|Rep. Eric Cantor|
GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor decided to check out early on his constituents and his responsibilities in Congress and resign his seat. The move leaves his Virginia district without representation until a replacement is named in a special election.
Granted, not much is going to happen in Congress over the next few months, but his constituents still could use a representative until he is replaced by the winner of the November election. That would have happened in January. Now it could happen in November.
Cantor's move is a gutless one. He lost his primary run to Tea Party-backed David Brat back in June. Since then, as the Christian Science Monitor's Gail Chaddock puts it, the Majority Leader has kept a very low profile. He was no doubt shocked and disgraced by his loss. That still doesn't excuse his early resignation.
When one is elected to Congress, he or she makes a commitment to serve that term no matter what happens politically. Walking away from the seat now just months before he was to give it up anyway may not seem like a big deal to some, but it's another example of the new mindset some politicians have.
Chaddock points out in her piece that leaving August 18 will give Cantor a "head start" on the one-year period before he could take a lobbyist job. Sadly, that's the most likely scenario for a former legislator like Cantor.
Still, can you imagine a President doing what Cantor just did? Let's imagine President Obama just turning the keys of the country over to Joe Biden for the next two years because he's a lame duck. Yeah...makes no sense.
Richard Lugar did it right. He wrote a scathing farewell letter about the toxic political atmosphere in Washington (somewhat ironically created by Cantor) before serving out the rest of his term. Lugar, however, is not from today's political stock.
Cantor is, and he should hang his head in shame for leaving his constituents without representation. Way to tarnish a tarnished legacy, Eric.