Eric Cantor and the Capitol Building

Cantor’s loss: The Jewish factor

  Eric Cantor, the House of Representatives’ majority leader and only Jewish Republican, has officially been buried. One day after a stunning loss to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat--who ran an aggressive campaign vowing for free-market change and denouncing Congress's bipartisan budget deal--the high-potential politician announced that he would resign his leadership post. Pundits and policy makers have wasted no time shoveling in the dirt, offering myriad explanations for the inevitability of Cantor's fall from grace (despite nobody having predicted it beforehand). Many have homed in on one component of Cantor's demise: the Jewish factor. The New York Times argued that Cantor's Jewishness had become a liability: David Wasserman, a House political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said another, more local factor has to be acknowledged: Mr. Cantor, who dreamed of becoming the first Jewish speaker of the House, was culturally out of step...

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How Jerry Falwell Changed the Republican Party

By Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil Jerry Falwell “stamped out” anti-Semitism in the Republican Party, said Michael Sean Winters, a reporter for the National Catholic Reporter—and no Falwell sympathizer—at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC earlier this week. By making Israel a concern for conservative Christians, Falwell ensured anti-Semitism “has no political currency,” Winters explained. “Although he himself and many people in his pews had some anti-Semitism, there’s no political oxygen for those kinds of attitudes to reach any expression—and I think that’s undeniably a good thing.” Winters, author of the new book, God’s Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right, appeared at CAP on Monday with Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne to discuss how the controversial figure has shaped both Christianity and politics in America. Falwell, who grew up in...

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