The following is an email I received from a friend after I posted about Eric Cantor’s conflict of interest this morning. It is reproduced in it’s entirety with his permission:
This is driving me nuts, and since nobody is paying me to advise the House leadership (why not, dammit!), I’m gonna rant to you about Cantor shorting Treasuries:
Byallthingsgodly: this is such a basic script, a fundamental like being able to execute 6-4-3 on a grounder to short with a runner on first and nobody out. For one thing — don’t the good guys ever do research? It was left to some intern at Salon to notice that the Republican Whip, the guy who just walked out of negotiations over the debt ceiling, who has called for an endless series of temporary increases (which would just prolong the shakiness of America’s “full faith and credit”), is shorting Treasuries?????
Christ, if a member of the R leadership was caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy, the Ds would murmur sympathetically: gee, I know how that goes…
It’s not complex. The ball is hit on the ground to the shortstop…
First, a House Democrat (preferably someone involved in the talks, perhaps a ranking member of a relevant committee) says that he is shocked at this revelation about Cantor. He (or she) talks abstractly that it is deeply troubling that anyone involved in these negotiations could stand to profit from their failure. (This has been missing, so far. What’s the point of a caucus, again?)
Second, Cantor defends himself — secondhand, through a spokesman. (check)
Third, somebody in the House Democratic leadership calls this a conflict of interest, and notes that so long as Cantor bets his own money against America’s trustworthiness, he can’t be part of the talks. (Why no say thist?) Somebody should say this is worse than Pete Rose, who after all bet on his own team…
Fourth, somebody asks House Democrats if that means the talks should go on without him. Democrats point out that’s up to the Speaker.
Fifth, Boehner either backs his rival –or ditches him OVER THIS. Everybody knows that Cantor wants to challenge Boehner for the Speakership, so Boehner might cut his legs off for his own reasons. But if he backs Cantor…
Sixth, Pelosi expands the issue, noting all the times Rs have voted their political interests over the economy, and adds: but when they vote their investments over their constituents, that’s too far. She calls for Cantor to either dump his bet against America, or resign from the R leadership. If she’s asked about Cantor’s participation in the talks, she should repeat — so long as he’s a member of the R leadership, I don’t see how Boehner can keep him out.
So Cantor has to first defend himself, then his investment, and finally his role in the leadership as well as the talks. Personally, I hope he’s stupid enough to try to explain that he’s really a sophisticated investor: just what America needs to hear with 9% unemployment.
Then when he dumps the investment fast, he’s conceded he did something wrong, and it’s a minor victory. If he holds onto it for even a week or more, it’s a big win for the good guys.
Can’t anybody turn a double play anymore?
As I wrote back to him: “Apparently they can’t.”
Any staffers reading this — you know who you are, and so do I — who want to hire this man, and his years of experience working as a staffer in various positions, you all have my cell number. Call me and I will give you his contact information.