We continue our little series on how the Republican Party is "coming to grips" with the results of November 6 by conducting a lovely internecine battle amongst themselves to emerge as the party leadership. Not that any of their nostrums for fixing what ails them are anything short of delusional, but since they still haven't figured out why they lost the election, why should we expect them to figure out what to do next?
In any case below the fold we continue the saga with a glance at one of the biggest losers so far, Grover Norquist.
When Grover Norquist started his secret slush fund known as Americans for Tax Reform in 1985, it probably never occurred to him that in less than 30 years he would be looking at a Republican Party that was falling all over itself trying to figure out which taxes should be raised. After all, his organization received the papal imprimatur from none other than the sainted Ronald Reagan, whose legacy as a great opponent of tax increases is celebrated by Norquist in the most unabashedly sycophantic way. Never mind that Reagan's 1983 payroll tax increase has probably resulted in more money being pulled out of everyone's pocket in the last 30 years than any tax hike enacted by tax-and-spend Democratic presidents. But anyway....
Before November 6, virtually every member of the Republican caucus in both the House and the Senate were signatories of Norquist's "no tax" pledge but it only took a couple of weeks for some of them to start to cave, particularly when the leadership announced that increasing government revenues (what happened to the 'smaller government' mantra?) could be accomplished through closing loopholes, even though Norquist has for years stated that closing a loophole is just raising taxes through the back door.
But what's he going to do? The House leadership - Boehner and Cantor - have already backed away from the Norquist position, as have high-profile senators like Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss. So what did Norquist do yesterday? He backed off from his own pledge.
So maybe a bit of reality has set in? Don't bet on it because here's his delusional conclusion:
It’s a real problem for him [Obama]. He doesn’t have the mandate he thinks he does. So I think he takes us over the cliff because he’s got blinders on. He doesn’t see where he stands in the universe.Obama doesn't have a mandate. Remember Karl Rove's comment after 2008 that even though Obama won in a landslide the country was still center-right? Now we have the 2012 brand of Republican kool-aid: He doesn't have a mandate. Perfect, just perfect.