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Grover Norquist, Glory Days? Soul of the New Machine. [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-12 01:55 AM
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Grover Norquist, Glory Days? Soul of the New Machine.
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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, and 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 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 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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