I came down with some kind of bug today. So from a bit after Eric Cantor gave his press conference this morning until a short time ago I was pretty much out of commission. So I read David’s post below about the alleged attack on Cantor’s office fresh, not knowing any of the reporting the team had done on the story. And I’m a bit surprised — or maybe not so surprised — that Cantor can even walk down the halls of Congress now without friends and associates snickering at him for making such a fool out of himself. Putting together Cantor’s statements to the press and the police report about the incident, Cantor’s claim seems to be that he was attacked by one of those Renaissance military engineers from Italy who first discovered the parabolic ballistic equations that allowed you to shoot artillery nearly straight up in the air and have it hit your enemy on the way back down.
In case you haven’t read David’s piece, Cantor went before the press this morning to try deflect criticism of Republican for creating a climate of hysteria and eliminationist rhetoric that has contributed to this rash of violent incidents and acts of vandalism against members of Congress who voted for Health Care Reform. Cantor rather improbably claimed that it was Demcorats fanning the flames of violence and recounted a chilling tale of a recent incident in which an attacker fired his gun through the window of Cantor’s office in Richmond.
Alas, the police report shows that when the police investigated they determined that an unknown person had shot a firearm into the air and that on the way back down the bullet broke a window in a building where Cantor has an office. We always try to be extremely cautious when describing these sorts of attacks because often the motivation behind them is inherently ambiguous. But this seems to be a caution Cantor doesn’t have much time for since, in need of an incident to create a false and preposterous equality, he determined not only that this unknown assailant was an aggrieved proponent of universal health care but that he or she has an exceptional grasp of trigonometry.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.