February 10, 2013

Is Eric Cantor making a conscious attempt to talk like Barack Obama?

It really struck me today on "Meet the Press," and when I commented on it, Meade said he'd already been thinking that. I know the exact point in the transcript when the realization occurred to me. David Gregory was questioning Cantor about whether the GOP needs something more than "re-branding": "Isn't it some of the central beliefs in the Republican Party that have hurt it with the electorate?"

Cantor said (transcript, video):

David, what I talked about this week at AEI was the need for us to connect our conservative principles with helping people and making their life work again. And I've talked about a man who is a dad here in the inner city of the District of Columbia who, all he wanted was to find a safe place for his kids to learn. He's got four kids.

And he discovered, after having fought with the local school system....

I talked about working parents who are hourly wage earners who are having a tough time getting through the month right now. Those are the things that people-- that we've got to be concerned about. I don't think that Joseph Kelly, the dad here in The District of Columbia, cares one iota about re-branding the Republican or the Democratic Party.
That sentence I've boldfaced is the one that struck me as perfectly Obamaesque. The yellow highlighting marks a key Obamaesque repetition.
I think what we care about, and what he cares about, is his kids. And that's where Washington really needs to remember is these are real problems. These people are having a tough time. And we ought to be about providing relief to those who don't have a job and those who do... making their life work again...
You know, I've got a constituent, she's 12 years old, her name is Katie. She was diagnosed with cancer at age one. I mean can you imagine? That is a parent's nightmare, the worst nightmare.

And the federal government's got a role in research, in basic medical research, trying to find cures for disease. We can work together on something like that.... you've got so many millions of Americans who feel that they have become an afterthought. My purpose in saying this is we have conservative principles that actually can work for their life again....
The work-life-again combination can be switched around. The words are so generic. People have lives and the lives need to work. The GOP can make their lives work, and the GOP can work for their lives. Again.

The GOP, working for your life again, so your life can work again.


Chip S. said...

Why? Did he say "uh, uh, uh" a lot?

edutcher said...

It's politico-speak.

Zero didn't invent it, but, for a while there, you and a lot of other people were hanging onto it as if it were Gospel.

Glad to see your judgment's back.

Or is this only because it's Cantor and not Little Zero?

wyo sis said...


ricpic said...

"We've got a spending problem. Everybody knows it."

But everybody doesn't know it. Consumers of MSM so called news, which is to say most Americans, don't know it because they aren't told it. What they're told incessantly is that less spending would be CATASTROPHIC. After all, less spending = fewer jobs. A surrealistic lie? So what. That's the message that's been hammered home.

Cantor & Co. are hopeless in that THEY WILL NOT FIGHT!

America's Politico said...

Cantor is not going anywhere. He will never be the Speaker.

UNLESS he kisses the shoes of Obama.

Obama is the best. His deputy CoS is now in pair with the Sen. Reid CoS.

The DEMOCRATIC PARTY is the BEST thing that has happened to US of A.

No one voted for Romney. No one voted for GOP.


Because GOP is the ANCIENT PARTY?

To be modern: GOP should:

- Give priority to women rights.
- Give priority to minority rights.
- Focus on immigration.
- Fall in love with Science. I mean, really fall in love.
- Reject war.
- Love France, especially learn to speak French.
- Etc.

Bob Ellison said...

ricpic, I agree. On Fox News Sunday this morning, Nancy Pelosi said the sequester would be a travesty, and McCain said it must be avoided, and everyone on the panel, left and right, said it was awful and must be put away. But Congress and the President signed it into law!

Only Bill Kristol pointed out that they were talking about spending cuts of one half of one percent of the deficit.

It's an age of unreason. We're so used to trillions in deficits and no inflation that they don't matter anymore. Some day it'll be quadrillions, and it won't matter again.

exiledonmainst said...

"Some day it'll be quadrillions, and it won't matter again."

We'll crash long before we get to quadrillions.

CEO-MMP said...

No, he's not trying to talk like Jug-Eared Jesus.

He's talking like a politician.

Kirby Olson said...

Barack Obama seems to lounge. He's a kind of lounge lizard. No one even knows what he was doing the night Benghazi burned. Lounging around or fiddling around, no one really knows.

We still have no idea who this man is, or what he wants.

This early photograph shows him slowly lounging around on a couch! He is palling around, without apparent ambitions!


We just really don't know who he is. He doesn't seem to have ever heard of the Little Red Hen or the Protestant Work Ethic. He seems to think the idea is to guilt trip other people into giving him money. It's a kind of mugging by other means.

At least the Republicans used to try to talk like the Little Red Hen. It would be sad if just because everybody has gotten so lazy, that we would start to think that laziness is the ticket to a good life. People should work, and not have the government harass them for part of the profits, or steal it on the basis of "you didn't build that."

The idea of the Protestant work ethic probably never reached Hawaii. They seem to want to lie around and then go dancing with their latest lei.

We need a Protestant prez from some place like Iowa or Minnesota to get the momentum going again. I wish Michelle Bachmann would win the presidency, or someone like Ben Carson. Someone who has actually worked with their hands would be nice. Someone who sees the ennobling quality of work, and of building something from scratch.

Obama is a lounge lizard who smokes cigarettes of all things!


rhhardin said...

They're after the moron vote.

They figure that you can't win by being right and explaining it.

And the typical Republican can't explain it himself or he'd never talk that way.

Lem said...

Eric Cantor says..

"We can work together on something like that...
We ought to be making sure we manage down the debt...
And we want to make sure that we're compassionate and sensitive..."

Yeap... he is using the same language... the exact same words.

Lem said...

Whenever Obama says "we need to make sure"... it means what is being proposed is not enough.
It needs to be bigger.

Lem said...

AP is back so soon?

Has anybody even been to NH yet?

Titus said...

When Cantor speaks there is a combination of fag and south-the worst combo accent.

Flowers float out of his mouth when he speaks.

Cantor like Ryan will only be house of representatives, until they leave and become a lobbyist.

Titus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick67 said...

"Isn't it some of the central beliefs in the Republican Party that have hurt it with the electorate?"

We need to parse this question.

1) "Isn't it?" A negative rhetorical question isn't really a question, it's a kind of threat. It assumes up front a particular claim, and then dares the other person to deny it.

2) And what pray tell are the central beliefs of the Republican Party? I don't think even the GOP knows.

3) What is his evidence for this claim (not question)? That the people voted for Obama? Did the American people really understand the GOP platform? How can they reject what they don't know or understand? Or is it that Obama radically outplayed the Romney campaign which was crippled from the beginning with self-serving incompetents who were more interested in sucking on campaign donations than actually helping this guy win?

Lem said...

I say somebody is in big trouble...

Eric Cantor, this is Barack Obama. You used my words in your Meet the Press appearance today...

Michael K said...

Rick67 said...

"Isn't it some of the central beliefs in the Republican Party that have hurt it with the electorate?"

Yes, the central beliefs that got it into trouble with the electorate were the beliefs that Romney was a cold hearted plutocrat who gave a woman cancer and sent millions of jobs to China.

It included beliefs that the GOP would not allow women to get free birth control and it would force them to go to WalMart and pay nine dollars a month.

You have really swung left since the election. Hoping for a job with Obama ?

S Ct said...

Eric Cantor wants the GOP to be Chris Rock's daddy. It will never work.

DCS said...

It's for the children. Cut to the crowd scene in "Titanic" when Cal is trying to scam his way onto a lifeboat. "I have a child!" Only a scoundrel hides behind children. The Taliban,Hezbollah, Hamas,Al Qaeda, Obama, and now, sadly, Eric Cantor.

S Ct said...

"Words are not mere words. As the linguist Charles Fillmore discovered, words make sense only within certain conceptual frames — the mental structures that determine how we understand the world. When we hear political language, particular circuitry is activated in our brains. The more often we hear the words, the stronger that circuitry gets, until the frames become embedded in our thinking.

When it comes to politics, these frames are about morality, because in the end, all politics is moral. Political leaders make proposals because they think they are right. Conflicting policies, for all their political implications, usually come out of conflicting moral views."


O Ritmo Segundo said...

I didn't realize the highlighted phrase was a boehner fide Obamaism. But if so, and Cantor's consciously channeling him, then so much the better. It's only smart politics. But I'd bet that any such "channeling" (to whatever degree it can be said to exist), might be just as likely unconscious.

In the aftermath of an economy too f$&^ed for words, one that was predictably brought about under Republican watch, what other options do the Republicans have? They tried berating the unfortunate ("47%"), and that didn't work. They tried rejecting conservative approaches agreed to by Obama (tax breaks, and to a lesser extent, ending loopholes and subsidies). But that didn't work, either.

But they'll be damned if they'll actually go along with the modest Keynesianism that has kept our employment rate much lower than austerity-loving Old Europe.

So in the meantime, they'll at least appropriate the rhetoric of FDR.

After all, it's just words to them.

And for years they've talked a different talk than the walk urged by the ones holding their leashes. Talk up the working and middle class, while doing nothing for anyone but the rich -- That has been their program for years.

It's like how they want to keep abortion legal so they can forever pretend to be against it. (What other thing can you waste so much time being against?) Whatever keeps a contentious issue alive, is their bread and butter. Don't do anything about it so that you can always beat your chest about how bad and dangerous it is and how against it you are. Something can't be the ever-present threat in the public imagination that you can run your election campaign on if you actually resolve it and it goes away.

The exception was Iraq, but given how dangerously they bungled that, they're back to being for certain things while doing nothing about them.

JHapp said...

I think he is speaking in tongues.

Aridog said...

Ritmo said ...

And for years they've talked a different talk than the walk urged by the ones holding their leashes. Talk up the working and middle class, while doing nothing for anyone but the rich -- That has been their program for years.

That's the Democrats...what about the Republicans?

Inga said...

Cantor can try to channel Obama, but no one will believe a word of it. The election was a mere few months back. Cantor apparently doesn't think Republicans and conservatives are very intelligent or perhaps he thinks he has super human powers of persuasion.

Hoping against hope that people have short memories.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So tell me what the Repubbies have done for the working and middle class, Ari?

I mean, other than thinking that a credit-housing bubble was great way to make our phony wealth look real.

Methadras said...

Again, this is all political theater. Politicians of any stripe in DC do not care about anything happening outside of DC unless they are forced to care. They will blissfully trot to the pied pipers tune of infinite tax payers money that is largely spent in DC to begin with. It's the same old nonsense with the same old rhetoric. They will spend this country into oblivion and tax the living hell out of you and tell you that it's okay because you voted for them to do that. You are just fodder to be squeezed for 'revenue' and these little chats we have all around the country don't mean jack shit to them. They will do what they want, when, they want and how they want. Fuck you if you get in their way.

Aridog said...

Ritmo said ...

I mean, other than thinking that a credit-housing bubble was great way to make our phony wealth look real.

I'd lay that at Bush 43 and Obama 44's feet, jointly. You have heard of the Community Reinvestment Act and the more recent CFPB agency within Treasury?

Well, uhm, they are DOING it all again. Do you really believe that Wall Street isn't a Democratic stronghold? From what I see it is more Democrat than Republican.

In my local urban environment, Detroit, the wealthiest of all are Democrats or ultra-RINO's...Starting with the Ford family (flat out Democrats) and spreading like grease on a hot stovetop.

Go ahead, believe it's all Republicans...but they ain't in power these days, so when the pipe is jammed up all of our asses again, remember who is running things now.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

In my local urban environment, Detroit, the wealthiest of all are Democrats or ultra-RINO's...

Good thing the Kocher Spaniels, David and Charles Koch, are really, really poor and uninfluential, then!

Anyway, sure there are wealthy Democrats. Here are some of them. "Rich" Republican'ts tend to aggregate at the bottom of that top marginal rate bracket, and aspire to be more like the billionaire Democrats at the top, I guess. But usually those types are more responsible and civic minded than most Republicans tend to be. They recognize the limits of what their wealth can do at that point, and aim instead for a more public-minded legacy -- the kind of thing that Republicans sneer at.

The collusion of Democrats with the Republicans who believe in greasing a greasy economy by any means necessary, is one of the greatest travesties of the American political system. If a repeat of the Glass-Steagall repeal financed by mortgages goes into effect, you had better believe that it would never happen without broad Republican support.

It was probably a trade-off necessary for getting them to go along with not downgrading the economy via another ridiculous debt ceiling stand-off.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

Ritmo, your posts are always good for a derisive snort, I'll give you that. The revisionist history and blatant lies are so obvious to everyone reading here that they're not even worth fisking.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Which is the best way of admitting that you have no defense against them, Mr Former-Defenseman.

Wouldn't it be great if I could also live in an imaginary, fact-free existence, where claims of "obviousness" obviated my need to verify anything.

Well, no actually. It would suck. But for a good, derisive snort I could always watch Dick Morris and Karl Rove on election night, when Meghan Kelly asked if he's just presenting "math he does as a Republican to feel better".

Yep. I'm sure that things were pretty obvious to him, and to his viewers, as well. So obvious, in fact, that no facts or objective investigations into them were necessary.

Obviousness. It makes truth irrelevant. Truthier than truthiness.


HT said...

Titus said...

When Cantor speaks there is a combination of fag and south-the worst combo accent.

Flowers float out of his mouth when he speaks.

Cantor like Ryan will only be house of representatives, until they leave and become a lobbyist.


Nailed it in the last paragraph.

Eric Cantor's face has become a lot more skeletal in the last 7 or so years. He used to be a very good looking man. So good looking that I thought he could run for president. Like Sarah Palin, those days are behind him now, I think.

chickelit said...

I've been delving into the meaning of obviousness lately, in the context of 35 USC § 103, which is to say "inventive step" in the new international parlance.

The tried and true test for obviousness, Graham v. Deere still holds, but recent SCOTUS and CAFC decisions have focussed on predictability as the touchstone. When something is too predictable, it's obvious. It really has nothing to do with veracity or truth.

I tend to mostly disagree with Ritmo's politics (which are as predictable as my own), but his methods of presentation are usually fresh and thought through.

Lem said...

..but his methods of presentation are usually fresh and thought through.

You don't entertain the idea that he is a paid agent sent here to discourage dissent against the left?

chickelit said...

Lem. I hadn't thought of that but it could explain his obsession since the election with Dick Morris and Karl Rove. Like you, I'm waiting for the Saint Argentus to get something wrong.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Thanks, Chickie!

Also, thanks for pointing out that obviousness has nothing to do with truth.

Achilles said...

The housing bubble was clearly started during the Clinton Presidency and the foundations of the crisis were laid there. Repealing Glass/Steagall, then implementing the guarantees of mortgages owned by two companies owned and managed by private citizens were the foundational causes. Guaranteeing mortgages was a subsidy to big dem supporter and apparatchik Jim Johnson. Repealing Glass/Steagall allowed the big banks, who were and are big dem donors, to consolidate and start playing derivative games. Crony capitalism mixed with good intentions never fails to cause problems. And Obama was one of the many in congress that took big donations from all the billionaires involved to keep the gravy train going for a few more years when Bush tried to reform it. If I had a quarter for every time a lib tried to blame Bush/capitalism for a government failure I would have more money than Jamie Gorelick got from Freddy Mac, but less than Billionaire Jim Johnson got from Fannie Mae.

Aridog said...

I was amused by @Ritmo's odd connection to the Koch brothers to Michigan & Detroit Democrats...given that Michigan & Detroit are the petri dish for industrial & financial ruin....then proceeding to advise me that yes, Democrats are evil, but so are Republicans....so there, pffbbbbt! Stunning debate style, that ... :-))

Then @Achilles clarified everything with his accurate and succinct comment. I'd add only that the CRA began under Carter, however, it was highly moderated and changed under Clinton, ... and along came the 1999 Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act to wreck Glass-Steagall. Neither Bush managed to moderate it one whit.

The main point is that BOTH Democrat and Republican politicians were joined at the hip in all of it, and financially dependent to boot. No other way really, given the real wealth of Democratic sponsors. The the unmitigated gall for either party to suggest the pother "did it" and is the party of the rich only, is hilarious.

Now, presently, the CRA is regaining influence under the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...and the whole fandango is about to begin again.

Amartel said...

Well he got your attention.