Catholic, Calvinist, and Libertarian

David Brat, the Virginia economics professor who overthrew House Majority leader Eric Cantor in the Republican congressional primary, calls himself a “Calvinist Catholic libertarian.” Let’s hope Pope Francis doesn’t burn him at the stake!  But what could that possibly mean?

Does that make him, in effect, something like a Lutheran, holding to a sacramental spirituality that expresses salvation by grace alone, with a strong emphasis on Christian freedom?  Or is he trying to combine beliefs that can’t be combined?

Or is it mainly a matter of his social and economic theory? Julie Ingersoll explains that, after the jump. [Read more...]

Populist conservatives vs. big business

The left stereotypes conservatives as the tools of big business, but, as I keep saying on this blog, there are many different kinds of conservatives, and a good many of them–especially the populists associated with the Tea Party– oppose powerful corporations for some of the same reasons leftists do.  Thus, the Washington Post reports that big business is mourning the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and is dismayed at the rise of tea party favorite David Brat, a strong critic of “crony capitalism,” the partnerships between big business and big government.  (See this for Prof. Brat’s ideas about economics and Christianity.)

So is there the possibility of a left/right populist coalition?  The Republican elite and the Democratic elite mostly agree on the cultural issues, though possibly ordinary people in both parties–Catholic Democrats and evangelical Republicans– have more in common on these issues than they realize. [Read more...]

The other professor in the race for Cantor’s seat

The defeat of the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor–reportedly the first time someone holding that office has been ousted in a party primary–has Washington, D.C., in a state of shock.  (Cantor, who had been projected as a future successor to House Speaker John Boehner, has announced that he is resigning his post.)  His unheralded opponent, David Brat, was thought to have no chance, but he was supported by grass roots conservatives identified with the Tea Party movement, and he won the election by a wide margin.

Some Democrats are gleeful that, by electing an inexperienced Tea Party candidate, that a once safe seat for the Republicans in the Virginia district is now in play for them.  The problem is, the Democrats were expecting an impossible race against Cantor, so their candidate is equally unheralded and inexperienced.  Jack Trammell was the only one who filed for the election and all of his paperwork isn’t even in. [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X