Is there anyone who epitomizes "smarmy" more thoroughly than does Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.)?
Cantor is what the GOPers identify as an "up-and-comer." His vaunted talent for raising money is much treasured by the wingnuts.
But what impresses me is his ability to be unctious and arrogant in nearly the same second. He can sneer without moving his lips, and he can rub his hands together while they appear to be hanging at his sides.
Wouldn't it be grand if some of the old-timey types of politicians - those who knew how to be graciously principled in their interactions with the opposite party without feeling they were compromising their own principles - could appear for an encore?
Instead we have the Cantor types who are masters at being maliciously demeaning and, among other efforts at disparagement, persist in saying "Democrat Party" and "Democrat President" because they believe it removes dignity from a liberal point of view.
I believe an objective apolitical person with any insights into human nature would come to the conclusion that these conservatives need to belittle and sneer and lie in order to feel like men, and that includes the women.
We can lay a great deal of this new kind of calumny on Newtie's doorstep. I remember reading a piece he wrote for Republican Party consumption where he recommended that all things liberal and democratic (big and little "d") be referred to in only denigrating terms. It has worked like a charm. The whole of the party, and now the witless teapartiers, have adopted his tack.
But it only works among themselves. Imagine anyone believing that Barack Obama, the coolest president since JFK, could be seen being "dragged, kicking and screaming" anywhere. While Cantor would like that picture to resonate, it ain't hardly likely.