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Mulligans: Secretary of State Cantor charts new Mideast policy

By Dana Milbank

Eric Cantor seems to be settling in well as secretary of state. Technically, his position is expected to be majority leader of the House next year, but he is already operating his own foreign policy. He held a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, according to the congressman's office, "stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the administration" in U.S.-Israel relations. As the administration seeks ways to revive peace talks in the region, it must be reassuring to all sides that Cantor will serve as a vital check on peacemaking efforts.


With Tom Tancredo leading the way, the American Constitution Party gained "major-party status" in Colorado. But that's not necessarily a good thing. Turns out that major-party status requires the party to hold caucuses in 3,215 precincts across the state, hold party primaries and provide appointees to serve on 17 state boards. The Constitution party has only 30 dues-paying members.


He's in town all week, folks. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is expected to play his own lawyer as his ethics trial starts Monday. He decided to be his own counsel after squabbling publicly with his lawyers. If he changes his mind and wants a lawyer, he might be able to nab one of Joe Miller's lawyers; at least three of the seven lawyers sent by the Republican Party to help Miller in his ballot fight with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) have reportedly left Alaska as Miller's hopes fade.

Update, 9:00 a.m.: Brad Dayspring, Cantor's press guy, tells me Cantor's promise that the Republican majority would "serve as a check on the administration" was "not in relation to U.S./Israel relations."

Here's the relevant section of Cantor's original statement on the meeting, so you can judge for yourself: "On the U.S. election: Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington. He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

By Dana Milbank  | November 14, 2010; 7:40 PM ET
Categories:  Mulligans  
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Thank G-d that Cantor is willing to push back against Obama's anti-Israeli policies. I hope he does become in the new SEcretary of State in 2012, under the new Republican administration.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | November 15, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to know that by winning a majority in the House, the Republicans have, in one swell foop, solved all of the nation's problems. And can now turn their formidable powers of denial on the problems of the world.

Good lord, Eric Cantor is an overreaching idiot...

Posted by: pete1013 | November 15, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"Cantor is willing to push back against Obama's anti-Israeli policies."

What anti-Israeli policies?
Oh yeah ...not giving Israel Billions of borrowed dollars to steal more land from Palestinians.

Posted by: knjincvc | November 15, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Cantor and Lieberman seem to forget who they are working for. Israel most be held accountable for their thuggish treatment of the Palestinians.

Posted by: jckdoors | November 15, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor is an idiot and so are the voters in the in the 7th who voted for him.

Posted by: mortified469 | November 15, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Milbank,
Although I understood the sarcasm in your post, I am disappointed that you failed to note that Cantor had the gall to undermine the President of the United States on foreign policy. He is literally siding with a foreign entity over the United States. This is a despicable act and a disgrace to himself. I wish the media would cover the stupidity of his actions.

Posted by: vokey588 | November 15, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm Jewish and this Adminstration, for which I did not vote for, has nevertheless pursued a more independent (of Israel) Mideast policy than any adminstration in the past 30 years, for which I applaud them.

The Israeli settlements are an obstacle to peace. It has to be made clear to Netanyahu that the blank check has been cancelled and the US taxpayer is not going to underwrite oppression in our name

Posted by: GWGOLDB | November 15, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

When I first read of Cantor's statements, I wondered who died and left him boss? Is he our new self-appointed Secretary of State? Cantor's arrogance never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | November 15, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Cantor is an ass and AIPAC through and through and should be voted out of office at the end of his term.


Cantor, for all his 'fiscal' responsibility BS wants to continue sending 10 million a day to Israel, our biggest welfare client while our own, here at home, go without - no jobs, no homes, and if he has his way no healthcare.

Cantor has, among other things, suggested that aid to Israel be removed from the foreign-assistance budget so that his party could zero out funding to unfriendly countries while sparing Israel.

Watch, AIPAC will work overtime with him, Boner and their lackies to ensure that Israel doesn’t lose their foreign aid and diplomatic backing from Uncle Sucker.

Israel will get away with whatever they can and have done for 60 years and with AIPAC controlling all the weak, sycophantic but disloyal (to the US) Congress members, the US will continue to lose respect and standing all over the world.

Cantor - Why on earth are American taxpayers forced to give billions yearly to Israel when our own people are homeless or soon to be, have no jobs, and no healthcare?

Proof that AIPAC has too much influence over our legislators?

Watch the parade of our Senators and Representatives and Presidential candidates going before them, promising to always maintain our "unshakable", “special relationship” with Israel. In effect, our Congressmen and candidates are asking for AIPAC’s blessing. It is disgusting that our national representatives act in such a obsequious manner to an organization that represents only 3-4% of the U.S. population.


Posted by: betz55 | November 15, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

When Pelosi visited Syria in 2007 Republicans, including Cantor, called her a traitor intentionally trying to subvert Bush's foreign policy. Some even called for her arrest. As usual, the GOP did a really fast 180 when it was their turn. It is quite clear that they believe there are two sets of rules, one for them and one for everyone else. Hypocrites.

Posted by: maurban | November 15, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

When Democrats criticized George Bush’s foreign policy back in the dark ages, the Republican mantra was, "Partisanship should end at the nation's shores.” Now they say, “Partisanship should end at the Adromeda Galaxy’s shores.”

As for the “weekend update” by Cantor’s spin guy… Come on Dana! It’s obvious that Cantor was talking to the Israelis about the “government takeover of health care.”

Ha ha! It sounds like the Colorado Constitution Party is going to have to raise their member’s taxes… I mean dues.

And it’s good to know that Charlie Rangel has competent legal help from Alaska on the way. He’s sure to be exonerated once Liza Minelli testifies!

Posted by: divtune | November 15, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Cantor is a traitor.

Posted by: Garak | November 15, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor and Joe Lieberman, selling out the United States again.

Posted by: Anglo_Rider | November 15, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

That's terrible. Imagine if, say, Nancy Pelosi had gone to visit a middle eastern nation on her own in an official capacity while Bush was in office.

What's that you say? Something about "Syria"? Hmm. I better look into that.

Posted by: dhartmanva | November 15, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

When does Cantor go on trial for treason? What a despicable scumbag.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 15, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

One blogger said it correctly: Eric Cantor is an overreaching idiot. What an unbelievable ego!! The GOP wins control of the House and all of a sudden they think they are President, VP, Secy of State, etc. Big fat blobs like Dick Armey, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich stand on the House floor as if though they were in Congress!!! Disgusting!!!

Posted by: pkbishop1 | November 15, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, WashingtonDame, but even if the GOP presidential nominee wins in 2012, Rep. Cantor couldn't become Secretary of State until January 2013. However, fortunately for you (if not for the country), he and his fellow Republicans clearly aren't even waiting for the lame duck session of Congress to act as though they are in charge. So taking over foreign policy should be a piece of cake for them...

Posted by: DCSteve1 | November 15, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, WashingtonDame, but even if the GOP presidential nominee wins in 2012, Rep. Cantor couldn't become Secretary of State until January 2013. However, fortunately for you (if not for the country), he and his fellow Republicans clearly aren't even waiting for the lame duck session of Congress to act as though they are in charge. So taking over foreign policy should be a piece of cake for them...

Posted by: DCSteve1 | November 15, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Obama in two years has not solved one of this country's problems including the easy one of ending the bigotry of "Don't ask, don't tell" has the arrogance to think that he can solve the Arab-Israel dispute. Psychophants like Milbank cheer him on while the usual anti-Semites have crawled out of the woodwork in their comments on this column.

Posted by: Desertstraw | November 15, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

How is Cantor's position much different from Hillary Clintons? News reports say she has promised Netanyahu 30 fighter planes, worth $750 million, plus guaranteed US veto of any UN resolution Israel doesn't like, IF he will just postpone settlement building for three months! Nothing about the buildings going up in East Jerusalem. They will continue. How can the US pretend to be a balanced negotiator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Posted by: gene4655 | November 15, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Cantor does not realize he is a traitor because he sincerely believes that he owes a higher duty to Jerusalem than to America.

He is not unlike the Catholic politicians who heed the Bishops' demand that they obey the Vatican rather than the American electorate.

And the LDS politicians who do the bidding of the Elders in Salt Lake.

And the Baptist politicians who toe the Conference line.

And so it is and will always be with America's faith-based traitors.

Posted by: FoolontheHill1 | November 15, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Is Cantor intent on playing into every stereotype of Jews as a Fifth Column or is it just a coincidence that's what he's done? I am sick and tired of my country's money being siphoned off and its foreign policy being dictated by that pipsqueak theocracy and its American enablers. Cantor and those like him who insist on treating Israel like a state and its citizens like Americans don't deserve to hold elected office. In short, his attitude is unpatriotic, bordering on treason.

Posted by: SageThrasher | November 15, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Republicans would be screaming if a Democrat did something similar during a Republican presidency.

Posted by: angie12106 | November 15, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Republicans would be screaming if a Democrat did something similar during a Republican presidency.

Posted by: angie12106 | November 15, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Sec Cantor (!) like other confessed (orthodox) Jews in Congress are literally doing a DISSERVICE to Israel - while this Admin is closer than ever to establishing a *two state* solution... with defined national frontiers.

Could it be that Cantor (Liberman,,) are actually not intrerested in the national interest of US - but ONLY Israel.

If so, it raises a Q' about the patriotism of Congressmen and Senators and their oath to serve US sovereign interests - not a foreign state.

Posted by: hariknaidu | November 15, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

When the interests of the U.S. and Israel come into conflict -- as is inevitably the case, even amongst allies -- Cantor, an official within the government of the United States, will apparently side with Israel?

Posted by: JPRS | November 15, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

These crazed radical rightwingers gleefully shower Israel with billions upon billions of borrowed dollars from our Treasury, but they call Americans on unemployment or social security lazy bums and want to cut their benefits. Go figure.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | November 15, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Given the complete statement by Cantor, it appears his intent is to send U.S. troops to fight and die in Iran to protect Israel's ongoing territorial grabs in Jerusalem & the West Bank, the thefts which continue to fuel Islamic extremism in Iran and worldwide. The depth of Cantor's stupidity and disloyalty to America is astonishing.

Posted by: SageThrasher | November 15, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

As Ariel Sharon stated to the timid Rabin, "Jews control America and the Americans know it". Cantor wants USA to continue to be Israel's poodle. Israel is lawless.

Posted by: mascmen7 | November 15, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

What Eric Cantor campaigns: We need to cut government spending across the board! Yeah, tea party, cut the deficit, stop borrowing, reduce gov

What Eric Cantor really believes: We need to INCREASE the billions in donations to our largest foreign aid item, Israel, which is one of the top 20 wealthiest countries in the world and enjoys UNIVERSAL GOVT health care!

Where is the Tea Party outrage?!

Keep in mind, the 'serve as a check' quote comes from an official statement released by his office. What he actually said in the meeting with Bibi was mostly much more flagrant (and involved back rubs and hot oil massages)

Posted by: mikeaqa | November 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Dayspring is lying. The statement has nothing to do with US/Israel relations? Then what do they have to do with? Bibi could care less that Republicans are obstructing US health care and economic policy. And then he says "Republicans understand the 'special' (suicidal) relationship with Israel." There's nothing to let the readers judge for ourselves, call him out Dana. Thank you for being one of the few mainstream sources to cover this story. What hypocrisy by our entire Congress and the other media outlets.

Posted by: mikeaqa | November 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"He (Canter) made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."


SooOOoo, when can WE (the USA) expect OUR check from Israel?

Aaaaand make it a big one.

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | November 15, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Anti-Isreally policy?? we just comitted this past weekend to another 3 billion in military aid!!! With over 50% of American households earning less than 50K, this seems to be a handout, except it is going to foreigners!!! Anyone who has a clue about foreign policy knows that the Bush's don't like Isreal, in fact they helped the Nazi funnel their money to the US in the 1940's. This is closest we have come to peace talks since Clinton was in office, so please do yu homework before you sound pathetically stupid!

Posted by: skins10 | November 15, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Let's just hope that Congressman Cantor isn't privy to any classified documents concerning Israel!

Posted by: reginaldoenrique | November 15, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I argue that Cantor is acting against U.S. interests and his actions border on treason in undermining the government and its official policies.

Posted by: clarkesq | November 15, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

More loyal to Israel than America. Gotta love the Israeli Firster crowd.

Posted by: HillRat | November 15, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor should be made to resign and perhaps tried for treason. I'm sure he could find a job in Israel working for his true allegiance to that country. I'm Jewish, but my allegiance is to America first AND foremost.

Posted by: clintt5 | November 15, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor is a treasonous little weasel as are the others in the Republican leadership!

Posted by: trbajaz | November 15, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The most frightening headline I've read in decades!

Posted by: Rivery | November 15, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I just wonder where or how does this newspaper hire such petty people? I mean, is it on the application; must be a petty and small minded individual? Dana Milbank takes the cake on pettiness and ignorance. I guess the WP doesn't mind these attributes, which is probably why their readership is so low compared to years prior. Good job Dana, Petty and Small Minded people everywhere really appreciate your contributions to the failings of a once-great newspaper like the WP.

Posted by: candyzky | November 15, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Does "don't ask don't tell" apply to Cantor?

Posted by: Tess6 | November 15, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So Mr. Cantor is subverting the United States of America but operating as an unofficial agent of Israel.
Guess we know who he really represents.

Posted by: pjohn2 | November 15, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Blind loyalty to Israel, or to any one country or political party, is very dangerous. It leads to World Wars.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | November 15, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

So Hillary should swat this clown like the bug he is.

He's not a Secy. of State..He's a fool, trying to out ego Boner.. It's clowns like this that start world wars...

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | November 15, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"...the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

Since when does the security of the United States rely on Israel?

Cantor is dreaming, so are the rest of the folks in Washington who want to use the United States to attack Iran.

No one in Washington should be allowed to have their own agenda consisting of aiding a foreign nation, even if it is Israel.

Cantor obviously sought his seat for the purpose of aiding Israel first, over and above the United States. That use to be known a treason, but, as we all know, Republicans consider themselves to always be above the law.

Posted by: lindalovejones | November 15, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Cantor is a foreign agent for Israel. He is required by law to register as a foreign agent.

Posted by: David77 | November 15, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"Recent diplomatic overtures ran afoul of the Logan Act, which makes it a felony for any American 'without authority of the United States' to communicate with a foreign government to influence that government's behavior on any disputes with the United States."

Who said it? Eric Cantor, in 2007.

Posted by: imback | November 15, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The Isreal lobby finally gets one of their own goo goo eyed
Manchurian. All we need Ninjas... a 3rd Vietnam.

Posted by: WmLaney | November 15, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

So long as Obama is in office, or the Democrats hold the Senate, or a Governoship, or a state legislature, there will be this sort of underhanded effort by the Republican extremists to de-legitimize them. They did the exact same thing to Bill Clinton.

I was thinking about this yesterday, about how the typical fascist procedure was to de-legitimize the government; they don't believe elections have consequences. Their only purpose is to impose their own rule and regimentation on society, and to them elections are only useful if they elect fascists/Republicans.

So to Cantor, it's quite logical that he begin his own foreign policy initiatives; Obama has always been a non-citizen who stole the election and is an illegal squatter in the WH. In Alaska, Joe Miller will praise the election if he wins, and villify everyone connected with it if he loses.

What we are witnessing is similar to what the South did to Lincoln at his election; and it is quite similar to what the National Socialists did to the Weimar Republic.

Also, I really wouldn't hold my breath for the Teabaggers to hold anybody's feet to the fire. Their focus is going to be on electing Palin as president in 2012, so they're going to pretty much ignore the economy, the new congress, etc.


Posted by: DrainYou | November 15, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Might as well! Hillary will soon resign to run for President in 2012! Run Hillary run!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | November 15, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Cantor (and Lieberman) should have his designation changed to represent his true affiliation.

Eric Cantor (R-Israel)

Much more accurate.

Posted by: micron26 | November 15, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor, AIPAC's song and dance man.

Posted by: whocares666 | November 15, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Another Republican sucking up to AIPAC. Bought and sold.

Posted by: joewashington1 | November 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"Just say No" Netanyahooo needs another mouthpiece in Congress. Hasn't he got enough spies and fellow-travelers here already? Oh, well. God already gave them everything they want. What more can they do? Cantor should recuse himself, don't you think?

Posted by: sameolddoc | November 15, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I have two words for Cantor -- Logan Act. His backtracking today indicates he has heard these words spoken to him in the past few days.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | November 15, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

whether the Logan Act actually covers it or not, and no doubt someone told him he'd better cover his tracks, it clearly acts to undermine the President before a foreign nation - despicable, unforgivable and unamerican. That Cantor would even think of doing it shows that he has more allegiance to Israel than to the U.S. and no respect for the office of the President. disagree with his policies all you wish, but disrespect, especially abroad, is loathsome.

Posted by: JoeT1 | November 15, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is going to have to straighten Cantor out for working Joe's side of the street. He has dibs on influence peddling for Israel

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | November 15, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Cantor is the worst of the worst (this coming from an independent in his own district). He works for himself, his prosperity and that of his uber-wealthy supporters, and stopped working for the American people a long time ago.

Posted by: dhenken1 | November 15, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Relaying the message that the GOP will stand up to the hostility toward Israel demonstrated by this administration, violates no act.
BTW, there is no such thing as a Palestinian.
You're trying to apply the Roman name for an unidentifiable ancient race (incidentally, one that the God worshiped by Jews, Muslims, and Christians commanded to be wiped off the Earth)
Those people who occupy parts of the Holy Land are mainly Jordanians and Egyptians.

Posted by: MrMeaner | November 15, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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