Is Eric Cantor Now The Face Of Virginia?

OK, I’m a Virginian who doesn’t reside in Virginia, however, I do follow the news from my home state and the news mentioning Virginia is seldom pleasant. And the news mentioning Virginia is only Virginia news because it all too often only focuses on Virginia 7th District Congressman Eric Cantor.

Now, I’m not a fan of Eric Cantor. To me his smarmy, high-pitched voice and condescending demeanor make it hard to actually hear what he is saying. And when I do get past that I find his arguments insipid, unoriginal, and hollow. He merely speaks talking points – he plays word games cleverly calculated to resonate with a national conservative audience. He doesn’t even have to consider the resonance with his own constituency, as his seat is about as rock solid as any in Congress. Why? Because the progressives in his district seem incapable of fielding a credible opposition to his candidacy.

So can anyone suggest a living Virginian who is better known nationally, than Eric Cantor? I cannot. And that is embarrassing. Certainly not our two Senators – Webb was a shooting star who then just fizzled out as his agenda seemed to be a more personal agenda and his personality a bit too abrasive, and Warner just doesn’t get the media attention he deserves. But Cantor is attracted to the TV camera like a moth to a flame and night after night it is Eric Cantor who is the face of Virginia.

And why doesn’t Cantor have to worry about his job? Incumbency, party support, and the lock step following of the conservatives – that, plus a totally disorganized and unmotivated Democratic leadership in his district and certainly in Chesterfield County. On returning to Virginia in 1998 from over eight years abroad, I was concerned enough that there were no “D”s to counter the “R’’s at the ballot box that I joined the Chesterfield County Democratic Committee. Chesterfield, a county of over 300,000 where perhaps six individuals control the main supposedly progressive NGO of the county. In a blue state these six would be called Republicans. Inane archaic convention rules, competing agendas, inertia, and cliquishness. Little wonder that the county’s true progressive, Dan Gecker, chooses to run as an Independent.

The 7th district has a population of over 650,000, almost the population of the entire state of Virginia in 1790. But then Virginia was able to produce a George Washington, a Thomas Jefferson, a Patrick Henry and scores of other notables. That was then – Eric Cantor is now. So sad, so very sad.


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