Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Makes Grover Norquist Tick

The éminence grise of American politics is Grover Norquist. If you want to understand his obsessions and his politics, this bit from a 2004 article in Mother Jones magazine is a good starting point:
As early as the sixth grade, Norquist, now 47, remembers arguing with classmates over the Vietnam War. "Suzy somebody thought Nixon was a fascist and [Alger] Hiss was a good guy," he says. Thanks to a fire sale at his local public library in Weston, Massachusetts, he picked up several books by J. Edgar Hoover and Whittaker Chambers on the communist threat. At 12, he was volunteering for Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. After church, his father would buy him and his three younger siblings ice-cream cones and then steal bites, announcing with each chomp, "Oops, income tax. Oops, sales tax."
And this:
With Bush in the White House and Republican leaders in charge of both houses of Congress, Norquist's dream of a withered, tax-starved federal government should be closer than ever to coming true. But so far, the Bush presidency has brought mixed results. Rollbacks in labor laws, environmental regulations, and social programs have cheered Norquist's corporate and conservative supporters, as have tax cuts that could top $1 trillion in the next 10 years.
Yes, you can thank Grover Norquist for the mad tax cut after tax cut by Bush and the consequent big federal debt which Republicans have suddenly discovered and want to pin on Obama.

He is a busy man with many projects:
Closer to home, Norquist has been working to purge the corporate-lobbying community of Democratic supporters, a plan he calls the K Street Project.
He is the face of the "winning team" in Washington:
By the age of 12, he already knew that government was bad, that the Soviet Union must be eliminated, that public monopolies were worse than the private sector, that social freedom was more important than social fairness. He isn't about to change his mind now. "We are deadly serious," he declares. "We do intend to have a smaller and less intrusive government, and every time the government gets smaller there are fewer Democratic precinct workers in the world." It is, he says, a virtuous cycle. "We can create our own majorities. We've been doing that for the last 20 years. And I'm cheerful because my team is winning."
Yes, he is the stepfather of the Tea Party with all their outrageous fanaticism including "who cares if we destroy the credit rating of America!"

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