The big earthquake of the 2018 primary season so far has been the unseating of powerful Democratic House leader Joe Crowley by 28-year-old democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez in New York. This isn’t a common occurrence, needless to say, but it does happen from time to time, most recently four years ago when an obscure economics professor named David Brat unseated GOP House leader and “young gun” Eric Cantor in Virginia. At that time, much of the chattering class chalked the defeat up to “all politics is local,” saying that Cantor had neglected his district. That analysis was wrong. Brat won because of one very hot issue that was boiling over in the right-wing media: immigration.
The right-wing star most responsible for pushing that issue into the GOP mainstream was talk radio host Laura Ingraham.
Before her promotion to Fox News primetime host, Ingraham used her talk radio show to stump for Brat and rail against Cantor. She even went to the district to campaign for Brat, solely on the basis of his hardcore stance against the unaccompanied minors from Central America who were in the news at the time gathering at the border seeking asylum.
Ingraham was on a tear during that crisis, ranting daily about the ungrateful little wretches coming to our sacred borders asking for an undeserved handout. When she heard that some of these refugees weren’t taking to the food in their detention centers she described them as spoiled whiners and mocked them by playing an old TV commercial with the slogan “yo qiero Taco Bell?“. She made this declaration to the kids themselves:
Oh no you won’t. This is our country… Our borders matter to us. Our way of life and our culture matter to us. Our jobs and our wages matter to us. No you won’t.
During this period Donald Trump was seriously considering jumping into the presidential election and he had his friend Roger Stone’s hired hand, Sam Nunberg, listen to thousands of hours of talk radio and report back to him about what they were talking…