History may well record that in the first decade of the 21st Century, democracy in the United States was in grave peril of dramatic failure due to the policies of George W. Bush, followed by the Tea Party Representatives who swept into the House of Representatives for the sole purpose of thwarting a much needed pro-middle-income-America agenda during the 112th Congressional term.
Eric Cantor & the Tea Party Reps: Tight as Nuts to Butts
It’s no coincidence that Eric Cantor has made himself the leader of the Tea Party congress. The yarn that the Baggers evolved from a strictly conservative grassroots movement – aligning themselves with no established party – into a powerful political force is nothing but pure, unadulterated whimsy. In less time than it took for the Koch Brothers to knock back their early evening cocktails, they had hijacked the gun-toting, tri-corner-hatted patriot group to use for their own anti-middle-American purpose: Block every initiative that comes out of the White House. Thus, the fringe rhetoric of far-right activists quickly became the governing strategy of the Republican leadership.
For his part in the scheme, Cantor has faithfully worshiped at the revered Altar of Koch, attending with some regularity their semi-annual secretive seminars on how to stop President Obama’s agenda and ensuring that John Boehner didn’t sabotage their plan by – oh no! – finding ways to compromise with Democratic Party leaders.
Is it odd that the Kochs would choose Eric Cantor to be their point man in the House? Not at all. As House Majority Leader, it is his job to enforce party discipline on votes deemed to be crucial by the party leadership and to ensure that members do not vote in a way not approved of by the party. Some votes are deemed to be so crucial as to lead to punitive measures (such as demotion from choice committee assignments) if the party line is violated; decisions such as these are often made by the majority leader in conjunction with other senior party leaders. (Cantor took to heart his orders to make sure the Tea Party representatives got whatever they wanted -- because, of course, that is what his buddies, the Kochs, wanted.)
Cantor’s role in this mess is well documented to the point of being legend. While there is little need to go over it in detail, here are a few…er, lowlights, some of which go back to before he became the House Majority
1. In February 2009, the President signed into law The Recovery Act, an economic stimulus package to save and create jobs. Cantor was highly critical, saying that government can’t create jobs; it can’t create wealth. We’ve got to get back to focusing on job creation and creating prosperity. At the same time, however, he was secretly begging for stimulus money for a high-speedrail way in his own district.
2. Following the horrific tornado in Joplin, Missouri, Eric Can’tor held up FEMA assistance, demanding spending cuts as ransom.
3. The GOPbagger congress insisted that President Obama present them with a jobs bill. In early October 2011, the President did exactly that and Cantor refused to let it come to a vote in the House. As the President said in a speech on October 5, Eric Cantor said that right now, he won't even let this jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives. That's what he said. Won't even let it be debated. Think about that. What's the problem? Do they not have the time? They just had a week off. Is it inconvenient? At least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where members of Congress stand. Put your cards on the table.
Might the Honeymoon be Coming to an End?
Oddly enough, while the GOP exalted in their one goal – achieving a Republican Party plan to regain the House majority – they obviously got far more than they had bargained for. The arrogance on the Right has waned somewhat, as the behaviors of Cantor and his Tea Party loose canons play their despicable do-nothing games. As Capital Hill Blue wrote in July 2011, some in the GOP have become frustrated: Republican insiders — fed up with the scorched-earth tactics of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor — privately fear the fiery Virginia right-winger could destroy the party’s majority in the House of Representatives with his constant undermining of Speaker John Boehner’s attempts to reach a debt deal with President Barack Obama. GOP sources close to the Speaker tell Capitol Hill Blue that party leaders have “had it” with Cantor’s constant efforts to undermine Boehner’s position as Speaker. “Whether Eric Cantor likes it or not, John Boehner is the leader of our party in the House of Representatives,” one frustrated GOP consultant said Tuesday. “If Cantor continues his infantile actions, there won’t be a Republican majority in the House after 2012.” (Heh)
McConnell, Boehner and Cantor: The Treacherous Trio
As discouraging as it is to progressives, the three most tyrannical Republicans on Capital Hill will likely be with us for new terms in 2013.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who in an interview just prior to the 2010 elections, said The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president, does not have to run for re-election until 2014.
John Boehner, the inordinately weak Speaker of the House, has no Democratic challenger in his Ohio district. One David Lewis, who quit his job to devote his time to Tea Party causes, does not feel that Mr. Boehner is far-right enough on social issues and will challenge him in the Republican primary on March 6.
I am a Tea Party candidate who stands for life, liberty, and justice under God, Lewis said in an interview after announcing his candidacy.
I sincerely doubt that a twenty-six-year-old Tea Partier with no money, no elected office experience, and whose only issue is abortion, has any chance against Boehner. Besides, we don’t need another social issues loony in the House; there are enough of those.
So far, Eric Cantor is being challenged by two weak Democratic candidates in his district. The Democrats have until May 14 to choose somebody to run against this bully. If it’s a strong candidate, and Cantor has to defend his record in his own district, there is some glimmer of hope that he could be defeated. I fear, however, that this little glimmer will fade by the time November 6 rolls around.
A New (Democratic) Broom Always Sweeps Clean
Since there seems little hope of getting rid of the House Speaker and the Majority Leader, the only way to neutralize their Power of NO is to vote out the ultra-trash they’re controlling by taking back the House and maintaining control of the Senate. Ninety percent of the focus this year will be on the presidential race, so we cannot let the House and Senate races slide by without taking action.
The Current Structure – The House of Representatives
Of the 435 House seats, 242 are held by Republibaggers and 193 are held by Democrats, making the differential 49. Sixty-two Representatives are members of the Tea Party Caucus. We need desperately to take back those Tea Party-held seats and unseat as many of the other Republicans as possible. A wide majority is in the Democrats’ best interest.
Here are just four who definitely have to go:
Michele Bachmann, she of a failed presidential campaign and Repeal Obamacare fame, from Minnesota. She is also the Tea Party Caucus Chair.
Steve King, well known for his infamous prediction in early 2008 that if Barack Obama is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11. (They did NOT dance in the streets, and history has proven that they never will!) Iowa is stuck with King.
Joe Walsh, the deadbeat dad and hot-headed bully from Illinois.
Joe Wilson, the classless “You Lie” creepster from South Carolina.
The Current Structure – The Senate
Of the 100 seats in the Senate, 51 are held by Democrats, 47 by Republicans, and 2 by Independents (Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Lieberman will not run in the 2012 election.)
Of the thirty-three seats that will be contested in November, eight Republicans are seeking reelection and two seats will be available through retirements: Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas and Jon Kyle of Arizona. (You may remember that when Kyl said on the Senate floor that abortion was well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does he had to...ahem...clarify himself several times. His office released a statement that said that his remark was not intended to be a factual statement. (Oops) A Democrat in that seat would be an extremely good idea!
Of some several conservative issues Bob Corker of Tennessee has been involved in, he supported the view of many on the Right that the Glass Steagall Act should not be reimplemented. (Repealing certain provisions of Glass Steagall directly contributed to the severity of the Financial crisis of 2007–2011 by allowing Wall Street investment banking firms to gamble with their depositors' money that was held in the commercial banks.) He definitely needs to be replaced.
John Barrasso of Wyoming believes in limited government, lower taxes, less spending, traditional family values, local control and a strong national defense. He has voted for prayer in schools, against gay marriage and has sponsored abortion legislation to protect the "sanctity of life." (He definitely needs to feel the business-end of a new broom.)
The Time for Action is Now
The Time for Action is Now
It's time to assemble our cleaning implements and prepare to get ready to discard all the do-nothing garbage on Capitol Hill. In future posts I will profile some of the Tea Partiers and more radical Republican obstructionists who must be swept out of office in November. For now, read the links provided in this post to get a sense of what our clearing-out mission encompasses.
We Americans who make up the 99% currently have the president we need in the White House. Our challenge now is to rid ourselves of the intransigent members in the House and Senate who would deny America the ability to move toward a better nation – for everyone. To achieve this goal, we need to use our WITs (Whatever It TakeS).