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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:05 PM

2004 Grover Norquist, Glory Days? Soul of the New Machine.

In 2004 Mother Jones had an article about Grover Norquist titled The Soul of the New Machine. The article referred back to one by Michael Scherer in the 1990s.

I find myself wondering why and how someone like Michelle Rhee has gained so much power to influence education. Why does media pander to her and never criticize? I have often wondered the same about Grover Norquist. How in the world did he get so many politicians to bow to his no tax pledge. Who was behind their power plays?

I guess the answer in both cases would be money and behind the scenes power brokers. And the lack of a strong opposition hasn't helped. Too much bipartisanship?

From Mother Jones 2004:

Grover Norquist: The Soul of the New Machine

"It's the most powerful, nihilistic movement in Washington today," says Ralph Nader, who recently attended one of Norquist's meetings to give his views on corporate welfare. "It is such a cold-blooded atmosphere it would sustain icicles."

The same spirit that chills Nader warms the heart of Norquist. When he founded his weekly Wednesday meeting in 1993, its numbers rarely brooked a dozen. "It was like a conservative version of Seinfeld," says an attendee of those early meetings, "with people double-dipping into the bagels and cream cheese." But conservatives, with Norquist as one of their pre-eminent strategists, have since overtaken the capital. Once a consigliere to Newt Gingrich, Norquist now has the ear of Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, who has been known to stop in at the Wednesday meetings. In turn, Norquist plays the role of national ward boss, delivering the coalition that has rallied around the president's policy agenda."


Norquist's agenda reeks of rigid libertarianism, even the name of his group.

"Norquist calls it the "Leave-Us-Alone Coalition," a grouping of gun owners, the Christian right, homeschoolers, libertarians, and business leaders that he has almost single-handedly managed to unite. The common vision: an America in which the rich will be taxed at the same rates as the poor, where capital is freed from government constraints, where government services are turned over to the free market, where the minimum wage is repealed, unions are made irrelevant, and law-abiding citizens can pack handguns in every state and town. "My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA-owning guy with a concealed-carry permit," says Norquist. "Because that person doesn't need the goddamn government for anything."


The closing paragraph of the article is like a snapshot of today's America. It's amazing how he succeeded in reaching so many of his goals.

"By the age of 12, he already knew that government was bad, that the Soviet Union must be eliminated, that public monopolies were worse than the private sector, that social freedom was more important than social fairness. He isn't about to change his mind now. "We are deadly serious," he declares. "We do intend to have a smaller and less intrusive government, and every time the government gets smaller there are fewer Democratic precinct workers in the world." It is, he says, a virtuous cycle. "We can create our own majorities. We've been doing that for the last 20 years. And I'm cheerful because my team is winning."


It's a full two pages to read, but it is well worth it to see what can happen in just over a decade or so of Democrats using the philosophy of the centrist think tanks like the DLC and the Third Way.

Bipartisanship with extremists has not worked, and it is a truly dangerous game to play.



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Reply 2004 Grover Norquist, Glory Days? Soul of the New Machine. (Original post)
madfloridian Nov 2012 OP
madfloridian Nov 2012 #1
sandyshoes17 Nov 2012 #2
madfloridian Nov 2012 #3

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:41 PM

1. Ezra Klein says Norquist still winning.

Grover Norquist is winning


Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist. (Cliff Owen Ė AP)

You might think that Grover Norquist would be in hiding right now. Republicans are parading before the cameras, one after the other, to proclaim their intention of breaking his anti-tax pledge. And yet Norquist is everywhere. Heís doing television shows and talking with reporters. Wednesday, he was the headline guest at Politicoís Playbook Breakfast.

Amidst the liberal glee over the demise of Norquistís anti-tax pledge, itís worth being clear about something: Norquist is winning. Big time. Itís this moment, the death of his pledgeís mostly unblemished record, that heís been working toward all these years.

Donít take Norquistís pledge at face value. Itís an absurdity. From a budgetary standpoint, itís an obscenity. And everyone ó Norquist included, because he is very, very smart ó knew it would eventually fall. Itís how it falls that matters. And right now, itís falling exactly according to plan.

...But thatís the point. The severity, even extremism, of the commitment demanded by the pledge has helped entrench a public impression that tax increases are a no-manís land for conservatives. As recently as Reaganís day, it was pretty much a given that cutting the deficit meant, in part, increasing taxes, even for Republicans. Today, Republicans who believe the debt is the greatest threat our nation faces ó the new ďred menace,Ē in the words of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ó get plaudits just for being willing to consider the idea of a tax increase, no matter how small.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:52 PM

2. All these guys are on their way out

IMHO, these guys are all headed for the dust bin. The world changed, it's like a nightmare for them. They were plotting and planning for their takeover, and the floor was pulled out from under them. They are trying to hang on, but they are so out of touch it won't fly. They woke up and trying to go back to sleep, hoping to wake back in their world. It's over and they know it.

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Response to sandyshoes17 (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:53 AM

3. Trouble is they have controlled the messaging for so many years...

that it may be impossible to grab it back again.

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