The Coronation of Prince Eric

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rue to form, the Richmond Times-Disgrace spent about half of its front page this morning toasting the elevation of their hometown favorite, Eric Cantor, to his new position as House Majority Leader, following the GOP rout in November elections.

None of the major newspapers — the New York Times, Washington Post or Wall Street Journal — afforded the “Young Gun” the same type of type of fawning coverage. But, then, Cantor is exactly what the newspapers owners like, a non-threatening, non-dynamic protector of their business interests, not to mention that his wife is on the board of parent firm Media General (cue disclaimer!).

Cantor promises the lead the charge to dismantle Obamacare, refusing to believe the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that it will CUT $140 billion or so from the budget in its first 10 years. Cantor wants weekly budget cutting suggestions from various House committees. One would have to assume, of course, that they wouldn’t involve funding for Rolls Royce North America or any major corporate entity with a headquarters in the Old Dominion.

Cantor is an icon for what Virginia’s dying oligarchs such as the Stewart Bryan family and others want from their politicians, namely one-sided policies that favor CEOs rather than ordinary people.

Consider that the late Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., another member of the Old Richmond elite deified by the Richmond newspaper, was front-and-center pro-business to the point of absurdity.

According to a New York Times piece on the current pro-business Supreme Court, before he was named to the court, Powell took it upon himself to advise the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to assemble a “highly competent staff of lawyers” to thwart what he saw as a massive legal onslaught against business interests.

A year later, Powell was named to the Supreme Court and he sure got his wish later with the court of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, which has, according to a study for the Times by Northwestern University and University of Chicago professors, ruled in favor of business interests 61 percent of the time while the previous chief justice’s court so ruled 42 percent of the time.

And, the U.S. Chamber, housed in a mausoleum-style mansion across Lafayette Park from the White House, has, under its combative president Tom Donohue, aggressively shouted down just about any kind of regulation be it Sarbanes-Oxley, needed after Enron, and the more recent but weak financial industry reforms following the worst crisis since the Great Depression which was caused in large part by the unbridled greed of the Banks of America, Wachovias, Merrill Lynchs, Bear Stearns, Citigroups, and so on.

It should come as no surprise that Cantor is going after Obamacare and refuting independent and credible analysis suggesting it won’t sink the federal debt as conservatives want you to think it will. The Young Gun is generously funded by the managed care and health industry. For a cool couple K, you can arrange a “coffee with Cantor” at a Starbuck’s on Capitol Hill.

And speaking of Cantor, he never questioned President George W. Bush’s War in Iraq, which was absolutely unnecessary because the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” that Bush gave as the reason for the war, did not exist. Meanwhile, the war has cost 4,400 Americans killed and 30,000 wounded, 100,000 or so Iraqi casualties, several million refugees and $1 trillion in taxpayer costs that haven’t been paid for, according to Joseph Lelyveld in The New York Review of Books.

So where’s Eric on this one? If you are stuck in Richmond reading the Times-Disgrace, you will never find out.

Peter Galuszka

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13 responses to “The Coronation of Prince Eric”

  1. Cantor is going to be the Republican Party's Prince Charles.

    Enunciation going nowhere.

    Republicans attempting to dismantle Obamacare is like the last confederates in the trenches defending Richmond while Lee was at Appomattox.

    That train has left the station. Even Sudan has a constitutional requirement for universal health care. They cannot actually supply it of course, but at least they have a goal.

    Cantors goal is to put us somewhere behind Sudan.

  2. Larry G Avatar

    Mr. Cantor – elected to Congress in 2001 – has – as far as I know – never offered to name the cuts that he would support to reduce the trillion dollar annual deficit – even though every year he talks about "runaway govt spending".

    And yet the folks who frequent these pages and claim to be fiscal conservatives – have had precious little to say about the qualities that justify this "young gun" being selected as "leader"

    and not a whimper from the Tea party folks in his district either.

    Now.. I realize according to the Groveton Rules of Engagement that calling out Mr. Cantor on his fraudulent fiscal conservative chameleon shtick makes me a "liberal" but I guess it's a cross I will have to bear.

  3. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Peter, love Cantor or hate him, the elevation of a Henrico County politician to one of the top legislative positions in the country is a big story for Richmonders. The Times-Dispatch was right to give the story prominent treatment. You may quibble with the newspaper's slant on the story, but the column inches devoted to the story was entirely appropriate.

    Larry G., Cantor has been in his current position for one day. Give the guy a little time before he lays out his entire legislative agenda. My understanding is that he wants to focus on process reforms, setting up mechanisms to prevent Congress from succumbing to the spending temptation. That's fine and good, though not enough. I want to see real spending cuts, too.

    The New York Times hints that Cantor, Boehner and company are backing off on their pledge to slash $100 billion in domestic discretionary spending. That disappoints me grievously. But let's give Cantor a month, or at least a week, before we pronounce him a chameleon and a fraud. If he turns out to be a wuss in the budget-cutting department, I'll join you in criticizing him.

  4. He said he wanted to have interstate sale of health insurance.

    Right after they try to repeal obamacare.

  5. He's earned a chance.

    But it's time to walk the walk, IMO.

    His knowledge of how The United States House of Representatives works and how things get done has become his greatest asset and his greatest weakness depending on who you ask.

    Cutting the budget is not as popular as it may seem – particularly inside the beltway.

    Seeing is believing.

  6. I agree he has earned the chance.

    The last time I heard him on the radio, it was 100% canned GOP speech. In his comments on healthcare he offered nothing except repeal and more commercial options.

    Those options are worth nothing as long as the companies are able to select who they cover through preexisting conditions and recission.

    Those same options will be unaffordable even if selection by preexisting condition and recission are eliminated if customers are able to select whether or not they are covered based on their existing health.

    It would be as if we didn't require auto insurance for drivers until after the first accident. But the other case, concerning preexisting conditions would be as if the insurance comapny could refuse to insure your entire car becase of a preexisting dent in the fender.

    He has earned a chance, but as conservatives are wont to say, equal opportunity does not guarantee equal success.

  7. Larry G Avatar

    re: "earned a chance"

    ????

    The man has been in Congress since 2001.

    All I'm asking is what has he suggested in the prior 9 years as to what "out of control" govt spending should be cut – to reduce the deficit?

    100 billion in a 1.5 Trillion structure deficit is a JOKE!

    Come on Jim Bacon.

    You know what is going to happen here – and it ain't pretty.

    these guys have been AWOL ever since they passed tax cuts and voted to finance two wars on the chinese credit card.

    We all know why they won't provide the "cuts" – right?

    They simply do not want to actually PAY for the two wars.

    that's the long and short of it , right?

    we're going to deploy a military worldwide and fund it on the backs of our grandchildren.

    and where is Mr. Groveton here.

    what is his "take" on these frauds?

  8. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Gooz:

    You are the disgrace. How is it that you allow yourself to be presented week after week as a "journalist" when you and everyone else knows you are a democrat hack. Why don't you man up and simply have Style Weekly put "democrat activist" after your byline?

  9. Umm, if having an agenda invalidates a comment……

  10. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Anonymous,
    I you are going to call me these things, why don't you have the balls to identify yourself?

    Peter "Gooz" Galuszka

  11. I see our fiscal conservative governor is about to spend a lot of stimulus money on roads and jobs.

  12. Andrea Epps Avatar
    Andrea Epps

    I agree with Jim inasmuch as the POTENTIAL his new position affords him COULD really benefit Virginia.A small amount of time will tell.
    BUT… I also agree with Larry that the man has been there for years and tends to talk out of both sides of his butt. He's my congressman, and I called him last year to get his help with a business issue (as suggested by several of my conservative friends who happen to be lawyers)and I spoke to Mr. Lynhardt, who is a very nice, helpful man. But…I never spoke to Cantor, so much for constituent services.
    AND…I totally agree with Peter. If your going to make pointed statements, have the balls to use your name!

    This is off topic, but what is happening to us? to our society when some A**(&$% shoots all of those people in Arizona. I'm concerned of what this will do to our representative government, when our representatives don't feel safe enough to engage their constituents.
    Or, when some of them use "security" to ignore us…back on topic!

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