Another Republican shows his true colors

Norm Stansfield

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Mar 17, 2009
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#1
This time, we didn't actually have to read his lips, because he signed a document about not raising taxes.

A top Republican senator is casting aside an anti-tax pledge he signed, saying that solving the country’s looming fiscal crisis is more important than honoring the decades-old pact.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., broke ranks with other conservatives Wednesday when he made the remarks to a local television station. Chambliss is a member of the Gang of Six, a bipartisan group of senators tasked with finding a solution to the country's fiscal woes.

"I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge," he told WMAZ-TV. "If we do it his way then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that."
I think what the country needs is some honest politicians, who won't defraud the people they represent less than a month after the elections.

Any other profession, and ignoring a signed agreement would at least earn you a lawsuit. If it can be proven that you never meant to live up to that agreement in the first place, and only signed it to get people to vote you into office (which I bet any prosecutor could easily convince a Georgia jury of right about now), you'd be loving your country from jail.
 

JoeyDVDZ

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#2
I would have to agree with you. Any politician who makes promises to get into office should be held accountable for making good on those promises. Wanna bet you'd see a lot less power mongers trying to get into office if that rule went into effect?
 

mascan42

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#3
I would have to agree with you. Any politician who makes promises to get into office should be held accountable for making good on those promises. Wanna bet you'd see a lot less power mongers trying to get into office if that rule went into effect?
OTOH, who would vote for the guy who says "Well, I'll try my best, but it might not be possible"? Signing pledges and promising impossible things are what motivates the voters.
 

JoeyDVDZ

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#4
OTOH, who would vote for the guy who says "Well, I'll try my best, but it might not be possible"? Signing pledges and promising impossible things are what motivates the voters.
You're right of course. People claim to want the truth, then don't vote the guy in who tells it.
 

Norm Stansfield

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#5
OTOH, who would vote for the guy who says "Well, I'll try my best, but it might not be possible"? Signing pledges and promising impossible things are what motivates the voters.
Really, that's what you took away from this? That politicians should just stop making promises?

What exactly is the "impossible thing" about someone promising to not raise taxes?
 

Norm Stansfield

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#6
You're right of course. People claim to want the truth, then don't vote the guy in who tells it.
What is this truth? That taxes have to be raised, no matter what? That's not the truth, that's the main lie the Washington establishment is built on.
 

Norm Stansfield

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#7
OTOH, who would vote for the guy who says "Well, I'll try my best, but it might not be possible"?
If he said it when talking about taxes? Democrats. That's pretty much the official Democratic Party platform: we'll try to not raise taxes, but sometimes it's necessary.

That of course is still a lie (because raising taxes isn't "necessary", except to further their own power), but it's not fraud. At least they aren't openly promising something they have no intention of delivering on, like establishment Republicans are. They're keeping it vague enough (kinda like "this toothpaste is preferred by most American dentists *according to a study performed by our marketing department, on a sample of three dentists who work for us") to not qualify as fraud.

At least, with Democrats, there would still be room for someone who honestly believes in economic freedom to run against them. But when someone is openly fraudulent, and the justice system and the media (the two institutions who's job it should be to expose fraud) are ignoring it, that's a problem. It makes it almost impossible to distinguish between someone who's telling the truth and someone who's lying (although, in the case of establishment Republicans, I think everyone should be able to see through it by now)
 
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JoeyDVDZ

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#8
What is this truth? That taxes have to be raised, no matter what? That's not the truth, that's the main lie the Washington establishment is built on.
I never specifically said anything about taxes. I'm talking more generally, the way every politican who ever ran for any office in the past 30 years at least, tends to sugar coat everything, and promise to fix everything. They never say it's going to take sacrifice, because most people don't want to give up their comfy world in favor of fixing things long term.
 

Hudson

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#12
Ummm since we don't have a link....I have to believe he signed that pledge 20 years ago. There's not enough info there.
 

KRSOne

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#13
I think what the country needs is some honest politicians, who won't defraud the people they represent less than a month after the elections.
Everyone says that but no one votes for the honest guys. They vote for the guy who says what they want to hear even if he/she has a track record of doing the opposite.
 

Party Rooster

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#14

Norm Stansfield

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#15
I copy pasted it from the NYPost website. I wanted to add the link, I guess I forgot.
 

Lord Zero

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#17
Raising taxes is only going to make the economy worse. High taxes decrease the amount of disposable income the populous has to put into the private sector and drives more people below the poverty line (which reduces the the amount of people that pay taxes) and forces more people into accepting government assistance (which increases the amount of people who take tax money). Drastically cutting taxes and government spending is the ONLY way to go. Anything else is bullshit meant to pacify the populous.
 

Party Rooster

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#18
It's a 20 year old pact!!...things were greatly different 20 years ago than today.
I think that might be just when he signed it. Good ol' Grover has been recruiting new members even recently.

Saw this referenced on another site last week, would have posted it but it's Salon, so TIFW...

Is it game over for Grover Norquist?

The anti-tax activist's grip on power, even in the GOP, has never been weaker -- just as he faces a critical test

By Alex Seitz-Wald
Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012 11:20 AM PST

Two meetings in Washington today tell the story of the decline of Grover Norquist, the conservative activist who is seeing his near-iron grip on GOP tax policy over the past two decades slipping. One is Norquist’s weekly “Wednesday Meeting,” a gathering of “more than 150 elected officials, political activists, and movement leaders” who plot strategy and coordinate messaging every week. After big losses at the polls in last week’s election and a fracturing conservative base just as Congress heads into its most important tax negotiations in years, it’s safe to assume that this morning’s meeting was tense.

There was a time when almost every single elected Republican in Washington and even state capitals would sign Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, which binds elected officials to a promise not to raise taxes under any circumstance. As recently as last year’s negotiations over the debt ceiling, Norquist had fealty from a majority in the House of Representatives, including Speaker John Boehner and the entire GOP leadership. “60 Minutes’” Steve Kroft labeled Norquist “the most powerful man in Washington.” Those who violate his pledge could long expect to face attack ads aimed at unseating them, bankrolled by Norquist’s massive war chest. Americans for Tax Reform spent almost $16 million on independent expenditure ads in 2012. Crossing the group has always increased the likelihood of a primary challenge.

But times are changing. Today’s second interesting meeting is taking place a few blocks away from Norquist’s downtown D.C. headquarters, at the White House, where President Obama is meeting with a dozen CEOs of the country’s biggest corporations. How did Norquist react to news of Obama reaching out to the business community, which he aims to represent in Washington? Not positively. Norquist told the Washington Post the CEOs were “acting like a group of trained seals” for Obama, posing for a “photo op” to give the president cover.

You’d think Norquist would be happy that Obama is giving an audience to the titans of the private sector, but no. That’s because the meeting, which gives the president a chance to win some business support for his agenda without any input from Norquist, represents a threat to his personal power. Is his petulant reaction — he invoked the term “poopy head” on national TV on Monday — a sign that he’s losing his once awesome power over the nation’s capital? Maybe.

Norquist faces an unprecedented rear-guard attack as the congressional GOP fractures on the tax issue. Last year, there were 238 members of the House and 41 members of the Senate who had signed Norquist’s pledge. This year, there are just 217 in the House — one shy from the 218 needed for a majority — and 39 in the Senate, an all-time low. As the Hill’s Russell Berman reports, while Norquist claims his army is 219 strong in the House, two of those members have since disavowed Norquist’s pledge.

Democrats are hoping to exploit GOP divisions to push for tax increases on the wealthy during the lame duck session of Congress. “More and more people on the hill are realizing that Norquist is a has-been, and the outcome of the fiscal cliff will probably consign him to the footnote status he’s always deserved,” a senior Democratic aide told Salon.

The true scale of the desertion from Norquist’s pledge is actually obscured by GOP losses in the House. At least a dozen of the House Republicans’ top recruits, touted as “Young Guns,” declined to sign the pledge this year. Norquist’s group spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads explicitly defending candidates like California Republican Ricky Gill and Georgia Republican Lee Anderson against flak they were taking for signing the pledge. Both lost.

And back in Washington, where signing the pledge was once de rigueur, Republicans have been increasingly bold in rebuking Norquist. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn has long been a sharp critic of the pledge’s inflexibility — “Grover, you’re stupid,” is just a sample — but now he’s being joined by a growing roster of colleagues. “Grover Norquist has no credibility, so I don’t respond to him. He doesn’t deserve being responded to,” said Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss. “Simply put, I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with and has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream,” said longtime Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf on the House floor.

Several members have even retreated from the pledge, such as Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack, who was elected in 2010 and had one of the nation’s highest profile races this year. “I have learned, never sign a damn pledge,” he said this spring when asked about Norquist’s pledge. Cravaack still lost. Indeed, the pledge came up in a number of races and there’s some evidence that it proved to be a political liability.

And it’s not just in rhetoric. Norquist faced one of the biggest legislative tests of his power when a subsidy for ethanol production came up for renewal last year. He staunchly opposed it, saying eliminating the tax subsidy would be a de facto tax increase and thus a violation of the pledge. Republicans joined Democrats to kill the subsidy anyway.

Norquist has also been rebuked on looming military cuts that will automatically take effect at the end of the year if Congress and the president fail to reach a budget deal. Republican hawks like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have said they’re willing to raise taxes to preserve Pentagon funding. Asked about how this would conflict with the pledge this summer, Graham shrugged and said, “I’ve crossed the Rubicon on that.” Today, even Sen. John McCain said at the Washington Ideas Forum that “fewer and fewer people are signing this [Norquist] pledge.” He said this “somewhat triumphantly,” the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein noted.

Even former President George H.W. Bush and his son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an early 2016 favorite for the GOP nomination, have disowned Norquist publicly. “The rigidity of those pledges is something I don’t like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s — who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?” the senior Bush told Parade magazine in July. “The pledge was presented to me three times. I never signed the pledge,” the younger Bush testified to Congress in June. “I don’t believe you outsource your principles and convictions to people.”

Of course, the tide has been turning against Norquist for some time, and his demise has been predicted before. But this crisis moment in Washington looks a lot like a breaking point for the anti-tax agenda. Speaker Boehner has already indicated willingness to increase revenues and the consensus among Washington power brokers is that taxes on the wealthy will go up one way or the other, even if rates stay the same. Indeed, President Obama has vowed to veto anything that doesn’t. And the problem with a hard-line pledge like Norquist’s is that it intentionally leaves no room for flexibility. So once the dam cracks, it can break wide open.
http://www.salon.com/2012/11/14/is_it_game_over_for_grover_norquist/
 

OccupyWackbag

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#19
I shall smash your skull like a clam on my tummy!
 

peewee

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#21
I laugh every time this pledge bites someone in the ass. It's really funny to me how the Republican party has let a lobbyist take the whole party hostage. Just another reason why I no longer vote Republican.
 

Norm Stansfield

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#22
It's a 20 year old pact!!...things were greatly different 20 years ago than today.
The last time he ran on an absolute, iron-clad "No tax-hikes" platform was in 2008, not 20 years ago.

No one is saying that you have to stick with everything you sign up to until you die. But, if you do change your mind, you should let the electorate know before the elections, not after. The problems start when you take the benefits of a deal, but then you refuse to deliver your end of the bargain.

Instead, he took the votes and the political support. For instance, he was perfectly happy to accept the support of several anti-tax advocacy groups, including Americans for Tax Reform (Norquist's group), which in 2008 gave him a rating of 100% on tax issues.

That would've been Chambliss' golden opportunity to opt out of the pact he signed. Again: not 20 years ago, but during his last reelection campaign. Or, just as good, he could wait another two years before he starts voting for higher taxes. That would be perfectly acceptable. In light of these recent comments, those of us not interested in having a tax and spend guy representing us would know to vote for someone else in two years, and would have no complaints against him if he won anyway and chose to raise taxes.
 

OccupyWackbag

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#23
All I gotta say is enjoy the extra 4 to 8 thousand dollars a year a lot of you guys are going to be paying the government for now on. I'm sure they will use that money wisely.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#24
I laugh every time this pledge bites someone in the ass. It's really funny to me how the Republican party has let a lobbyist take the whole party hostage. Just another reason why I no longer vote Republican.
I laugh every time a liberal demonizes Grover Norquist for having the audacity to deny them their free shit.
 

peewee

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#25
I laugh every time a liberal demonizes Grover Norquist for having the audacity to deny them their free shit.
Yeah I know blah blah blah free shit, took you long enough. I don't demonize him, but I would never vote for someone who signs his pledge. Any time you make up your mind based on ideology and not the facts your a fool.