The closing days of the 112th Congress, known as the lame duck, will see a historic debate called Fiscal Cliffhanger. Budget cuts vs. higher tax rates are at the heart of this battle royale between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
However, behind the scenes, a nonelected GOP politician will play an important role. His name is Grover Norquist. For decades, he was the antitax advocate and “field marshal” for the Republican Party. He manipulated most GOP congressionals into signing his “no new tax” pledge. If anyone violated the pledge, Grover had enough clout to see that member of Congress defeated in his or her primary bid for re-election.
Mr. Norquist is best known for saying, “My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) responded to his remark by commenting, “I hope he slips in there with it!”
Since the Republican Party was unable to elect Mitt Romney president, there are signs that, for the good of our country, some GOP members of Congress will reject their pledge to Norquist. Are Grover’s days numbered? Only time will tell.