Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Norquist is an Irrelevant Defunct Fossil ~ Updated


While the anti-tax pledge's ship sinks, Norquist is standing on the deck, arguing with the passengers to stay aboard till they drown.
~ Andrew Riggio on Yahoo News

Who's afraid of Grover Norquist?
Fewer and fewer Republicans, thankfully.
~ John Avlon on CNN

. . . it’s safe to say that the paradigm has shifted in ways that simply didn’t hold true prior to the Great Recession. Put another way, the gargantuan nature of our problems will force lawmakers to consider policies which they never would have embraced in the good years. Tax hikes are one of these.
~ Henrik Temp on American Enterprise Institute

Former Senator Alan Simpson on Andrea Mitchell 
Wed. Nov. 28th
Video Here

. . . you know, here’s a good guy with a very bad idea and he was gathering up those signatures back in the ’80s and the early ’90s when inflation was zip, when unemployment was zip, and anybody who would sign anything before they come to Congress and hear the debate and participate in it hopefully and get in to the floor, management and the amending process and the conference committee, those people I mean why would you do that? It’s like selling your soul!

Now Grover, I said, would be irrelevant in two years, and I say that– he’s got about another year and a half to go– he will be irrelevant. This guy is a zealot. A zealot is one who, having forgotten his purpose, redoubles his efforts, and he sees the crumbling of the great house of cards.

It’s like Jarvis out in California back in the late ’70s. He’s left schools destitute, he’s left institutions destitute. You can’t come in and play this kind of a game when everything has changed in America, and this time everything has changed because it’s all coming to pass on December 31st, and Grover-babe is losing a person a day and he knows it. So what does he use to cover that? Cutesies. Little smart Alecs. I know that. I don’t know who else does that. I have done that.

He is becoming irrelevant. And you can see it in his eyes. He knows the game is up. Because good people of good faith have decided that instead of being Republicans, or Democrats, they’re Americans. And instead of being beholden to Grover Norquist and the AARP, they’re beholden to the United States of America. Those guys are going to take their lumps.

The Reign of Norquist Ends With a Whimper

In the same way that McCarthyism now largely overshadows the early days of the Eisenhower administration, the W. Bush and Obama years will be seen as the stage on which Grover Norquist's domination of domestic policy took place. His anti-tax pledge and the resulting government paralysis utterly defined the political climate of the period.
But with the sudden erosion of Republican support for his pledge -- Saxby Chambliss and the "gang of eight" are peeling away from the Norquist like the palace guards after the Wicked Witch finally melts -- it looks like the second Obama term may witness the decline and fall of Norquist. This is a consummation devoutly to be wished for Democrats and Republicans.
McCarthy was of course a public figure, while Norquist has been largely a stealth tyrant, in the glorious tradition of figures like Cardinal Richelieu or Rasputin.

~ Daryl Rowland on Huffington Post

It was clear that refusing the vow or, worse, going back on it would bring severe repercussions. To many Democrats, that made Norquist a devil figure. Actually, he was only channeling, very effectively, America’s Tea Party-like passions.
Now, though, America is hurtling toward the fiscal cliff, and there’s growing recognition that, without compromise on both sides, the country will plunge into the economic abyss.
~ New York Daily News

All of this technical discussion about a chimera created by a generally moronic lobbyist who is known to have been involved in the Abramoff scandal and somehow managed to avoid taking his own personal trip to prison along with Abramoff.
Can America be serious for even a brief moment, especially when we need to take immediate action to establish a sound budget and start cutting into our national debt?
~ comment by Roncouples on Atlantic

From Piers Morgan on CNN November 26, 2012
MORGAN: So you're Captain Bligh, on the bounty, the mutiny has begun. How are you going to avoid being chopped out the boat?

NORQUIST: Well, of course, it's a little funny to watch a senator or a congressman who got himself elected by promising the citizen of his state that he would go to Washington to reform government, not raises taxes to pay for our problems. Deciding that when they haven't done that and the going gets rough that they have an argument with me? I'm sorry but, you know, the congressman and senators who you're mentioning are the same people who two years ago were being quoted as starting a revolt against Boehner when he was demanding the Boehner rules, spending restraint when the president wanted his debt ceiling increase.

So the same cast of characters are turning in the homework for the second time two years later, there's not some snowball rolling. The good news is that the people who made a commitment to the American voters, to their voters, to their constituents are keeping it, and the focus is where it should be, on the fact that for four years President Obama has not reined in spending. Done nothing useful on entitlement reform. And all he's done so far in these negotiations is demand $1.6 trillion of tax increase so he can spend more money, not reining in spending. We need to have some focus on spending problems because that's the problem we have.
. . . (snip)

MORGAN: Yes, but Grover, Grover, only -- Grover, only you in America believes there has to be this -- what I believe to be really farcical, now absolute, pledge-for-life about these kind of things. Surely the nature of the modern world is very fast-moving, it's changing a lot. America clearly has huge economic problems heading for another fiscal cliff.

Everyone laughing at you from afar. The American public sick and tired of all the games going on. And there you, Grover Norquist, a very bright guy, still resolutely saying a pledge is a pledge is a pledge, it cannot be broken, when many of your own party now are saying, you know what, it doesn't make sense to just have this irresolute position anymore.

NORQUIST: Two things. The pledge is not for life, but everybody who signed the pledge including Peter King who tried to weasel out of it, shame on him as the "New York Sun" said today. I hope his wife understands the commitments last a little longer than two years or something. The commitment from the pledge --

MORGAN: Whoa, whoa. Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on. That was a bit below the belt, Grover.

NORQUIST: Hey, if you think a commitment only is not for as long as you make it for, the commitment for the pledge, as Peter King well knows when he signed it, is that as long as you're in Congress you will rein in spending and reform government, not raise taxes. It's not for 500 years or two generations. It's only as long as you're in the House or the Senate. If he stayed too long, that's his problem. But you don't tell the bank, oh, the mortgage wasn't that a long time ago? If you make a commitment, you keep it.

MORGAN: Right. But this pledge was first signed in 1986.

NORQUIST: By some people. Of course, every two years people often re-sign it. They make statements on it. Mr. Chambliss, who's one of the people you're saying was having doubts, just two years ago made a public letter saying he would never support a deal that had any tax increases, only revenues stemming from economic growth, not tax increases. That was two years ago, not 20 years ago, and it was a public statement that he made --
NORQUIST: To the people of his state.

Interview on Fox with Neil Cavuto (my Transcript)

Neil Cavuto: Fairly or not, Grover, you've been seen as this "Wizard of Oz" character who has been able to keep Republicans in lock-step with your thinking, and with more bolting, especially with prominent members bolting, it says something about what is in peril for you.
. . . I don't want to liken you to Tony Soprano, but are you saying you're going to remember these guys who are turning on you?

Grover Norquist: Okay, nobody's turning on me. I understand why Harry Reid is trying to personalize it as "Grover" but what Harry Reid doesn't want to say is that the American People don't want their taxes raised. They've elected a Republican Congress opposed to raising taxes, and I, Harry Reid, am at odds with the American people.
Neil Cavuto: They are going to raise taxes, Grover. They are - they're looking like they are. So -- is that a repudiation of you? Or recognition of the election? Or what?

Grover Norquist: Okay, first of all, the promise on the pledge is to the American People. What I have accomplished with Americans for Tax Reform is to make it easy through the pledge for elected officials, candidates and incumbents, to credibly commit that they won't raise taxes

Corker was elected to the Senate because he took the pledge. People had thought he was too moderate, maybe he wouldn't make it, but he made that written commitment to the people of Tennessee. He would not be a Senator today if he hadn't made that commitment. If he breaks it, he's going to have to have a conversation with the people from Tennessee about his . . . keeping his word. And the same thing about other people who were elected because they made that written commitment to the people of their state.

Neil Cavuto: That sounds like a threat.

Norquist: No -- look, I vote in Washington D.C. The people that Corker promised or (Saxby) Chambliss (R-GA) promised or (Lindsey) Graham (R-SC) promised are in their state. They haven't promised me anything. They promised the voters of their state that they would go to Washington and reform government, not raise taxes to pay for Obama's bigger government. They need to focus on reforming government, not raising taxes to pay for bigger government each year. And it's a lot of work - it's not easy! But throwing up your hands and saying 'Maybe I'll raise taxes' instead of governing is not the way to go.

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