Just got done watching this clip of Eric Cantor discussing Creigh Deeds’ victory on Tuesday and his handicapping of the upcoming Gubernatorial race.
For example, Cantor asserts that the Deeds/McDonnell match-up will present clear choices for the voters. Here are the issues Cantor mentions:
- The vague and usual tax and spend charge
- EFCA (card check)
- Closing Guantanamo Bay Prison
Only someone who has no idea what is going on in the Commonwealth could possibly believe these are the issues that will predominate in the race such that they are the ones you mention first. Tax and spend Democrats? Yawn. EFCA? Isn't this a Federal issue? Closing Guantanamo? What bearing does this have on my day-to-day activities?
Anyone who has been paying attention knows the issues will be the ones that will directly affect people’s lives, like transportation, education and the environment, and, of course, the interdependent relationship these issues have to the Commonwealth’s economy and jobs.
On the one hand, Cantor could be signaling that these are the issues the GOP wants to be at the fore in this election (Please, bob, please, do this!), but I doubt it. And even if he was, McDonnell is clearly to smart to follow such wayward advice. Rather, Cantor’s comments and demeanor in this interview leave me convinced he is out of touch with what is going on back here in the Commonwealth, and he was merely parroting the three ideologial talking points that are able to fit in his brain at any one time.
Well, to be fair, is Cantor simply too preoccupied with his national leadership role to pay attention to his home state, or is the problem that he is simply not too bright? A little bit of both, I suspect. Keeping track of both is part of the job, of course, and it should not be that tough of a trick to manage.
But even as I castigate Cantor, I’d like to also pay homage to his considerable skills. Intelligence, after all, is not one of the qualities needed to be a leader in today’s Republican Party. In fact, intelligence and independence of thought can actually be a hindrance.
Rather, the ability to mindlessly adopt as your own the most extreme right-wing position on any issue, the willingness to kowtow to a hate-merchant like Rush Limbaugh and an ability to relentlessly repeat talking points consisting entirely of content-free ideological bromides without a hint of shame or self-awareness are, on the other hand, much more important.
Without doubt, Cantor possesses these skills in abundance.
Well, that’s good for Rush, but in the long run, Cantor’s abysmal lack of awareness of what is happening in his own backyard is a disservice to his Virginian constituents.