Is Eric Cantor Out Leading The Leaders?

Bookmark and ShareAs debt ceiling talks heat up I have been asking myself, “Self, who is leading the charge with the conservative message?” Speaker of the House John Boehner certainly has been spending a lot of time with the President. What he has been doing however is not making public those discussions. Do Republicans want secret meetings behind closed doors with President Obama? Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has kept mostly silent until recently when he laid out a plan that led most of his own party to question his sanity if only temporarily. Most of the 2012 candidates have weighed in as well with the line mostly being that those in Congress need to stand firm against tax increases but few have laid out actual plans of their own. The leader that has emerged in the debt ceiling talks has beenHouse majority leader Eric Cantor.

As Speaker Boehner and minority leader McConnell play nice with the White House in trying to reach an agreement, House majority leader Cantor has been outspoken and brash in, as the President himself stated, “calling his bluff.” Far from being politically correct Cantor has emerged as the voice of the GOP during the debt ceiling debate. One reason is his seemingly fearless disposition for going straight to the media after each and every closed door meeting at the White House. Whether the other leaders in the GOP like it or not, Eric Cantor has become the voice the public hears when they want to know what happened during the closed door discussions with the most ‘transparent’ administration ever. When McConnell unveiled his plan Cantor was the first face on the tv screen rejecting it followed by almost the entire Republican party. To the casual observer, who looked like he was in control? It wasn’t Mitch McConnell.

His un-PC ways have made him the poster child for the media in trying to paint the GOP as being, in the words of Senate majority leader Harry Reid “childish’. But in a political environment in which the GOP has come to rely on the votes of the TEA party followers to put them over the top, Cantor’s attitude may be what they need to pull in the support for their debt plans, whatever they may be. The TEA party followers are fed up with the spending and dead set against any tax hikes. They don’t trust the establishment and Cantor is positioning himself as the anti-establishment guy in these talks. Balking at the establishment by making public every thing that is happening during the discussions at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. He is also incurring the wrath of the major Democrat players including the big kahuna himself, President Obama.

Depending upon which version you believe, Obama either stormed out of the talks upset at Cantor’s stubbornness and constant interrupting every time tax increases were brought up or he dressed down the House majority leader and left. Knowing President Obama’s famously thin skin and Cantor’s increasing lack of fear of the bully pulpit, I tend to believe that Eric Cantor “called the bluff”.

As a libertarian leaning fiscal conservative I don’t agree with Eric Cantor all of the time. I do however recognize and appreciate leadership when it comes from unlikely places. Although he won’t run for the White House in 2012 (can you say VP pick?) let me be the first to say, before Anthony begins work on White House 2016 should Obama be re-elected, that Eric Cantor would be one of the 1st names I would toss in the ring.

If Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer dislike you…….you’re ok with me.

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Rick Santorum Challenges Republicans To Stand Up For DOMA

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Former Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is on the offensive against Republican’s who he feels have been relatively silent regarding the Obama administrations recent statement that it would no longer defend the Defense Of Marriage Act in court. Santorum, a favorite of social conservatives, says it’s no surprise that the Republican leaders haven’t done more since the administration announced earlier this week it was reversing its position on defending DOMA. DOMA says states can refuse to recognize the same-sex marriages and civil unions performed in other states. The law defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

“It is a reality that the media, not just the mainstream media but even quote-unquote conservative publications, like Fox, they tend to write rather negatively about people who stand up and fight for marriage,” Santorum said. “They describe it in terms of bigotry, in terms of discrimination, in terms of (being) homophobic. As a result of that, people stay away from it. They don’t want to be cast in that light by the media. And besides, we all have friends who are gay. I have friends who are gay. But they respect the fact that they disagree with them on policy,” said Santorum as he was on his way home from spending several days in Iowa, home to the first presidential caucuses.

“It’s very disappointing,” Santorum said Friday in an interview with USA TODAY. “Here you have a president of the United States who’s walking away from his constitutional duty to defend the law of the country.”

Santorum has specifically called on House Speaker John Boehner to appoint a counsel representing the House of Representatives to take up the issue and argue the cases in court. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said the speaker “is reviewing the situation with other congressional Republicans and all options are under discussion.”

If Santorum decides to make a run for the GOP nomination it is clear that he will be taking a strong national stance on social issues. Stances which could gain him votes should a Mike Huckabee campaign fail to materialize. If it will appeal to enough voters, who seem focused on jobs and the economy, will be the big test for the former Seanator.

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