Tag: Eric Cantor
In George Orwell's Animal Farm, the pigs on Mr. Jones' farm lead an animal revolt against him - a revolution based on high principles, which one by one the pigs violate as they begin to act like the men they replaced. As the pigs start walking on two legs, they replace their slogan "Four legs good, two legs bad" with the new, improved "Four legs good, two legs better."
I thought of Orwell as I listened to Dave Brat's latest speech celebrating his victory over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor - and announcing his choice of Cantor's former political director to be his new campaign manager. Well, that revolution didn't last long, did it?
The media, of course, has been full of commentary about the Tea Party "revolt" against the "Republican establishment". But we've heard too few good explanations of what this "revolt" is really about.
If you were to search for the core of modern conservatism - the driving force and principle at the heart of it - you will find that it is not fundamentally driven by religion, by prejudice, by support for the military, by love of guns or rural values. All of these perspectives are certainly important, particularly to the GOP grassroots. But what drives this party - more than ever before - is the money, support and agenda of the most enormous corporations on Earth. This is the party of the Koch Brothers, the party of ALEC, the party of Exxon-Mobil and Wall Street.
Late at night on September 30, Republicans on the House Rules Committee changed the standing rules of the House so that the only member allowed to call up the Senate's clean government funding bill for a vote was Eric Cantor or whoever he designated to do so. That rule pretty much guaranteed that the government would shut down with no recourse for any other duly elected member to call for a vote.
Before the Republicans on that committee took away representative democracy, under the standing rules of the House (Rule 22, section 4) any member could have called for a vote to amend the House version and thus pass the Senate clean CR that had been sent to the House. Representative democracy was eliminated so that the Tea Party and "Cruzite crazies" could force a government shutdown. So, as of September 30, Cantor, or anyone he anoints, has control over the entire House. Other members are subject to his whims. Meanwhile, Virginia is the #1 state harmed by the government shutdown, a shutdown induced by the insanity gripping House Republicans, aided and abetted by Cantor.
How absurd is it that the Constitution can insulate the Teahadists from the results of their blackmail of the rest of us, yet so few people in the media point out that the same Constitution prohibits Congress from breaching the debt limit and throwing the United States into default, and most likely another recession? That's the next crisis the GOP plans to exploit to extort what they demand. The 14th Amendment declares, "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,... shall not be questioned."
At the opening of each session of Congress, members in both houses take an oath to support and defend the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." They also swear to "well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office." One of those duties is to pass a budget to operate the government. Another is to uphold the 14th Amendment's directive to pay the public debt. In 2014 all Virginia voters should keep in mind that every Republican representing the state in the House of Representatives voted to shut down the government, to shakedown the nation. They have not fulfilled their oath to conduct their office in a responsible manner. They also are part of the cabal that next threatens default and endangers our economic way of life. They should be kicked out of office.
The first step to lowering the deficit was the fiscal-cliff deal the president got Congress to agree to before the first of the year, the deal that raised income tax rates on wealthy Americans. Then, because Congress refused to act to stop a ridiculous sequester that was so extreme no one figured it would happen, another $1 trillion will be lopped off the deficit by the end of the next decade. Those combined actions, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, are sufficient to stabilize the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio. That means the debt is no longer growing faster than the U.S. economy. The deficit crisis is over. As the economy slowly regains momentum after the Great Recession, the improvement in the deficit picture will become even more pronounced.
It's time to declare victory in the deficit war and work to replace the idiotic sequester with more reasonable and sustainable budget constraints. Plus, Congress needs to raise the debt limit and pass a budget. However, Cantor and his tea-poisoned majority in the House now insist that Social Security and Medicare have to be slashed. Since neither one caused the deficit in the first place, it would be foolish to agree to whatever cockamamie scheme Cantor and company have planned to wreck the social safety net for seniors.