Out-for-Himself Eric Cantor Really Steps in It

Eric “Lean and Hungry” Cantor, the House Majority Leader, is right where I like to see him — “in damage control mode,” according to Politico.*

Cantor’s EricPAC gave $25,000 to a super PAC, the Campaign for Primary Accountability (CPA), that is devoted to kicking out incumbents, including many of the Republican congressmen whom Cantor is supposed to serve as Majority Leader.  This is a huge stab in the back to those who have put him in a leadership position.

One of the major funders of CPA, Leo Linbeck, told CNN that Cantor’s behavior was “forward-thinking.”  I guess forward-thinking is a new synonym for suicidal.

“House GOP Leadership aides…said they were perplexed by Cantor’s decision to donate to a group that was openly trying to take down sitting incumbents of his party.

“‘It’s just a mess,’ said one leadership aide.

“‘People are a little bit stunned,’ said a senior House GOP aide.”

I imagine John Boehner is delighted.  I think he hates Cantor, who is always breathing down his neck trying to replace him as Speaker, more than he hates President Obama.  Obama isn’t vying to become Speaker.  If Boehner smooths things over for Cantor, then Cantor will owe him big-time, and Boehner will have him right where he wants him, in his back pocket.

* “Cantor donation roils House GOP,” Alex Isenstadt and John Bresnahan

Is Sandra Fluke This Year’s Joe the Plumber?

Frank Bruni has an interesting column in today’s NYT, “Poorly Told Political Fortunes.”  Some morsels:

“For starters most of us grossly miscalculated the ardor, the stubbornness, the spleens of a great many conservative voters, who thrilled to Newt Gingrich despite his leaden baggage, swooned for Rick Santorum in all his frigid sanctimony and would not be wooed by Romney, no matter how may dozens of roses he promised.

“To the extent that Santorum and Gingrich have been kept afloat by a crucial baseline of financing, they owe thanks to the dawn of super PACs, a development that was thought to be dangerous to Obama but might, in a roundabout way, wind up helping him.

“Meantime, the culture wars have resumed — usually something Republicans relish.

“But the surreal focus this time is on birth control as opposed to abortion, and conservatives keep overplaying their hands.  Rush Limbaugh fished tired epithets from a misogynistic toilet; advertisers proceeded to flush him.

“[Sandra] Fluke could be the Joe the Plumber of 2012, drafted by political circumstance into a pitched debate about the rightful role of government and given a symbolic currency she couldn’t have foreseen.”

My own prediction is that the GOP Silly Season officially ends tonight, that Mitt will be recognized as the eventual nominee however long the others choose to pretend they’re real contenders, and that Mitt won’t lose that status at any point between now and the convention.  I see tonight as Solidifying Tuesday.

RIP, 2012 Republican Primary.  You were an appalling embarrassment.