Washington, DC: I looked in the dictionary for the definition of hero and heroine respectively, and it was defined as “a man or woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his or her brave deeds and noble qualities.” Where do we find our heroes and heroines today? The unforgettable 1980 victory of the USA hockey team, and defeating the USSR during the winter Olympics in Lake Placid, was heroic in my view. The first responders, the police and fire fighters, on 9/11, were heroes and heroines, I think. The young combatants representing our country, in the field of battle, in Iraq and Afghanistan are largely unsung heroes and heroines. Jackie Robinson, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Martina Navratilova, and Martin Luther King, are heroic historical figures that immediately come to mind, when I think of people known for taking courageous stands to fight for what is right, in the face of adversity.
We don't hear much about bravery, or noble qualities, in the context of our daily lives. This past week Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the House majority leader, made headlines when he walked out of debt-ceiling negotiations, because he allegedly would not compromise on taxes. The GOP want to make sure that there are no new taxes, and that the loopholes that exist for corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying taxes, are preserved. That's not brave or courageous, it is cowardly behavior. The Wall Street Journal reported that Cantor has a vested interest in the debt ceiling not being extended.
“Mr. Cantor, who walked out of debt discussions with Vice President Joe Biden last week, owns up to 15,000 shares of the ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF. Mr. Cantor has a conflict of interest in the debt negotiations. Conventional wisdom holds that letting the talks fail would roil the bond market, hurting Treasurys, which would benefit Mr. Cantor. The TBT is up 3% since Mr. Cantor walked out of debt talks.”
While gridlock in Congress is preserved, the legislature in the state of New York, took on more weighty issues. The state Assembly, and state Senate, enacted a bill to extend marriage equality to all the tax-paying citizens of the state, and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation shortly after the bill passed. While the majority of legislators in the New York State Senate are Republican, and most of them voted against equality, a little known Republican Senator from Saratoga, made this statement in the days leading up to the vote.
"This is driven by compassion. I'm tired of Republican, Democrat politics; I'm tired of blowhard radio people, blowhard television people, blowhard newspapers. You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this.”
Senator Roy McDonald voted for marriage equality, thumbing his nose at fellow Republicans, and religious leaders, who called on him to vote against the bill. When I read about Senator Roy McDonald, I thought, this man is brave, and has courage, that we rarely see in public life or politics today. As such, I have to say that Roy McDonald is my hero!
Conversely, Eric Cantor is a crook, and a coward. Join me in emailing Mr. Cantor, as our voices must be heard. We must tell Congress what we think. Too often people stand on the sidelines and do nothing. This is what I wrote Mr. Cantor today.
Dear Rep. Cantor:
Since you hold shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF, that should disqualify you to lead talks related to increasing the debt ceiling, since you would financially benefit from any negotiation failing to succeed. I cannot believe your crooked behavior has gone largely unnoticed.
Your stunt is also cowardly, and your constituents and the American people, are fed up with your do nothing agenda.
Get with the program Mr. Cantor, and do what is right for a change. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. We have enough crooks and cowards in Congress.
Please resign today.