Thursday, April 17, 2014

With Grover Norquist, Everything Old Is...Still Old

I recently came across a book written by Grover Norquist, the right’s self-appointed taxpayer watchdog. I was interested because this guy stuck his nose into the Volkswagen-UAW organizing issue in Tennessee.

At the time, I was wondering what business he had inserting himself into the fray in the first place.

I had heard his name many times over the last three or so decades, knew he was all about reducing taxes, and really had, nor have, any problem with that concept per se. But, I couldn’t help but wonder where he got off sticking his nose in an issue that had nothing to do with tax rates, but it might have something to do with this.

More to the point, I did, and still do, wonder why the authorities let him interject himself. Would I get the same entrée if I wanted to have a say in the matter? Would you? Of course not. If someone from the political left had come to Tennessee to try to steer the issue, you would have heard the hew and cry from the right regardless of what part of the country you were in.

Why didn’t anyone, especially the actual duly elected authorities in Tennessee cry foul when this happened? That’s a question that wont get answered at this time, but, it has been noted.

What I’d like to bring to your attention is the book Norquist wrote shortly after the Republicans took the House of Representatives in the 1990’s. The book, “Rock The House”[1] is little more than Grover gloating over the win, and proclaiming that this new order will last until the very end of time, because people, finally, got things right for once:

“The Republicans capture of the House of Representatives is the conclusion of a 40 year struggle by a conservative nation to overthrow a liberal political elite that has used gerrymandering, incumbent protection laws, and taxpayer dollars to stay in power.”
Nevermind that once in power, these pure-hearted patriots did exactly the same things.

When discussing liberals, Norquist has this to say:
“Those who have viewed the tax dollars of the American people as their own bank account, have despised those they would rule, and who have built up myths to obscure and defend their policy failures, have lost.”
Nevermind, again, that these defenders of crony capitalism immediately rigged the tax code in favor of the already wealthy – transferring even more wealth from the middle class to the already well-off – which, if nothing else, demonstrates their disdain if not outright hatred for the poor and struggling.
And if that’s not enough, consider how these same gallant republicans take to name calling when describing the needy as ‘takers’, while the rich aren’t greedy, they’re ‘job creators’.
Perhaps the liberals did think of taxpayer money as their own bank accounts. However, the right has actually made taxpayer dollars their own, through subsidies for already profitable companies and ever lowered individual and corporate tax rates.
Grover continues his love letter:
“Republican control of the purse strings will cut off hundreds of thousands of parasites who would live off the work of others.”
Again with the name-calling.
Seriously, Grover, there simply are not that many Alice Waltons.
He adds a statement that is plain disturbing, forewarning us of how these defenders of American Freedom plan on governing:
“New Republican’s are a new breed of political leaders who view the politics of campaigns and the work of governing as a seamless garment.”
Too bad no one read this book when it came out. It could have saved the people of Wisconsin, among others, a lot of trouble.

Norquist informs his readers “Why The GOP Took Back The House In 1994”, and provides 7 reasons, one of them, Reason #3 – he cites the role of ‘coalitions’. This begs the question: Why, when it’s on the right it’s a ‘coalition’, yet when it’s on the left, they are ‘Special Interests”? the answer is that this is nothing more than tried-and-true semantics in action. Norquist owes Frank Luntz a beer.
But I’ve saved the very best of Norquist’s attempts to persuade for the last.
This is the part I’ve been waiting for.
“The mandatory recycling laws passed so cavalierly…involve enormous expenditures of time and energy by families and individuals”
Grover must be the absolute laziest Son-Of-A-Birch ever. Really? Throwing that empty bottle into the other bin that’s right next to the one for garbage is an ‘enormous energy expenditure’?
We know you’re fat, Grover, but come on!
All-in-all, if you haven’t read this book, you haven’t missed anything, regardless of what your political philosophy is. It's little more than a love letter to the right, and to himself. He could have saved a lot of time, paper, and ink and just fellated the whole crowd.

[1] Rock The House, Grover Norquist, VYTIS Publishing Company, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 1995