Cantor's speech was full of typical Republican talking points. In a nod to the 1%, Cantor created a straw man saying that there are many who want to "redistribute their wealth" and that this is the wrong thing to do. What we need, he said, is for the 1% to be generous to the rest of us.
Oh my. Here's a little more from the speech:
Through his example, you can see that America needs more than just a jobs plan. We need a "Steve Jobs Plan". In a Steve Jobs Plan, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat doesn't matter. In a Steve Jobs Plan, no American, regardless of their condition, believes that they are unable to rise up. And in a Steve Jobs Plan, we don't believe that those that succeed somehow take away from those still working their way up the ladder. Why? Because those that earn their success not only create good jobs and services that make our lives better, but they give back and help everyone move just a little bit further up the ladder and everybody can win.
I just finished reading the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs. For the record, it's worth noting that Steve Jobs was able to rise because he had help in his early years -- help he never, ever forgot. His first foray into electronics and computing was made possible because he reached out to Bill Hewlett for some parts to a device he was making. Hewlett gave him the parts and a job. Steve Jobs never forgot that, nor did he ever suggest he earned the right to Bill Hewlett's attention.
But I digress. Here's the reception Eric Cantor received from some members of the audience:
After his speech, over a dozen protesters stood up, removed their jackets to reveal shirts with various pro-99% slogans on them and then, one by one, turned their backs to Cantor and remained this way during his entire 30-minute question and answer session.
I guess they made a statement! Ann Arbor, of course, is right in the heart of Betsy and Dick DeVos-land, where I'm certain Mr. Cantor expected a warm and happy reception. I'm so glad some ticketholders were ready to make a statement instead.
For all the lofty rhetoric, Eric Cantor and his buddies are trying to remake America in a thin mold of feudal failed states. He would do well to take another lesson from his hero, Steve Jobs, as expressed in Jobs' sadness over the decline of the once-great Hewlett-Packard:
But getting back to Jobs' criticism. You don't build a great company by dismantling it and then trying to clone the strategies of other, less-successful companies. Certainly not if you're HP. Let's hope HP's board is smart enough to see Jobs' rebuke for what it is: good advice.