Speaking of distractions…

SPEAKING OF DISTRACTIONS…. So, the media meme of the week is that President Obama is taking on some projects unrelated to the economy, while also dealing with the economic crisis. This has led House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), among others, to complain bitterly about extraneous policy initiatives.

Over the weekend, Cantor, responding to the president’s new policy on stem-cell research, told CNN, “Why are we going and distracting ourselves from the economy? This is job No. 1, let’s focus on what needs to be done…. Let’s take care of business first.”

It prompted Ben Armbruster to raise an excellent observation.

Just in the first few months of the 111th Congress, Cantor has co-sponsored legislation that one might consider “distracting”:

* H. Res. 204: Congratulating the American Dental Association for its 150th year of working to improve the public’s oral health and promoting dentistry.

* H. Res. 18: A bill honoring the life, achievements and contributions of Paul Newman.

* H.R. 997: To declare English as the official language of the United States.

* H.R. 836: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the tax on beer to its pre-1991 level, and for other purposes.

Congratulating the ADA? Honoring Paul Newman? Why are we going and distracting ourselves from the economy? This is job No. 1, right?

The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with Cantor sponsoring these measures, even in the midst of an economic crisis. Policymakers can address more than one area of interest at a time.

Something for Cantor to consider the next time he starts complaining about “distractions.”