Donald Lambro

Still, it would be hard to draw hard-and-fast, national implications on this one issue -- though it is clear that no comprehensive immigration reform bill has a snow ball's chance in this election year, or the next two years, either.

When Cantor was going down in flames Tuesday night, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who backs immigration reform, was cruising toward a hefty 56 percent victory over a multi-candidate tea party field.

Yet the national news media was going ballistic in the immediate aftermath of Brat's huge upset, drawing over-the-top, bombastic conclusions from this one primary race.

Preposterous newspaper headlines said Cantor's defeat had thrown "Congress into disarray," had dealt a "stunning blow to the GOP establishment" and was also "bad news for big business."

But the ink was barely dry on such hyperbolic headlines when Cantor was resigning from his party post and House Speaker John Boehner moved quickly toward the election of a new majority leader drawn from the GOP's top ranks.

As for any serious injury to the GOP establishment, the fact is that they have, with few exceptions, been winning most of their party-nominating contests so far.

What's politically important in Professor Brat's victory is what he focused on as an economist and in his campaign: capitalism, religion and ethics in business.

For starters, he's a fan of novelist Ayn Rand, literature's high priest of capitalism. And while he has railed against wrongdoing on Wall Street and "crony capitalism," he's all pro-business and pro-free markets from top to bottom.

Yes, he has repeatedly lashed out at the "crooks up on Wall Street in some of the big banks," but he quickly and pointedly adds, "I'm pro-business, so I'm just talking about the crooks -- they didn't go to jail, they're in Eric's Rolodex."

He has called for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and a flat, or maybe flatter, tax on incomes. He thinks President Obama's proposal to slap a new and higher minimum wage on businesses is foolhardy, telling MSNBC's Chuck Todd Wednesday "you cannot artificially make up wage rates."

He effectively tied Cantor's politics to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which backed him financially and to a large extent has become a whipping boy for corporate welfare in government expenditures and tax policy.

"He's running on the Chamber of Commerce growth plan. If you're in big business, he's good for you, but if you're in any other group, it's not so good for you," Brat said at a church gathering in April.

Brat ran flat out on an old style, populist platform that was based on a return to stronger, pro-growth, capitalist policies that include much lower tax rates, curbing federal spending, and getting government out of the way.

In a party that seems to have lost its voice on economic growth, job-creation, and capital investment, his message is a breath of fresh air.

Jack Kemp, once the party's leading economic apostle of growth and prosperity, is gone, as are U.S. capitalism's greatest proponents Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan.

In 1995, Brat wrote a doctoral dissertation that he titled "Essays on Human Capital, Religion and Growth."

After nearly six years of economic decay and decline under Barack Obama's failed policies, Brat's hopeful, pro-growth message is needed now more than ever.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.