Whatever happened to the swaggering Young Guns who talked so big about themselves? The OK Corral now looks like a one horse town after the panhandlers took over and the gold ran out. Paul Ryan just helped craft a plan that dramatically increases spending and McCarthy and Cantor both turned over their guns on the debt limit. Apparently they’d rather just roll dice in Harry’s Saloon until March 2015. Their favorite showgirl, Nancy, will be dancing on tables to keep spirits up.
Three years ago, during the heat of (one of the many) last debt ceiling debates of Obama’s presidency, NPR columnist Liz Halloran wrote a piece titled “Eric Cantor: The Young gun in the Debt Standoff”:
When asked earlier this week about whether he was willing to take “significant heat from your party” to get a deal done, Cantor replied: “I have said before, a vote to increase the debt limit in this country is an existential question for a fiscal conservative because what that does is facilitate more spending. And that has been my point all along in these discussions.”
“Republicans, the speaker and I are united in saying we don’t want to raise taxes on the American people,” he said. “Our conference is united.”
Ah, the vigors of youth! It gets the blood pumping, in all the right places. Now it appears Mr. Cantor is in need of some “help.”
Back in 2010, Politico described Eric Young Gun Cantor as someone who:
“lambaste[d] both parties, discrediting the GOP’s leadership — of which Cantor has been a member for nearly all of his career — and wild spending ways.”
At least he could find the right target back then. In those days, he was also scornful of a proposal by Harry Reid to raise the debt limit by $2.7 trillion. Cantor worked with Boehner to develop a plan that would allow the limit to increase by $900 billion but force Obama to seek another hike before the election in 2012, and require Congress to vote on a balanced budget amendment.