NR Digital

The Week

by Adam Bellow

Funny, the IRS never seems to lose track of us.

Almost as stunning as the defeat of House majority leader Eric Cantor are the lengths some people have gone to deny the obvious: Republican voters were rejecting the idea of “comprehensive immigration reform.” To be sure, it was not the only reason he lost. A sizable number of voters thought he had grown inattentive to the district. Dave Brat assailed him for being too tight with Wall Street and big business on a range of corporate-welfare issues. A lot of tea partiers are unhappy with a Republican hierarchy that they see as insufficiently willing to fight for conservative principles. Immigration, though, was indisputably the top policy issue in the race, and it was a symbol of everything else that motivated Brat’s candidacy. A lot of Republicans, disproportionately those in Washington, D.C., and Manhattan, harbor the fantasy that the party could make great gains among Hispanic voters if it would only offer legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, create large guest-worker programs, and refrain from insisting that enforcement of the existing laws be shown to work before taking these steps. Cantor, otherwise a reliable conservative, refused to shut the door on this approach, so primary voters shut the door on him.

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