One day after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary race in Virginia's 7th District, Washington was already treating it as a defining political moment of the decade. It's a big deal, yes, but we believe and hope that it may not be quite as definitive as some are saying.
Analysts have declared immigration reform dead and right-wing populism on the rise. Some Republican members of Congress are indeed likely to view Mr. Cantor's double-digit loss as proof that no Republican can safely support any plan that can be labeled as "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. David Brat, Mr. Cantor's victorious opponent, wrote last week that immigration was "the central policy issue in this race" before accusing Mr. Cantor, wrongly, of being "the No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty."
Others have sought to minimize the importance of the immigration issue, blaming Mr. Cantor for failing to control the conservative populist insurgency that he helped unleash, or simply for running a poor campaign or for sparking local resentment with his national activities and ambitions.