Republicans Defying Grover Norquist over Tax Pledge
Are we finally seeing a ray of light for the future of the Republican Party? From the Guardian:
Senator Lindsey Graham has become the second senior Republican in days to publicly disavow a pledge that handcuffs the party to a policy of no tax rises, raising hopes of a deal over the fiscal cliff.
Speaking on ABC’s This Week, the South Carolina politician said that the only pledge members of either party should make would be one to make sure the country did not go the same way, economically, as Greece. Regarding a pledge against tax hikes that has been signed by most Republicans in Congress – having been promulgated by the conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist – Graham said: “I will violate this pledge, long story short, for the good of the country.”
In the aftermath of the GOP’s defeat in the presidential election of 6 November, Norquist is increasingly seeing his influence on the party decline. On Thursday, senator Saxby Chambliss said he would break the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in an attempt to help avert the automatic triggering of $600bn of spending cuts and tax increases, the so-called “fiscal cliff”.
This act of defiance by two prominent Republicans may seem like a small thing, but given they are confronting 30 years of ideological rigidity, Graham and Chambliss should be given a great deal or respect. It’s going to take many more Republicans coming out of the wood work and telling purists like Norquist to disappear, but every movement starts with one act of bravery, and it looks like we could be seeing the start of one.
It is too early to know whether this will have any effect, but if other Republicans start to challenge the insane orthodoxy that taxes cannot be raised under any circumstance, it may seep into the mainstream of their current ideological platform.
And after that? Who knows? They may even start accepting that climate change is real….