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“The Tea Party Was Right About Eric Cantor”: His Job In Congress Was About Doing And Receiving Favors

When former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary, establishment Washington gasped and cried out with surprise. But when he took a job on Wall Street? No. Surprise. At. All.

Let’s think about this for a minute. It appears as though the establishment-types know Cantor pretty well. He’s got friends on Wall Street, and this is the natural course of events in the world of cronies and insiders. Republicans and Democrats have both availed themselves of the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. No surprise, no big deal.

What insiders don’t know very well is outsiders. To insiders, the unnatural thing — the big deal — was an incumbent losing. Silly outsiders, a.k.a. voters! Didn’t they know that Wall Street and fancy Washington lobbyists just love this guy?

Oh, wait, yes, the silly voters did know. It’s one of the reasons they broke up with Mr. Cantor. He preferred the cool kids to his own constituents and they knew it, so they voted for someone else.

The Cantor-Goes-to-Wall-Street ending to the story was excruciatingly predictable, but it may have some unexpected outcomes in that it could encourage tea-party types to dig in deeper.

You see, when he accepted this job, Cantor proved that his constituents were right. He was out of touch with folks at home, but very much in touch with the rich and powerful in New York. Anyone who can land a job this lucrative in a field where they have zero experience must be getting the job for, ahem, different reasons. It’s about being friends, about doing and receiving favors. Voters understand this, and those who already think Wall Street and Washington are thick as thieves just got their best proof yet.

I suspect that Cantor’s friends inside the Beltway are very happy for him. They may even be thinking, “Good for Eric. The best revenge is living well!” They may secretly think that those silly voters in Virginia will be jealous of their former congressman’s new income, which will be 26 times bigger than their average household income.

But I doubt there is any jealousy at all. I’m guessing the feeling of those who voted against Cantor is more along the lines of: “Good. He’ll be much happier with his friends in New York City and downtown Washington than he was with us here in Virginia.”

The fruition of predictable events can be comforting, but it can also cement convictions. So for those Washingtonians who are toasting Cantor’s success this week, I have a word of caution: Your buddy Eric just proved to the anti-establishment, tea-party types that firing him was a good decision. Other members of Congress in the Cantor mold will not be well served by this. Perhaps that’s why Cantor waited until primary season was safely over before proving his constituents right.


By: Jean Card, Thomas Jefferson Street Blog, U. S. News and World Report, September 4, 2014

September 5, 2014 - Posted by | Eric Cantor, Tea Party, Wall Street | , , , , ,

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