Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ryan Lizza on Cantor: Outmaneuvering Boehner and Himself

Re: Ryan Lizza's  New Yorker piece on Eric Cantor

That Boehner failed to see Cantor's win-win calculation here is remarkable for a Speaker of the House. Romney wins, and Cantor is credited for a brilliant move in forstalling a grand bargain until the arrival of better circumstances, paving the way for his later assumption of the coveted chair after Boehner. Obama is elected, and Boehner fails, leaving to discontent, and a split within the party, paving the way for Cantor's earlier assumption. (Robert Caro would remind us that Lyndon Johnson would never have fallen for this). Cantor has the oft-seen Republican ability for selective self-hypnosis: Reciting that people believe that "Republicans do not have their backs", with a rote certainty of the deputy who almost believes, a sufficient substitute for belief, while otherwise serving his wealthier masters. Exceptionally dangerous, as he believes that he is doing both, depending upon when you ask him.

Nota bene: I also loved Ryan's utterly unironic citation of Mussolini. Those trains don't just run on time...they arrive an hour early!

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