I refer to the less-than-esteemed U.S. Rep from Virginia. The dapper super-nerd with the smug grin who badgered Barack Obama during debt ceiling negotiations. The Tea Party lap dog whose strategy for rising in the GOP ranks is to recite “more spending cuts” often and loud enough to drown out all calls for relief to the poor and distressed.
In case you missed it, Cantor has insisted that no more federal funds will be allocated for disaster relief unless the expenditures are “offset by spending cuts elsewhere.”
… Cantor took the position following the tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri and elsewhere in the spring and summer, and after last week’s earthquake, the epicenter for which was in his district, but [Hurricane Irene’s] level of destruction is far beyond that of those disasters. Still, Cantor told Fox News that while “we’re going to find the money,” “we’re just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to do so.”
Cantor referred a bill the Republican-controlled House passed that approves $1 billion in disaster relief, which was financed by a $1.5 billion cut from loan program to encourage the production of fuel-efficient vehicles. But the need in the wake of the hurricane will likely greatly surpass $1 billion, and that spending package was supposed to be used for tornado recovery efforts, for which several hundred million dollars has already been outlayed.
In other words, Cantor is leading the latest Tea Party attempt to shrink government to the size of an antebellum plantation. He’s in the vanguard of the hacks who are eager to cut research & development, education, infrastructure repairs, aid to the poor, you name it, rather than impose higher taxes on the obscenely wealthy people who bankroll political careers in return for special favors.
Reading about this poor excuse for a human, I couldn’t help recalling and looking up an excellent piece about Clarence Darrow in the May 23 New Yorker. You can only access part of the piece online if you don’t have a subscription, but here are some pertinent lines:
… [Darrow] liked to say that creeds were dope: “No one can find life tolerable without dope. The Catholics are right, the Christian Scientists are right, the Methodists are right, the drunkards are right.” He thought his own dope was pessimism. It wasn’t. His dope was compassion. He despaired for humanity mainly because he didn’t meet many of his kind of addict. The problem is, you can’t teach sympathy; like imagination, either you have it or you don’t …
Footnote: Yes, Irene was hyped by TV idiots to the point where it seemed skyscrapers might topple, but the hurricane did do a lot of very expensive damage, mostly outside the big cities, that only the federal government can fix.