Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor Loss: One Down, 200 More Small-Government Fakers to Go


Cantor exemplifies what Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)just denounced as a "Chamber of Commerce"-style GOP legislator, "the same-old, same-old," standard-issue Republican who has brought the party to a historically low level of self-identification among voters.

Cantor was what passes for a small-government conservative. Which is to say that Cantor was in favor of shrinking the size and scope and government…except for the endless list of exceptions that allowed him to help grow federal spending by more than 50 percent in real terms, and regulatory spending by even more, during the Bush years.

That's from a new Daily Beast column by me. I don't think it's at all clear whether Eric Cantor's primary loss will mean anything in the long run, but I'm always happy to see politicians of his stripe get the heave-ho.

I think it's folly to talk about Cantor's loss as meaning more than the obvious: He perfectly represented the modal Republican in that he talked about limiting government while actively growing its reach in virtually every way. That is a supremely unattractive character to be in contemporary American politics, and it helps explain why Gallup finds just 25 percent of Americans identify as Republicans (the news isn't rosy for Democrats, either, according to Gallup: Just 31 percent of Americans identify with that centuries-old brand). 

Whole thing here.

NEXT: The Price of Pot: $45 per Eighth, Plus Your Second Amendment Rights

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. He signed off on the Bush budgets and he championed the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the illegal auto bailouts (at least as long as a Republican was president).

    If you want to get things done in D.C., you can’t actually be small government.

  2. Which is to say that Cantor was in favor of shrinking the size and scope and government?except for the endless list of exceptions that allowed him to help grow federal spending by more than 50 percent in real terms, and regulatory spending by even more, during the Bush years.

    And during the Obama years? When he did not even have the excuse of party solidarity?

  3. Left of Center 5 minutes ago
    Every libertarian is firmly for limited government until it costs him his job. What many don’t realize is how many private sector jobs depend on government contracts either directly or because they are part of a supply chain. Try closing an unneeded military base and see how many libertarians in the town rally to support the closing. Libertarians, like baggers, are all for small government so long as only the other guy gets hurt.

    1. Once again, epic projection.

      1. Got it in one.

    2. I thought addiction was bad?

    3. libertarians tend to avoid jobs that depend on government largesse

      1. Do they? Raise your hand if your job in some way is paid by government funds. Look around the room, there’s quite a few hands. I think leviathan is inescapable, crowding out private money being the easier teat to suckle at.

        1. I’m the only one in my room and my hand isn’t up.

        2. I work for a very large company that I’m sure sells things to the government at various levels, but no one in my division has anything to do with that. Does that count as hand up or down?

        3. And as it becomes ever more inescapable, so does the frequency of the liberals charging hypocrisy: “See! You depend on the government, too!”

          As government creeps, so do the chains.

        4. i’m a lobbyist and i’m very upfront with the fact that if you want less influence from me, you reduce size, scope and power of the federal government.

          but it’s basically defensive work in nature. that and who has the time to run a real business and keep up with regs that change constantly.

    4. BAH! I work for a government and I still want it downsized. (Though since I’m no libertarian, I’m not sure if that makes a difference)

      1. The self loathing – IT BURNS!

  4. gr8xpectations 11 minutes ago
    A forumer called Paul52 wisely posted earlier:

    “America has never been a “small government” 100% private sector nation. You think a 100 year effort to acquire 2.5 million square miles, then tame and settle them is small government? You think the homestead act – 160 acres for the taking – was small government while $120/month in food stamps is big government?

    You know how things got done? You know that US mail contracts is what allowed stage coach companies like Wells Fargo to establish regular routes and schedules? You know that the Gov’t gave railroad companies miles of land for every mile of track laid? You know that government contracts have been behind advances in rail, air, auto and other industries from the get go?

    Baggers, you live in a dream world.Reality???? Of all major first world countries, we remain the one with the lowest taxes and smallest government.”

    The libertarian vision for America is not a “return to our roots” or a “taking back our country” …It is a fundamental restructuring of everything that America is, and everything America’s founding fathers intended for us to be.

    1. Jeebus, Warty – are vying with Derpologist for the Worst Excursions into Derp title?

      1. Someday I should muster up the courage to venture into the comments of a non-Gillespie TDB piece and see if they’re all that full of crazy. Someday.

        1. Be sure to put on the full HAZMAT suit – I mean, MOPP 4 style protection before doing so!

    2. Be careful Warty. That kind of stupid might be contagious.

      I will give that guy credit, he really hits a lot of the bases of stupid in that post. Libertarians = anarchists, anything short of today’s government is a rejection of government throughout American history, anyone who wants to reduce the size of government is by definition against every possible governmental function or as we like to call it ROADZ!!

    3. you mean like founding father Thomas Jefferson, who balanced the budget, cut spending in half and repealed all internal taxation?

      1. or fellow Democrat Andy Jackson who got the federal deficit down to 5 digits?

        1. And both killed off their current versions of the Federal Reserve.

  5. Leftcoastnative 17 minutes ago
    Rand Paul = “the same-old, same-old,” standard-issue Republican who has brought the party to a historically low level of self-identification among voters…… equating same sex marriage with bestiality, by charging that those who believe in the right to health care must support slavery, by pushing a bill to give a fertilized egg more rights than the woman in whose womb it resides and by doing a classic, romney-esque flippity-flop on the use of armed drones on American citizens on American soil.

    Paul-the-Younger says the GOP must “adapt, evolve or die.” I wonder which one of this half-baked policies will begin to “evolve” first? He certainly can’t adapt them to a successful general election campaign, but if he backs away from them even one bit, his own party will pillory him for it and label him a squishy RINO. Such a dilemma!

    Mr. Paul is just as loony and dishonest as his daddy and only slightly more electable. Nick Gillespie always seems ready, willing and able to ignore these obvious and glaring shortcomings in his phony libertarian hero. He should just drop the journalistic pretense and start writing campaign speeches for the Randster. He has completely jettisoned his objectivity.

    1. I love how they just make up shit so that reality reflects their prejudices. When exactly did Rand Paul equate same sex marriage to bestiality?

      1. There’s an ellipsis there. The guy is saying that the *republican Party* does that and Paul, by being part of that party, enables that sort of behavior.

      2. Rand Paul is some Republican. Some Republicans have said same-sex marriage is the same as bestiality. Rand Paul has said same-sex marriage is the same as bestiality. QED.

        I’m phrasing it as a joke, but this is really the level of reasoning we’re dealing with here. These people’s thinking apparently hasn’t evolved beyond vulgar syllogisms. So if TEAM RED is backward because some of them reject evolution, what does it mean that some of TEAM BLUE rejects the last 2500 years of logic?

        1. That they’re all pedophiles? I’m just trying to use their level of reasoning here. To, you know, understand how they “think”.

        2. And the best part is they would never apply that logic to themselves. The views of some crackpot Republican are immediately attributed to Rand Paul by virtue of them both being Republicans. In contrast, the views of people like Jeremiah Wright and other nuts in the Democratic Party, many of whom are outright communists, can never be attributed to any Democratic politician.

        3. No Warty TEAM RED backward is DER MAET.

      3. well, he may have done that, but i’m pretty sure he never flip-flopped on drones.

        1. He never did, but Dems paint it that way since he said that a drone could legally be used to stop an armed robbery in progress when presented with the hypothetical. It’s not the same thing at all to the way Alwaki and son were killed. But to the Dems, that’s a solid flip flop.

      4. Cantor did so can’t it be said that Rand Paul and Nick Gillespie, in both being happy with the ouster of Cantor, are the opposite of what this idiot wrote?

      5. He never equated the two but he did imply that gay marriage would lead to marrying non-humans. Later said he was just joking.…..g-animals/

  6. Coda 22 minutes ago
    I would feel a bunch better if the libertarian idea was not a bought-and-paid-for political voting block for the one percent. I don’t see how I can feel any better unless campaign spending is dealt with. It’s hard to say how much money was actually at work taking Cantor out. My gut says the loss was manipulated from the top down. Just my gut feeling.

    1. The guy who spent orders of less magnitude on advertising wins the election and they complain that it is evidence of the corrupting influence of moneyed special interests?!?

      That’s an impressively high level of derp right there!

      1. This guy and his fellow travelers aren’t exactly capable of thinking outside the narrative they’ve been given to follow. It doesn’t matter whether what he said is logical or makes any sense. He said the code words so that the other geniuses know he’s one of them. That’s the only thing that matters to him.

    2. Fuck! I’m supposed to be getting paid for this?

    3. a bought-and-paid-for political voting block for the one percent.

      You’d think the 1% would getter a better return on their investment than, well, 1%. Hell, they can match that on their own, now bought-and-paid-for voting block necessary.

  7. I bet it wouldn’t take more than a few high-profile incumbent losses to get many of the others to reconsider some of their positions.

    1. I bet you are right. This is one time where their cravenness works in our favor. Nothing scares these people more than losing power.

  8. Cantor’s 3 largest donors, all located in NYC, were: Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, and Scoggin Capital.

    I saw Lloyd Blankfein on CNBC this morning moaning about gridlock and the inability to “compromise” in Congress. Compromise to Blankfein means he gets enough to water his beak – just a taste.

    1. I would be curious to know how Cantor views the interests of Blackstone and Goldman Sachs aligning with those of the people he is elected to represent.

      1. Speaking last month before the Mechanicsville Tea Party, Brat tied Cantor to Wall Street and big business, whom he blamed partly for the financial crisis. “All the investment banks in the New York and D.C.?those guys should have gone to jail. Instead of going to jail, they went on Eric’s Rolodex, and they are sending him big checks,” he said. Brat echoed these charges in a radio interview. “The crooks up on Wall Street and some of the big banks?I’m pro business, I’m just talking about the crooks?they didn’t go to jail they are on Eric’s Rolodex,” he said.…..g-populism

        A populist/CT type – he won’t play with the Chamber of Commerce types.

        1. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

        2. Obama never prosecuted a single person over the largest financial collapse in history. He chose an AG in Eric Holder who was partner in a law firm that did nothing but defend Wall Street.

          Yes, Obama is Wall Street’s President. They donated heavily to him and when he won, he gave them what they wanted, continued bailouts, easy money and immunity from prosecution.

          We get it that you think that is a great thing. But that is because you are a fascist. We, however are not fascist and have a problem with it.

          1. And who deserved to be prosecuted?

            Someone like Jamie Dimon – whose bank didn’t need a dime?

            Or someone like Dick Fuld of Lehman – who lost everything he had when they failed?

            You are a populist blood-luster yourself, John.

  9. Nick can’t win for losin’ with the commenters over at the Beast — even with a “Republicans REALLY Suck” article.

    1. You’d think the Blame Bush angle on spending would have got him some slack.

      1. He thinks the Republicans are too statist which isn’t the line of argument the Progs are looking for.

        1. Yes, “the Republicans aren’t statist enough” line would be much more popular.

    2. Yes, I can’t help but think posting anything on TDB that doesn’t echo the DNC’s narrative is a fool’s errand. If read at all, it’ll just be used for some out-of-context quote later.

      “Nick Gillespie posted an article where reader’s comments contained comparisons between gay marriage and bestiality…”

  10. If the Tea Party had protested anytime 2001-2008 they might have some credibility as “independent” rather than just GOP lackeys. I don’t recall a single one of these Cantor types primaried during that time.

    Now that a few are being tossed out is not much consolation.

    1. So, an ‘organization’ that didn’t exist as an entity until 2009 should have been protesting in the 2001-08 era?

      Or, *maybe*, just maybe, the people who ended up getting organized as the TP *were* protesting during that timeframe. Its just you and your ‘Friends of FDR’ buddies were ignoring them because they were scattered and disorganized.

      1. I would have happily joined a 2004-05 version of the Tea Party.

        1. Wat? You missed the *point* of my response.

          The 2004-2005 version of the TP was a bunch of disconnected groups protesting locally.

          If you had simply gone to your local town hall with a sign protesting whatever boondoggle they were getting into then you would have *been* the TP.

          1. They were so disconnected and few in number I didn’t know about them.

            1. *facepalm*

            2. The media was too busy scrutinizing the Administration to cover them back then. Now, it has the “It’s just a Faux News story!” excuse and plenty of free time on its hands.

      2. Once again!


        You are attempting to have a dialogue with something that is two steps removed from Eliza. It has no clue what the concepts being discussed actually mean. It is merely squirting out words on to the page based one past experiences as to which sequences of words garner the largest response!!!!

        When you reply to it, it only encourages it to write more crap that is similar! That is the sum total of the learning its capable of!

        1. As much as I am guilty of engaging the Village Idiot known as shreek, tarran is right.

          It mutters incoherences at inanimate objects and people after a lengthy bender in hopes of responses. These responses are all it lives for, all that keeps it coming back day after day – just like a village idiot.

        2. +1 Deus Ex

      3. So, an ‘organization’ that didn’t exist as an entity until 2009

        Wasnt the Tea Party money bomb December of 2007?

    2. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

      1. What I’d like to know is, why are there retarded people posting in this thread with us?

        1. Because it is all our opponents have left; an army of retards to haunt our conversations and shit on our lawns.

        2. Mr. Episiarch, we’re doing our best to weed them out, but some of these retards are extremely clever.

          1. THANK YOU.

    3. If the Tea Party had protested anytime 2001-2008

      You mean like this?…..y-20131003

      1. Once again, RC, you are the only one to bring any sense from the Peanut Gallery here.

        That is a good article in the link – just replace “protest” with “cooled toward the GOP”.

    4. You know, you’re so right! I mean, an organization that didn’t exist until Rick Santelli criticized the government plan to refinance mortgages in 2009 should totally have been out there protesting before they existed! Just like those war protesters should have been out there before the war! You’re brilliant! Brilliant I say! What would we do without you?

      1. Perhaps he has a newsletter, to which we may subscribe?

      2. December 2007.

    5. The thing that remains to be seen is what happens if the next president is a Republican.

      Will the TEA Party evaporate like the war (BOOOSH) protestors, or will it continue?

      I think it will continue. Mainly because it is rooted in actual principles. These are people who actually think. Unlike the protesting lefttards who do everything based upon emotion.

    6. I don’t recall the Dems bothering to elect any Presidents between 2001-2008 either, which suggests their criticisms of Bush are pretty damn hypocritical, too.

      I guess I have to start criticizing President Kang now instead of waiting until he gets elected in 2056 or else I’ll be a hypocrite.

      1. Don’t blame me, I will have voted for Kodos.

    7. Porkbusters were attacking both parties for earmarks. They were the genesis of the Tea Party.

    8. There were a shitload of people in 2006 who said “Fuck Bush and the Repubs, they were supposed to represent me and didn’t.” And we got the 2006 elections.

      Those were conservatives, so you missed it, because you are stupid.

  11. It would be nice to think Cantor lost because he backed TARP or didn’t want to cut spending enough, but I’m afraid for cosmotarians like me, or the staff of Reason, that he lost because he wasn’t sufficiently tough on “illegal” immigration.

    1. Well, that is the most likely explanation. And while its disappointing, honestly, as pro-open borders as I am, I’ll take somebody who’s ‘tough on immigration’ as a trade-off for being good in other areas.

      Caveat: Pre-election rhetoric is al we have to judge the guy on – I’ll reserve final judgment till after he’s been in office a while.

      1. He still needs to win the general election.

        But I’m with you. I’m for open borders but of all the things I saw on this guy’s website, that was pretty much the only thing I didn’t care for. It also happens to be an issue I don’t think will be resolved in any meaningful way, maybe ever. So I might as well root for the other stuff which is decidedly better than the entrenched Cantor could boast.

    2. It wasn’t just immigration, though that was part of it. It was a combination of Cantor being part of the establishment and being so closely tied to Wall Street and various big business. This was really a rejection of crony capitalism. The reason why open borders were a part of that is because the voters in that district view open borders as a symptom of crony capitalism. They view open borders as just another example of rich, connected business fucking them.

      The fact is that the left has taken over the immigration reform cause. And they don’t give a fuck about open borders. They just want to pay off their cronies with cheap labor and create a new victim group to depend on government and vote for more free shit.

      Now, their motives do not reflect one way or another on the merits of open borders. But, their taking over the cause has caused open borders to now be associated with crony capitalism by a lot of people. How you fix that is a good question.

      1. I think the thing with Boehner and Cantor is how they fubarred the defunding of Obamacare/shutdown.

        Right or wrong, the caucus agreed to the strategy. However, while these establishment Rs could not bring themselves to criticize the Prez, they found plenty of voice to criticize the TP.

        The only unity they are interested in is TP support for their positions and it is as transparent as grandma’s underpants.

    3. I keep hearing that Brats campaign began and ended on the immigration issue, but doing a Google news search to find articles more than a couple of weeks old shows plenty that discuss his smaller government/lower taxes stance. I’m not so sure that the immigration thing isn’t just a typical lazy/biased media thing.

      Oh, and the WaPo this morning says that the TEA Party really had nothing to do with Brat winning and they’re real shitweasels for trying to claim Brat as one of their own.

      1. But if he is not a Tea Party candidate, how is the media going to call him a racist redneck?

  12. People like Boehner, Hastert, McCain, all the Bushes, and Cantor are why I no longer consider myself a Republican. Nice to see one picked off.

    1. I will give Hastert a little credit for having the decency not to pursue another leadership position in after the 06 mid-terms. Unlike a certain Member from Ohio.

      1. Denny had to come home and try to get his worthless son a sinecure or in office somehow – fortunately, the voters in Kendall County had just enough of the Hasterts to stop that.

  13. I just like the idea that the entrenched incumbents, accustomed to the high 90% re-election rates, might have to, you know, consider they might be defeated. FSM forbid they might have to consider a vote or a stance could have repercussions.

  14. Klaatu 4 minutes ago
    It’s hard to read these stories without being reminded of Stalin’s ideological purges. Ultimately, he consolidated his power by sending millions to the gulags and their deaths. The rigidly uncompromising ideology of the teabags is destroying the GOP from within, and there are already many casualties. The best hope for the country would be a new party of ideological centrists comprised of moderate Republicans and Democrats, owing nothing to the Koch brothers, NRA, coal or unions, and able to deal with the most pressing issues objectively.

    OK. Which one of you assholes is fucking with me? Fess up.

    1. Not me. I could drink a bottle of Maker’s Mark and then bash my head against the wall for 5 minutes and I still wouldn’t be able to come up with something that dumb. Especially the first two sentences.

      1. What do you mean? Tony has said that deniers are akin to murderers! These people on the right are all deniers! That’s just like murder! Millions of people will die if these deniers take power! Millions! It’s the same as Stalin’s purges! Exactly the same! Deniers are murderers!

    2. I dunno – that sounds like it might have been written by Eric Cantor.

      The guy isn’t *applauding* the GOP self-destructing so I’m guessing he’s not a Dem, and he does condemn people who actually act on the principles they profess.

  15. I wonder if the RIGHT will collapse with the Teaparty, libertarian, religious, racist, pro-war, anti-war, anti-gay, pro-gay, neocon MIX.

    1. The pure undiluted fascism of the Left is a lot less messy.

    2. So libertarians are right wing to you? And easily lumped in with pro-war neocons and anti-gay religious nuts? And you want pro-gay support to collapse too?

      1. Trying to decipher an Alice Bowie comment is like staring into the maw of madness. She makes shriek seem coherent.

        1. It’s a sockpuppet, and the name isn’t a real person’s name, it’s a Cheech and Chong character. Ignore it.

        2. I don’t mind Alice. If we have to have a leftist on here, Alice beats shreek or Tony. Occasionally Alice will concede a point or say something interesting.

          1. I miss joe.

            Early joe, pre 2008.

            1. I don’t miss Joe. Joe was a nasty little dishonest fuck. Alice is a hundred times better than Joe.

            2. I miss Mingey.

              He at least had reasonable arguments to make every once in a while even if they were wrong and he didn’t resort to strawmen anywhere near as often as our recent statists.

              1. MNG got just as bad as Joe before he ran off. I remember him claiming that the Gibson raid was legitimate and was going to result in an indictment. Yeah, sure it will.

                1. Neu wasnt bad, I used to confuse him and MNG until MNG lost it.

                  1. I forgot about the Gibson raid threads.

                    Sooner or later the mask always slips.

            3. joe was always a mendacious, goalpost-shifting scumbag. He just tried to hide it at first. His true nature came out eventually.

  16. So I guess Cantor is the Sane Sensible Republican now?

    1. Remember when he was a fascist –

  17. I wonder how it would be if we had three RIGHT wing parties: The Neocon, Libertarian, and religious split up..

    1. That would only be interesting if you had the left split into three as well. Otherwise, it would just give the Democratic Party one party rule.

      1. If we went to proportional representation or something, then it could be okay.

        Single Transferrable Vote anyone?

        1. A multi-party system and proportional representation didn’t stop Hitler, just saying.

      2. What’s the left going to split into? The racists who want more government, the even more racist racists who want more government, and the racists who want even *more* government?

        1. I think they go old-school – Fascist, Socialist, and Marxist.

          Socialists, being pussies, would lose fast. The other 2 will fight it out hard.

      3. Alice don’t view that as a downside.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.