Suzanne Bates is a writer living in South Windsor with her family. While traveling across the country as an Air Force spouse, she worked for news organizations including the Associated Press, the New Hampshire Union Leader, and Good Morning America Weekend. She recently completed a research fellowship at the Yankee Institute. Follow her on Twitter @suzebates.
Apparently the Democratic establishment is really excited that Republicans voted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor out of office. That’s fine for the establishment — but maybe it’s time for Democratic voters to take notice that they’re being completely upstaged by Republican voters in the battle against political complacency.
The Dems in Washington are excited because they think Dave Brat’s win over Cantor in the Republican primary in Virginia‘s 7th Congressional District is a sign that Republicans are moving farther to the right, and farther away from mainstream America.
But if you look beyond the spin, you’ll see a motivated and engaged Republican electorate demanding more of their representatives and leaders than are Democratic voters. Didn’t Democrats use to own the “challenge authority” brand? Not anymore.
It’s true that Brat may represent a shift rightward compared to Cantor — even though Cantor tried to paint him as a liberal professor — but really he is more representative of a GOP shift toward populism, and a wariness of a Washington-centric political class that often ignores discontent at home. Well, Republican lawmakers — who were already witnessing some hotly contested races for some of their entrenched colleagues — are now on even greater notice that voters want more from the people they elect.