You know how some politicians you just can’t stand, even though they aren’t materially worse than their fellows? John Edwards was always one of those for me; back in 2004, my line about him was that he made me want to scratch his face.

Eric Cantor was another one, in my book, someone I just could not stand to listen to or see. He seemed to me to represent the worst aspects of both establishment and insurgent Republicanism.

And now he’s gone.

Scott Galupo may be right that Brat is going to be “another useless crank,” but we can always hope that he will be a useful crank, the kind who demands a wildly against-the-consensus look at this or that particular issue, as opposed to someone willing to destroy the institution if he doesn’t get his way. The House of Representatives is pretty big; there’s room for those who make the sausage and room for those who want to change the recipe – even radically. We’ve just had enough of folks whose idea of changing the recipe is adding e coli.

If Brat becomes a table-pounder on immigration, or NSA spying, or corporate welfare – he may make a useful contribution to shaping the debate, even if I don’t always agree with the direction. If he refuses to vote for any budget that doesn’t repeal Obamacare – not so much.

We’ll find out which kind of crank Brat is soon enough. Or maybe not – there is a general election, after all; we might instead find out what kind of crank Jack Trammell is.