Milton Bass: Going from bad to Brat



I took a dislike to him the first time I saw his face. I’m usually not like that, allowing time to a person to show what he or she has and does before deciding whether a friendly relationship is in the offing. But this guy’s flinty expression and grayish skin color were enough to turn me immediately off.

The voting public in his congressional district seemed to feel the same way because it recently dumped Eric Cantor after seven terms as a Virginia representative to seat a relative nobody who basically represents the outer fringe of the so-called tea party. The kooks have found their leader and good luck to them.

Since Cantor was a so-called leader of what formerly had been acknowledged to be the outer, kooky fringe, we can only imagine what the next move might be. They’ve already killed immigration reform, acted like spoiled children on the national debt limit, and attacked everything about President Barack Obama, possibly including what flavor ice cream he should have for dinner.

The pundits gave the political bombshell its due, including the size of Brat’s victory when he only had $299,999 expended on the campaign compared to Cantor’s $5 million. They also discussed the House losing its only Jewish Republican, the question of how far right the right wing can go and how did Hillary Clinton get the bump on her head.

Very little was written about Brat because there is very little background on the man and almost no background that is important. But there are a few things he said that not only tickle my fancy but also enhance my itch.


First of all, the man is an economics professor at Randolph Macon University just outside Richmond, Va. He has all the credentials to go with that, but in addition he has a Ph.D. and a Master of Divinity. He has a wife named Laura and a teenage son named Jonathan and a teenage daughter named Sophia. Whether or not the family owns a pet is at this moment unknown.

A politician’s religion does not bother me unless it impinges on his voting. Brat is one of those Roman Catholics who bring their religion into everything they do, including the bread on his dinner table. He considers himself an authentic conservative rather than an extremist.

He also feels, to quote an interviewer, he is "guided by the hand of God." In 2011, he wrote a magazine piece in which he decried his fellow Christians for not huzzahing the teachings of Jesus Christ.

"What happened," he asked. "What went wrong? We appear to be a bit passive. Hitler came along, and he did not meet with unified resistance. I have the sinking feeling that it could all happen again, quite easily."

Even weirder than all this is the fact that Brat wrote a piece titled "An Analysis of the Moral Foundations of Ayn Rand." She was the kooky ex-Russian who wrote two best-selling novels, ""The Fountainhead," detailing her philosophy of "Objectivism," which has been fascinating to many, especially Catholics.

So what do we know about Brat? Essentially nothing either personally or politically. Consequently he’ll be able to drive hard bargains from whichever cause he is standing for at the moment. Whichever way it is, it will be hard on the poor, the old, the sick and the young.

The thing that bothers me the most is that this college professor feels that "God acted through people on my behalf." One thing he doesn’t lack is ego. He and God. Tea and biscuits once a week.

I predict that by spring we’ll all be saying, "That David. What a Brat."

Milton Bass is a regular Eagle


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