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Grover Norquist -- just a random person in America

Grover Norquist
Who knew that House Speaker John A. Boehner was also a standup comedian?

Asked [Thursday] whether he thought [anti-tax activist Grover] Norquist, who keeps nearly all Republicans to a pledge never to raise taxes, was a good influence on the party, Boehner didn't acknowledge that Norquist had any influence.

"It's not often I'm asked about some random person in America and what I think," Boehner told reporters.

Ha ha ha ha ha. Thank you. Thank you. Just hand over your $1 bills to the Easter Bunny! But seriously, folks, you've been a great audience.

Now, you may love Norquist.  Or you may despise him.

Either way, he's most certainly not "some random person in America."

Need proof? Check out this Times story:

The GOP's anti-tax stance got a hefty boost Thursday as 33 Senate Republicans -- including three members of the bipartisan "Gang of Six" -- warned the congressional “super committee” against raising new tax revenue to meet its $1.5-trillion deficit reduction goal.

Most Republicans in the House and Senate have signed an anti-tax pledge with conservative activist Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, and have been reluctant to break the promise in advance of an election year.

That would be "random person" Grover Norquist.  Now, I'm a random person too, but I don't recall the last time a bunch of senators did what I wanted.

But wait, there's more!

Republicans maintained their unified front [Thursday] against President Obama's jobs package, blocking $60 billion in funding for roads and other infrastructure projects.

And why did all Senate Republicans vote no?  Because to pay for the package, Democrats want to raise taxes on the nation's wealthiest citizens.  And the old "random person in America" strikes again. 

The Times' editorial board also weighed in Friday on Norquist, likening him to the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy.  (For those younger readers, that's not a compliment.)

The editorial concludes: "How much more damage does he have to do before more leaders stand up for decency?"

But that's a naïve question.  This isn't about decency. 

Today’s Republican Party is bought and paid for by America's monied elite. Its elected officials aren't about to bite the hand that feeds them.  The GOP cares nothing for middle-income Americans -- and even less for lower-income folks.

Want to argue?  The party's likely nominee, Mitt Romney, on Thursday spelled out some ideas to get America's fiscal house in order. From The Times’ story:

Romney said if elected he would reduce federal spending to 20% of the nation’s gross domestic product -– a target he said amounted to a cut of $500 billion.

He offered just a few examples of how he would achieve that goal. Among them: repealing [President] Obama’s healthcare plan.

Nice.  Let's not raise taxes on people in this country worth millions.  Let's make people who can't afford it go without healthcare.

And you thought George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" was an oxymoron.

No, decency left the Republican building several years ago.  It followed a number of Pied Pipers and was drowned.

And if you're not rich, you can go jump in that same river.  It's all the same to Grover Norquist -- and the GOP.

RELATED:

Republicans vote to subpoena White House in Solyndra case

Democrats file amicus brief challenging Defense of Marriage Act

Bowles, Simpson urge 'super committee' to pursue grand bargain

GOP offering to super committee calls for deep cuts, no new taxes

--Paul Whitefield

Photo: Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, on Capitol Hill. Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo / European PressPhoto Agency

 

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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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