The Spectacle Blog

Mixed Feelings on Cantor

By on 8.4.08 | 1:32PM

Cantor's voting record is undeniably conservative. He's undeniably bright. I think we could do much worse. But I also think we could do much better. In 2007 at the National Review Institute conservative summit (I THINK that is where it was; if not, it was CPAC, but I think it was the former), he and John Boehner gave one of the worst presentations I have ever seen at an event like that. Utterly uninspiring. More a defense of the order than a call for reform, even at a time when the 2006 election losses were so fresh in the mind that EVERBODY with ANY sense was calling for big reforms. And everybody I spoke to, during and after that presentation, agreed with me. It was truly pitiful. I haven't seen anything so disheartening at an event like that since Mickey Edwards prattled on in 1983 at CPAC about how even though it looked like the Reagan presidency was fading out, at least Reagan had changed the terms of the debate. Edwards' tone was elegaic, as if to a lost cause -- and Cantor's tone (and Boehner's) in 2007 AND substance were in their own way equally defeatist -- except with a tone that was almost surly in its defensiveness. As conservative is he supposedly is, he sure as heck didn't seem to "get it."

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