Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Grover Norquist and the demise of the GOP

The news that Grover Norquist's influence over the GOP is declining comes at a time when the future of the party is being questioned. An endless number of postmortem analysis of the failed election attempt by Mitt Romney have focused on everything from the way he combs his hair to his casually writing off 47% of the population. Not enough attention has been paid to the damage caused by the "no new taxes mantra" enforced by Grover Norquist. Almost everybody would like to pay lower taxes, and certainly not want to see them increase. However, rational people recognize the inherent unfairness of the current tax laws and that circumstances can arise that necessitate increasing taxes. Or can they? On Nov. 20, 2011, CBS aired an interview between Steve Croft and Grover Norquist. Below is an excerpt from that interview.
"Kroft: But you make it pretty clear. If someone breaks the pledge, you're gonna do everything you can to get rid of them.
Norquist: To educate the voters that they raise taxes. And again, we educate people--
Kroft: To get rid of them.
Norquist: To encourage them to go into another line of work, like shoplifting or bank robbing, where they have to do their own stealing. 
Kroft: You've got them by the shorthairs.
Norquist: The voters do. Yeah". 

In the above interchange, Norquist's lust for power dribbles down his cheek like excess blood on a vampire's fang. If someone breaks their pledge to Norquist, the voters aren't going to give that person's opponent in the next primary as much money as they need to win. Norquist and his minions will. The flood of money from outside a state to make sure pledge breakers don't get elected usurps the right of local voters to choose the person they want to represent them. Ultimately, this isn't about taxes were pledge it, it's about one man's need for power

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