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When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor backed off from his "mob" characterization of Occupy Wall Street last week, some might have thought that this savvy politician was catching a clue about the national zeitgeist.
The Virginia congressman, the most recent and prominent Republican whipping boy for Democrats, is heading to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to talk about income disparity and how Republicans believe the government could help fix it, an aide said. The speech will zero in on how Washington could help a "a single working mom…a small business owner…and how we make sure the people at the top stay there," the aide said.
"He'll talk about the various socioeconomic classes and how Washington should stop pushing different people down the economic ladder and instead can work together to ensure that all people have the ability move up," the aide said.
Wait a minute, he's going to say government can help people? That would be revolutionary. But that's probably not what we'll be hearing. It's undoubtedly going to be a repackaging of no taxes on the rich, with a pinch of the GOP wants to be all bipartisan and the standard bootstraps reference, and a dash of Washington needs to stop oppressing private jet owners, pushing them down the economic ladder.
Ever since the spittle-drenched results of the 2010 midterms swept him into being the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Cantor has demonstrated a remarkable ability to combine complete ignorance of practically every major issue with the unctuous personality of a third-string maitre d' at a fourth-string steakhouse.... Lo and behold, the country seems now to disagree with him, and, on Fox News Sunday, Cantor announced his earthshaking discovery that the United States has a problem with income inequality, and that his Republican party is poised to do something about that. Of course, every single proposal to emerge from his caucus would work to use the tax code to cement that inequality from now until Eric Cantor VIII is flunking economics somewhere.] [...]
True, Cantor's argument is that the Republican plan would allow all the poor people in America to rise to become the owners of their own hedge funds, and is utterly insincere, where it is not complete bullshit. But the fact that the words "income disparity" were spoken by a member of the congressional Republican leadership, in public and without his tongue turning to fire, is proof that the elite pundits are right. The OWS crowd never will affect the country's politics until it develops a "coherent public message." Pity.
Messaging aside, we all know what this is about. Tax breaks for the "job creators" that'll make sure the people at the top stay there. But good luck to Republicans trying to convince America otherwise while they're blithely blocking every part of the Democrats' jobs bill.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 01:05 PM PDT.