Now comes upon this happy scene of Republicans holding the line on raising taxes and of Democrats talking gibberish about their preposterous 98 percent of Americans all luxuriating in trillion-dollar budgetary overruns, one Grover Norquist. He is a pleasant barbigerous man of sunny disposition given to homespun truths such as "You can either reform government so that it spends less and works better, or you can raise taxes to keep doing all the things we have been doing that haven't worked very well." Conservatives adore him and many independents do too. There are many reasons to adore Grover. He is optimistic, commonsensical, a friend to all Americans who love their freedoms as secured for them in the Constitution. Moreover, he is adamantly opposed to tax increases. He is the author of the tax pledge that, 20 years ago, his organization, Americans for Tax Reform, began asking Capitol Hill politicians to sign. Most Republicans have and by doing so they have distinguished themselves from the Democrats of whom only one has signed the pledge.
Once again -- remember attack dog Joe Biden's assault on him in the vice presidential debate -- Grover is being made out to be a monster, a tyrant forcing congressional Republicans to stand by their pledge not to raise taxes. Actually he has said in his homespun vernacular, "If you want to go to your voters and say I promised you this, and I'm breaking my promise, you can have that conversation," but "You're not having an argument with me. You've made a commitment to your voters." My guess is that most Republicans will stand by their pledge. They know opposition to tax increases is one of the things that makes them Republicans and that in two more years will continue the Republicans' domination of government.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. He is the author of the book "The Death of Liberalism." To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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