The demise of the Tea Party has been greatly exaggerated.
The anti-establishment force within the GOP was strong enough Tuesday to oust House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a stunning upset by a political newcomer, Randolph-Macon College economics professor Dave Brat.
Cantor said Tuesday that serving in Congress and as majority leader "has been one of the highest honors of my life" and that he would continue to promote the conservative cause. "It's disappointing, sure. But I believe in this country. I believe there's opportunity around the next corner for all of us," he said.
Cantor, the second-most powerful House leader, is the highest-ranking Republican to lose renomination to a Tea Party challenger since the movement rose to prominence in 2010. It is likely to go down as one of the most stunning primary defeats in congressional history.
The last major upset of a sitting House leader was in 1994, when Speaker Tom Foley, D-Wash., lost in the general election to Republican George Nethercutt.