Like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Dave Brat sends a shock through the New York/Washington axis. His victory shows a classic denial of political reality by the political establishment. It comes because the establishment holds fast to "the way we were" and won't let go.
The dependable scorn and irony quotient of the mainstream press is off the charts, giving Brat the highest marks of any newcomer in recent memory since Ron Paul and Palin. The annoyance he brings to the establishment press is equal to the importance his presence will bring to Congress as a challenger to establishment values. But the clever David Weigel at Slate calls him "Elizabeth Von Mises" as he appears to Weigel to be half Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and half (Austrian economist) Ludwig von Mises.
Weigel writes: "According to the quick-strike force of lefty news outlets, and to the Wall Street Journal, Brat is the latest crazy person to win a Republican primary. The WSJ's Reid Epstein was the first to pull a 2011 Brat essay called 'God and Advanced Mammon,' in which the future congressman (probably) argued that Christians needed a 'church model' that could respond to the challenge of capitalism."
The Wall Street Journal called him a kook but as Weigel notes, it is similar to the explanation Max Weber gave 109 years ago in his classic study, "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism," much scorned on the college campus in Bill and Hillary's day. This is key to Brat's thinking. He will speak of Nietzsche in a stump speech and speaking as a Christian seems likely to be familiar with William James. Which is good to know, for when he visits Israel, and he will, he will probably not be blasting Guns N' Roses out the window of the bus all throughout the Holy Land.
Worth noting: Like Brat, his young campaign manager, 23-year-old Zachary Werrell, is under attack. Like Brat, he is a socially conservative libertarian and deserves great credit for Brat's stunning upset. A generation will rise with him.
It might also be worth noting a parallel event. Israel today, like Virginia, is undergoing a new beginning which is likewise freaking the Eastern Establishment as a president of Israel has just been elected who cannot speak English and was not raised in Philadelphia. Tamar Yonah, the popular spirit of Israel radio today, deeply hurt because of the kidnapping by terrorists of three young men on their way home from school, has said “We want to hear from a strong man to whom we can say, "Wow!"
It is what we hope for Virginia as well.
Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.