organizations, and a major Democrat donor, so the Main Street Partnership is hardly a grassroots Republican organization, it is the epitome of an “Astroturf” front organized to give the appearance of an alternative to the TEA Party movement.

Who you walk with says a lot about who you are, and the fact that Cantor is willing to spend a weekend at a posh island resort with the Big Government, Big Business, Big Labor types who fund LaTourette’s Main Street Partnership speaks volumes about who Eric Cantor really is.

But Cantor’s abandonment of even the appearance of standing for conservative principles shouldn’t really have come as a surprise to conservatives because Eric Cantor long ago proved he is fully invested in Boehner’s lobbyist-driven legislative agenda. 

The Murray-Ryan budget and Amnesty for illegal aliens are just the latest in a long list of betrayals conservatives have suffered at the hands of Eric Cantor.

From breaking the spending caps in the sequester, to voting for the Wall Street bailout through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), when faced with a choice between business -as -usual and fighting for limited- government constitutional conservative principles, Cantor always sides with Big Business, Big Government and the Capitol Hill establishment.   

Due to the fact Cantor occupies the number two leadership position in the House Republican Conference and can use that position to use the legal extortion Capitol Hill politics have become to raise a vast campaign war chest, it has been long-assumed (especially by the Republican elite) that his position is unassailable.

Enter Dave Brat, chairman of the department of economics and business at Randolph-Macon College, whom Amanda Chase, Cantor’s former political director, told National Review Online “is probably the first time that Eric has had a credible opponent with a comparable education and background”.

“He had two CRs at the end, one in favor of the shutdown and one opposed to the shutdown at the same time,” Brat told National Review Online’s Betsy Woodruff. “And that’s fairly symbolic of unprincipled leadership. I mean, that’s not a leadership position, where you’re on Side A and Side B at the same time and you’ve got your finger up in the air, checking which way the wind is blowing.”

In addition to chairing the college’s economics department Brat also heads Randolph-Macon’s BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism program. The funding for the program came from John Allison, the former CEO of BB&T (a financial-services company) who now heads the Cato Institute. 

According to reporting by Woodruff, Brat and Allison share an affinity for Ayn Rand: Allison is a major supporter of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Brat co-authored a paper titled “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.” Brat says that while he isn’t a Randian, he has been influenced by Atlas Shrugged and appreciates Rand’s case for human freedom and free markets.

While we like Dave Brat’s intellectual background (got a business degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, then went to Princeton seminary) and especially the way his religious background informs his views on economics: “I’ve always found it amazing how we have the grand swath of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and we lost moral arguments on (fiscal-policy issues) the major issue of our day,” he told NRO’s Woodruff, Dave Brat isn’t some egghead professor – he’s the candidate of the grassroots limited government constitutional conservatives and Tea Party movement activists.

“It’s a big decision to fire your congressman and replace him with somebody else,” Larry Nordvig, head of the Richmond Tea Party told NRO, “but I think people are tired of hearing the rhetoric and seeing the opposite of what they’re looking for in a conservative leader.”

We couldn’t have put it better Larry. 

As we keep reminding ourselves and our friends and readers: It's the Primaries, stupid!

Eric Cantor long ago abandoned whatever principles he may have had when first elected and, we should emphasize, any pretense of serving in Congress to advance conservative governance. Eric Cantor is all about maintaining the power of the Republican establishment and that is indeed the opposite of what we are looking for in a conservative leader.

The Virginia Republican primary election is June 10, 2014. To learn more about Dave Brat or volunteer or contribute to his campaign go to or contact:

Friends of Dave Brat
P.O. Box 5094
Glen Allen, VA 23058-5094
Phone: 804-496-8214
Email: [email protected]

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