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 Post subject: Grover Norquist
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Am I incorrect in remembering that, in addition to being the guy who got most Republicans to sign the pledge to not increase taxes, that Norquist was one of Huckabee's main tormentors in 2008? If so, it's interesting watching the situation play out now as it's pretty clear that whatever political capital Norquist once had is as depleted as is our nation's treasury. Republicans seem to be coming out of the woodwork in order to distance themselves from him.

On the other hand, if Norquist is losing clout, that would make one less GOP foe to stand in the way of Huckabee should he decide to run in 2016.

The Values Voter

 Post subject: Re: Grover Norquist
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:05 am 
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Norquist is the personification of the capture of the Reagan Revolution by the anti-tax, anti-government, fiscal-first, segment of the the coalition. That capture was largely the result of the power oand influence of the contributor class of the GOP. I beleive that group was very sincere in its beliefs that what would turn America around was a policy of tax cuts, blanket opposition to tax increases, and deregulation. These became the hills that the GOP has been willing to die on since 1988 (and has more than once died on them).

This set of priorities has allowed the contributor class to do very well over those 25 years. But the other issues of American decline that brought the Reagan Revolution into being have often been sacrificed on the altar of the fiscal/libertarian ideology. The declining morality of America, the war on faith in the public square, the cheapening of the value of all life, the failure to recognize the need to maintain an industrial America work force, the forfeiting of educational control and mass media to liberals and Democrats, all have been sadly neglected. And for those of us who believed the fiscal limitations on America created by increasing taxation and a growing government where more symptom than sickness, we are not surprised that standards of living for the middle-class have remained flat even as the elites have done very well and the welfare trap has left more and more in dependency and stagnation.

Norquist (and allied groups like Club for Growth) managed to kick the religious and populist groups to the back of the "conservative" bus driven by K-street and think tank lobbiests like himself. Now the bus is over the cliff and even the contributor base knows it. They don't quite know why they are in trouble, but they do know THAT they are in trouble.

Norquist in recent years had unmasked more and more of his true identity (supporting GOproud for example) as far more libertarian and unconcerned with social or security conservatives than the rank and file conservative voter, and totally at a loss at understanding the aspirations and frustrations of (what I'll call) opportunity conservatives (who beleive the game really has been rigged to the disadvantage of average workers making it very difficult to achieve a slow, but steady, rise in their standard of living over time through hard work and ethical behavior).

Norquist's decline is an opportunity. We shall see what is made of it.

"As for us, our days of combat are over. Our swords are rust. Our guns will thunder no more. The vultures that once wheeled over our heads must be buried with their prey. Whatever of glory must be won in the council or the closet, never again in the field. I do not repine. We have shared the incommunicable experience of war; we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top."

Oliver Wendell Holmes

 Post subject: Re: Grover Norquist
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Agreed with the above. Different, interesting take from Ezra Klein,

You might think that Grover Norquist would be in hiding right now. Republicans are parading before the cameras, one after the other, to proclaim their intention of breaking his anti-tax pledge. And yet Norquist is everywhere. He’s doing television shows and talking with reporters. Wednesday, he was the headline guest at Politico’s Playbook Breakfast.

Amidst the liberal glee over the demise of Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, it’s worth being clear about something: Norquist is winning. Big time. It’s this moment, the death of his pledge’s mostly unblemished record, that he’s been working toward all these years.

Don’t take Norquist’s pledge at face value. It’s an absurdity. From a budgetary standpoint, it’s an obscenity. And everyone — Norquist included, because he is very, very smart — knew it would eventually fall. It’s how it falls that matters. And right now, it’s falling exactly according to plan.

For decades now, Norquist has asked lawmakers to pledge to oppose any and all taxes. That’s a ridiculous pledge. Ronald Reagan, a president Norquist considers such a conservative inspiration that he’s embarked on a quest to name every airport and park bench in the country after him, raised taxes time and time again.

But that’s the point. The severity, even extremism, of the commitment demanded by the pledge has helped entrench a public impression that tax increases are a no-man’s land for conservatives. As recently as Reagan’s day, it was pretty much a given that cutting the deficit meant, in part, increasing taxes, even for Republicans. Today, Republicans who believe the debt is the greatest threat our nation faces — the new “red menace,” in the words of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — get plaudits just for being willing to consider the idea of a tax increase, no matter how small.

Norquist and his pledge changed more than the conversation. They changed American politics. The question isn’t how we’ll increase taxes and by how much. It’s whether we’ll increase taxes. For a Republican to simply consider a tax increase is considered a massive concession. That helps them ultimately agree to less in taxes, as having conceded so much philosophically and politically, they’re expected to do less as a matter of policy.

The true test of Norquist’s pledge wasn’t whether a Republican ever voted for another tax increase. It was whether it held tax revenues below where they’d otherwise be. It’s whether it increased the political cost of raising taxes. And today, you can see how well his pledge has worked.

A Democratic president just won reelection with a significant majority. Democrats just took 55 seats in the Senate. House Democrats won more votes than House Republicans. Yet it’s a given that any deal that includes tax increases will also include large spending cuts, and perhaps even entitlement reforms — and Democrats are celebrating the possibility of such a deal as a huge coup. They are ecstatic that Norquist’s pledge might fall even before they know how much tax revenue they’ll get.

And it’s not, in the scheme of things, that much revenue. If President Obama gets every dollar he’s asked for, the Congressional Budget Office estimate tax receipts will equal 19.4 percent of GDP over the next decade. That’s less than it was during most of Bill Clinton’s second term, despite the fact that our population is older, our spending is higher and our projected deficits are far more severe. Moreover, it’s far less than the 21.6 percent of GDP we’d get if the Bush tax cuts expired fully. The furor over the prospect of any tax increase at all has helped obscure the fact that Obama wants to raise taxes by far less than George W. Bush cut them.

If Republicans had won the election, there would be no similar give among the GOP: harsh spending cuts would be considered inevitable, but tax increases would be considered unthinkable. Norquist’s pledge has made modest tax increases as part of a larger fiscal deal look like a painful concession even in the aftermath of a complete Democratic victory. He’s made even a small increase in taxes seems like an earth-shaking policy concession from the Republican Party.

That’s Norquist’s victory, though to achieve it, he has to run around town telling everyone that his pledge can’t be broken and promising to exact terrible vengeance against any Republicans who vote for a tax increase. If Norquist’s pledge is to work, he has to make us believe in it, even as it’s being broken. And we do.

THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.

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