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June 18, 2014

PARKER: Cantor's swan song

About that stunning defeat.

Conventional Wisdom, that self-righteous propagandist, has it that Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s trouncing by an academic, tea-sipping nobody marks the end of the GOP establishment.

The tea party candidate crushed Cantor, they say. The old-guard Republican Party is toast! It’s over. Finito.

And those were the Democrats talking.

Funny thing is, the tea party folks had been saying more or less the same thing, for exactly the same reason. It fit the narrative that served both groups. The tea party was losing its power to overthrow the titans. Witness the primary victories of a couple of old-timer targets, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell.

The Democratic Party was losing its narrative that the tea party wacko-birds control the GOP.

Thus, Dave Brat, the Republican nominee for Cantor’s seat, was a gift from Google. Or God. But I repeat myself. The narrative is back, baby!

In the nation’s capital, the mourning for Cantor was over faster than a Rick Perry gay fundraiser. It is an awesome day — or something — when Nancy Pelosi and Ted Cruz are grinning about the same state of affairs. You don’t know whether to signal Scotty to beam you up or whistle for Toto.

The truth is, the tea party will be lucky to oust Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran in a primary runoff, though it would hardly be considered a rout. Cochran has been on the run lately, stumbling over a series of errors and literally dashing out the back door of one event to evade CNN’s Dana Bash.

And, as though the South needed one more anecdote to convince the rest of the nation that something seriously strange has contaminated the region’s DNA, Cochran recently reminisced fondly of his days doing “all kinds of indecent things with animals,” when he was just a young lad visiting the state’s Pine Belt.

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