Eric Cantor Kicks the Jobless Out of His Version of A Townhall
Eric Cantor’s message to the people, “Try to find me, losers!”
Last night in Virginia, over 200 desperate citizens struggled to have their voices heard by their representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) during what he claimed was an “open meeting” and is the only type of “townhall” he does.
The announcement on the Richmond Tea Party website (because all of Cantor’s constituents are members of the Tea Party and they all have access to the internet.):
Got anything to say to Eric Cantor ?
Here’s your chance…CANTOR ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING AUGUST 31, 2011
Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia’s 7th District invites his constituents to attend the next Cantor Advisory Council Meeting. (This is what he calls a Town Hall)
Turns out, this wasn’t really your chance to say anything to Eric. That is, unless you already agree with him. You know that’s how we roll in a democracy! This is Cantor’s version of taxation with representation, people, because when his constituents showed up in the same hotel as his advisory council, having rented a ballroom room upstairs from their out-of-touch and unreachable representative in order to demand jobs, they were thrown out of the hotel. NBC12 Decision Virginia noted, “The Holiday Inn was soon guarded by Chesterfield and Capitol Police officers, who stopped each car before entering the parking lot to ask if they were guest of the hotel or the event.”
The media was barred from the event. Of course. We can’t have any pesky recordings of our secret “open” meetings with the public. That would be…like having a free press.
Eric hasn’t held a Townhall this year, but last night was supposed to be an “Advisory Council Meeting” open to the public. The citizens who had been struggling to no avail to get a meeting with Cantor weren’t invited to the meeting, but with the help of Progress Virginia and Virginia Organizing, they rented the ballroom upstairs from their Representative in hopes of being heard.
Those hopes were soon dashed when the hotel management of the Holiday Inn Koger Conference Center asked them to leave, citing various unverified concerns until landing upon “conflicting events” (also known as the human condition or the People versus the Koch Brothers). The Daily Kos reported, “…(T)he hotel was not comfortable with competing events. This is even though the activists had rented the ballroom a few days beforehand. Additionally, Scholl pointed out that “Cantor had the only other event” in the hotel that night.”
The conflicting event was Cantor, downstairs, busy with his “Advisory Committee Meeting” that was “open to the public”. In fact, the “meeting” was billed thusly, “Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia’s 7th District invites his constituents to attend the next Cantor Advisory Council Meeting.”
The protesters departed peacefully and reconvened across the street in a Toys R Us parking lot, where they rallied for jobs while Eric Cantor stayed cozy in his ivory tower of privilege, ignoring their desperate pleas once again. Cantor’s desperate constituents carried signs that read:
“I Need a Job to Pay My Bills” and “Whose Side Are You On?”
Video courtesy of the Richmond Times Dispatch:
The protesters interviewed expressed their frustration and desperation:
“What do we want? JOBS! When do we need them? NOW!”
“We’re losing our homes, we’re losing our health, we’re losing our families, and we’re losing our minds!”
“We have over 40,000 people living in this district. We cannot get a meeting by phone, by person, we cannot get a Townhall meeting, and we can’t even get into this Advisory Council Meeting.”
“People can’t get an interview or a meeting with Eric Cantor and it was us the people that put you in office!”
How did Cantor respond? When asked about the protesters, Eric told NBC12 Decision Virginia that he “saw them off in the distance” and “I don’t see how that’s productive and again, we had a great meeting….” The smug, it burns.
Not productive? So it’s productivity that Cantor values. He values productivity, but not jobs. He values productivity but not democracy. He said “anyone can sign up to be here.” Really, Eric? Anyone who hangs out on the Tea Party website, maybe. And manages to get an invite. Gosh, the tea soaked democracy makes me heady.
Ray Allen, a political adviser to Cantor, insinuated that these folks were organized “out of Washington”, as if Cantor has no constituents out of work in Virginia, or as if even if that were true (I question Eric’s grasp of the English language, as both groups have the state name in their title and both have websites with actual state stuff on them), that it would excuse his failure to take a meeting with his constituents. Just one meeting. A phone meeting even. Just one.
Cantor can’t even be bothered to pretend to care, and the sad thing is, so far, he’s getting away with this.
Eric Cantor has never had to wake up to that sick pit in his gut, wondering how he was going to pay his mortgage or feed his kids that night. It’s one thing to be partisan, but it’s quite another to be so out of touch that you refuse to even hear your constituents whose visceral need for jobs is evident and undeniable. Instead of dealing with jobs, Cantor is busy finding another phony “issue” to sell on Fox News to the cult. The cult are always invited to Cantor’s meetings because cult members don’t ask questions and they make excellent foot soldiers.
But this is America, not a cult. I don’t care if you’re in the Tea Party or the Green Party, you deserve to have a chance to be heard by your representatives so long as you are conducting yourself peacefully and not trampling on other people’s rights in your desire to be heard.
It’s ironic, but the one thing Cantor the Tea Party Captain clearly doesn’t stand for is “no taxation without representation.”
But then again, the entire platform of the Tea Party/far right Republicans is based on a big con. It’s all a marketing strategy to get you to buy something you don’t need, never wanted and can’t afford. And what better way to sell you something so obviously bad for you then to label it the exact opposite of what it is. The Tea Party is not of the people, by the people or for the people. The Tea Party stands for representation for the corporations like the Koch Brothers.
Even the cult is starting to awaken. On the Tea Party website, a commenter under the name of Kirby Harris – The Liberty Activist left this:
RTP says “Cantor Advisory Council Meeting. (This is what he calls a Town Hall)”
That statement is not true. A town Hall is open to the public. Cantor’ Advisory Meetings are events that only those who have signed up to be on his advisory council are allowed to attend.
Granted anyone can sign up for the Advisory Counsel online, but they don’t advertise these meetings, only invite those on the email list and remove people they know oppose Cantor and his policies from the list. Also this time you must RSVP or they won’t let you in the meeting.
All of what I mentioned above is a ploy to keep the amount of people aware of the meetings low, to keep as many people away as they can and filter who get in the meetings, and still be able to say they have town halls to all his detractors who rail on him for not having town halls,
Don’t be fooled.
Indeed. Don’t be fooled again, Liberty Lovers. Eric Cantor isn’t of the People, no matter if you are a conservative or a liberal.
When The People try to make their voices heard, as they are wont to do in an alleged democracy, Republicans are simply ignoring them. Fearing the backlash from the real “we the people” (aka: the informed electorate), Republicans have refused to do Townhalls to meet with constituents or have charged money (the one thing you don’t have if you don’t have a job, but hey, poll tax anyone?) for a Townhall.
Or in the case of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, held no open Townhalls save for the “Advisory Council Meeting” he held last night, which was supposed to be open to the public but was only advertised on the Tea Party website and required an invite. In fact, it was so not open to the public that folks who rented a room above his were asked to leave the hotel lest any “conflicting” ideas seep into Eric Cantor’s smarmy, pre-packaged Koch brother narrative. And naturally, police were called in to vet every car coming into the parking lot. “Open to the public” means open to those who agree with Cantor. Eric Cantor equals no open meetings, no transparency, no free press, and no representation.
Eric Cantor’s cowardice is disgraceful. If he really believes in what he’s doing, why does he have to shut down the essential tenets of democracy in order to achieve his goals?