The Libertarian College Professor Who Won’t Raise the Debt Ceiling and Will Replace Eric Cantor in Congress

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 10 2014 11:50 PM

The Libertarian College Professor Who Won’t Raise the Debt Ceiling and Will Replace Eric Cantor in Congress

Chip Roy, Ted Cruz's chief of staff, has some thoughts about the results in Virginia's 7th District. They begin with a retweet of something he found cool:

And they continue:

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"Make DC Listen" is Cruz's slogan; as Steve Dennis points out, other Cruz staffers were hashtagging the bejesus out of Brat news. But there's so, so much more to gloat about here if you're a conservative activist. When I talked to Brat, I was struck by how quickly he turned the conversation to the 10th Amendment (and Eric Cantor's disrespect for it) and to the debt limit (which should never be raised). Brat is basically a libertarian, one of the academic recipients of the annual six-figure fellowship that former BB&T President John Allison (now the president of the Cato Institute) issues to teach college kids the philosophy of Ayn Rand. 

Until today there was no real attempt by the mainstream media to "nail" Brat, or to dig more deeply into his philosophy. And until today the guy was pretty responsive to the press, with a long public record of dense economic writing. As I wrote in May, it was just telling that Cantor's campaign, confronted with this kind of challenger, tried to disqualify him not by engaging with any of that, but by accusing him of being a liberal pawn because he served on a Democratic governor's economic panel and that guy raised taxes. That turned this into a clear contest between rote political hackery and a kind of intense strict constructionism that the establishment GOP can't really stand.

Except for people like Cruz. They're pretty fond of that.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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