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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 10/26/2010

Eric Cantor's layers of defense

By Peter Galuszka

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) could become House majority leader if the Republicans win as many seats next Tuesday as many pundits believe they will.

Cantor, whose 7th District runs from Richmond west to the foothills of the Blue Ridge, is a favorite of the GOP establishment and the Richmond business elite. As the Wall Street Journal put it earlier this month, if Cantor wins, he would be in "the second most powerful post in that chamber behind the speaker. And he could be Barack Obama's worst nightmare."

Should that happen, Cantor has vowed to become a truth squad and ethics disciplinarian against Obama and the Democratic Party. Cantor has the endorsement of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which is owned by Media General, where Cantor's wife, Diana, serves as a director (just coincidental, the TD reminds us).

Yet Cantor has been taking a few lumps. The increasingly powerful Tea Party is clearly anti-Cantor, claiming that he's just another big-spending Main Street Republican.


And his refusal to debate his opponents raises questions about his newly found populism. One critic dresses up as a chicken and follows Cantor around as he campaigns claiming that the congressman is afraid to debate.

Cantor also has a tendency to surround himself with layers of defense, as was the case Monday when he appeared at a coffee shop in the small town of Louisa, supposedly to meet voters.

One man attending was John Taylor, a member of the Louisa County Democratic Committee and a backer of Rick Waugh, Cantor's Democratic opponent. Taylor and two others were asked to leave the coffee shop. County police then subdued Taylor, as can be seen in a video shot by his son with his cell phone.

Events like these raise questions about the decorum of the man who would be in such a powerful position on Capitol Hill. Violence at campaign stops, regardless of who may be at fault, is not something commonplace in Virginia politics.

If Cantor says he will meet and debate voters, he should have the nerve to do so. He should not hide behind his party's gatekeepers and a rural police department.

Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon's Rebellion . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Peter Galuszka  | October 26, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia, crime, development, economy, education, energy, environment, media, police, taxes  
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Comments

I have voted for Eric Cantor both when he was a member of Virginia's General Assembly and since he became our local U.S. Representative. He has served our locality very well. Despite their public pronouncements, any Tea Party people who may get elected to Congress will find that they will go there and work within the system or find themselves ignored and out before they know what happened. Eric Cantor would make a great Majority Leader and I HOPE that he gets that post as well as, eventually, Speaker of the House! Thank you, Eric Cantor, for your excellent service to our nation, to Virginia and to our District!

Posted by: EMB59 | October 26, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

THE ULTIMATE WASHINGTON INSIDER

The politicians and the wealthiest 1% of our country are turning America into a Third World nation. The middle class dream is dead. We are the first generation that will make less than the previous one. Blue collar and middle management jobs have been sold out and outsourced by politicians who are owned by big business and lobbyist. No single party is to blame. But when you have a congressman like Eric “No” Cantor who gets MILLIONS of dollars from corporate and special interest groups and gives absolutely nothing back to his constituents via earmarks, the middle class who vote for him are the suckers to blame. Cantor brags about not taking any earmarks, but he accepts millions of dollars from corporate interests. Congressmen use earmarks to get reelected and raise contributions from their constituents. When there are no earmarks, usually a politician looses his election because he is elected to represent his district in their best interests. Has Cantor represented your best interests? Can you name even one thing he has ever done for his District?? Do you think the big corporations and lobbyists give this money to him out of a love for democracy or the kindness of their heart??? NO! They give him the money because he is their servant, their employee, they own this man completely. While he raises the most contributions in the nation, he is also the most responsible for the destruction of the middle class. If you vote for him and are middle class then you are voting against your interests and the interests of America, your children and the future. he is called his campaign day on monday his "Victory Tour." Please fight back against Cantor and make an online contribution to Rick Waugh's campaign so that Rick can buy more air time and saturate all the media markets in the Seventh District.

Rick has 3 new hard hitting commercials that will be airing from now till election day. It doesn't cost a lot of money to make a huge difference! A 30-second ad on cable television for Richmond and its suburbs costs only $50. To find out more about the commercials and how to help sponsor them visits Rick's site at http://www.rickwaugh.com to find out more about Cantor and his record go to http://nocantor.com. Help the people of the 7th District to get the power back from the corporate interests.

Posted by: nocantor2010 | October 27, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that some middle class voters are going all in for Republicans although ALL REPUBLICANS voted "No!" last month to the Democrats' bill giving tax breaks to companies that move JOBS BACK to the U.S.

Why do middle class folks vote Republican against their own best economic interests?

Posted by: angie12106 | October 27, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Another interesting item about Cantor is that he is already calling for a special set-aside account for Israel. The man has an interesting way of controlling spending: create an entitlement for a foreign country!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 27, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Coward. I hope the man sues the police department for brutality and unlawful arrest.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | October 27, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor is a pusillanimous backstabbing weasel, and John Boehner better watch his back after the election

Posted by: dwt301 | October 27, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I live in the 7th district of Virginia and Cantor has NOT been an effective representative for people here. He's been a GOP polemicist and slavishly supported whatever GWB wanted, from two wars and huge tax cuts for the wealthy to the TARP bailout, which he now says he opposes. He's rarely seen with his constituents except at publicity events like job fairs. Just as his lack of independent thinking and cheesy charm have failed this district, they will not make him much of a majority leader in the House either. With a little stronger opposition, he'll definitely be vulnerable in 2012.

Posted by: jubao | October 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The video images of that fat cop squashing a coffee drinker accurately depicts what Louisa, VA REALLY is.

It is the county seat of Louisa County, which is disproportionately populated with gigantically fat, under-educated people living in trailers, tarpaper shacks, and ramshackle, tiny, age-worn houses. Many of the people are dirt-poor but will happily vote against the Democratic party efforts to bring economic relief to them because they believe that "Yankees and hippies" will destroy the South.

Most of the people in the county live at, or below the poverty line, but have been taught by "Confederate-thinking Republicans" to vote against the relief offered to them by the Democratic party.

Go to the Food Lion for an hour or two and watch enormously fat people fill carts with lard, pork bellies, bags of fried pork rind, Coca-cola, potato chips, bags of candy, and cartons of generic cigarettes.

Watch them shop the ABC store to buy alcohol (though most drink cheap beer), and follow them to CVS or Walgreen's as they try to determine if they have any money left to buy medicine for their lifestyle-induced health problems.

These are people who consistently vote against government programs to help them, but they know that their lives depend on government food stamps, healthcare, and other assistance.

In addition to fat, carbohydrates, cigarettes and alcohol, they are fed a steady diet of "pro-Confederate, pro-Repupublican, pro-state's rights propaganda to keep them frightened of "new" thinking, or independent thinking.

They have been brought up to fear and vote against any political organization that will help them rise above poverty.
Their culture reinforces the belief that such an organization must be "communist, socialist, and anti-American." They spend precious money on giant pickup trucks and guns instead of education.

Down the road at Lake Louisa are sprawling, million dollar homes owned by Washington weekenders and retired Republicans who moved there to exploit cheap land and cheap labor.
The owners of these houses are envied and despised for their wealth, but humbly served by maids, wood-choppers, grounds keepers, and boat cleaners. These "outsiders" have their own pretentious little "country club" so they needn't "mix" with the locals.

Louisa is a throwback to the 1900's stereotype of the south that we hate to see still living in TV shows and movies about the South. Until the people of Louisa decide to demand better lives for themselves, being "Bubba-squashed" by a fat, stupid cop working for repressive Republicans will be common and not newsworthy.

Mr. Minter, the coffee shop owner, has defied his dearly-held Ninth Commandment and turned the American ideal of a free and civil exchange of differing opinions into an ugly, Nazi-like abuse of power and the exercise of democracy in America.

Republicans are now publicly behaving with the same intolerance and fanaticism of Islamic fundamentalists.


Posted by: PublicOption | October 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

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