Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Evil Of Grover Norquist

If you do not know who Grover Norquist is, then chances are that you have been ... (a) Living under a rock for the last month; (b) Watch Fox News exclusively; or (c) Been in a coma since spring (in which case, I cannot help but welcome you back to the world and hope that the current state of affairs do not cause a relapse of your symptoms).

Grover Norquist is a hostage taker and a blackmailer. It truly is just that simple. The sad part of the story is that Republicans actually gladly sign up to be held hostage by this loon. Grover Norquist decided decades ago that taxes are bad. Period. No qualifier, no exception, no wiggle room. Sound extreme? To quote the Barbie Of The Right -- "You Betcha!!" (wink, wink).

Grover Norquist is the founder and president of a group called Americans For Tax Reform. While the name may sound benign, it is clearly misleading. This group believes that government is too big and that no new taxes should be levied on the American people. None. Ever. No matter what the circumstance, no matter what happens in the future, no matter how befitting taxation is for the current climate -- no means no, to Grover Norquist.

To this end, he asks (read: coerces) republicans to sign  piece of garbage entitled the Taxpayer Protection Pledge indicating that they will never vote for any piece of legislation that would allow for new taxes. Insanely enough, this even includes not allow the Bush tax cuts to expire since this would net an actual, and much needed, increase in governmental revenue.  In fact, he is opposed to the ending of any tax breaks at all, including those for big business. The republicans that sign this pledge do so under duress and do it to ensure their continued electability. If they fail to sign it, Grover Norquist and his gang of thugs run a republicans opponent in the non-signers race and ensure, via campaign funding, that The Defiant One loses the election. Talk about holding one by the...well....private parts.

Norquist is coy in saying that the pledge is not made to him, but is made to the American people. But the fact of the matter is that Norquist created the pledge, he threw it in the face of republicans and failure to sign has negative repercussions that he and his group will be sure to enact. How is this different than any other blackmail scenario? Better yet, how is this good for the country?

There is no doubt that tax reform is greatly needed in this country. However, blackmail and barely veiled threats is no way to accomplish anything in the US government. Republicans need to gather their troops and decide, as a whole, to walk away from Grover Norquist and his pledge. In doing do, the tiger will then have no teeth and real tax reform can actually occur.

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