Is Grover Norquist losing his grip on the Republican Party? Watching him on the different television networks would lead one to that conclusion. If you have to explain why you are still powerful or relevant then you are neither powerful nor relevant.
Grover Norquist is the founder of Americans for Tax Reform that he claims was at the request of President Reagan. The organization coerces Republican candidates to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in which they promise to oppose all tax increases.
It seems that many of the Republicans that signed the pledge are starting to realize that their “anti-tax increase” position is neither rational nor sustainable. The following statements from several prominent Republican politicians were reported in an AP story on Huffington Post.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) – “Oh, I signed it,” . – . “But we’ve got to deal with the crisis we face. We’ve got to deal with the political reality of the president’s victory.”
Sen. Bob Corker (TN) – says the only pledge he will keep is his oath of office.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) says no one in his home state of Virginia is talking about what leaders in Washington refer to simply as “The Pledge,”
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA) says he cares more about his country than sticking to Norquist’ s pledge.
House Speaker John Boehner (OH) has called that notion unrealistic and has dismissed Norquist as “some random person.”
Rep. Peter King (NY) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the pledge is good for a two-year term only. .-. “For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have signed a support of declaration of war against Japan. I’m not going to attack Japan today. The world has changed, and the economic situation is different.”
Sen. John McCain (AZ), “Fewer and fewer people are signing this, quote, pledge,”
Grover Norquist has resorted to reminding every Republican politician that President George H. W. Bush lost the election when he broke the pledge by working with Democrats to raise taxes. Savvy politicians might be coming to the realization that there were many factors instrumental in that loss that had nothing to do with breaking the pledge. Breaking the pledge was just one factor. An analysis worth reading can be found in this Jim Buie’s Blog post.
One can conclude that if a broken pledge results in a vibrant economy and the reelection of Republican politicians, Grover Norquist stranglehold will end. With that the American Tax Reform organization will no longer be a factor in politics.
It has always been surprising that signing this pledge was never attacked effectively by the left for being an irresponsible and unpatriotic act. It is a pledge that is completely causal of our budget deficit. After-all, there is no pledge that Republicans have signed to curtail spending as a function of diminished collected revenues. As such implicit within that pledge is codified deficit spending. Moreover, as interest is paid on the debt, since the debt is held mostly by those with means, since tax increases are prohibited, and since tax cuts are encouraged, the pledge is one of the mechanism that have transferred the nation’s wealth from the middle class to the wealthy.
There should no longer be disagreement on these issues as one can research previous year economic charts as a function of policies in effect. They clearly show a wealth transfer. While there is great income disparity as well, other policies are responsible.
As Grover Norquist become more irrelevant, it will leave room for politicians to compromise. It will also allow Republicans to inject morality in their tax policy choices for those that are inclined to do so.