Club for Growth, Grover Norquist, The NRA, And The Republican Fig Leaf Industry
Yesterday, as the Republican party was voting for a tax increase for the super-rich, Grover Norquist was widely mocked for a tweet claiming that despite decades of his idiotic pledge, it would be just okay to vote for this tax increase.
It laid bare what people in Washington know about the conservative pressure establishment and its difference from groups on the left. They exist to prop up the Republican party and if that means betraying what is supposed to be their core beliefs, so be it no matter what.
We saw a lot of this during the Bush years and in the Obama years right after, when all these groups were mute on the issues of spending and increasing the size of government, but suddenly got religion when the presidency switched parties.
The NRA does the same thing, when you see them stamp their feet about a President who has actually expanded gun rights (to his detriment, in my opinion) – simply because he’s from the wrong (Democratic) party. Club for Growth, who never saw a tax cut they didn’t wax rhapsodic over, suddenly is okay with the GOP raising taxes in the fiscal cliff fight.
By comparison, progressive groups tend to rant about Democrats who aren’t progressive enough, lamenting (sometimes to their detriment) legislation that doesn’t go far enough to the left despite pracitcality. At the same time, groups like the Sierra Club are willing to back pro-environment Republicans (an endangered species), unions are okay with (the few) pro-union Republicans, and groups like NARAL have been fine with staying out of races if the Republican happens to be pro-choice (this is now down to about one person.)
They are not nearly as much in the business of being Democrats as they are in being progressive. Sure, they tend to have alliances with one party over another thanks to a shared agenda – but they aren’t just puppet arms of the associated party in the way it operates on the right.
Vote for a tax increase? Somehow that’s now okay… if you’re a Republican.