Eric's Bad Night
When the news came over my computer early this morning, I could scarcely fathom what it was I was reading. Was this some kind of Onionesque parody, I asked myself? The news was so baffling - and unexpected - that I had a difficult time processing it. A quick check of the other news sources that make their way into my inbox each-and-every morning confirmed that this was not a hoax: the extremist conservative, house majority leader, Eric Cantor, just wasn't right wing enough for the knuckleheads in the state of Virginia who tend to vote in Republican primaries; defeated by an underfunded, unknown Teapartier with the curious name, "David Brat". Aren't politics a gas?
|Harry gives 'em Hell|
Yesterday wasn't just a calamity for Eric Cantor; the cracking bells of doom for the "party of Abraham Lincoln" could be clearly heard all through the evening and into the early morning hours. The damned things kept me up all night.
|Sorry, I couldn't resist|
Not that this hasn't been oodles of fun to watch. It has. It's just that one has to wonder what their ultimate goal is. The Tea Party is taking a stand, not merely in Dixieland but in a lot of regions nationwide. In the weeks to come there are twenty-three Republican primaries scheduled. Watch as the incumbents move even further to the extreme right. What happened in Virginia yesterday might very well be a nasty harbinger of things to come. That would be too good to be true.
The weirdest thing about Congressman Cantor has always been his demeanor of contentment. He always has this strange look of almost cherubic calm when spouting the right-wing agenda. At least Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, to their credit, have the decency to look somewhat ill-at-ease when defending the indefensible. Not so with Eric Cantor! He's perfectly at peace with himself: Buddy Holly on quaaludes. Weird!
|Howard K. Smith|
In 1962, after Dick Nixon was defeated by Pat Brown in his quest for the California Governor's mansion, Smith concocted a piece for ABC News called "The Political Obituary of Richard M. Nixon". Nixon had originally been favored to win. A former vice-President who came so close to defeating Jack Kennedy for the presidency two years earlier, he seemed a shoe-in. It didn't quite work out that way. On the night of his defeat, Nixon had a public meltdown and told the assembled press, "Just think how much you're going to be missing: You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." Howard took him at his work. Tricky Dick had effectively committed political suicide. Who could blame Smith for pounding out the Trickster's epitaph?
Six years and two months later, Nixon was living in the White House. Ouch!
Although Smith went on to distinguish himself during an illustrious career that lasted until his retirement seventeen years later, the "Political Obituary" broadcast was an albatross that hung around his neck for the rest of his life. Bearing that in mind, I'm not going to make the mistake of writing off Eric Cantor as a goner - much as I'd love to, mind you.
The Republicans' extremism has rendered them a self-inflicted, mortal wound that will eventually destroy that party. Last night was but a prelude of still nastier things to come. The Clown Car is on fire. It really is amusing watching that elephant have a nervous breakdown, isn't it?
I'm loving every minute of this. Seriously.
Events Leading Up to My Death:
by Howard K. Smith
The journalistic memoirs of a giant from the golden age of television news.