Drowning Grover Norquist’s “Pledge” in the Bathtub?


(Jeff Danziger’s website)
__
Seems there’s a rumor that the incoming Democratic tide may wash away another longstanding impediment to responsible governance. Dana Milbank, member in good standing of the Media Village, points and jeers:

Some prominent Republicans — among them House Speaker John Boehner, publisher Bill Kristol and Sen. Bob Corker — have been making noise about the need for the GOP to be flexible about raising taxes.

But the keeper of the Pledge is not concerned. Grover Norquist, the party’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says he sees no chance of Republicans going squishy…

Just a few months ago, he predicted to me with confidence that his goals of the past quarter-century were about to be realized: Mitt Romney would win the presidency, Republicans would seize the Senate, and the unified Republican government would quickly pass Paul Ryan’s budget, including a complete reworking of entitlement programs.

But instead of laying siege to Washington, he is now leading a rear-guard action to prevent defections. His defense of the Pledge seems to be a mixture of improbable optimism (he maintained that Republicans are “much closer” to smaller government than before) & implied threats (“Republicans who raise taxes do their own brand a great deal of damage, particular- ly if they put in writing to their constituents that’s not who they are or what they do”)…

The NYTimes is more serious in tone — even a little bit eulogistic:

By Mr. Norquist’s count, 219 House members — enough for a majority — and 39 senators have committed to the pledge. But some of those members who signed on, many of them years ago, have started to back away, apparently leaving him several votes shy of the majority he would need to block any tax increase.

“A pledge is good at the time you sign it,” said Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican whose name still appears as a pledge signer on the Web site of Mr. Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform. “In 1941, I would have voted to declare war on Japan. But each Congress is a new Congress. And I don’t think you can have a rule that you’re never going to raise taxes or that you’re never going to lower taxes. I don’t want to rule anything out.”…

Say what you will about Peter King’s ethics, character, or IQ, he has the sterling political instincts of a born mucker. If he’s willing to risk publicly disrespecting the Great & Mighty Grover, either he wants a political favor (which Norquist may no longer be able to offer), or he’s decided to put his vote up for bid with the Obama administration. (I’d just warn whichever White House functionary gets that negotiating job to wear strong gloves — and count his fingers afterwards.)

… The walls at the headquarters of [Norquist’s] interest group are covered with signed copies from conservative heroes like Newt Gingrich, who warns Republicans to stick to their guns. Mr. Gingrich, like Mr. Norquist, argues that the pledge protects Republicans from agreeing to stealth tax increases that ultimately hurt them.

“Every time I’ve watched Republicans try to be clever with Democrats on issues of taxation,” Mr. Gingrich said last week, “Democrats have won.”

And if there’s one thing upon which Newton Leroy Gingrich can legitimately claim to be an expert… it’s at losing to clever Democrats!

64 replies
  1. 1
    Cacti says:

    The only pledge a Senator or Congressman should make is their oath of office.

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    Let’s see if this gains traction…

  3. 3
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have not seen a single poll or study, anywhere, that shows that a majority of Americans are opposed to raising taxes on anyone, under any circumstances. These congresspeople aren’t being loyal to the public, they’re being loyal to Grover Norquist. What exactly can he do to them that’s so terrifying?

  4. 4
    Cacti says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    What exactly can he do to them that’s so terrifying?

    They fear the billionaire boys club more than “we the people”. That has to change for them to change.

  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    That mans presence in our Capitol can not end soon enough. If in his intransigence and arrogance he takes a handful of goopers with him when he goes that will just be icing.

    I still am very much afraid of what our friends in DC will surrender in return but the good guys are in a stronger position today that a year ago so I have to hope they use that to the advantage of the citizens

  6. 6
    Richard says:

    Loyalty oaths to unelected shadow emperors aren’t exactly conducive to the democratic process.

  7. 7
    Chris says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    What exactly can he do to them that’s so terrifying?

    Primary them. Not Norquist personally, but the entire rabid teabagger base backed by the financiers who’re just as kookoo as they are. That was the point of the Tea Party Movement, to see to it that anyone who even dreamed of dealing rationally in the age of Obama would find himself facing a well-financed opposition candidate in the next primaries.

  8. 8
    MikeJ says:

    “Every time I’ve watched Republicans try to be clever with Democrats on issues of taxation,” Mr. Gingrich said last week, “Democrats have won.”

    And our progressive betters still whine about it.

  9. 9
    Schlemizel says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    You might ask Sen Lugar that question. Or really any of a dozen or two goopers he has picked off for not being pure enough. Say what you want about the bloated pustual he has been able to deliver money & votes which carries a hell of a lot more power around DC than anything else

  10. 10
    Chris says:

    @Richard:

    Loyalty oaths to unelected shadow emperors aren’t exactly conducive to the democratic process.

    Heck, isn’t that one of the centerpoints of the “Chicago Style” boss politics they’re always accusing Obama of?

  11. 11
    The Red Pen says:

    I read the first ‘.’ as a ‘,’ and saw this:

    Seems there’s a rumor that the incoming Democratic tide may wash away another longstanding impediment to responsible governance, Dana Milbank.

    I thought, “Finally!”

  12. 12

    Yeah, Newt and the reason Bill Clinton pwned your fat, twelve sandwich eating ass was because he is smarter than you will ever hope to be.

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    Ummm. Since when is a pledge only good when you sign it. At the same time, I’m glad that Peter King won’t be leading the charge to go to war with Japan any time soon.

  14. 14
    The Red Pen says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Ummm. Since when is a pledge only good when you sign it.

    Look at how many GOP’ers treat their “sacred” marriage vows.

  15. 15
    Suffern ACE says:

    @The Red Pen: I read it that way. As bleah and obnoxious as he can be, I really don’t think making Millbank a sacrifical victim is sufficient to solve the tax issue. The Tax Moloch wants more better food than that.

  16. 16
    Schlemizel says:

    @Suffern ACE: I’m glad that Peter King won’t be leading the charge to go to war with Japan any time soon.

    WHAT!? Are you sure? What have you heard?

  17. 17
    Mike in NC says:

    And if there’s one thing upon which Newton Leroy Gingrich can legitimately claim to be an expert… it’s at losing to clever Democrats!

    Not to mention Mitt Frickin’ Romney!

  18. 18
    The Red Pen says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    As bleah and obnoxious as he can be, I really don’t think making Millbank a sacrifical victim is sufficient to solve the tax issue.

    I didn’t mean to suggest we would stop there.

    Also, I didn’t realize that Milbank was a bleah person.

  19. 19
    blingee says:

    Why the fuck are people still talking about this? Obama already said he will not extend Bush tax cuts or sign any new bill that includes that. All he has to do is NOTHING! Congress cannot change that no matter what they do. It’s a done deal.

    So why the fuck are people still talking “should we or shouldn’t we, can we or can’t we blah blah”

    WTF? I’m confused. Are people this dumb, bored, or is there nothing better to talk about?

  20. 20
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    We won’t have to raise taxes if we just make a Benghazi Jar. Every time Republicans say the word “Benghazi”, they gotta throw a quarter in the jar.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    Peter King must be embracing his inner Mittster. A pledge is. only valid so long as you haven’t a) retroactively denied ever having said such a thing or b) are no longer physically in the room with said paper and still wet ink and no lawyers readily to hand or on beyond zebra with the MBA pizazz.

  22. 22
    danimal says:

    The divisions in the GOP are hinted at today, but the real fun will be the day after a deal is passed. Grover and Count Chocula will join the battle and all kinds of fun will ensue. Keep the faith, drive a hard bargain, and wait for the GOP unity to crack under the strain. The GOP is in an impossible position, and the battle-royale is inevitable.

  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    O/T but whoa, how is this going to play out?

    AP–A prosecutor says investigators have ruled out any accidental cause for the Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people, destroyed five homes and damaged dozens more.
    __
    Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told The Associated Press on Tuesday that city arson investigators and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had concluded the Nov. 10 blast wasn’t an accident.
    __
    Officials announced Monday that their probe had shifted to a criminal investigation, but did not explicitly say accidental causes had been ruled out.
    __
    Curry said Tuesday that search warrants have been executed, but that additional search warrants issued by local judges have yet to be served.
    __
    He declined to discuss details of the criminal investigation or the search warrants, saying that releasing information at this point “would jeopardize the ongoing investigation.”

  24. 24
    trollhattan says:

    @blingee:
    Simple things are simple. To wit, the president has said he wants to extend the Bush income tax cuts for those earning less than $250k. You miss that bit?

  25. 25
    Mandalay says:

    Completely OT, but John McCain said this yesterday:

    I don’t like to be overly critical of my own government…I congratulate President Obama on his reelection…The American people have spoken and it’s up to us in the loyal opposition to support the president wherever we can, especially when it comes to national security.”

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy......with_obama

    WTF? Is our President employing the Russian Mafia to help the befuddled senator reconsider his position?

  26. 26
    kindness says:

    Heck with ‘The Pledge’. How can we drown Norquist?

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @trollhattan:

    My first guess would be “meth lab,” but I guess we’ll find out eventually.

  28. 28
    Maude says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:
    12
    That sentence was beautiful.

  29. 29
    danimal says:

    @blingee: 90% Kabuki, 10% Negotiation. 0% Public Input. Lots of speculation by the uninformed about the unknowable, almost completely for posturing/public relations reasons. The players are in the smoke-filled rooms, and no one knows their bottom-line positions.

  30. 30
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Cacti: I.e., to the Constitution. By the way, how many reps do you think have actually read the Constitution? My con law professor, years ago, told us that when he was consulting with Congresscritters and advised them of the questionable constitutionality of a bill, one actually replied “That’s for the courts.” Buddy, your motherfucking oath of office begins “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution” Idiots.

  31. 31
    Maude says:

    @trollhattan:
    Sometimes people’s comprehension goes in and out, like radio waves with a weak transmitter.

  32. 32
    Niques says:

    @trollhattan:

    for those earning less than $250k

    Should read “for the first $250,000 of income”. This is part of our problem.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    You were assuring us a couple of days ago that Republicans have had a sincere and genuine change of heart and will be working with Obama from now on instead of blocking everything he does, so it must be an honest manifestation of that, right?

  34. 34
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    they gotta throw a quarter in the jar.

    That won’t do it. If you meant Quarterly Dividend, that might suffice

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    The baggage currently associated with the term be damned, expect to hear Republicans start to make noises about “legitimate” taxes any day now.

  36. 36
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Only TEN MORE DAYS until EMPEROR-ELECT NORQUIST!!!

  37. 37
    blingee says:

    @trollhattan: ahhh, no shit sherlock. Didn’t think I needed to spell out the obvious.

  38. 38
    👽 Martin says:

    @trollhattan:

    To wit, the president has said he wants to extend the Bush income tax cuts for those earning less than $250k. You miss that bit?

    OTOH, there are quite a few Democrats in Congress saying “Maybe we should let them all expire and then start negotiating.”

  39. 39
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Chris:

    I guess, but doesn’t it take some of the edge off when every last one of those primary candidates ends up losing to the Democrat (O’Donnell, Angle, Akin, Mourdock) or losing to the Republican (Joe Miller, whoever lost to Orrin Hatch)? The Norquist/Tea Party antics have, objectively, cost Republicans control of the Senate over the last two election cycles. Are they really not getting the hint?

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:

    @trollhattan:
    Simple things are simple.

    I assume you are talking about thingee?

    You miss that bit?
    Would that that were then only thing thingee missed. Sadly the list is long and even after being updated for him he insists on missing them. It sure would be nice if one day soon we could all miss him

  41. 41
    fuckwit says:

    Um, keep fucking that chicken.

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Seems possible, although taking out swaths of houses strikes me as a step beyond (am no expert in methology beyond my deep knowledge of “Breaking Bad” and taking some hazardous waste management classes).

    Since they’ve ruled out natural gas, my first thought was RW bomb-making.

  43. 43
    Schlemizel says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    You are assuming their individual concern is for the country or the party – facts not in evidence.

    Should I write a letter to my COngressman?
    Every Congressman has two ends
    A sitting end and a thinking end
    Since his whole success depends upon his seat why bother friend?

  44. 44
    Mandalay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You were assuring us a couple of days ago that Republicans have had a sincere and genuine change of heart

    No, I never said that at all. And I specifically pointed out that the fact that no Republican except Graham was supporting McCain was evidence that the premise of that FP post was bullshit.

    Nice try though.

  45. 45
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mandalay:

    WTF???

    McCain wants to sing: Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Syria and thinks that if he can insinuate himself into the administration’s upcoming FP review he will have a better chance of making that happen (personally I think he’s delusional on that score but what the heck, useful idiots and all that):

    McCain said that he was told the White House is conducting a full post-election reevaluation of America’s Syria policy

    He also couldn’t resist leveling some harsh words at the Obama administration’s Syria policy.

    McCain indicated that his real fight over the next two years on foreign policy will not be with the White House, but with members of his own GOP Senate caucus who want to steer Republican foreign policy toward a more isolationist and non-interventionist stance.

  46. 46
    trollhattan says:

    @👽 Martin:
    True, dat. The “cliff” is probably more of a 40-degree slope and we just don’t know whether the runout is manageable, a boulder field, or a crevasse.

    The cards, Obama haz them.

  47. 47
    catclub says:

    @trollhattan: I thought right away that it was bomb factory that went awry. Did the owners ever show up?

  48. 48
    Chris says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    I think my favorite part of “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” is when he starts reading the Constitution and the entire Congress just groans.

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Are they really not getting the hint?

    Nope.

  49. 49
    Anoniminous says:

    Think the first entitlement to be scragged is Cotton subsidies. Then we can take a hard look at sugar and …

    Oh heck, all this stuff.

    If these people cannot run their business without sucking the govmint teat then screw ’em …

    FREE MARKET, BITCHEZ!!!!

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:

    @catclub:
    Don’t know–I hadn’t seen any followup since the day after (being time zones distant, and all). I hope it’s not a loony nest, as the post-election timing fits the narrative too well for comfort.

  51. 51
    blingee says:

    @👽 Martin: Yes, this is not rocket science.

    I am imagining a political cartoon where you have GOP on one side and Dems on the other playing poker. Dems have 4 of a kind and behind the GOP is a mirror that says “2010” where Dems see they have the same hand and it’s a pair of deuces.

    The captions reads the GOP saying “I’ll see your re-election and raise you all in”

    It’s just so painfully obvious that this will not end well for the GOP no matter what and yet people are still masturbating over the details like it’s still all up in the air or something. Nothing is up in the air other than the timing. That is about the only thing the GOP controls in this equation.

  52. 52
    Gloryb says:

    @The Red Pen: I know, right?

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    @trollhattan: hey, its all good.
    RW bomb makers smoke too much meth and blow themselves up after deciding to avenge the election.

  54. 54
    Platonicspoof says:

    “Every time I’ve watched Republicans try to be clever with Democrats on issues of taxation,” Mr. Gingrich said last week, “Democrats have won.”

    Just heard Grover say the same thing on a C-Span channel, in saying Reagan was taken in by fake trades of cuts for tax increases.

    As in, “we’ve compromised before and we were betrayed, so we shouldn’t compromise again.”

  55. 55

    @Full Metal Wingnut:
    You know, I didn’t think much of him during the election, but I’m prepared to eat crow and admit that nearly two weeks of President Elect Romney have left me feeling optimistic about the future!

  56. 56
    SFAW says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    Yeah, Newt and the reason Bill Clinton pwned your fat, twelve sandwich eating ass was because he is smarter than you will ever hope to be.

    As Krugthulu said, Newt is a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like. You can probably extend that to include “A smart person’s idea of what a lying, vicious, stupid mofo sounds like” but that could be said about most of the Rethug Partei.

  57. 57
    SFAW says:

    It must be due to my poor upbringing, or my general dimness, but when I see someone referred to as a “mucker”, I think of Stand on Zanzibar. Peter King doesn’t quite fit that meaning, but I bet Allen West could.

  58. 58
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Platonicspoof: Wait, St. Reagan made a mistake? Not infallable? Unpossible.

    Our Grover Groove Thang is losing it, not all at once, a little at a time. Delicious.

  59. 59
    negative 1 says:

    I still say no one appreciated having to kiss the ring in public. Every representative and senator fancies themselves a leader, not a follower. They’re going to burn Grover, whether or not they agree with his cause

  60. 60
    feebog says:

    I think the poker analogy is apt. Obama has quads and the Republicans know they have a weak hand. If they decide to play hardball and let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone, Obama is going to be out on the stump telling he entire country that their smaller paychecks are the result of Republican obstinace. At least some of the Bubbas will get it and Republicans will have to capitulate.

  61. 61
    indycat says:

    @trollhattan: looks like this is a dead thread but in case it’s not, on news tonight they’re saying it’s a bit odd that the owner was gone, her daughter was gone, and even the cat was being boarded.

  62. 62

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