Following two previous items on his role as the man who is happy to blow up the debt talks rather than compromise with a Democratic President or even his own party's Speaker, these final (I hope) responses about "young gun" Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia.
- Several readers wrote in to complain about an earlier comment from a reader in Georgia, who said that Cantor's motive in his obstructionism was to "topple John Boehner and become the first Jewish speaker of the House." Of course if Cantor became Speaker he would be the first Jewish one -- as Nancy Pelosi was the first female Speaker, Harry Reid is the first Mormon Senate Majority leader, Barack Obama is the first non-white President, Joe Lieberman was the first Jewish national-ticket nominee, and so on. The firstness mattered, in different degrees, in each of these cases, and it would with Cantor as well. But in the current budget drama, the relevant point is that Cantor wants to displace Boehner and become Speaker, period. So we should leave it at that.
- Pat Lang, of the Sic Semper Tyrannis blog, argues that Cantor is a perfect product of the gerrymandered districting system in modern politics. That is, according to Lang, Cantor is far more hard-line than his district as a whole. But because a Democrat would be anathema in that district, Cantor is safe as long as he has the party structure behind him:
>>The district is 80% white. Incomes are modest.... Typically, they live in small, well kept houses sited for a view of the countryside. The houses average around $130,000 in price....
How does Eric Cantor fit into this? Is this story altogether about a Richmond machine politician holding office because the voters can't accept the idea of voting for a Democrat? Perhaps it is.
Cantor is now engaged in an attempt to unseat John Boehner from his place as Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is doing this by a maximum display of obstructionism in the process of reaching an agreement on revenues and spending....
Is that what the people of the Seventh District want in their representative? We Virginians have a hard earned reputation for moderation, consideration for others and common sense. We do not elect extremists or people like Pat Robertson's candidates to major public office. Is the game that Cantor is playing compatible with that tradition? Is not the greater good the principle that should be followed in this crisis?
I suppose that the game is rigged in the Virginia Republican Party so that Cantor is assured of the nomination for this "Safe Seat."<<
- Many people wrote in with comparisons worse than Eddie Haskell. For the record.