Friday, July 24, 2009

Eric Cantor: Another Dishonest Republican

While much of the media is focused on the scandals involving Governor Mark Sanford R-South Carolina and Senator John Ensign R-Nevada, they should not exclude taking a look at Eric Cantor. Tauted to be a GOP rising star just as was Sanford and Ensign, the Virginia congressman regularly appears in the media ranting and raveing about the need for "fiscal responsibility". I say he's a hypocrite like so many of other dishonest Republicans.

Yes, I said HYPOCRITE! How else to describe someone who's a leading critic of President Obama's Recovery Act and joins his congressional colleagues to urge Virginia's Department of Transportation to apply for stimulus money for high-speed rail? If that isn't two-faced, what is?

Katrina vanden Heuvel explores the depth of Cantors lies in a recent posting on the Nation Editor's Cut Blog:

"He's also a demagogue: "Millions of jobs will be crushed by the Administration's policies." Say what? The stimulus may have been too small and overemphasized tax cuts, but it's helped states, including his own, with longer unemployment benefits, expanded food stamps and subsidies for people who've lost jobs to extend their health insurance. It's also kept teachers in the classroom, cops on the street and got workers rehired. Hours after Cantor delivered the GOP's weekly radio address blasting the stimulus, Vice-President Biden announced that $1.5 million of the bill's money would go to the Richmond Police Department to retain officers. And $20 million is going to Chesterfield County, a suburb of Richmond, to help 275 teachers from being fired. Virginia's working men and women should remember that Cantor fought hard to cut a provision in the stimulus bill that was designed to help low-income workers.

... But Cantor & crew don't care about creating jobs. They want to spin the debate about the economy so their party, which has absolutely nothing to offer working people, games the 2010 midterm elections."

The congressman doesn't only distort the truth when it comes to the economy, filling his messages with what John Nichols calls "demagogic and alarmist rhetoric about out-of-control government spending and federal debt. He appears to be raiding the federal treasury in order to fund his partisanship. Cantor does not appear to have any problem with the government funding his political projects".

Earlier this year, with as much fanfare as a beaten party can muster, congressional Republicans launched an initiative to "rebrand" their party as something voters might actually find appealing. Cantor and his compatriots called their project the National Council for a New America. While that project has yet to come up with anything "new" in the way of policy or vision, the Republican political initiative is up and running -- that's as at a cost to the federal government. The council is being run out of Cantor's congressional office, and the anti-corruption group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is asking why.

This week, CREW filed a complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against Cantor and requesting an investigation into the National Council for a New America. CREW's complaint: The Republican council ought not be run out of Cantor's congressional office when it has an exclusively political purposes. John Nichols asks the right question in his recent post "Congressman Eric Cantor r-Unethical": "And the congressman's constituents need to ask why, at a time when Cantor says the federal government does not have the money to pay for healthcare and education, it seems to have more than enough money to pay for the congressman's politicking."

Republicans such as Eric Cantor value their own political ambitions more than the welfare of the people they represent. They don't feel remorse or guilt that their leadership under President Bush caused this situation that the current administration inherited. They obviously have no intention of contributing to solutions in lieu of the "just say No" strategy or their more recent push "to go slow and kill" any pending legislation that the Democratics might be considering.
What I don't understand is why are we still listening to people who broke the back of the middle class, engineered the largest redistribution of wealth upwards to the very rich, and now dare to attack fairly modest government-led efforts to help working families weather this economic crisis and to extend affordable health care to all who want it?

In a must-read Nation article, "A Jobless Recovery" (July 13), Leo Hindery Jr. and Leo Gerard lay out a set of common-sense proposals for a job-led recovery.
"We can either focus our economic recovery efforts on creating full employment for the 150 million workers who are not part of the top 0.2 percent and on rebuilding the country's manufacturing base. Or, as we have been doing for nearly three decades, we can concentrate on policies that mostly just benefit the incomes of the wealthiest 300,000."

Least I forget another interesting fact, The congressman's wife, Diane Fine Cantor, is a Managing Director in a division of Emigrant Bank a subsidiary of New York Private Bank & Trust Corp. which was one of 47 private banks to receive bailout cash under the Troubled Asset Relief Program in exchange for preferred shares.

Is it any wonder I fill slightly sickened when I hear Eric Cantor talking out of both sides of his mouth?

Sources : "Editor's Cut" and "The Beat" Blogs, The Nation, and Wikipedia

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