Eric Cantor: Profiles in Cowardice and Craven Irresponsibility


    I seriously cannot imagine a more pathetic excuse for a U.S. congressman than Eric Cantor.

    Eric Cantor is pulling out of the debt-ceiling talks. But he’s not saying they should end. In fact, he’s saying they’ve been very successful thus far. “We have a blueprint to move forward to trillions of spending cuts and binding mechanisms to change the way things are done around here,” he said in a statement. Butr having agreed on spending, now the two parties need to agree on taxes. And Cantor doesn’t want to be the one to make that agreement. It’s time, he told the Wall Street Journal, for “the president to come in and talk to the speaker.”


    One analysis of the House GOP right now is that there are two players in the GOP who can cut a budget deal: Eric Cantor and John Boehner (and, on some of the other budget issues, Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers). One of them is going to have to do it. Which means one of them is going to lose his job. The optimistic take is that what we’re seeing right now is a game of musical chairs over which one of them it’ll be.

    But the pessimistic analysis is that if you had to write a plausible scenario for how America defaults on its debt, or at least seriously spooks the market, this is how it would start

    In other words, Eric Cantor puts at least two things higher on his priority list than the credit, economy, and future of the United States of America: 1) his own popularity with the most extreme, lunatic fringe of his party; and 2) his own job. Cowardly, craven, and irresponsible are just three of many adjectives that spring to mind for this guy.

    • Paradox13VA

      Repeating myself a bit, but Eric Cantor is not a leader, and who he represents is not a majority.

      Plus, Virginia now has no one in the room for critical fiscal negotiations, and yet Virginia is a state significantly dependent on Federal money for her economy. Talk about abdicating responsibility.

    • Jim B

      There was a piece in the Wash Post a few days ago where Joe Biden said something like ” he is really a smart guy”. Well, I disagree with that. He certainly has not shown any smarts and he owes his position to some rural voters who really don’t get it and Tom Delay who was looking for some Jewish money.

    • they’ll find a way to cut a deal and make the Democrats look bad at the same time?

    • aznew

      Whatever Cantor’s motives (greed, power, stupidity or cowardice), this move could have beneficial results for both Cantor and the U.S.

      As a result of this move, Boehner is being forced to either:

      1. Agree to some form of revenue increase; or

      2. Take the blame for a U.S. debt default.

      Either way, in Cantor’s calculation, when the smoke clears, Boener will be damaged goods and he (Cantor) he could be SOTH.

      At the same time, Cantor’s move arguably makes a deal to raise the debt ceiling that includes both expense cuts and revenue increases more likely — a good result for everyone else on Earth. If Boehner calculates that there is no way for hm to remain speaker (either by ticking off powerful elements in his own party by agreeing to a deal that raises tax receipts in some manner, or by possibly plunging the entire planet into a Depression by refusing to do so and not raising the debt ceiling, potentially precipitating a default), he will hopefully choose the better economic policy, and bring along enough GOP votes to get a deal passed through the House.

      Cantor, seems to me, to have done something right here, even if he did it for the wrong reason.

    • Say What

      It can’t be lost on the mainstream Republican Party (Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street, Big Industry, etc.) that the “young guns” making a splash after the 2010 elections are in the long term BAD for business.

      Markets crave certainty and the whack rhetoric coming from the likes of Cantor & Ryan shows the stupidity of these tea party idealogues …. playing the brinkmanship card to the extreme, risking the business of America.

      I’m glad Eric Cantor has “quit” …. because whatever deal comes out of this mess… Cantor & crowd will look like whiny children standing next to the adults in the room trying to fix the problem.

      As an aside … while watching the President’s speech last night, which wasn’t one of his best … I can’t imagine any of the current Repug Presidential wannabes holding a candle to the guy. He’s just that good …. er Presidential. I expect there won’t be a strong challenger emerging from the current field.  They just don’t have the necessary talent to overcome a capable, affable incumbent like Obama.

      Now if we can only get “Mr. Change You Can Believe In” back on track to deliver on all those 2008 campaign promises pushed to the back burner we’ll all be better off.