Monday, January 2, 2012

From A Cantor To A Gallop

Steve Benen hammers House minority leader Eric Cantor for his and and an aide's bizarre assertion that Ronald Reagan, who raised taxes more than any predecessor, didn't raise taxes:

Why do Cantor, his press secretary, and Republicans everywhere deny what is plainly true? Because reality is terribly inconvenient: the GOP demi-god rejected the right-wing line on always opposing tax increases; he willingly compromised with Democrats on revenue; and the economy soared after Reagan raised taxes, disproving the Republican assumption that tax increases always push the nation towards recessions.

In other words, Reagan’s legacy makes the contemporary Republican Party look ridiculous. No wonder Cantor’s press secretary started yelling: [Leslie] Stahl [who was interviewing Cantor on CBS] was bringing up facts that are never supposed to be repeated out loud.

Reagan was guilty of other acts of apostasy against 21st century hyper-conservatism as well. Cantor looks silly saying otherwise. Could it be this is the first time he ever got the question, at least in a setting where a camera was boring in so tight that you could see the pores under his makeup? If so, good for Stahl.

Here's what he should've said: "President Reagan was the first to stand in the path of the prevailing policy juggernaut of his time and say, quoting Bill Buckley the only time he used a one-syllable word, 'Stop!' Of course he didn't accomplish all he hoped when it comes to diminishing the size and scope of a coercive federal establishment. Of course he sometimes had to compromise. His courage inspires us not to."

Or some such. I don't really want Cantor to sound smarter, because he's been wrong about the budget.

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