I was doubtful that he’d show up, given that he backed out of an event at the University of Pennsylvania a few days, in hopes of avoiding those affected by the policies he champions, but it looks like Eric Cantor made his scheduled stop at the University of Michigan this afternoon as planned. The following report comes from MM.com correspondent Demetrius, who attended the funeral-themed protest.
I attended today’s “funeral.”
There were probably 35-45 people demonstrating on the circle drive on the south side of the Michigan League (along North University), with many holding signs promoting either some variation of the “99%” theme — and some others holding fake headstones proclaiming “R.I.P. Middle Class,” or “R.I.P. Job Security,” or “R.I.P. Retirement,” etc. There was also a large banner that said: “Cantor works for the 1%. Who will work for the 99%?”
Shortly before Cantor was scheduled to speak at 1 p.m., a young man playing the part of “Eric Cantor” proclaimed the end of class warfare, saying that he and his rich pals had finally “won” — whereupon he conducted a mock funeral, followed by driving a “final” nail into a casket representing the middle class…
Of course, the real former “Vampire Squid” Cantor was nowhere to be seen since, it seems, he either arrived at the League long before the demonstrators, or was hustled in via some secret entrance.
I’m glad there were at least a few folks there to create at least a token show of outrage over this man being invited to speak here in Ann Arbor — at a public, taxpayer-funded University, no less. Still, I found it quite disappointing there wasn’t a larger show of opposition, such as when Governor Snyder came the U-M’s spring commencement — and several hundred people created a noisy spectacle.
Meanwhile, AnnArbor.com provides some information about what happened INSIDE the League during Cantor’s speech (including some additional protests) here.
Not everyone was unhappy to see the House Majority Leader on campus. The following comment, left here in response to the above report, comes from someone calling himself RobbieK.
Unbelievable some of the comments here regarding Eric Cantor. He’s a great man and does great work for his State of Virginia and our country. If you think there’s a problem with the middle class in Ann Arbor, look no further than the Democrats you elect into office that continuously reach into your wallets for tax money, money, money and drive businesses out of Ann Arbor. And I say to Demetrius, ANYONE can be invited to speak at the University of Michigan. The U of M invites domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to speak there, so a patriot like Eric Cantor is a political breath of fresh air to the campus! Stop giving the University of Michigan a bad name, Marxists! Ann Arbor is a great city if left alone by money hungry marxists.
And here, from the AnnArbor.com article linked to above, is a quote from Cantor.
“Social justice is about fairness. Fairness is making sure that we afford opportunities for everyone to pursue their happiness. There are several folks that have stood up to say tax the rich. That that’s somehow fair… That all we have to do is redistribute the wealth and we can create the American dream for more. That doesn’t work… wealth distribution doesn’t work.”
Except, I guess, when we’re handing over our hard-earned tax dollars to bail out our banks, and ensure that their executives get their bonuses. In that case, wealth redistribution is not only a good idea – the very solvency of our nation depends upon it.
Oh, and, in case you didn’t know, Cantor’s wife Diana was at one time a Vice President at Goldman Sachs.
One last thing… In his speech, Cantor apparently talked about his family and how they made good lives for themselves in America through hard work. The implication, of course, is that others could do there same. Unfortunately, the facts say otherwise. Social mobility in America is on a sharp decline, and wealth inequality continues to rise. Money and power are concentrating in the hands of a few. And, at the same time, the quality of public education is falling, and the expense of university education is increasing. And the combination of these forces is corrosive to the Democratic underpinnings of our nation. What’s more, Cantor knows this, and yet he continues to peddle this fairytale. It’s shameful, and one would hope that the voters of Virginia would wake up to it while there’s still time to change course.
[Cantor, according to folks in the DC press, mounted his current tour of universities with top business schools, in order to rehabilitate his image, which had apparently suffered a bit as a result of his holding disaster relief funds hostage in the wake of this summer's deadly hurricanes, in hopes of extracting even more in the way of tax cuts for his corporate benefactors.]