Grover Norquist doesn’t realize he is irrelevant
Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform. He famously has Republican congressman sign a pledge that they will not raise taxes if elected to office. Almost all candidates have signed this pledge since its inception in the Regan era. There has been much talk recently that some Republican leaders are contemplating “breaking the pledge” by raising tax revenues (in the form of capping tax reductions) in exchange for spending cuts. Norquist think such actions are “impure thoughts.”
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said in a meeting with House Republicans that Republicans should take the opportunity to extend the Bush tax cuts for 98% of Americans. He called it an “early Christmas present.” I guess now it’s considered a present to actually do your job. Maybe Rep. Cole is excited for his upcoming vacation and wants to get a deal done. I find it incredulous that Congressmen think somehow they are doing us a favor by extending these cuts. They should remember that we did them a favor by electing them. Why should we even have to extend these cuts? They’ve been in effect for ten years. Shouldn’t they simply be our set tax bracket already?
Norquist said that Cole’s comments were “an interesting tactic.” He said that anyone who thinks opposing tax increases is no longer popular is “an idiot.” I don’t understand why Republicans make such pledges. Dana Perino, former Bush press secretary, said it best when she said “I don’t like that they make pledges. In fact the only pledge they should make is to uphold the U.S. Constitution and to do what’s best for their constituents.” I think her comments were spot on. I also don’t understand why Norquist thinks he is anymore relevant to these negotiations than I am. He isn’t an elected official, yet he acts like he is the leader of the GOP.
ABC News senior political reporter Jon Karl asked Norquist if Speaker John Boehner, who signed the pledge almost two decades ago, was still held to his commitment. Without flinching he responded by saying when we take our wedding vows are we not held to them twenty years from now. I almost laughed because he is expecting our Congress (who in its history has had many officials cheat on their spouse) to uphold their pledge. Just thought it was funny. Norquist thinking he is relevant is also funny.
What do you think?
Is Norquist right? Should the members refuse to raise taxes even if that means a deal wouldn’t be brokered?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate