Little Grover Norquist and his manipulative masters of all things conservative, the billionaire Koch Brothers, are feeling a tad threatened these days. What with Republican Presidential candidates alienating voters in droves via inane rantings on the evils of contraceptives to the love of lakes, one can hardly blame the Republicans who want to rule The United States in a return of communistic characteristics. One can always tell when they feel threatened this way because they call Little Joey Scarborough to use the popularity of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” as their vehicle. Widely held to be Joe Scarborough’s mix of good ole boy, Republican conservatism juxtaposed by the erudite gravitas of Mika Brzezinski and whatever guests can be booked to plug books, Republican agendas, etc., it is the logical beginning. Joe however, as evidenced daily, feels that he and he alone is the reason behind the show’s success. Scarborough, the two-minute (actually six-year) congressman from the 1st district of Florida (who left office after the unexplained death of one of his intern’s body was discovered in his office) is mercurial in mood and quite often condescending to anyone who dares stray from his own beliefs (see: Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Ezra Klein, Rachel Maddow). Despite Mr. Scarborough’s obsessive preoccupation with himself, and his frequent displays of narcissistic personality disorder, “Morning Joe” is successful primarily due to the perception that the show seeks to provide the audience with a balanced approach to political matters of the day. This assertion however is patently untrue. During Mr. Scarborough’s frequent tantrums, that I guess he assumes his audience doesn’t notice or simply doesn’t care, he is frequently rude, condescending, narcissistic, misogynistic and overbearing. In other words, The ideal Republican. As a regular viewer in daily contact with other MSNBC regular viewers via http://blog.livenewschat.tv/rockinroosters/, I can honestly tell you Mr. Scarborough, we do care and we think you are a major asshat. Mr. Scarborough’s boorish and disrespectful treatment of his co-host is hardly a singular disgusting characteristic. He routinely dismisses any of his guest’s opinions, regardless of their superior knowledge, expertise or experience, if they do not agree with his own uber-conservative view of politics. The reason for my “anti-Joe” rant today is primarily due to a recent particularly egregious display of egomania from Mr. Scarborough. During the live show of March 5, 2012, Mr. Scarborough, had his usual line-up of Republican, ultra-conservative list of guests. Eric Cantor lead the way, with his customary mix involving a slime-factor on par with the Psychomagnotheric Slime from the movie Ghostbusters,and the integrity of Richard Nixon. And while it is certainly understandable that Mr. Scarborough would feel such a way given his penchant for self-importance and the probability that Mr. Norquist has his hand squarely up Mr. Scarborough’s ass as well, it is certainly in direct contrast to the stated wishes of the revered “Founding Fathers” that Libertarians would have you believe that only they truly grok. What Mr. Scarborough is too stupid or too scared to admit is that Mr. Norquist is mad with power and everyone EXCEPT apparently Mr. Scarborough understands this as a fact. Then : Mr. Norquist. After Mr. Cantor made us all feel in need of a shower, Mr. Norquist appeared and, for his part, offered no surprises and certainly no truth during his segment. Despite repeated attempts from Steve Rattner, (Chairman of Willett Advisors LLC, the investment arm for New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s personal and philanthropic assets, who is also a contributing writer to The New York Times Op Ed page, and a monthly columnist for the Financial Times) to question Mr. Norquist and his radical views, Little Grover, as usual, deflected, ignored, or obviated each attempt with his typical vile spew. Now Mr. Norquist’s power stems from an insidious means of controlling the Republicans’ mantra of never raising taxes on the rich and wealthy in the U.S. (the distinction between rich and wealthy is that the rich work for the wealthy, and the wealthy do not work at all). As a lobbyist and primo back-room deal maker- extortionist, Mr. Norquist has no equal. He threatens any Republican who runs for Congress with contested campaigns if they won’t sign his “no-Tax Pledge“, which apparently supersedes the Pledge of Allegiance to America, and their oath to defend the Constitution. The pledge, which was originated by President Ronald Reagan, states that the Republican will never raise taxes of any kind on the American taxpayer. Ironic because President Reagan raised taxes 11 times. Although it was largely a symbolic gesture for many years, Mr. Norquist and his backers, billionaire brothers Koch, decided to use the pledge as a weapon of coercion and bribery. Regardless of necessity, logic or advisability, should a Republican who has signed the pledge vote to raise taxes in any way, or refuse to sign the pledge, Mr. Norquist’s / Koch-brother-funded powerful lobby group, Americans for Tax Reform, will run a Republican challenger to the offender in the next election cycle. This provides the blackmail impetus of forcing the offender to deplete campaign contributions and weakening the offender’s ability to fight of a Democratic challenger….quite a big stick. As stated before, he has bullied and coerced nearly every Republicans in Congress to swear they’ll never raise taxes, and he says he’s ready to enforce it. If that pledge plunges the federal budget and world’s economy into ruin, then so be it. What Little Grover wants, Little Grover gets. From the Super-Committee to the Republican Convention Little Grover Rules all Here’s how. Last summer, Mr. Norquist wielded his big stick into bringing about the Super Committee’s failure to do its job and present a modicum of necessary debt reductions threatens to kick yet another support out from under the global house of cards to which we laughingly refer as the premier form of political systems–democracy. The magic number that supposedly solves all of our immediate budgetary problems is $4 trillion in revenues, program cuts, or both — a magic number the Republican members of the Super Committee were never going to even attempt. Republicans insist the nation’s lowest tax rates in 50 years are too high. Democrats refuse to preside over what amounts to national suicide. Of course anyone that truly wants to solve the economic problems of the U.S. need look no further than this website; see: http://hg.scimth.net/2012/01/07/europe-america-one-penny-solution/ Now, despite the fumbled attempts of one after another of the Republican candidates for President to gain any traction, Mr. Norquist once again trots out his lies and threats against democracy starting with the Morning Joe program, espousing that the “Sky-is-falling” should the Bush-era Tax cuts be allowed to expire as originally intended under President Bush and agreed to by those who enacted it. But what about the national interest? Pfffft. Who cares? What the Republicans are really saying of course is that they’re afraid of Little Grover and what he calls raising taxes. Not because Little Grover won’t have a fit if they defy him. He will. But Republicans cannot solve this crisis — and come out of it looking like heroes — just by keeping their word and letting the so-called “temporary” Bush tax cuts expire because they fear Little Grover and his mighty propaganda machine. I assure you, I strongly believe in tax reform. But Grover Norquist’s misleadingly-named Americans for Tax Reform has absolutely nothing to do with tax reform. Norquist, president and founder of ATR, is famous for the polarizing ‘tax reform’ pledge that he badgers politicians into signing — under penalty of designating them anti-tax reform. The current version of this pledge states that signers will:
- ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and
- TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.
Norquist even emphasizes that the pledge has no exceptions for war, natural disaster, or other misfortunes. For example, a signer of the Norquist Pledge isn’t permitted to vote to increase tax rates on America’s 1% — even if such changes would be revenue neutral, and/or are desperately needed for a national emergency, much less unimportant things like starving American children. Our current marginal tax rates reflect random political compromises, so why they should be set in stone for the coming decades is beyond me. At last count, 238 Members of the House of Representatives and 41 Senators committed to the Norquist Pledge. Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have also signed the pledge — which is binding for a politician’s entire term in office. The Norquist Pledge has nothing to do with tax reform as understood by most American taxpayers. For example, the majority of Americans favor increasing , not reducing, the marginal tax rates of the top 1%. Adding insult to injury, Mr. Norquist’s ATR, (Americans for Tax Reform), a tax-exempt institution, pays no taxes on its annual revenues of about $5 million per year. Mr. Norquist’s real goal (explained in his other writings) is to substantially shrink the size of government so tht his backers, the billionaire Koch brothers, can dictate public policy. Democrats can hammer them on the fact that Republicans broke their word, have little honor, and chose disaster over upsetting Little Grover. But in all likelihood they won’t. By simply allowing the “temporary” Bush tax cuts to expire in 2012, this in itself would produce, more or less, a $4 trillion reduction in the national debt, but Little Grover’s definition of raising taxes is preventing the Republicans from honoring their word. Master Norquist, you see, says that allowing said cuts to expire as promised is raising taxes, and he stands ready and willing to demolish any Republican who says or does otherwise. Of course facts have no place in today’s politics of the Republican Party, so it’s a very small step to say that Master Nordquist and his friends at Koch Industries are deliberately destroying the Republican Party because they see no reason to be men of honor themselves. If every Democrat running for office use simply use these lines as their mantras, they would bring to bear powerful weapons that could knock back the right-wing for a generation:
- Your kids are hungry because Republicans broke their word
- Republican’s “honor” meant nothing to them when they enacted the Bush tax cuts and certainly mean nothing to them now
- Republicans are afraid of Little Grover
The bonus: If the Democrats use these three little absolutes, the logic stands a fair chance of breaking Little Grover’s stranglehold on a Republican Party that used to be considered the very guardians of fiscal prudence. Then, the GOP could blame him for the result and defeat this scourge on the U.S. once and for all. All it would take is a little fortitude — testicular or otherwise. But fear not. If Little Grover feels he doesn’t have enough of the cards in the deck stacked in his favor, he can always call up his buddy, Little Joey Scarborough to do some on-the-air bullying for him. Harvey Gold