Eric Cantor’s debt ceiling hissy fit

The House majority leader picks up his marbles and repeats his mantra: No tax hikes, or we shoot the hostage

Topics: Budget Showdown, How the World Works, Debt ceiling, Eric Cantor, R-Va.,

Eric Cantor's debt ceiling hissy fitHouse Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., meets with reporters in his office at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, June 13, 2011. Cantor praised Vice President Joe Biden for his shepherding of the bi-partisan Congressional panel working to solve the debt crisis. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)(Credit: AP)

An enormous quantity of pixels has been wasted in the wake of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Thursday announcement that he is abandoning negotiations on a debt ceiling deal with the White House. Cantor’s explanation that he is frustrated at Democratic insistence that “tax hikes” be part of any long-term deficit reduction deal has inspired an impressive outburst of blogospheric game theorizing.

One popular analysis: There’s a split in the Republican camp! Speaker of the House John Boehner knows that revenue increases have to be included in any deal, and Cantor wants to avoid any taint of any such heresy. And then, once the deal is done, Cantor will lead a coup to depose the apostate.

You Might Also Like

Or maybe, by leaving, Cantor is giving cover to Boehner to do just such a deal! By withdrawing now, he and the other GOP hard-liners who will refuse to vote for lifting the debt ceiling under any circumstances will maintain their purity while Boehner cobbles together enough votes from Democrats and relatively sane Republicans to get a deal passed.

Well, political bloggers have to write about something, and the debt ceiling is the biggest game in town, but really, among all the the posturing and finger-pointing and blame-game spin and counterspin, what have we learned today that we didn’t already know? Democrats want revenue increases as part of any long-term deficit-reduction deal, and Republicans refuse to consider any such thing, no how, no way, not even if hell freezes over with every GOP representative and senator stuck neck-deep in the ice with brimstone down on their heads.

Isn’t this where we started? Hasn’t Republican intransigence on revenue increases been assumed from the beginning? Hasn’t the Democratic side, led by Vice President Joe Biden, consistently held firm on the totally understandable position that a deal requires concessions by both sides?

My takeaway from today’s news is that Democrats are sticking to their position — let’s make a deal – while Republicans are remaining firm on theirs: give us everything we want or we kill the hostage.

If Democrats maintain their resolve, the Republican position is not sustainable. This hostage can’t be killed. Wall Street and the business community are a lot less worried about revenue increases than they are about the consequences of a debt default. The closer the deadline for a deal comes, the more nervous they are going to get. Eric Cantor can throw all the hissy fits he wants, but he’s not going to change that calculus.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>