SOMETIMES, the best pre-election clue is the booing.
Not the standard heckling from the unfriendlies, but rather the chorus of raspberries on normally warm turf.
I recall once, at the 1992 MLB All-Star Game, when then-President Bush was announced to throw out the first pitch. There he was before this San Diego crowd with the city’s favorite son of the diamond, Ted Williams, who also was a true war hero — the kind who this traditionally military town especially embraced. Bush, himself a war hero, had ridden soaring popularity ratings shortly after his Iraq war (seems so long ago, that). Now, however, as Bush the Elder (who turns 90 today) strode to the bump, he was showered with a lusty stream of boos. I, a recent poli-sci student, was surprised at the intensity; something had obviously turned within much of the electorate, be it “the economy, stupid” or whatever else registered with many moderates as — true or not — being out of touch.
Today, in the cold light of his shocking loss, soon-to-be-outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is coming under some of the same criticism — one month after the opposition to his reelection was burbling up as an interruption of boos.
The political postmortems are scrambling for explanations: Was it Cantor’s “feint” toward immigration reform, or a flexing of Tea Party muscle? Was it openly anti-incumbent fervor, or secretly anti-Semitic sentiment? Was it that Cantor’s ads backfired and raised winner David Brat’s profile? Or did Laura Ingraham or Ben “The Dukes of Hazzard” Jones simply have that much single-voice pull in this redrawn district?
Or, focused on his ascension on the Hill, did the Virginia Republican just forget to kiss enough home-district babies and shake enough hands that weren’t swaddled in corporate cuff links?
To seek answers and insights, we turn now to the nation’s political cartoonists. From both sides of the aisle, they let Cantor have it with both (ink) barrels drawn.
Here are Seven Eye-Catching Cantor Cartoons: