Posts Tagged ‘Eric Cantor’

Take “Occupy Wall Street” complaints seriously, don’t use force to disperse them

October 13, 2011

Americans pay attention when a lot of people turn out. And so there’s lots of attention for “Occupy Wall Street,” or OWS for short. Thousands of people, mostly of the Millennial generation (born since 1982) are camping out in Zuccotti Park, just two blocks from Wall Street’s New York Stock Exchange.

The Right doesn’t like OWS: “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare,” Mitt Romney opines. “Growing mobs,” snarls Eric Cantor. “Anti-American,” Larry Kudlow charges. “The beginning of totalitarianism,” warns Ann Coulter.

OWS comprises lots of people, diverse in temperament, opinion, and goals, but they are engaging in old-fashioned American protest, this one against corporate greed, social inequality, and joblessness.

Some dismiss them as incoherent, but that’s a mistake. They’re angry about the way our society has moved away from the American dream and toward greater and greater inequality. Like them or not, OWS is a growing force. Our country needs to take their complaint seriously. They may be as consequential as Tahrir Square. Or more. Or maybe not.

Of course there’s always a danger when a mass of people congregate. Large numbers of peaceful people can give cover to wrongdoers bent on looting or mayhem, as in the recent London riots, or in the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, which started as a peaceful protest but left 53 dead (more…)

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George W. Bush’s finest hours: his embrace of Islam and of American Muslims. We need that now from Republicans

August 28, 2011

Six days after the 9/11 attack on the United States, President George W. Bush went to the Islamic Center of Washington to publicly embrace Islam and, especially, American Muslims. He led Americans away from any idea of blaming Islam for the horror of 9/11.  He repeated that theme over and over, making it a part of his second inaugural address, and returning to the Islamic Center for its rededication in 2007.

Bush’s healing message stands sadly in contrast to the ugly anti-Muslim rhetoric we hear lately from so many prominent Republicans, notably Newt Gingrich, Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Peter King, and Frank Gaffney. To their credit Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have not joined in, but neither have they been very vocal in rejection of Islamophobia.

Ethics Bob never thought he’d be missing George Bush’s leadership, but on this issue he surely does. Bush’s statements are worth reading:

September 17, 2001, at the Islamic Center of Washington (complete remarks):

“Thank you all very much for your hospitality. We’ve just had a—wide-ranging discussions on the matter at hand. Like the good folks standing with me, the American people were appalled and outraged at last Tuesday’s attacks. And so were Muslims all across the world. Both Americans, our Muslim friends and citizens, taxpaying citizens, and Muslims in nations were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens.

“These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that. (more…)

Republican hypocrisy and double standards in the Weiner case

June 8, 2011

As the Anthony Weiner affair descends from “inappropriate” (his word) messages to phone sex, X-rated photos,  and likely criminal conspiracy, Republican leaders are not passing up their chance to show off their hypocrisy and double standard. House Majority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus are both calling for Weiner to resign his House seat.

Funny, both said they saw no reason for David Vitter (R-LA) to resign his Senate seat after he admitted to hiring a prostitute (a crime under Louisiana law) and repeatedly lying about it. Or for John Ensign (R-NV) to resign his Senate seat after he had an affair, with a subordinate, paid off her husband to keep it quiet, hired her son on his staff, and lied about everything. Or for Mark Sanford (R-SC) to resign the governorship after he flew off to visit his mistress in Argentina and lied repeatedly about it. All three had run for office under the family values banner.

Two cheers for former RNC chair Michael Steele, who told Rachel Maddow today, “I heard what the chairman said today and I thought it was a little bit not right. A pox on both their houses because they violated the public trust.”

Steele would have gotten a full three cheers had he not defended Vitter, Sanford, and Ensign when their crimes and sins emerged during his RNC chairmanship.