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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Grover Norquist - Holding a Scimitar over the Heads of 208 Capitol Hill Legislators


What do you think of someone who says that the goal of his organization is to shrink government to the size where it can be drowned in a bathtub? Someone who wants to, in effect, do away with government in that manner sounds like an anarchist to me!  

At the beginning of the last century, anarchists were pictured in cartoons as bearded individuals attempting to throw bombs aimed at our government and its institutions.  Well, today’s anarchist, if we can believe what he says, is Grover Norquist who heads up Americans for Tax Reform, which serves as the bomb in his hand.  

This organization which in a less democratic nation than ours would be considered subversive because of its leader’s aim to “drown our government in a bathtub” asks candidates for State or Federal office to solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases so long as they are in office.  They ask them to put this pledge before their constituents in writing. 

The remarkable thing about this pledge is that it has been signed by 34 sitting United States Senators and 174 Members of the House of Representatives!  These elected officials have apparently allied themselves with Norquist in order to guarantee that they get the votes of those Americans who strongly oppose tax increases.  Without having signed Norquist’s “Pledge,” what they say would have little meaning for these single-minded voters.  More significantly, if an elected official who signs the pledge should decide to use their brain and come to a conclusion that some kind of tax increase, or the removal of a loophole which would have the same effect, is absolutely necessary, he is subject to having his signed Pledge thrown in his face and being called a liar.  Signees have thereby given up the right to think for themselves and not necessarily do what is best for their constituents.  They have turned over their power to someone dedicated to “drowning our government in a bathtub.”

Needless to say, almost all of the Pledge’s signees are Republicans.  Of the few Democrats who have signed the Pledge, some such as former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter have been formally listed and castigated on the ATR web site whenever they have been caught violating it. 

Therefore, individuals should be extremely careful before casting a ballot for any Republican candidate at any level who has signed onto the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge.  

As the voting pattern of most of the 208 mostly Republican Senators and Representatives who have signed it indicates, they have chosen to live up to Norquist’s pledge in order to get re-elected, which means they have put the radical and questionable agenda of the Americans for Tax Reform ahead of the welfare of their constituents and of the Nation.

Digging out from where Americans for Tax Reform get its financial support is difficult, but internet searches have found that it gets money from many very conservative sources, including the Scaife family and many companies in the tobacco industry. From this it would appear that the desire to avoid tax increases on the wealthy and on corporations is the reason for much of Norquist’s support.  It may go beyond that, however, and that is troubling! The following list of ATR supporters was secured from www.sourcewatch.org.  Those interested in researching this further can use that web site as a point of departure.
It is interesting to note that during the Bush administration, and prior to it, Norquist ran meetings in his office every Wednesday afternoon. There, various conservative groups such as the NRA and others interested in limiting government would get together and coordinate their efforts to get their message to the public and the media. It is reported that the Bush administration was represented at these weekly conservative strategy sessions. 

Oddly enough, there is a hazy link between Norquist and radical Islamist Jihad organizations, of which some conservatives who support him are not aware.  Back in 1998, it is reported that Norquist established the Islamic Institute with seed money from an individual who is currently serving a 23 year Federal sentence for terrorism related activities.  That group appears to have been, during the Bush years, a principal vehicle for the Islamists’ aims to gain influence into Adminstration, Republican and conservative circles. 

To follow this line of thinking further, start with www.thinkprogress.org and http://americanpatriotscommission.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/cpac-islam-norquist/, an interesting blog, as well.  Searches on Google.com keying in on the words “Norquist” and “Islam” may open your eyes to dangers far beyond tax reform.  This taken together with a philosophy which wants to “drown our government in a bathtub” suggests something that is in actuality far more dangerous than an anarchist with a bomb in his hand.  Do we want a man like Grover Norquist holding over the heads of 208 elected officials on Capitol Hill a signed pledge to follow his “no tax increase” agenda?  I don’t. 

(Some of the internet sources mentioned in this posting are from groups which do not claim to be non-partisan and may have an agenda of their own.  Therefore, try to separate what they report as “facts” from their often undocumented and opinionated interpretation of them.)
Jack Lippman

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