Category Archives: Americans for Tax Reform and Grover Norquist

In Thrall to a Libertarian

Grover Norquist, who leads the organization Americans for Tax Reform, is a Libertarian, someone so extreme in his beliefs that we need to downsize our government until it is almost nonexistent, that we would never give him power in our American government under normal circumstances. And yet – the Republicans did just that when they signed that cockamamie “no tax increases of any kind” pledge. By signing they opened the door to a Libertarian and gave him unprecedented power over the American people without any election (which he surely could not have won.)

Grover Norquist did an end run around the American people and is scoring touchdown after touchdown. If we elect the GOP in 2012 he will win the game. We will have an extreme Libertarian who was not elected inside the power circle in Washington. Unless the Republicans disavow Grover Norquist how can we vote for them?
In the past I have emphasized Grover Norquist’s penchant for moonlighting as a comedian because I felt we would feel ashamed to let a comedian lead us around by the nose. Apparently I was wrong about this. So let’s accept Mr. Norquist’s true position as the leader of an organization which represents only a fraction of Americans and yet controls the future of all Americans.
Let’s get that “no tax” pledge voided so our Congress has the potential to make whatever decision the people find necessary. It should be illegal for Mr. Norquist to hold the America people hostage to his organization. Since the Republicans who signed it will not break it, it would seem the only way to vacate it is to elect lots of Democrats.
Ironically, the Republicans are opposing a Libertarian who is trying to make a legitimate run for office. According to Monday’s NYT’s Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico is campaigning as the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee. He is not exactly a shooting star but apparently Republicans feel that he will take votes away from Mitt Romney. They have hounded him and kept him off the ballot in at least two states using a technicality in one case (Michigan) and the questionable use of a detective who was a retired     F. B. I. agent to appear at the homes of paid canvassers and asking to check the signatures on the petitions they were working on (Pennsylvania). These are the kinds of behind-the-scenes strong-arm tactics that we deplore in our elections. However, the real point is that the Republicans don’t mind bringing in a Libertarian through the back door, even as they are opposing the attempt of another Libertarian to enter Washington through the front door.

Pledging Allegiance to a Comedian

I’m sorry I just don’t get this. Some man named Grover Norquist who is the president of Americans for Tax Reform has strong-armed Republicans into signing a pledge that they will not raise taxes in any form, for any reason, I guess for as long as they both shall live. He uses threats that he will destroy their credibility with their base to keep them in line. Yikes!
So all except six Republicans have sworn allegiance to Mr. Norquist and apparently this pledge is more important to them than their pledge to govern. They can’t effectively govern because they now belong to and are tied up tight by a stand-up comic. Bizarre? I am stunned that this is legal. If we can make a law about what light bulbs we need to use, surely we can make a law which makes signing binding pledges at any time during a political career illegal.
I don’t know if the Republicans who signed this pledge realized that it would have so little wiggle room in it, or that their feet would be held to the fire quite so painfully.  This behavior seems so un-American. It sounds like a science fiction story someone made up. Obviously the influx of the Glenn Beck inspired and ultra-conservative Tea Partiers into Washington during the last election also has some bearing on why this pledge has become a Republican straight-jacket. And now, when our representatives (and I use the term loosely) need the most flexibility to deal with the American economy, they don’t have any. They have pledged allegiance to a comedian. Oh, we are in so much trouble.
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