Poor Eric Cantor

Nobody likes him:

SHORT PUMP, VA. — Just a few miles from his family home, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) felt the wrath of the tea party Saturday, when activists in his congressional district booed and heckled the second-most powerful House Republican.

They also elected one of their own to lead Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Republican Committee, turning their back on Cantor’s choice for a post viewed as crucial by both tea party and establishment wings in determining control of the fractured state GOP.

I’ve always thought he was a bit of a short pump.

Cantor’s facing a Tea Party primary opponent in an open primary. The story contains the mandatory quote from an establishment Republican saying that there’s a “battle for the soul of the Republican Party,” even though it’s clear to anyone paying attention that the battle’s over and the TP won. When the Majority Leader of your party can’t even get his choice for District Committee elected, all that’s left to do is for him to either fall in line by adopting more-Teanderthal-than-thou positions, or to get run over.

64 replies
  1. 1
    max says:

    all that’s left to do is for him to either fall in line by adopting more-Teanderthal-than-thou positions, or to get run over.

    “Moderate” Republican lobbyist.

    [‘Bet on it.’]

  2. 2
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    You know, for all the soul-battling that’s going on in the Party, the voting records never change. The only difference between the Establishment and the Tea Party is the marketing.

  3. 3
    West of the Rockies says:

    Remember when he was one of the bold new “young guns”? He is just a careerist sans principles.

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    mistermix @ top:

    When the Majority Leader of your party can’t even get his choice for District Committee elected …

    Then Republicans got what they advocated for. I don’t know what made the GOP think they could release the John Birch id of the party and expect a controllable outcome, but sometimes karma gives you what asked for – good and hard.

    It’s just so disappointing when your own hand-built cadre of sociopaths turns on you.

  5. 5
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    Cantor reminds me of Eddie Haskell.

  6. 6
    Morzer says:

    “When you hang from a gibbet, for the sport of your own crows…”

    You’ve earned this in so many, many ways, Eric, that the most sympathetic gesture I can offer is to sell tickets and moderately overpriced popcorn.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    Cantor looks like he could use some more Benghazi!

  8. 8
    scav says:

    A) it’s not as though they’re going to battle over the heart or brain of their beloved party.

    B) given their usual standard of spelling, they’re likely squabbling over the lower portion of the boot they intend on planting on the face of evetyone else. Or having a brisk game of tug of war over a (rotting) flatfish.

  9. 9
    JGabriel says:

    The sight of pro-business, right-wing Republicans being attacked as liberals by xenophopic, homophobic, sexist, racist, self-identified Christian, conservative AFP & Tea Party extremists is the finest self-defeating irony conservative billionaire businessmen can buy.

  10. 10
    Elizabelle says:

    If Eric Cantor had a bitch face BEFORE he started tangling with aspiring congresscritter Brat ….

    I’m hoping Eric’s troubles will inspire this guy to put up some new stuff on his blog.

  11. 11
    Morzer says:

    Speaking of charmless little turds who deserve to be kicked around the block by their own kind, George Will is opening his ignorant racist mouth again:


    Conservative columnist George will on Sunday mocked the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign, for which Michelle Obama and others have posted photos with the hashtag to call attention to the 300 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram a month ago.
    “It’s an exercise in self-esteem. I do not know how adults stand there, facing a camera and say, ‘Bring back our girls.'” Will said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Are these barbarians in the wilds of Nigeria supposed to check their Twitter accounts and say, ‘Oh, Michelle Obama’s very cross with us, we better change our behavior?'”
    “Power is the ability to achieve intended effects. This is not intended to have any effect on the real world,” he continued.

  12. 12
    J.D. Rhoades says:


    “Are these barbarians in the wilds of Nigeria supposed to check their Twitter accounts and say, ‘Oh, Michelle Obama’s very cross with us, we better change our behavior?’”

    The same people apparently think that calling Boko Haram a terrorist organization earlier would have prevented the kidnappings. “Oh, Hillary Clinton is cross with us, we’d best diaband.”

  13. 13
    Baud says:


    Yeah, it’s more like a battle for the ass of the Republican Party.

  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    This fight isn’t to decide where the Republican party goes, is it? That fight is decided, and the John Birch Society has won: both the party Establishment and the Tea Party tendency are reactionary, indifferent to the welfare of the ordinary person, and uninterested in governance. Now it’s just a straight fight for the boss’ chair between Cantor’s tribe, the Establishment, and the Tea Party tendency.

  15. 15
    Morzer says:


    More like a battle for the tightly clenched sphincter it “talks” out of.

  16. 16
    gene108 says:


    I guess he missed all the countries from around the world sending in law enforcement types to help find these kidnapped girls.

    Clearly the protests and pressure and slowly building media attention has had no effect whatsoever on the situation on the ground and getting these law enforcement types to work in Nigeria.

  17. 17
    scav says:

    @Morzer: They probably do cleverer things with their cell-phone networks in parts of Nigeria than in chunks of these here uu-nited states. Idiot on multiple fronts.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    More of that quote from the WaPost story:

    “Clearly, there is a battle taking place for the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Bolling said in a statement. “While the voice of every Republican should be heard, our challenge is to figure out how to be a conservative party, without allowing the most extreme voices of the day to control our party and determine its future direction.”

    That ship sailed, dude. You didn’t even run for governor, former Lt. Gov. Bolling, because “party activists” selected Ken Cuccinelli at a state convention for wingtards.

    Before Cantor’s remarks, [his primary opponent, David] Brat, a professor of economics at Randolph-Macon College, defended his service on a board of economic advisers to former Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and accused Cantor of blocking a bill that Brat says would have stymied insider trading.

    Brat went on to explain what he sees as the six principles of the Republican Party. [Which the Post declined to print.]

    “I don’t run against Eric on a personal basis,” Brat said. “I like Eric as a human being; I’m commanded by God to do that and I do that. He’s been strong on national defense, and where he’s good he’s good.”

    Cantor stoked the volatile audience of roughly half his supporters and half Brat loyalists.

    It is easy to sit in the rarified environs of academia, in the ivory towers of a college campus with no accountability and no consequence. When you throw stones,” Cantor said, “you throw stones at all of us who are working every day to make a difference.”

    My schadenfreude is loudest over the last paragraph. Yes, Eric Cantor is reduced to calling someone to his RIGHT a creature of ivory towers of academia.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    AND the June 10th primary is open to all voters in Cantor’s district.

    No Republican purity pledge.

  20. 20
    Morzer says:


    I am guessing George Will was one of those sad old men who wrote back to the email he got from the widow of a recently deceased Nigerian finance minister – and gave her his banking information.

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:

    Vote for Brat or the Rat.

    Gonna be a tough one.

  22. 22
    Morzer says:


    There’s always the option of writing in “Meteor Strike” as your preferred candidate.

  23. 23
    gene108 says:

    As much as I want to point and laugh at Cantor, the sad truth is the lunatics have basically turned the Republican Party into a group unfit to govern, because any perceived compromise – like not kicking Obama in the nuts or not cunt-punting Pelosi – will cause a Republican office holder’s purity to “Conservative Principals” to be called into question.

    Unfortunately, there are enough Americans, who support the crazies that we cannot crush them in enough elections across the country to force the Republicans to change and become rational again.

    And yes, once conservatives and Republicans did actually do some governing. For example, cap and trade is a Republican policy proposal, which was implemented in 1990, by Bush, Sr, with Republican votes in Congress and has effectively reduced acid rain.

  24. 24
    scav says:

    @Elizabelle: Oh help, this floated through my brain

    the Catte, the Ratte and Lovell our dogge
    rulyth all Englande under a hogge.

  25. 25

    I really really really hope this guy can find a way to take Cantor down. What’s it going to take? Do I have to move to Virginia?

  26. 26
    Anya says:

    My grandfather is always griping about how the media refers to people like Cantor and Ryan as moderates because they’re not openly racist and they don’t openly disrespect the president. Of course their form of racism is more insidious.

  27. 27
    max says:

    @Anya: My grandfather is always griping about how the media refers to people like Cantor and Ryan as moderates because they’re not openly racist and they don’t openly disrespect the president.

    That’s how this career path runs. You get elected to the House or the Senate, and then you yell a lot and become maximally intransigent, and then you make some deals and declare victory, and then you get attacked for not being right-wing enough, and if you aren’t going to move up, you move over and write some books and get on Crossfire or whatever. Now you’re Newt Gingrich, and you spend your retirement collecting the big bucks. Or you declare yourself a moderate and spend all your time sucking up to ‘business leaders’ about how you’re not like those extremists and you’ll get this deal done.

    [‘Same shit, different day.’]

  28. 28
    Morzer says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Do I have to move to Virginia?

    Now that sounds alarmingly like extremism in defense of liberty.

  29. 29
    Tom Q says:

    @Morzer: This brings to mind one of George Will’s shining moments from a few decades back. When sanctions on South Africa were being promoted by many on the left, and finally implemented (over right-wing opposition), Will said it accomplished what all liberal legislation did: made liberals feel good about themselves.

    When it ultimately led to the dissolution of apartheid, the release of Mandela from prison and all the rest, Will offered no comment.

  30. 30
    Richard Grant says:

    And I’ve been calling Eric Cantor Mr. Brat. Now I have to brainstorm?

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tom Q:
    I seem to recall that the Reagan administration saw the apartheid regime as fighting the good fight against terrorism. (The ANC was designated a terrorist group in those days, wasn’t it?) I presume that Will saw its fall as a defeat for the good guys, and went into mourning.

  32. 32
    scav says:

    Anyone share my very slight interest in watching George Will explain how strutting about a park wearing tea-bags dangling from tricorn hats is not an effective demonstration of real world power? To their faces, of course.

  33. 33
    chopper says:


    nothing says ‘conservative’ like mocking concerns about kidnapped 10-year-olds being sold into sexual slavery.

  34. 34
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Yep. It’s completely class based. The only distinction is who looks good wearing a suit.

  35. 35
    Mike G says:

    there’s a “battle for the soul of the Republican Party,” even though it’s clear to anyone paying attention that the battle’s over and the TP won Satan holds the receipt.

  36. 36
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Anya: Yeah. Except that if I recall correctly, Cantor went into the budget/shutdown meetings and totally disrespected the president and shit all over the process. If you mean “won’t call him a coon, even for laughs”, well that may be true. But they don’t respect the office when it is held by a Democrat. Then they claim that they restore dignity to the office if they get it back.

  37. 37
    gene108 says:


    nothing says ‘conservative’ like mocking concerns about kidnapped 10-year-olds being sold into sexual slavery.

    Oh! There you go with your liberal exaggeration. The girls are mostly 16-18 years old. If their parents had followed tradition and arranged a marriage for them already, none of this would be happening.

    /sad to say this would be snark, but that’s what a lot of folks think

  38. 38
    Liquid says:

    I remember reading some article, Charlie Pierce perhaps, that referred to Cantor as the “Cassius of the House.”

  39. 39
    Suffern ACE says:

    @gene108: Yeah. That doesn’t explain the massacre at the boys school, though.

  40. 40
    gene108 says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Then they claim that they restore dignity to the office if they get it back.

    Problem for them is they cannot get any of their crackpot ideas to stick to Obama, unlike the success they had with Clinton, especially with Whitewater that seemed to chew up 5-6 years of Clinton’s Presidency.

    They tried with the Obama-Rezko deal, but most folks did not care.

    They tried with Fast and Furious, the IRS flagging of groups to justify tax exempt status and now they are rehashing Benghazi, but nothing really is a singular scandal that sticks to people about the Obama Administration.

    Unfortunately, all the Republicans, who get to be on T.V. and say “Obama is week because of Ukraine or Syria” or some other foreign broo-ha-ha have planted the seed in many American’s minds that something is not right with Obama, even though people actually agree with the way Obama’s handling things. You keep CNN on in the background and you sort of catch “Obama…weak…Ukraine/Syria/Benghazi…etc.” and I think the repetition sort of gets into people’s heads.

  41. 41
    Mike in NC says:

    Eric Cantor’s entire political career has been in the service of Big Tobacco.

  42. 42
    Citizen_X says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: The same people also think that failure to call BENGHAZI!!! a premeditated terrorist attack the very next day is an impeachable offense.

  43. 43

    @gene108: \

    Problem for them is they cannot get any of their crackpot ideas to stick to Obama

    Oh but in a sense, they have. We’ve wasted a lot of time on the right-wing’s hysterical ideas. The corporate press/media always give them a pass on their reality gap because, true or not, this shit sells.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    So, the monster turns on one of its creators.

    Suffer, Cantor. Suffer. You have earned the suffering, you heartless sack of shit.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gene108: Well, something is not right with Obama.

    I mean, look at the color of his skin!

  46. 46
    satby says:

    Seeing Cantor get his smarmy ass yelled at puts me in my happy place.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:


    Interesting brain you got there, scav. The description doth fit.

    BJuicers are better read and more technically accomplished than moi and the average soul.

  48. 48
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    This is where the Republicans’ elevation of ignorance to a virtue kicks them right in the ass. Anyone with a non-trivial acquaintance with history knows what happened during the Reign of Terror in France; it simply led to The Grand Terror. Once you unleash the crazies you are not going to reign them in.

    A quote from historian Francois Furet:
    As this ideology became more and more pervasive, violence became a significant method for dealing with counter-revolutionaries and the opposition because, for fear of being labelled a counter-revolutionary themselves, “the moderate men would have to accept, endorse and even glorify the acts of the more violent.”

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    Richmond Times Dispatch on the Cantor-Brat matchup primary in June. They scoff at challenger’s chances. (War chests: $2 million vs. $90,000 in recent filings.) Re David Brat:

    Education: Bachelor of arts in business administration from Hope College, 1986; Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, 1990; doctorate of philosophy in economics from American University, 1995.

    College professor of Economics and Ethics at Randolph-Macon (private school) since 1996. Master of Divinity, Free Market apostle. Endorsed by Ann Coulter. Gospel of prosperity, I’d guess. Social Darwinism as ethics. He’s a flat taxer.

    Actually might be an interesting guy, intellectually, but would Jesus be that concerned about government spending or debt ceiling? Or use immigration as a wedge issue against Eric Cantor?

    Cantor’s run an ad trying to paint him as a “liberal” because he’s a college professor. You know, pointy headed elite-tard, except …

    And this morsel about the WHCD aka nerdprom ie suck-ups in formal wear:

    As for the ribbing from Obama – in his annual routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner the president said he gets letters from folks around the country and recently received a heartbreaker from “a Virginia man who’s been stuck in the same part-time job for years.
    “No respect from his boss. No chance to get ahead. I really wish Eric Cantor would stop writing me.”

  50. 50
    Van says:

    From a comment at a blog of a Cantor supporter:

    “I was at that meeting today; it was ugly.

    The sulfuric stench of the unruly, disrespectful and unwashed rednecks and anti-Semites supporting Gruber and Brat turned my stomach. The 7th District was over-run by that lot. And their victory is the Republican Party of Virginia’s great LO$$ in Cobb’s defeat today.

    God Save America and the VA Republican Party.”

    Hahaha, laughing my ass off


  51. 51
    JoyfulA says:

    So maybe we can pick up a House seat or two in Virginia, if the more absurd challengers win nomination.

  52. 52
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    “Unruly and disrespectful” pretty much applies to any Republican Representative. That commenter was probably clapping his flippers with glee at the antics of House teahadis right up to the moment that they went after his guy. As ye sow, muthafuckers.

  53. 53
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    There are Democrats running in all but three districts. Except for Mark Warner, most of the Dems are massively outgunned financially.

  54. 54
    danielx says:

    Trying to arouse some glimmerings of sympathy for Eric Cantor.

    Massive fail.

  55. 55
    Van says:

    Unfortunately Cantor doesn’t have a Dem challenger.

  56. 56
    Liberty60 says:

    Somehow this all reminds me of the Cultural Revolution in China in the late 60’s- the carefully groomed successors turn on their mentors in a blind fury of ideological purity.

    Although it is a bit amusing to envision Eric Cantor being paraded through CPAC with a confessional sign hung around his neck.

  57. 57
    Billgerat says:

    @Elizabelle: That face is so punchable….

  58. 58
    Scott Alloway says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

  59. 59
    grillo says:

    @Mike G: A ‘battle for the soul of the Republican party’ seems to me to be like a ‘battle for the prize in a box of carpet tacks’.

  60. 60
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    The GOP no longer has a soul to battle over. Not since the’80s. It’s just this gaping black hole of opportunism and griftery now.

    Amusing as this is in certain respects, God help us all if these people obtain real power. The Nazis rose to prominence on a similar wave of resentment and racial angst. Just because it invokes Godwin doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

  61. 61
    Tone In DC says:

    Need caffeine to improve the ole reading skills. I honestly thought that guy’s name was Bratkowski or something.

    As for Eric Who Can’t, he most richly deserves whatever he gets.

  62. 62
    kathleen says:

    I think all Richmond Democrats should seriously consider voting in this OPEN primary and voting for Cantor’s opponent. The tea party guy should be a lot easier to knock off in the general. Plus, Cantor is a major sleaze, but semi-competent. Whoever replaces him in Congress, even if the TP guy should win, has an even chance of being spectacularly awful. Which is a shame to do to our Congress, but the Rs broke it long ago.

  63. 63
    kathleen says:

    @Van: Yes, this would be why the expanded 50-state strategy matters. We should always run somebody.

  64. 64
    priscianus jr says:

    Why does Robespierre come to mind every time I think of Eric Cantor?

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