It’s been about nine months now since Democrats, dripping with sanctimony, suggested conservative rhetoric was what caused a lunatic to shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and it was time to “change the tone.”
That this was actually a transparent attempt to silence conservatives is now all the more apparent as President Obama and his Democratic allies proceed with their plan to destroy House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
I wrote two weeks ago about about Obama’s anti-Cantor campaign. I said it probably wouldn’t stick. I was mistaken.
There is nothing wrong with criticizing the Republican leader. Cantor takes strong stands, and it’s everyone’s right to argue against them with due vigor.
But what’s going on is an effort to make Cantor the emblem of all the evil Democrats are sure is residing within the dark hearts of Republicans. They need symbol to run against, and it’s better politics to run against the Devil than a flawed Saint.
In a piece this running this morning, Politco describes Cantor’s effort to recover his identity.
The Virginia Republican has been portrayed as an insensitive, combative conservative who wants to withhold disaster relief from the storm stricken and protect Wall Street from the “mobs” who occupy it.
Cantor’s negatives are up, and his public appearances have drawn hundreds of protesters. Unions have stepped up activity in his congressional district.
So now Cantor is trying to rehab his public image. The No. 2 House Republican wants to show he’s a serious lawmaker who’s curious about policy and has been unfairly vilified by the left while trying to find common ground with Democrats.
From what the president has decided to do, as well as the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee], unions [and] advocacy groups on the left [that have been] coming into my district repeatedly, I just think it’s clear that they want to go promote the sort of description of me that I don’t think is necessarily accurate. It’s all about the contentiousness in Washington and sort of painting me with that; it’s just not what I’m about.
Here’s a flavor of the presidential politics of personal destruction that has led Cantor to even invite a 60 Minutes camera crew into his home – bad move – to follow him around so everyone can see for themselves that he’s not eating kittens for breakfast.
October 4 in Mesquite, Texas:
OBAMA: Yesterday, the Republican Majority Leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, said that right now he won’t even let this jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives.
OBAMA: This is what he said. Won’t even let it be debated. Won’t even give it a chance to be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives. Think about that. I mean, what’s the problem? Do they not have the time? (Laughter.) They just had a week off. (Laughter.) Is it inconvenient?
Look, I’d like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what exactly in this jobs bill does he not believe in. What exactly is he opposed to?
Does he not believe in rebuilding America’s roads and bridges? Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses, or efforts to help our veterans?
Mr. Cantor should come down to Dallas and look Kim Russell in the eye and tell her why she doesn’t deserve to be back in the classroom doing what she loves, helping our kids. Come tell her students why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.
Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting idle instead of out there on the job.
Tell small business owners and workers in this community why you’d rather defend tax breaks for folks who don’t need them — for millionaires — rather than tax cuts for middle-class families.
Get it? Cantor is not just wrong on the merits of an argument. Cantor hates veterans. Cantor hates construction workers. Cantor hates students and their teachers. Cantor hates someone named Kim Russell.
Now let me ask you. Suppose Eric Cantor is meeting with constituents at a supermarket back in his district in Richmond and someone steps up and shoots him?
What are we supposed to say and think then? What’s going on with Cantor is a lot worse than Sarah Palin’s bullseyes on some Congressional districts.
Shouldn’t Obama and his Democratic allies, the deeply caring types who were insisting Republicans to tone it down just months ago, be billowing with concern over such an eventuality?
Or are they overflowing with hypocrisy instead?