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View Diary: GOP Rep. Chris Gibson: My pledge to Grover Norquist is moot because my district number changed (79 comments)

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  •  This is very funny... (3+ / 0-)

    but seriously, the pledge has effect only to the extent it is used as an enforcement tool by leaders within the Republican Party; if enough people defect, the pledge loses this power.  When John Boehner says Grover Norquist is some random guy, I take him at his word.  Boehner, not Norquist, has the power to enforce a hard anti-tax position among House Republicans.  Norquist can threaten to primary violators of the pledge, but beyond getting people to sign the pledge and getting things named after Ronald Reagan, there is very little evidence that Norquist himself has any power to wield.  I know Norquist has this fantasy that G.H.W. Bush didn't get re-elected because he raised taxes, but the economy was still in the sh*tter in 1992 and (just like nearly every year) taxes weren't a leading concern among the electorate.  ATR has joined with tea partiers in backing some recent insurgents, like Joe Mourdock (!).  If you want to hang your hat on that, go for it.  But I'm at a loss when it comes to thinking of any incumbents Norquist has played a leading role in taking down.  Once people start to repudiate the pledge en masse, we're in uncharted territory.

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