The political class has finally begun to make sense of Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) out-of-nowhere primary defeat to economics professor David Brat. Two principal subjects have emerged: the Tea Party and Cantor himself.
In the narrative involving the former — Tea Party being shorthand here for very conservative voters — Cantor started off as a Tea Party spearhead who led a strategy of total opposition to President Obama that culminated victoriously in Republicans taking the House in 2010. Once Cantor was in power, however, he had to make the kind of decisions (like not defaulting on the country's debt) that failed to satisfy the base's unslakable thirst for total warfare. For versions of this story, see Dave Weigel at Slate and Brian Beutler at The New Republic.
The narrative that Republicans themselves prefer is that Cantor was a soulless ladder-climber who had completely lost touch with his constituents in Virginia's 7th District. They point to the fact that Sen. Lindsey Graham handily won his primary in South Carolina despite being one of the more moderate Republicans out there, and that Cantor tellingly spent Election Day at a Starbucks in D.C. hobnobbing with corporate lobbyists — not in his hometown. Republicans prefer this storyline because it is the one that gives them a prayer of uniting their excitable base with a more moderate platform that can actually win national elections.
So which one did Cantor in? The answer, most likely, is a bit of both. The problem for Republicans is that no figure at a national level has so far been able to thread this needle, and Cantor's demise is some pretty strong evidence that it may not even be possible. Ryu Spaeth
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) maintained Friday that he'll support the Republican presidential nominee, even if that somebody happens to be Donald Trump, The Palm Beach Post reports.
In fact, Rubio might be more impressed with the billionaire business mogul than usual, saying his "performance has improved significantly" recently.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was none too thrilled Saturday with the protesters who blocked his way into California's Republican convention the day before:
The "protesters" in California were thugs and criminals. Many are professionals. They should be dealt with strongly by law enforcement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2016
Leave it to Trump to make an off-color joke about the incident once he made it inside the hotel Friday.
Jimmy Fallon has been singing bits and pieces of Styx's "Too Much Time on My Hands" on The Tonight Show for days. On Friday, he and actor Paul Rudd took the obsession to its natural conclusion, creating a shot-by-shot remake of the '80s music video. The end result is sufficiently goofy. Take a look below. Julie Kliegman
Hundreds of activists stormed Iraq's parliament building Saturday in support of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who had accused Iraqi politicians of corruption, CBS News reports.
The demonstrators climbed over blast walls in Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses most of the country's ministries and foreign embassies, after parliament couldn't reach quorum to hold a session. The protesters broke furniture, chanted, and waved Iraqi flags.
San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr released nine pages of racist and homophobic text messages sent between officers Friday and ordered all officers to undergo anti-bias training, The New York Times reports.
"We have nothing to hide," Suhr said of his 2,000-member force. "These are the actions of a few."
The messages, which disparaged blacks, Latinos, South Asians, and LGBT people, were found as part of an investigation into a rape charge against one of the officers.
The head of an evangelical legal organization has pledged to carry a gun into Target's bathrooms to defend against transgender women. Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver is calling for a boycott of the retail chain after it announced that it will allow patrons to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, The Huffington Post reports. Staver tweeted the following:
— Anita Staver (@AnitaStaver) April 22, 2016
Staver later claimed she always brings guns into public restrooms.