“We will make it so that a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.”

Grover Norquist
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Grover Norquist demands that every GOP senator or congressman take the Norquist Pledge, which in essence sums up to “no new taxes.”

Some have questioned the validity of the pledge since there appears to be no opting out of the pledge without dire consequences to the politician’s career.

Lezgetreal sums it up nicely:

Furthermore, these pledges are not signed completely freely. It is made clear, either implicitly or explicitly that failure to sign and pledge and uphold it will result in the entire nation-wide power and influence of Norquist’s group or the other groups who present these pledges being used to deny the official re-election to his/her office.

Grover Norquist uses threats and intimidation to force our elected officials and candidates for office to vow to obey him, not uphold the Constitution and not do what the tens of thousands of people they serve want him/her to do. So, who is breaking the law – Norquist by setting himself up as an extra-government entity with the power to dictate government policy or the elected officials and candidates who pledge allegiance to him over allegiance to their constituents and Constitutions?

The Washington Post

How Grover Norquist hypnotized the GOP 

By Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass)

At our 25th college reunion in 2003, Grover Norquist — the brain and able spokesman for the radical right — and I, along with other classmates who had been in public or political life, participated in a lively panel discussion about politics. During his presentation, Norquist explained why he believed that there would be a permanent Republican majority in America.

One person interrupted, as I recall, and said, “C’mon, Grover, surely one day a Democrat will win the White House.”


It is now clear that the Republican strategy is to drive America to the brink of fiscal ruin and then argue that the only way out is to cut spending for the powerless. Taxes — a dirty word thanks to Norquist’s “no new taxes” gimmick — are made to seem beyond the pale, even as the burden of paying for our society shifts disproportionately to the middle class and working poor. It is the height of fiscal folly. It is also not who we are as a country.

For nearly a decade, our federal government paid for two wars and a costly prescription drug benefit with borrowed money. Our government paid for the Bush tax cuts with borrowed money. Now, after exhausting the budget surplus left by the Clinton administration, the only spending Republicans are willing to discuss cutting is spending that helps the poor and vulnerable — meaning anything that does not touch the interests of large corporations and the very rich. Last December, Republican hard-liners held hostage benefits for people out of work in exchange for an agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts for those who make a million dollars or more a year. Last month, many of the same lawmakers rallied to protect special tax benefits for oil companies that have made record profits on high gas prices.

Meanwhile, some mom-and-pop stores and college students pay more in taxes than some of our largest corporations. Still, taxes are sin to the hard-liners, though they have difficulty demonstrating a correlation over the past decade between tax cuts and economic growth.

Continue reading here…           

H/T:  Balloon Juice

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West Wing Week 06/23/11 or “The Receding Tide”

The White House

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

This week, President Obama addressed the nation on his plan to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, delivering on a promise he made to the American people in December of 2009. 

He also traveled to Fort Drum in New York to meet with soldiers and their families, welcomed young elected officials to the White House, and talked to mayors from across the country about job creation and economic growth.

Find out more about the topics covered in this edition of West Wing Week:

Friday, June 17th:

Saturday, June 18th:

Sunday, June 19th:

Wednesday, June 22nd:

Thursday, June 23rd:

Thanks for checking out your West Wing Week.