Eric Cantor Thinks His Challenger, an Ayn Rand Scholar, Is “Too Liberal”

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 27 2014 6:06 PM

Ayn Rand Scholars Are “Too Liberal”

Look, guys, everyone but me is secretly a left-winger.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A couple of weeks ago, when I talked to Rep. Eric Cantor's primary opponent David Brat, the professor chortled as he told me he was being called a "liberal." This was a mind-boggler: Brat is a professor running a libertarian-funded program at his school and running against Cantor for his debt ceiling votes and refusal to rule out immigration reform.

But Brat was not kidding. Cantor's first attack ad hit Brat as—please sit down and clutch onto something sturdy for support—a "college professor" who had served on an economic board under Gov. Tim Kaine (and his Republican successor).


Mickey Kaus now writes about Cantor's fightback—a piece of mail that brags about his April phone call with Obama, leaked everywhere, in which he denounced "amnesty." That bit of theater did not fool anti-reform hawks, which probably explains why, just today, Cantor has released a second negative ad against the vile professor and his existing-alongside-Democrats ways.

You could not ask for a better snapshot of the Tea Party capture of the GOP. Here is Eric Cantor, the "young gun," the man who helped the 2010 class scuttle any Boehner-Obama deal on the debt limit, running to the right of a guy who has published academic work on the moral foundations of Ayn Rand's canon.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer


Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.


Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.