As you can tell by the photo (credit: Steve Helber/AP), Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan aren't exactly strangers.
In fact, they're more like BFFs. That photo was taken at a rally in Richmond in August. But that was far from the beginning of their political partnership. You see, Cantor and Ryan are cut from the same conservative cloth. Identical ideologues, if you will.
Case in point: In September of 2010, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan co-authored a book with Kevin McCarthy entitled "Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leadership." It's rare one writes a 224-page book detailing a perceived political revolution without substantial agreement between its authors.
What's more, upon Paul Ryan's Vice Presidential ascendency, Eric Cantor happily leapt at the opportunity to endorse his good buddy.
And endorse he did.
Appearing on CNN just a day after Romney trotted out his shiny new VP pick, Eric Cantor called Ryan a "leader for the future."
Just six days later, Cantor doubled down on his previous comments in an Op/Ed for his hometown newspaper. Using language bordering on veneration, Cantor wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the choice of Paul Ryan revealed "bold vision and leadership," going on to promise that the ultra-conservative congressman could provide America with "clear, common-sense vision."
Identical? Absolutely. Ideologues? Without a doubt.
But there's more to this alliance than meets the eye. Cantor's acceptance of all things Ryan is much more than your generic political endorsement. Cantor has hitched his logo-laden wagon to a rising star in the Republican party. Co-authoring a book with him, sharing hours of one-on-one conversations with him, heaping praise on him in speeches, on television and in writing, and now campaigning for him.
So the questions remains: What has Eric Cantor embraced as a result?
Well, there's always the much maligned budget which Ryan continues to tout. This disastrous jumble of far-right fiction drastically cuts food stamps, slashes Medicaid funding and effectively guts much-needed Pell Grants.
And of course who could forget Ryan's plan for Medicare? Beyond his irresponsible inclusion of a massive tax cut for the wealthy, Ryan's plan also adds 6 trillion to the debt over ten years while simultaneously disenfranchising the poorest and sickest among us.
But a potential vice-president must subsist on more than budget policy alone. Luckily, Ryan's extremist economic credentials transfer splendidly to his stance on social issues. A strict adherent to the Todd Akin School of female anatomy, Congressman Ryan has no compunction about equating "pro-choice" with "child-hate."
One would assume a congressional seat in the 7th District of Virginia would have little to do with national figure like Paul Ryan. And one would be wrong. Because at the end of the day, the architect of these horrendous policies has been embraced, supported, vouched for by Eric Cantor.
We are told that we are judged by the company we keep. If this is the case, Mr. Cantor may want to consider a more thorough inspection of the House GOP caucus next time he's searching for coattails to ride.
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