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VIDEO- Alan Simpson on "Grover-Babe" Norquist: "He will be irrelevant. This guy is a zealot. He knows the game is up."


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Andrea Mitchell interviewed former Senator Alan Simpson today, who had a thing or two to say about a thing or two about Tax Cut Dictator Grover Norquist's increasing irrelevance, or as I like to call it, shrinkage.


Do you have any impure thoughts about Grover Norquist?

Alan Simpson:

Plenty. But you know, here's a good guy with a very bad idea and he was gathering up those signatures back in the '80s and the early '90s when inflation was zip, when unemployment was zip, and anybody who would sign anything before they come to Congress and hear the debate and participate in it hopefully and get in to the floor, management and the amending process and the conference committee, those people I mean why would you do that? It's like selling your soul!

Now Grover, I said, would be irrelevant in two years, and I say that-- he's got about another year and a half to go-- he will be irrelevant. This guy is a zealot. A zealot is one who, having forgotten his purpose, redoubles his efforts, and he sees the crumbling of the great house of cards.

It's like Jarvis out in California back in the late '70s. He's left schools destitute, he's left institutions destitute. You can't come in and play this kind of a game when everything has changed in America, and this time everything has changed because it's all coming to pass on December 31st, and Grover-babe is losing a person a day and he knows it. So what does he use to cover that? Cutesies. Little smart Alecs. I know that. I don't know who else does that. I have done that.

He is becoming irrelevant. And you can see it in his eyes. He knows the game is up. Because good people of good faith have decided that instead of being Republicans, or Democrats, they're Americans. And instead of being beholden to Grover Norquist and the AARP, they're beholden to the United States of America. Those guys are going to take their lumps.

Here's the entire segment:

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Grover not quite over


In previous posts, it was reported that “Grover Norquist’s majority in Congress is all but gone.”  Yes, there is hope that poopy head Grover is experiencing shrinkage and his supporters are dropping like flies as fewer Congress members have signed his pledge against any tax increases whatsoever. A House Democratic leadership aide said, “As far as [Norquist’s] ability to sway votes, it’s gone. So I don’t think he’s a concern.”

The L.A. Times’ Doyle McManus wrote that Grovie is now “losing his grip,” and that “an increasing number of prominent Republicans are dismissing Norquist as a pest.”

However, we can't count him out quite yet, unfortunately. As BuzzFeed notes, too many Republicans still agree with him, even those who have spoken out, like Lindsey Graham: “I will not raise tax rates… but Grover is wrong… I will violate the pledge.” That lovely "I will violate" moment still included the dreaded, "I will not raise tax rates."

BuzzFeed goes on to say that those who break the pledge will still face the threat of primary challengers in future elections. And there's this from The Economist:

The vast bulk of Republicans in the incoming Congress will still be signatories of the pledge. But dissent is growing [...]

By any standard other than the absurdly high one he has set himself, though, Mr. Norquist continues to dominate Washington's tax debate. Almost all revenue-raising proposals hinge on eliminating deductions, rather than raising marginal rates. If Mr Obama does succeed in raising the income-tax rate for the richest, it will have taken him two elections and all manner of fiscal face-offs and crises to get his way--and success is still far from assured. Even scrapping an economically nonsensical subsidy for ethanol, it seems, is still a highly controversial move. Grover is not over yet.

There will be all kinds of ways Republicans can wiggle out of their wiggling out on Norquist. And let's keep in mind, when they claim they may bend on "revenue," they also mean that, in exchange, want cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. That's their notion of a "compromise."

And Grovie predicts that President Obama will "blink." We'll see.


VIDEO- Lindsey Graham: "I will not raise tax rates... but Grover is wrong... I will violate the pledge." Former Bushie: "Increase taxes on wealthy."


We don't always agree with Mediaite, but they do give good video:

Lindsey Graham on ABC’s This Week:

“I’m willing to generate revenue. It’s fair to ask my party to put revenue on the table. We’re below historic averages. I will not raise tax rates to do it. I will cap deductions. ... But to do this, I just don’t want to promise the spending cuts. I want entitlement reforms... What I’m looking for is more revenue for entitlement reform before the end of the year.”

"Republicans should put revenue on the table. We’re this far in debt. We don’t generate enough revenue. Capping deductions will help generate revenue. Raising tax rates will hurt job creation.”

“So I agree with Grover, we shouldn’t raise rates, but I think Grover is wrong when it comes to we can’t cap deductions and buy down debt. What do you do with the money? I want to buy down debt and cut rates to create jobs, but I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform.”

Think Progress counters with some, you know, facts:

Graham’s insistence on entitlement reforms ignores that Democrats have already made significant changes to Medicare (as part of the Affordable Care Act) and have proposed reforms to Social Security, even though the program is not in need of an immediate fix. And his claims that raising tax rates will kill jobs is tenuous, if oft-used. Reports from the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Budget Office, both non-partisan agencies, have shown that allowing the expiration of the high-income Bush tax cuts would have little impact on economic growth.

As for Grovie, “an increasing number of prominent Republicans are dismissing Norquist as a pest.” His majority in Congress is all but gone, and GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss brushed off Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge.

So the good news is that Grover's fading fast. The bad news? The tone deaf GOP is still hoping to pull revenue miracles out of their elephantine hineys without allowing the Bush tax cuts, which were designed to expire, to expire.


Matthew Dowd, a former Bush administration official, hasn't been shy about disagreeing with his own party. Here he goes again. And will someone please give Peggy Noonan sincerity lessons? Her condescension is positively gag-worthy.


"If there's some way you could substitute truth serum into the water in the Capitol... they all know... revenue has to be raised, and the only way to raise real revenue is to increase the tax rate on the wealthy. It's the only way. Cuts have to be done, including defense cuts... defense can be cut without hurting our security... And they also know Grover Norquist is an impediment to good governing. The only good thing about Grover Norquist is that he's named after a character from Sesame Street. And that's I hope the last we can hear of it..."

One more thing: The word "entitlements" has been given such a negative connotation by the GOP that it's time we replace it with "earned benefits." That's what they are, earned. We may be entitled to them, but Republicans have turned that word on its head, as they've done with so many others.


GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss brushes off Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge


It's becoming clearer than ever that “an increasing number of prominent Republicans are dismissing Grover Norquist as a pest.” His majority in Congress is all but gone, but he's still out there insisting that any member of Congress who dares to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire or even support “any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates” would face threats to their election prospects. So anything that increases federal revenue is verboten.

But when a Republican as prominent as Saxby Chambliss gives "poopy head" Grovie the talk-to-the-hand treatment, ears perk up:

(CNN) – "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge," Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Georgia television station WMAZ, a CNN affiliate, on Wednesday. "If we do it his way, then we'll continue in debt and I just have a disagreement with him about that." [...]

"Norquist has no plan to pay this debt down," said Chambliss, who is up for re-election in 2014.

Chambliss assumes that Norquist will fight his re-election efforts, but says he cares "more about my country... than I do Grover Norquist" and is "willing to do the right thing and let the political consequences take care of themselves."

If this is a trend, it's a good one, because it means Grover Norquist is finally...


Grover Norquist the has-been: "An increasing number of prominent Republicans are dismissing Norquist as a pest."


As I posted in “Grover Norquist’s majority in Congress is all but gone," finally, poopy head Grover Norquist is experiencing shrinkage and his supporters are dropping like flies; his coveted majority in Congress has dwindled, fewer Congress members have signed his pledge against any tax increases whatsoever, and a House Democratic leadership aide said, “As far as [Norquist’s] ability to sway votes, it’s gone. So I don’t think he’s a concern.”

Per the L.A. Times, Election Day exit polls appeared to show a majority of voters on supported Obama's position on taxes. But naturally, Norquist is in denial, responding with a big, "Wrong."

Hey Grovie? Wrong.

His entire raison d'être and path to the inane power that he's had came from his threats to expose to their constituents any Congress member who supported any kind of tax increase, and the voters would then cast their ballots for someone else.

But as the L.A. Times' Doyle McManus put it, Grover Norquist is now "losing his grip."

McManus takes it from there in his op-ed:

Before this month's election, Norquist counted 238 members of the House of Representatives as signers of his pledge, a majority of the total of 435. But no more than 212 members of next year's House consider themselves bound by the pledge — fewer than a majority. [...]

Even more striking, an increasing number of prominent Republicans are dismissing Norquist as a pest. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has referred to him as "some random person." Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says Norquist's power has been "broken." And in the unkindest cut for any Washington idea-monger, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) dismissed Norquist as inconsequential. "It doesn't matter what he says," Coburn told MSNBC in July.

Again, Grover poo-pooed all of that, saying that none of those lawmakers "are considered thought leaders on economic issues." That must have gone over well.

That's not a good sign. Describing senators from your own party as dim bulbs isn't normally how lobbyists win friends and influence people. [...]

Republicans are talking freely about other measures to increase revenue, including proposals to limit tax deductions and exclusions.

But Norquist's pledge explicitly rules out "any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." So anything that increases federal revenue is a no-no.

Stubborn sonofagun, isn't he?

Say good-night, Grovie. "Good-night, Grovie."


"Grover Norquist’s majority in Congress is all but gone."


How humiliating for him. Finally, poopy head Grover Norquist is experiencing shrinkage and his supporters are dropping like flies. In fact, his coveted majority in Congress has dwindled to something so shrunken, it could fit into a thimble.

The Hill:

Fewer incoming members of the House and Senate have signed the pledge against tax increases run by Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, in a reflection not only of the seats that Democrats gained but of the success they’ve enjoyed in vilifying Norquist.

About a dozen newly elected House Republicans refused to sign the anti-tax pledge during their campaigns, and another handful of returning Republicans have disavowed their allegiance to the written commitment.

With Democrats picking up seven or eight seats, that means the pledge guides fewer than the 218 members needed for a majority. In the Senate, where Republicans lost two seats, just 39 members of the chamber are pledge-signers, according to the group’s records. That is a drop from 238 members of the House and 41 senators  who committed to the pledge at the start of the 112th Congress.

Of course, this could affect the so-called "fiscal cliff"-- which is, in reality, more like a "fiscal curb"-- negotiations, since allowing the Bush/Obama tax cuts to expire violates Grovie's Big Pledge.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has compared Norquist to a “puppeteer” and dubbed the House majority “the Grover Norquist Congress.”

Not for long, Harry.

Now some Congress members are saying that the pledge "tied their hands." Wow, aren't they quick, especially considering that Norquist is not pledge-worthy since he is not an elected official, the American flag, nor the U.S. Constitution. He's just some conservative extremist schlub with a lot of nerve and a big mouth.

Maybe those Republicans who still feel some compulsion to be loyal to him should take a good look at the election results and start listening to the message voters sent about the need to raise taxes on wealthy Americans. They agreed with the president, not some has-been bearded pipsqueak.

A House Democratic leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, was more hopeful. “As far as [Norquist’s] ability to sway votes, it’s gone,” the aide said. “So I don’t think he’s a concern.”

He never should have been "a concern" in the first place.

And there's this: Grover Norquist Abruptly Changes Position On Carbon Tax After Facing Criticism From Koch-Backed Group


VIDEO: Grover Norquist: Pres. Obama "was elected on the basis that Mitt Romney was a poopy head."


1. Has this nitwit learned nothing from Election 2012? Rhetorical. He hasn't "changed his attitude one bit."

2. And yes, on CBS, on national TV, Mr. Mature said Obama won the election because he called Mitt Romney “a poopy head.”

Grover Norquist:

"The president was committed, uh, elected on the basis that he was not Romney and Romney was a poopy head and you should vote against Romney and he won by two points. But he didn't make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending, he kind of sounded like the opposite."

Norah O'Donnell:

"Well, I'm not sure that's what the president called Mitt Romney, Grover. That's not the debate that was had ... He said very clearly throughout the debate that the wealthiest Americans should pay more, and he won eight of the nine battleground states, um, and Republicans failed to reclaim the White House or the Senate."

Think Progress:

24 Republican Senate incumbents and candidates signed Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and lost. ... 55 Republican House incumbents or candidates who signed Norquist’s pledge also lost.

Psst! Grovie! Grow up.