North by Norquist

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There's no question that Republicans today are a unified party.  Or more accurately, a uniform party. They walk in lockstep. They have  identical talking-points.  Their political discourse is boilerplate, cookie-cutter free market private enterprise conservatism. Their ideal Republican is Ronald Reagan.  And their guiding light, the North Star in their firmament, is Grover Norquist.

Grover Norquist is  perhaps most famous for prescribing a definitive litmus test for authentic Republicans: The Taxpayers Protection Pledge.  "The Pledge" is a  solemn promise never to raise taxes, especially on  the 'job creators' or most affluent.  So formidable a force is Norquist in the modern GOP that few if any Republicans in Congress fail to sign "The Pledge".   60 Minutes  says Norquist "writes the dogma of the GOP".  Senator Harry Reid thinks his counterparts across the aisle are Norquist puppets.  Norquist  is without a doubt the eminence grise of the Right-Wing.  And  he is  the principal reason why the Super Committee failed and why there is a federal budget deficit in the first place.  Norquist was the chief architect of the Bush tax cuts.

In 2004 not too long after the Bush tax cuts were passed into law, Garrison Keillor took a look into the future:  "The people who call themselves conservatives stand for tax cuts, and further tax cuts, annual tax cuts, the only policy they know. Cut taxes. Use the refund to buy a gun and an attack dog to take with you when you drive your all-terrain vehicle through the barricades of Republicanville to make a foray into enemy territory to purchase supplies. They are leading this great land toward a Lost New World where Social Security and Medicare will be dim memories and America will be a series of malls connected by interstates, and people will live in walled compounds with moats, like in the Middle Ages."

If that alarming dystopia ever materializes, we'll have the likes of Grover Norquist to thank.

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