Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 24, 2009

THE PHRASE CANTOR IS LOOKING FOR IS, 'THANK YOU'.... Listening to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) talk about economic policy is a terribly frustrating experience. The poor guy is not the brightest light in the harbor, if you know what I mean, and his uninterrupted record -- Cantor has been wrong about every major economic question over the course of his career -- is more than a little humiliating.

This week, Cantor hosted a job fair, during which he trashed the economic recovery efforts as an "utter failure." It's one of those attacks that's idiotic for a variety reasons -- we know the stimulus rescued the economy from the abyss; we know Cantor's alternative proposal (five-year spending freeze at the height of the crisis) was hopelessly insane and would have made things much worse; and we know the stimulus was needed to fix a crisis Cantor and his cohorts were responsible for creating in the first place.

But in this specific case, there's another problem with Cantor's nonsense, and it's an ironic one.

Nearly half of the 30 organizations participating in a job fair Cantor is holding Monday in Culpeper were recipients of the stimulus.

The list includes a slew of government agencies and schools that have directly benefited from the package and may be using stimulus money to hire people (as the money was originally designed to do), including the Orange County public schools, the Transportation Security Administration and Virginia Department of Labor, and some companies that may have indirectly benefited such as Comcast and Terremark.

In other words, the job fair at which Cantor trashed the stimulus wouldn't have been possible were it not for the stimulus.

If this seems vaguely familiar, it's because Cantor has run into this problem before. In April, the Minority Whip heralded a high-speed rail project in his district, made possible by the stimulus package. Just two months prior, Cantor fought tooth and nail to prevent that project from existing, and specifically mocked government funding on high-speed rail.

"The continuing hypocrisy from Republican leaders, like Eric Cantor, who try to block solutions in Washington and then take credit for them back home, is reaching epidemic proportions,'' the DCCC's Jesse Ferguson said. "If Representative Cantor's 'Party of No' policies were in effect, this event would have been an unemployment fair not a jobs fair."

The truth is, Cantor's nonsense is just unnecessary. Cantor was wrong, again, and it's obvious to anyone who's paid any attention. I'm sure the White House has no interest in rubbing it in. Ideally, Cantor would simply acknowledge that President Obama rescued the economy, and it was the White House that took steps to help recovery efforts in Cantor's district. The phrase Cantor is looking for isn't "utter failure"; it's "Thank you, Mr. President."

There are a handful of lawmakers who've developed an unearned reputation for intelligence, despite evidence of striking confusion and ignorance. Eric Cantor is at the top of the list.

Steve Benen 4:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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It sounds like he is fully qualified to be the 2012 Republican Party nominee for President of the United States.

Posted by: Todd B. on November 24, 2009 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Is Jindal #2? Or is Palin? I get confused these days at how remarkably stupid these R's are. Hypocrisy is one thing, sheer ignorance is another. The party of no & know nothing is also the party where everyones pants are on fire.
Effing bastards, all of 'em!

Posted by: vwmeggs on November 24, 2009 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

There are so few words to illustrate this buffoonery only because the art world hasn't caught up to the morbid fantasy of our right wing daydream believers .

Posted by: FRP on November 24, 2009 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Palin, Bachman etc. undoubtedly tout Rep. Cantor as "someone brave enough to confront the administration's tyrannical economic policies." It doesn't matter if he's smart, according to the GOP he's "brave" for offering a different take on events.

I'll tell you what, these gasbags are a piece of work.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 24, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK
It's one of those attacks that's idiotic for a variety reasons
Please pardon what will probably be perceived as pedanticism, but it should be "It's one of those attacks that are idiotic for a variety [of] reasons." Inverting the sentence shows why: "Of those attacks that are idiotic for a variety of reasons, it's one of those." Posted by: navamske on November 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Cantor is dumber than a box of hair.

Posted by: chrenson on November 24, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Here the Republicans are reaping the fruits being opposed to education, expertise and informed decision making. They extol aggressive ignorance, fear mongering and populist bullying. Cantor, like Bill Kristol, just can't help be wrong.

Posted by: Darsan 54 on November 24, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

The Richmond Times Dispatch endoreses Cantor, each election, just like they endorsed a felon (Ollie North) and bigot (George Allen). It is always in their best interest to endorse a politician that works counter to good policy. By the way they endorsed GWB twice, real smart people.

Posted by: Ted76 on November 24, 2009 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Similar situation here in Colorado. The putative GOP nominee for Governor held an event based at a construction firm bashing the stimulus package. Turns out that the firm that hosted the event has received a bunch of stimulus money for road projects and gets about 15% of its regular business from Federal spending. Asked about this by a reporter, the nominee deferred comment saying he didn't know about it and he only likes to talk about things he knows about (Hey Scott, if that's the case, you aren't going to have a lot to talk about in the next year).

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on November 24, 2009 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if Cantor is just stupid, or cynical (always a mystery with gooper politicians in particular), but I'm guessing it's more cynicism. Cantor is doing what nearly ALL goopers have been doing for at least 20 years: saying whatever seems opportune no matter how contradictory or hypocritical. They've all counting on low-information voters having no clue what they said last month, let alone last year.

These are long-used gooper tactics: who do you believe, me, or your lying eyes/ears? and throw-up-everything-and-see-what-sticks. The goopers have been doing this with a fair amount of success for nearly a half-century. I don't see them stopping now. They're too habituated to it.

In short, Cantor may be stupid, he may be cynical, he may be both, but mostly he just can't help himself because he's been doing and saying this kind of stupid, hypocritical nonsense for most of his career.

Posted by: LL on November 24, 2009 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

The phrase Cantor is looking for isn't "utter failure"; it's "Thank you, Mr. President."

Actually, this leads to a great idea. Progressives should run a series of campaign ads that consist of three parts. The first shows the Rethug du jour trashing stimulus. The second shows the same Rethug boasting and attempting to take credit for projects/jobs/etc. The third shows a smiling Obama saying "you're welcome". It would just drive the Rethugs and teabaggers insane.

Posted by: Chopin on November 24, 2009 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Chopin, let's do youtube ads of this.
During the campaign people had great youtube ads & they got tons of play from MSNBC (olbermann) & the daily show.

Posted by: vwmeggs on November 24, 2009 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

That, and then there's also this article that I found today (http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=ER26V4QXOLQ&preview=article&linkid=384e4fc2-823e-4fb7-b735-fd7f81a88734&pdaffid=ZVFwBG5jk4Kvl9OaBJc5%2bg%3d%3d) that, in all honesty, is a worthwhile and relevant read.

Hope this helps,
MediaMentions

Posted by: MediaMentions on November 24, 2009 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure the White House has no interest in rubbing it in.

And that, in the proverbial nutshell, is the problem.

Yes, dammit! Rub it in, over and over again, until their elephant-hide skin bleeds. Call them out on it, every bleeping day!!

Do what THEY would do. Remember when anyone who uttered even a peep against the war was a traitor? Well why the bleep doesn't it cut both ways?!?

Posted by: efgoldman on November 24, 2009 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

"There are a handful of lawmakers who've developed an unearned reputation for intelligence, despite evidence of striking confusion and ignorance".

Eric Cantor has developed a reputation for intelligence? Among what group?

I bet if you dig a little, you'd be hard put to find anyone who would describe him as intelligent. I'm going out on a limb a bit here, as I didn't bother to google "Eric Cantor" and "Intelligent" before making that statement, but I think the guy's relatively low-wattage dimbulbiness speaks for itself. His defenders might describe him as courageous and aggressive, maybe even pugnacious. And those are great qualities - in a fighting dog. In a politician with party whip responsibilities, not so much. Not in the complete and profound absence of a clue, of even a single firing neuron.

By this point, it's hardly necessary to point out that the Republicans don't place much of a premium on intelligence. Smart people, however, do. It remains to be seen if America contains more smart people than bedrock dummies.

Posted by: Mark on November 24, 2009 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Cantor is pretty typical of the current Virginia GOP. McDonnell is the one guy in the room who could keep his mouth shut and look sane, but his base is precisely the same as Cantor's.

Posted by: Jon on November 24, 2009 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Mark D, @21:38

All Jews are clever (that's why "real Americans" don't trust them) or, at least, sly. Which is the same as being intelligent (ie not to be trusted, under any circumstances). Cantor is a Jew. QED.

Really simple, when you think about it :)

Posted by: exlibra on November 24, 2009 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, sorry... Just "Mark", not "Mark D", in my 23:27 comment.

Posted by: exlibra on November 24, 2009 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Pravda, pravda. At least to the Republican mind. Except the Republican party considers itself the last remaining stronghold of "real Americans". It's amazing that a party which contains so many obvious bigots would make an exception for the children of Israel. However, I still think Cantor's mouth is writing cheques his intellect can't cash, and that any self-respecting Jew would be a little disappointed with his straight-goose-egg record for being right.

Posted by: Mark on November 25, 2009 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Cantor gets an "A" in the Republican category of "making our own reality", though, doesn't he? Isn't that what's really important?

/bleh

Posted by: Hannah on November 25, 2009 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

The reason the populists like Sara? As she says, "The elitists won't be in power anymore." You have to understand that when she says "elitists," she means "smart and comptetent." She wants to bring down big guvermint the way George W. did--make it fail.

Posted by: candideinnc on November 25, 2009 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure Cantor is stupid. Cantor's base doesn't care if stimulus works or not; they just don't want Obama and Democrats to get credit for anything. This is a continuation of Bush's policy-making: all about politics, nothing about whether or not the policy makes sense or is executed correctly.

Posted by: amorphous on November 25, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Praca on October 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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