Political Animal


October 07, 2011 11:20 AM Cantor decries Occupy Wall Street ‘mob’

By Steve Benen

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) spoke this morning at the right-wing Value Voters Summit in D.C., and as best as I can tell, became the first congressional Republican leader to condemn the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement.

“I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country. And believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.”

Cantor was, it’s worth noting, reading from a prepared text. He didn’t just blurt this out without having thought it through.

At this point two years ago, Republicans quickly became outraged if Democrats dared to criticize so-called “Tea Party” activists. After all, how could Dems have the audacity to disparage law-abiding Americans speaking out against abuses that offend them? How could Democrats have the gall to condemn sincere patriots who want to have their voices heard?

Two years later, Cantor is entirely comfortable chastising Americans who disagree with his failed, regressive economic vision as a “mob.” How tolerant of him.

But just as important is this notion that progressive activists are “pitting of Americans against Americans.” I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but I suspect the oft-confused Majority Leader believes it’s divisive to support economic justice, to demand tax fairness, and to expect responsible corporate conduct.

This isn’t just wrong; it’s intellectually lazy and poorly thought out. Is it “pitting Americans against Americans” when Cantor and his cohorts to go after Planned Parenthood, its employees, and its patients? Is it “pitting Americans against Americans” when Cantor and his ilk go after unions, school teachers, and trial lawyers? Is it “pitting Americans against Americans” when Cantor and his party blast scientists, economists, journalists, community organizers, and advocates for the poor? Is it “pitting Americans against Americans” when Cantor and the Republican Party tell the unemployed to fend for themselves and urge families in poverty to suck it up while the GOP cuts taxes for the wealthy again?

Or does the dimwitted Majority Leader believe “pitting Americans against Americans” is fine just so long as the Republican Party doesn’t like the Americans on the receiving end of the criticism?

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • Todd for VT House on October 07, 2011 11:28 AM:

    I have to agree with him. I'm concerned about the mobs of violent people carrying batons and guns, wearing white shirts and funny hats.

  • internet tough guy on October 07, 2011 11:28 AM:

    Cantor wants his Kent State.

  • jheartney on October 07, 2011 11:30 AM:

    Cantor's sputtering should be an encouraging sign for the protesters. Loud complaints from the GOP leadership are an infallible sign that you are doing the right thing. The louder the gooper poutrage, the better the course of action must be.

    BTW, by this measure, Senator Reid's parliamentary maneuvers last night were a home run.

  • Josef K on October 07, 2011 11:33 AM:

    This isnt just wrong; its intellectually lazy and poorly thought out.

    You've just described Eric Cantor, as well as John Kyl, Jim DeMint, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Michelle Bachmann...

    Need I go on? Name me one Republican officeholder currently in Congress who has shown the slightest glimmer of actual rationality. Frankly, I'd be more worried if they stopped using this idiotic rhetoric; its become expected of the spawn of Gingrinch.

  • walt on October 07, 2011 11:33 AM:

    Give Cantor credit for recognizing the broad outlines of the next American civil war. Of course, he and his Neo-Confederate party don't like the enemy. We don't like them! But that's the point: we're having a phony war now in lieu of the bloody one that is inevitable. Republicans have gained crucial ground during their phony war. They hypnotized a huge swath of the American citizenry. And now that some of us are fighting back, they're feigning outrage that we're so uncouth! Welcome his hatred. It means you're effective.

  • Lifelong Dem on October 07, 2011 11:39 AM:

    "Mob" is the new right-wing meme for belittling the Occupy Wall Street people. I know because the headline of Ann Coulter's column this week is "This Is What a Mob Looks Like."

    None of these people think for themselves; the right-wing message managers have decreed the use of "mob" so Cantor and Coulter are running with it.

  • T2 on October 07, 2011 11:40 AM:

    I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs that don't agree with me"

    that was his unedited quote. What a dirtwad.

  • candideinnc on October 07, 2011 11:40 AM:

    Remember, the Thugs' guiding principles in trying to win elections: God, guns & gays." Can't understand your oversight,Steve: "Is it pitting Americans against Americans when you perpetually fight for the institutional governmental discrimination against gays or when you use the 'Values Voters Summit' to pit right wing Evangelicals against the rest of society?"

  • Josef K on October 07, 2011 11:41 AM:

    From internet tough guy at 11:28 AM:

    Cantor wants his Kent State.

    I did my graduate work at Kent State. Nice place, as is the memorial of the shootings.

    And if you're right, Cantor may well come to regret it. First because video of it (and don't fool yourself, there will be video aplenty) will instantly go viral, and second, it'll be an even bigger millstone around the Republican's neck than KSU was about Nixon's. Oh, it didn't cost him his re-election, but it cemented the perception his administration was out of control and out of step with mainstream America.

    Something equivalent happens today, I suspect the backlash will be even harsher and more immediate this time.

  • edo on October 07, 2011 11:48 AM:

    Cantor is not confused. He is a hatchet man for the gangster state that America is becoming. None of the republican leadership are confused. They are hit men, doing it for the money and the little bit of power they have as long as they remain useful to their masters. When they stop earning they're gone.

  • AndThenThere'sThat on October 07, 2011 11:49 AM:

    Eric Cantor is the nerdish looking offspring of the Devil himself.

  • DAY on October 07, 2011 11:51 AM:

    A single act by a street vendor in Tunisia "ignited' an uprising that swept across North Africa.

    Some of us remember the monks in Saigon.

  • Gandalf on October 07, 2011 11:51 AM:

    There are words to describe people like Cantor-Stooge,lackey,tool,etc,etc,etc.

  • r on October 07, 2011 11:54 AM:

    Only rich people are Real Americans. If you aren't rich, you have only yourself to blame -- they've explicitly stated that. Therefore, all must worship Real Americans.

    Arabic in the captcha. Nice

  • doubtful on October 07, 2011 11:54 AM:

    Scared asshole is scared. Keep it up OWS!

  • gulo on October 07, 2011 11:56 AM:

    Just wait 'til the Occupying forces start packing Glocks and AKs. (IOKIYAR, part 3,742)

    In truth, I have been thinking it's high time some pitchforks started showing up on the teevee.

  • stormskies on October 07, 2011 11:57 AM:

    Cantor should be treated just as Mussolini was .........

  • kindness on October 07, 2011 12:05 PM:

    As if we need more proof that Cantor is a moron. Not only is he a hypocrite but he apparently thinks his supporters & the MSM are also complete morons. Sadly on that one, I suspect he's correct.

  • Bob M on October 07, 2011 12:15 PM:

    1% wannabe

  • Mary on October 07, 2011 12:15 PM:

    It's not intellectually lazy or poorly thought out. It's propaganda, intended to incite Cantor's followers. These Republicans aren't stupid. They just don't feel any obligation to characterize events in truthful terms.

    That's why a free and honest press is so important.

  • c u n d gulag on October 07, 2011 12:15 PM:

    It's an 'Unruly Mob,' if it's Liberals speaking out.

    It's a 'Passle of Patriots,' when the Teabagger gather.

    And it's "Class War" when we peons fight back.

  • j on October 07, 2011 12:30 PM:

    Agree with gulo - wonder what the reaction would be if the people at Wall Street were carrying guns as did the tea party.

  • stormskies on October 07, 2011 12:31 PM:

    We need to remember that soulless goons like Cantor, et-al, have so sold themselves out relative to their own pathetic ambitions that they have become like wind up dolls that are set in motion by the Corporate Zarathustra's that program them everyday.


    Here is a quote from FDR that we all need to remember:

    Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob"

    -= Franklin Delano Roosevelt =-

  • bdop4 on October 07, 2011 12:36 PM:

    First they ignore you.
    Then they mock you.
    Then they fear you.
    Then they lose.

    We seem to be moving through these stages pretty quickly, no?

  • stevio on October 07, 2011 12:39 PM:

    One has to wonder just how messed-up this guy's toilet training was for him to end up being this big an ass hole. The people I am acquainted with who are this far to the right were raised by hate, and dysfunction. I know their parents and family members and the pattern is unchangeable. They hate blacks, gays, and :welfare moms" who they envision as black or hispanic, never coming to grips that the vast majority of people on welfare are white.

    They were more than likely dropped at birth, more likely, dribbled.

    Now, maybe not all of these people are such, but, it seems to be a pattern that repeats over and again. Conversations ,when turning to politics, eventually end with statements like, "keep the government away from my Medicare".

    We are in big trouble as those in the GOP have allowed for the creation of a media class that is just as cynical.

    How does one come to grips with living in a Banana Republic with a standing military that has more nukes than God? Good thing we have Pat Robertson to keep the diety satisfied...

  • OKDem on October 07, 2011 12:53 PM:

    The definitions are simple but you must realize that there are two definitions used in Cantor's statement:
    "American [1] versus American [2]"

    American [2] - Corporate owners of the physical entity and chattel formerly known as the United States of America.

    American [1} - Squatters not yet properly enslaved by American [2].

  • Ray Waldren on October 07, 2011 1:14 PM:

    Maybe if demonstrators on Wall Street were exercising their "second amendment rights" he'd have more to worry about.

  • JayinOregon on October 07, 2011 1:18 PM:

    There have been others like him in history. The irony of it all.

  • TCinLA on October 07, 2011 1:23 PM:

    Two years later, Cantor is entirely comfortable chastising Americans who disagree with his failed, regressive economic vision as a mob. How tolerant of him.


    Cantor's sputtering should be an encouraging sign for the protesters. Loud complaints from the GOP leadership are an infallible sign that you are doing the right thing. The louder the gooper poutrage, the better the course of action must be.


  • jjm on October 07, 2011 2:37 PM:

    More nails in the GOP coffin.

  • max on October 07, 2011 3:00 PM:

    Cantor is an idiot and to prove it he has thrown in his lot with the Tea Party, a group most Americans view as useful idiots for right-wing billionaires, oil companies and banks, and the failed economic policies of 2000-2008. Cantor is also providing plenty of footage for Democratic campaign commercials. Dig Eric, Dig!

  • Doug on October 07, 2011 9:22 PM:

    Without reading any of the comments first, I'm going with Mr. Benen's last paragraph...

  • Patrick on October 07, 2011 9:33 PM:

    That's right, libs.

    When we get the White House in 2013, you'll understand. There won't be any more tolerance for these little "demonstrations".

    At best, you'll be ignored. At worst, well, we all know how to deal with treason.

  • lionomichael on October 09, 2011 3:23 AM:

    Economics 101 the very ceos and middle class management that got canned in 1989 when people did not understand my speech on econmics are running the drug and judicial disjurisprudence that is costing our country its debt. Put these people back to work and in due time the rest of us unemployed shall recover. Recovery can not be done alone but it should be done so that americans can enjoy the freedoms they used to enjoy such as paying full wages for quality products that would last with parts shipping casts eliminated from the equation and stop the trade imbalance of china that Clinton who i praised for making an effort to negotiate with the chinese but just sold our country out instead following reagan's lead who sold us to england his native country. Supply and demand for a product can be altered by a government but this means raising taxes and the only fair taxes are flat rate taxes on the rich unless they are selling out our country through bad credit risk or badinvestment in foreign markets. This profit or loss should be taxed at credit card rates so as to deter bad investment.At least reagan belived in make buy and sell in usa he just didnt believe ina llowing foreign investment to anyone but england. This was his econmical error. Bad world investment is the problem with the usa today. We need to reinvest in our country which means finding jobs for the people who are helping our drug lords enable our drugies and get them the drugs they supposedly need. The solutin is not arrest but rather incentive to put these people back in high places in the market place by supporting ceos and middle mangement who now make money diverting drugs around government securities. The obama plan only supports more drugs and doctor visits which is unhealthy crowding our hospitals with people and drugs, our streets with violence due to drugs, and promoting sickness in the hospitals where it can spread easily rather than promoting working and good nutrition and good strong family christian values that once and still make our country valuable and healthy for all age groups. Check with the WHO, health and immunity is going down as well as mental and fiscal stability devaluing our lives so we may live shorter and less valuable lives all under the siguise of creating better health and therefore wealth. All we are realy creating is more of a drug and poverty problem in a country who has already been sold out to england and china and now palestine under president obama. Vote for Mitt Romney. He will put our people back to work. He is a business man and therefore understans economic policy. He also has the most experience of all candidates running in government in dealing with congress. I used to think less government was good as reagen said. But idle government is the devils prosperity. Why vote for mitt romney. he has experience with earnig money and saving money and inveasting in americas future and protecting our country from further foreign domination and he believes as i do a strong america means a strong world. Integrity, Decency for workers in wages, less government red tape. omit what makes us weak and focus on what makes us stronger. Just going with the popular vote in congress as Obama said he would do changes nothing good for our country. Leadership is what we want from a president not usurpment of congressional power. The usurpment of power by presidents in the past has been for personal gain like bush and foreign oil. mitt romney already has millions and therefore has no economic need to usurp presidential powers as many of our presidents have done in the past including FDR. Obamas solution to the economy is to make the rich poor not the poor rich. You see this with penny stocks on wall street which rob from the poor as they can pay no real dividends and taxes on rich for the past behavior rather than focusing on what good capital and investment could really do in this country and around the world. We are the melting pot of the world but our discrepancies make us learn from our mistakes. Let us not make the mistake of putting in govenors who want to usurp presidential power for their own gain. Rather put in someone of good sound non political stature who will get our country back t work creating profitable valuable goods and services rather than foreign perishable goods and services. Our country must lead other countries if the melting pot is effective the world shall be a safer and more industrious and more humanitarian as well as egalitarian place for the human race to take up space and let us bring new ground to earth if we have to support more birth because animal populations have reached their limts and insects and plagues and bad weather shall continue to grow so long as we have a weak american dollar or white or blue collar out of work no matter what their past record. If you want true political change vote for someone who got into politcs to omit the when and where we need omission and commit where we need commitment. Noone understands how to do this better than Mitt Romney. He has proven time and again his comittment to a moderate repulican conservative point of view that is not as radical as my foreign policies would be. Firm and soft as romney said like good toilet tissue- the kind we wish we all could afford which we all could if we all had jobs again. As a businessman he will be radical in starting business and cracking that repulican whip (from our pledge of allegience to this country -and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands ) that as why vote republican otherwise you welcome democracy or(DEMONstrosity) for which the democrats just do not understand anything except how education and hard work ethic leads to good leadership and strong companies and corporations which usually donate to charity or prosperity such as city fireworks to get a tax break (good robin hood stuff) which the (con)gressional and im(press)ionable democrats call loopholes because they are lazy assholes who don't want to work but want a free ride on the rich because they don't see the switch and just want time outs to party hardy and get sexually and physically ill because they are not in good standing s with their families do to (press)ure coming from wretched terrorist tv and videogames which they enjoy because they think its funny when we spend the riches and our time on money for free like poor comedies on youtube beccause we cant find jobs because congress doesnt agree with wall street(capitalistic socialism moderately applied carefully by a hard working millionaire who has proven his worth and experience in congress(not state(texas or illinois governors who only promote their personal goals for the federal government state) texas war mongering and illinois debt hounding) candidates who have proven that they are not what the public wants. We want job security international security and valued experiences in our daily lives not just for this country but for the rest of the world as well. I say definetly we find this candidate in (not me) as i am too radical to handle foreign policy although i am an independent candidate running for the presidency. My motto is Don't vote for me vote for Mitt Romney. ia m a good economist a good general planner but only some one who has been in government and not just politics like me who has political interests in seeing my country suceed to the best of its ability. My true name is kevin michael friberg- a crazy rapper-crapper who knows how to sing God BLESS America and is not a genius like romney but is a good mathemetician and economist ask my psychiatrist when mentally stable or slightly manic who would cause this country too much of a panic if I were to gain the presidency in 2012 as there is no gaurantee on continued mental stability if pressured by that high of a position in fact most defintely i would relapse leading this country into devastation; Yet i am a very smart cookie and recognize the need for a stronger presidency. Once again I say vote for Mitt Romney- I support this man and his plan to make America #1 again like the Babylon of The Holy Bible( babble on babble on liberal press) I am not impressed because i am more liberal than you. In the words of MC Hammer I got the POWER to influence the Powers that be as i speak eloquently and solemnly with the spirit of Michael the arc(h)-angel . My middle name is Michael so i can carry that spirit through the grace of our lord and saviour JESUS CHRIST AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME CHECK OUT POWER 106 ON THE RADIO I CONSTANTLY INTERRUPT THEIR SIGNAL WHEN I WANT TO SOMETIMES I PREACH ON UTUBE. bUT WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER YELLOW FUNNY FELLOW MARTIN LUTHER KING IN OFFICE!!!! DON'T VOTE FOR ME VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY!!!
    I believe in a full recovery!!!!!!!!!!!!