Tuesday, April 22, 2014

If Peter Pan and Ayn Rand Had A Child...

According to 60 minutes, Norquist got the idea to “Brand the Republican Party as the party that will never raise your taxes” when he was 12 years old and volunteering for the Nixon campaign.

“If the parties would brand themselves the way Coke and Pepsi and other products do…”

Strange in and of itself. There’s nothing wrong with it, just damn odd. How many 12 year-olds think that way?

In the piece, 60 minutes goes on to say:
“Many Republican congressmen fear retaliation from Norquist if they even suggest that a tax increase for the wealthiest of Americans should be up for discussion…”
Emphasis mine.

This really is no secret, that the opposition to tax increases applies only to the wealthy and not to Joe six-pack, and is demonstrated clearly in Norquist’s silence about taxpayer funding for a new sports facility for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball Corporation.

Norquist is most known for his ‘Pledge” that he forces republicans to sign, promising that they will never vote for a bill that raises taxes. In fact, it’s not enough to sign the pledge once, as Mitt Romney learned. And woe be to any who refuse to sign, as defeating them will become Norquist’s new mission.

Former Senator Alan Simpson, Co-Chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, considers Norquist to be “megalomaniac, an ego maniac". Simpson is what is referred to as an ‘adult’ and understands that in the real world, compromises need to be made and that stomp-your-feet-and-hold-your-breath-till-you-turn-blue demands are not how responsible adults operate.

Norquist wouldn’t know much about that, never having a position of real responsibility. Unless, you consider writing speeches and making threats real responsibility.

According to www.nndb.com, Norquist equates taxing rich people with the holocaust. To paraphrase, Norquist says that it’s not right or okay to do something to a group of people just because you’re not doing that thing to everyone.

Yet, this philosophy doesn’t extend to the non-wealthy. Grover, genius that he is, can’t seem to grasp that when he fights for and wins tax breaks for the already wealthy, a greater tax burden falls in those less able to pay them.

In an article in Mother Jones, Ralph Nader says Norquist’s quest is:
“the most powerful, nihilistic movement in Washington…It is such a cold-blooded atmosphere it would sustain icicles.”
And it shows. Willing, if not eager, to strip the needy and elderly of any semblance of a social net, all so that the wealthy prosper further.

The article adds:
Norquist calls it[1] the “Leave-Us-Alone Coalition,” a grouping of gun owners, the Christian right, homeschoolers, libertarians, and business leaders that he has almost single-handedly managed to unite. The common vision: an America in which the rich will be taxed at the same rates as the poor, where capital is freed from government constraints, where government services are turned over to the free market, where the minimum wage is repealed, unions are made irrelevant, and law-abiding citizens can pack handguns in every state and town. "My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA-owning guy with a concealed-carry permit,” says Norquist. “Because that person doesn't need the goddamn government for anything.”
This is the Tea Party agenda, word for word. Or, it would be if the Tea Party had a standard platform. It doesn’t because there is no one Tea party. That may be by design, because then you can’t target them. It becomes political Whack-A-Mole.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Mr. Norquist is that he knows how to win. The vision for America that he adopted back when he was 12 years old is coming true – pick up any paper, visit any news website, and it’s all there.

Norquist wants the country to return to the status quo of yesteryear – the ‘gilded age’ minus the economic prosperity (because economic power leads to political power) for common folks, the era of the Robber Baron. The only cure for this dystopian Randian vision is to use the same tools that progressives used 100 years ago: educate, organize, and vote.

[1] The ‘Wednesday morning group’.