Monday, October 3, 2011

NY Mag profiles Eric Cantor - leading the Republican party as an efficient opposition

Speaking to my devastated friends right after the 2008 election, when it all looked so bad for the Republican party to revive, and return to power in the near future, most of them took James Carvile's assessment and confident prediction as as a reality to face and as a prophecy certain to become true, In a GMA interview following the publication of his new book, '40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation', Carville based his prophetic words on History: "the growing demographic is trending Democratic and, I think, we're probably on the verge of another 40-year era of party dominance here..."

I took them aside, tapped them on the shoulder and said: If the Republican Party will be smart enough, to take this opportunity to build itself up as an alternative to the President, by being a vocal united Opposition to the president's policies, fight over every bill, no matter how many hands will be raised in favor of those legislation's, let them pass only with the help of his fellow democrats, then the time will come, that the American Public will view them as their representatives to reject Obama's liberal agenda and job killing policies.. and fall back in the Republicans arms, to offer an alternative direction and fight on their behalf for that cause. (took that from my close follow of  Israeli politics experience playbook, Bibi's 2009 comeback).

Cantor took that advice and as it turns out, the election of Scott Brown in 2009 was just the start of that reemergence, followed by the midterm elections in 2010 with the takeover of power of Congress, and the starting point to a presidency and Senate takeover in 2012.

Here is the NYMag's description of Cantor's opposition role:
A few weeks after Obama won the White House, Cantor was elected House minority whip, the No. 2 seat at the Republican leadership table. The timing was not particularly auspicious. “It sucked,” Cantor says. “It was not a nice time to be around here. Faces were long, and people were upset.” With Obama’s approval rating up near the seventies, the question confronting Cantor and other Republican leaders was not whether the new president would be able to enact his ambitious stimulus package but how many GOP votes he would get for it. Some in the GOP—including, according to several sources, Minority Leader John Boehner—were fearful almost to the point of resignation that they would lose a sizable number of House Republicans. That’s when Cantor made a decision that has set the tone for American politics ever since: He made it his mission to deny Obama any Republican votes for the stimulus.

Cantor, with his finely tuned political radar, then picked up on—and, in turn, helped initiate—what has become the Republican Party’s most profound cultural shift: its belligerent intransigence. Cantor, as one prominent Republican told me, “is not a tea-party guy. He’s a business guy, a business Republican.” But he has managed to successfully elide this difference and, perhaps more than any other Republican in Congress, has politically positioned himself to take advantage of the GOP’s new obstructionist ethos.

Since the 2010 election, of course, Cantor has had a much more lethal weapon at his disposal, one that he played a major role in creating: the 87 freshmen who make up more than a third of the Republican’s House majority. In the run-up to the midterms, Cantor, along with McCarthy and Ryan, used their “Young Guns” candidate-recruitment program to find Republicans who could capitalize on the growing tea-party backlash against Obama and Washington. “We wanted to bring ‘cause’ people to Congress,” says Ryan, “not people who were looking for political careers.”
This is the Republican party i see emerging as the next ruling party, and to James Carville's dismay, its even expanding to overtake some Century long Democratic strongholds, NY9th CD special election on September 13th with the election of the first Republican to get elected in 90 years, Bob Turner was only the start.

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