Sunday, March 08, 2009

Cantor Calls the Stem-Cell Funding Reversal a "Distraction"

Earlier today House minority whip Eric Cantor described President Obama's expected reversal of the ban on federal funding for stem-cell research as a "distraction." Cantor's words:
Why are we going and distracting ourselves from the economy? This is job No. 1. Let's focus on what needs to be done.

Where to start here? Surely we should expect House members to say stupid things, House whips to say stupider things, minority whips to exceed even that level of stupid, and Republican minority whips to plumb the very depths of stupidity. But still — wow.
Let's put aside the fact that scientific research is an issue that goes to the very core of this nation's long-term competitiveness (big shout-out to M'dates on this point), and that embryonic stem-cell research harbors the kind of promise that can give birth to an entire industry. Think dot-com boom, Cantor, except with diseases cured and lives saved. This does have to do with the economy, Congressman. One thing Obama has on your feeble congressional mind is the ability to recognize the interconnectedness of issues, to see opportunities for synergy, and to act on multiple fronts simultaneously.

Is Cantor really faulting President Obama for giving attention to issues other than the economic crisis? It's called multitasking, Cantor, and even Congress does it. How else do the folks on Capitol Hill manage to enact multi-billion dollar economic stimulus bills and pass the Civil War Battlefield Act and consider resolutions honoring Sam Bradford for winning the Heisman Trophy? Those last two bits are classic cases of eyes-off-the-prize, Congressman, and it was your party's reps that sponsored them. It seems a bit unfair to begrudge President Obama a moment or two to sign an executive order that will actually confer benefits on the American people.

And as for you personally, Congressman, what were you doing fiddling around in Iraq last month while Wall Street was burning? Where are your priorities?

Maybe we should cut Cantor a break: stem-cell research is a lousy issue for Republicans. They've fought valiantly into the teeth of public opinion on this issue for eight years now, and with Monday's announcement they'll finally have lost the battle. You can see why the guy would want to change the subject, right? Uh, no. No break for you, Cantor. Your President butchered policy on so many issues for eight years. The fact that he managed to squeeze in a crippling once-in-three-generations economic crisis at the end doesn't mean his successor can't address any of the Bush Administration's myriad other failures. Nice try, but no.


Mithridates said...

It's kind of ironic because in mathematics the Cantor Set is perfect, but nowhere dense; whereas Eric Cantor is (very) imperfect and everywhere dense.

Congressional topology thought of the day . . .

Unknown said...

In Judaism the Cantor sings unintelligible gibberish while his audience is bored and/or hungry, sometimes using an accordion. Not sure this is relevant but it popped into my head.

In Wine, the De-cantor is used by pompous jackasses to pretend they know the difference between maddog 20/20 and a fine Bordeaux. It is also used by recently married couples who need to use every gift they obtained. Also, not relevant but I don't know any other Cantor related words.

Mithridates said...

You can't or won't think of any more Cantor related words?

Unknown said...

Wow an esoteric math joke and a pun in the same thread. You win

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