Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 8, 2009

ERIC CANTOR, POST TURTLE.... House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) visited the conservative Heritage Foundation last week to unveil what he called "a no-cost jobs plan." Andrew Leonard summarized the pitch: "Cut regulations. Freeze spending. Cut taxes. No new taxes. That's the plan."

It was, of course, the Bush/Cheney agenda -- which helped get us in this mess in the first place -- warmed over.

A week later, Cantor appeared at the Economist's World in 2010 conference. The frequently-confused GOP leader said his party has plenty of important "big ideas" and policy proposals. The Economist's Daniel Franklin asked Cantor to identify the Republicans' big idea on jobs. Pat Garofalo reports that Cantor couldn't think of anything specific.

FRANKLIN: What is the big idea? "Jobs" is not an idea.

CANTOR: The big idea is to get, to get, to produce an environment where we can have job creation again.

I almost feel bad for the guy. Cantor was elected to Congress before he was able to learn anything about public policy, and was put in the GOP leadership before he could speak intelligently about any issue.

Eric Cantor as a congressional leader is a classic example of a post turtle -- you know he didn't get up there by himself; he obviously doesn't belong up there; he can't get anything done while he's there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down.

His "big idea" is an economic environment in which the employment marketplace improves from the recession's lows? That sounds an awful lot like the stimulus package -- which Cantor rejected and continues to trash -- which has created as many as 1.6 million jobs in less than a year.

There are conservative policy proposals related to job creation. Eric Cantor can't think of any. Better opposition, please.

Steve Benen 9:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

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Reminds me of the Monty Python Skit "How to do Anything".

Alan: Well, last week we showed you how to become a gynaecologist. And this week on 'How to do it' we're going to show you how to play the flute, how to split an atom, how to construct a box girder bridge, how to irrigate the Sahara Desert and make vast new areas of land cultivatable, but first, here's Jackie to tell you all how to rid the world of all known diseases.

Jackie: Hello, Alan.

Alan: Hello, Jackie.

Jackie: Well, first of all become a doctor and discover a marvellous cure for something, and then, when the medical profession really starts to take notice of you, you can jolly well tell them what to do and make sure they get everything right so there'll never be any diseases ever again

Posted by: ComradeAnon on December 8, 2009 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

This is another problem created by the GOP's embrace of the teabaggers. They are motivated entirely by opposition -- and angry opposition at that. They don't want to hear ideas from anyone, even Republicans. Ideas cause two big problems:

1. They lead to thought, which causes severe headaches among teabaggers.

2. They will certainly divided a movement that is united solely and entirely by anger and reaction.

The GOP has fostered the creation of a conservative movement innately hostile to ideas of any kind. This stymies Republicans in the policy arena: all they can do is reflexively oppose the Dems' agenda.

Posted by: jvwalt on December 8, 2009 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

I just realized something. The entire Republican party is composed of homeopaths. It is the only thing that can explain their belief that if you feed a sick patient a diluted form of what was killing them in the first place all will be well.

Posted by: Peter G on December 8, 2009 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Cantor is great.

If we're all starving he thinks we need to find an "environment of, you know, food."

Or freezing to death, a, you know, "environment of warmth."

Where does he comer up with these "big ideas"?
Eric Cantor must live in an "environment of big ideas," right?

Posted by: neill on December 8, 2009 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't been able to take anything Cantor says or does seriously since last September when he nearly cried about how mean Nancy Pelosi was in her speech about the bailout.

Posted by: Freddie on December 8, 2009 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Can you believe the Richmond Times Dispatch boasts of this misguided individual's accomplishments!! "Post turtle" great description.

Posted by: Ted76 on December 8, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

I think one of Cantor's most important qualifications to be selected as a Republican spokesmodel is the fact that he disguises his Elmer Fudd mentality with a nice looking exterior.

Posted by: DTR on December 8, 2009 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Tax cuts = no cost.

Man, he's a mathy genius!

Posted by: Dems lose huge in 2010 on December 8, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Pity there isn't someone in the media to ask, "tax cuts?, so you aren't concerned about increasing the size of the deficit?"

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on December 8, 2009 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

I almost feel bad for the guy. Cantor was elected to Congress before he was able to learn anything about public policy, and was put in the GOP leadership before he could speak intelligently about any issue.

Yeah, he was abducted and held at gunpoint until he agreed to run for office.

Spare me. This guy is Sarah Palin in a suit. And he has far too many brothers on the GOP side of the world.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on December 8, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Golly Gee wiz What a fucking idiot!

Posted by: john R on December 8, 2009 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Cantor just suffers because the GOP subcontracted all their policy planning to the Underpants Gnomes, and everything they produce looks basically the same. The jobs plan:
1. Talk about wanting jobs.
2. ?
3. Jobs!

At least they stopped collecting underpants. I guess that's something.

Posted by: biggerbox on December 8, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Cut regulations. Freeze spending. Cut taxes. No new taxes. That's the plan."

Are you sure that was the plan for jobs? Sounds like their plan for HCR, victory in Iraq, reaching Mars before the end of the century, etc.

Posted by: leo on December 8, 2009 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

I am deeply, deeply offended by the comparison.

Posted by: Turtle on December 8, 2009 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

AS I have said before: the Republicans, as a whole, should take some first year college courses in economics, sociology, and history.

Then, at least, they would have some ideas to govern. But until they do, anybody who has a a basic BA knows they are not well educated.

Posted by: Kurt on December 8, 2009 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Sensitive Turtles oppose comparisons . Claiming to be , deeply , deeply offended they offer no face saving alternative . The Political Animal is doomed !

Posted by: FRP on December 8, 2009 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Cut regulations. Freeze spending. Cut taxes. No new taxes. That's the plan.

That is NOT the plan. The plan is to SAY that, get into office, cut regulation and cut taxes, and then jack spending up through the roof, preferably by starting another war. It's the Reagan blueprint followed by Bushes I and II.

The whole point is to INCREASE our debt as much and as quickly as possible to make it impssible for Democrats to enact social welfare programs or any other preferred Demcratic initiatives, and to keep workers unorganized and powerless in a sinking economy.

That's the plan.

Posted by: Daddy Love on December 8, 2009 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK


The Republican Plan really can be boiled down to:

Deregulate to Stimulate!

Of course trying to sell more wallstreet deregulation is probably not a winner these days

Posted by: johan on December 8, 2009 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

People who don't understand, or don't care, about policy will frequently offer GOALS as their STRATEGY, PLAN or IDEA. Thus, Republicans like Cantor will say they "plan" to improve the economy by "creating new jobs." Duh!

George Bush did the same thing in Iraq. Asked what the plan was he would frequently say: a stable Iraq that can govern itself and not be a threat to its neighbors. No, George, that's the objective, not the strategy, but Bush didn't seem to notice the difference, or to care.

Posted by: Ted Frier on December 8, 2009 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Eric Cantor as a congressional leader is a classic example of a post turtle -- you know he didn't get up there by himself; he obviously doesn't belong up there; he can't get anything done while he's there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down." -SB

Imagine driving past a farm and seeing a post turtle - you know some asshole put him up there. Now imagine driving past a farm where every other post has a turtle on it. That is today's America with the present GOP

Posted by: Marko on December 8, 2009 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Yertle the Turtle, king of everything he sees.

Posted by: Mxyzptlk on December 8, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Better opposition, please."

No, thank you, Steve. I'm quite happy with the opposition I already have.

Posted by: Cal Gal on December 8, 2009 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

I guess Tom Bliley told him "you're on your own" once Yertle (I LOVE THAT!) got the junior whip position.

Any Dems for moving to Va's 7th district? Please?

Posted by: VaLiberal on December 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

I notice that this was a reporter from the Economist, a conservative magazine, but still serious.

If it had been CNN or any other MSM, the interviewer would have said, "Now that you have laid out the Republican jobs policy, why do you think the Democrats won't co-operatepartisan approach? Is it just politics?"

"Well, Jon, it's because the Democrats want to turn America into a socialist hellhole where the government will kill your grandmother and we'll be helpless before the terrorists."

"Thank you, Rep Cantor, and up next we'll ask a Democrat why they refuse to reach a hand out to Republicans and work out a fair compromise instead of killing your grandmother and handing Ameria over to Muslim terrorists."

Posted by: MikeN on December 8, 2009 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Biggerbox pretty much had it, but I;d combine him with Leo right underneath for their Underpants Gnomes variant:

1 "Cut regulations. Freeze spending. Cut taxes. No new taxes. That's the plan."
2. ????
3. Jobs!!!!

If only John McCain had been elected, we could've found out what #2 was. And I do mean #2.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on December 9, 2009 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK
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