Eric Cantor, We Hardly Knew Ye

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Why you should care

Because sometimes underplaying your hand can be as bad for business as overplaying it.

We have come not to bury Eric Cantor. There are plenty of people gleefully lined up to do that.

Nor to praise him. There are also gaggles of folks at the ready to do that.

No. We’ve come, in full Death of a Salesman fashion, to pay some attention to the passing of a man whose ignominious defeat during this last Republican primary saw him lose a 30-point lead to an economics professor, political neophyte and tea party favorite whom he outspent 40 to 1.

Ouch.

…the monster claims the masters…

This was something that ended up being a surprise to establishment Republicans who — faster than they could say “Et tu, Brute?” — found themselves fired by the same creature they’d created as soon as they lost the presidency: A creature composed of, in equal part, good ol’ American resistance, obstruction and a global distrust of the machinery of government.So after 14 years, this former Republican rising star joins a rank and file of other promising once-was’ers: three-time incumbent Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, 18-term GOP incumbent Rep. Ralph Hall and 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston (most recently in a Republican runoff election for Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination) — all struck down by aggressive challenges from the further right of the tea party.

As well as concern about … ? The unknowns we now face.And in an irony of ironies, the monster claims the masters. And as we cruise into midterm elections facing Republican unknowns, we can’t help but feel a twinge of nostalgia for the knowns we’ve left behind.

So forthwith: an OZY tribute to the once and still Eric Cantor.

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