On this Sunday’s “Meet the Press”, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will be on the air along with Grover Norquist,the fat cat lobbying boss that the Republican party answers to. Norquist has also been dubbed the 13th member of the super committee by crtics and blamed for its failure. Sunday morning’s “Meet the Press” broadcast can be a great opportunity for the Senator from New York to call out Norquist and expose how deep Norquist’s corrupt influence runs in the Republican Party.
Senator Schumer gave his thoughts on the status of the super committee earlier this month when he appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and said, “I don’t think the super committee is going to succeed because our Republican colleagues have said ‘no net revenues.’ … [Democrats] are willing to move to the middle, but they are not willing to do any revenues.”
I expect that Senator Schumer will highlight Norquist’s reckless grip on the GOP. He will point out, among other things, that even when John Boehner agreed to $800M in new taxes as part of the “Grand Bargain”, the deal fell through because the Republican caucus revolted against ANY tax increase. Why? Grover Norquist persuaded 238 House Republicans (out of 242), and 41 (out of the 47) Republican senators sign an un-American pledge that they will never raise taxes.
Even if allowing the “temporary” Bush tax cuts to expire in 2012 would produce, more or less, $4 trillion in revenue – who cares right? Even if that pledge recklessly plunged the federal budget and world’s economy into another recession or a depression, the Republicans feared that Norquist, who holds no elected office but is one of the most powerful figures in Washington, would ensure their defeat in the next election.
John Kerry, a member of the Super Committee, during an appearance on “Meet The Press” this past Sunday, summed it up when he said: “…And then I hear about this pledge, a pledge to a lobbyist that gets in the way of our living up to that sacrifice and doing what’s right for our country.” Kerry is right. There should never be any such direct involvement or influence by anyone civilian in the business of Congress.
Any politician that would allow himself or herself to be put into a position where a signed pledge could be waved in front of their voters – as evidence of hypocrisy – after they were forced to break a pledge due to the country’s changing economic circumstances, is not fit to serve the American people. By swearing to never raise taxes, the Republicans have in effect used fiscal reckless behavior as cover to make deep cuts social programs and safety nets that are the lifeblood of the poor and middle class and to further lower taxes on their benefactors.
Hopefully, Schumer will do a thorough job of exposing Norquist for what he is – the single most ruthless influential conservative activist in the country with an iron-grip over the GOP. In the meantime, the American people need to wake up to the fact that they have no choice but to vote all these reckless pledge-taking Republicans out in 2012. This writer doesn’t blame Norquist as much as he blames the men and women who signed away their souls.