After becoming the first House majority leader to lose a primary, newly minted Republican non-entity Eric Cantor agreed to surrender his House GOP leadership post by the end of next month, with elections to replace him next week on the 19th.
Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) will step down from his leadership post at the end of July, ending a swift rise through the ranks of national politics and upending a leadership team that has run the House since Republicans took control after the 2010 tea party wave election.
Less than 24 hours after losing a primary contest to a tea party-backed economist, Cantor announced Wednesday afternoon that he will resign as leader July 31, but keep his seat until his term ends in January. He said that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) would make an “outstanding” successor.
“While I may have suffered a personal setback last night, I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this country,” Cantor told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “I’m honored that I’ve had the privilege of serving the people of Virginia’s 7th District.”
House Republicans plan to hold new leadership elections next Thursday, according to senior aides. In addition to McCarthy, several senior Republicans are mulling bids for top posts, so it wasn’t immediately clear which positions will be open next week.
With rumors that Orange Julius will be giving up his Speaker's gavel at some point and now Cantor toast, the long knives are going to be out this week as the House turns into House of Cards.
Meanwhile, Cantor's replacement, Dave Brat, today showed he's a college professor who knows pretty much nothing about economics in an interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd.
TODD: Where are you on the minimum wage? Do you believe in it, and would you raise it?
BRAT: Minimum wage, no, I'm a free market guy. Our labor markets right now are already distorted from too many regulations. I think CATO estimates there's $2 trillion of regulatory problems and then throw Obamacare on top of that, the work hours is 30 hours a week. You can only hire 50 people. There's just distortion after distortion after distortion and we wonder why our labor markets are broken.
TODD: So should there be a minimum wage in your opinion?
BRAT: Say it again.
TODD: Should there be a minimum wage in your opinion?
BRAT: I don't have a well-crafted response on that one. All I know is if you take the long-run graph over 200 years of the wage rate, it cannot differ from your nation's productivity. Right? So you can't make up wage rates. Right? I would love for everyone in sub-Saharan Africa, for example -- children of God -- to make $100 an hour. I would love to just assert that that would be the case. But you can't assert that unless you raise their productivity, and then the wage follows.
TODD: Sounds like you're making a case against a federally mandated minimum wage.
BRAT: I'm just making the case I just made that you can't artificially make up wage rates, they have to be related to productivity.
So if there's a positive relationship between productivity and wages, we should easily be able to see it. Let's take a look at America, for example.
Huh. Go figure.the productivity of American workers has more than doubled since 1970, but real wages have remained flat. And that's a 40+ year trend.
It's almost like Dave Brat has no idea what he's talking about. If wage rates are related to productivity, I sure as hell can't find the evidence.