Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Norquist Is Raving In the Bunker

There is something truly unhinged and desperate and pathetic in Grover Norquist’s recent interview in the National Journal. This is especially so, when he is handwaving about a Republican White House and Senate and House extending the ruinous Bush tax cuts for the rich for five years more and implementing Paul Ryan’s couponification of Medicare and so on in a dreamy screamy hundred-day inversion demolishing FDR’s New Deal and rewriting America in the image of Somalia and Galt’s Gulch over the objections or possibly the dead bodies of two hundred million Americans who want no such thing.

I mean, at least Karl Rove was sitting on a toypile of apparent accomplishments when he talked this way, and had a plan to re-orient the GOP to appeal to palpably changing demographics when he bragged about a permanent Republican majority and all the rest, and yet even with something to back it up you could clearly hear the Chorus upstage portentiously muttering, “famous last words.” But hearing Norquist singing the same surreal arias amidst the Occupied ruins of market fundamentalism in a wholesomely browning secularizing planetizing American multiculture with an enormously likeable and well-liked Democratic President struggling against high odds and ugly obstruction for people who work for a living, Norquist's words seem more than just hubristic or hollow but honestly hysterical.

When his interviewer gently prompts how Norquist would respond instead to a world in which Obama remains in the White House and Democrats gain in the House and remain a force in the Senate, the level of lunacy with which he responds seems to me quite instructive:
Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach. The last year, he’s gone into this huddle where he does everything by executive order. He’s made no effort to work with Congress.
You know, nobody in their right mind is falling for the line that Obama has made no effort to work with Congress, everybody knows the Teabag Congress wants nothing but to Shut It All Down (except for the parts that police lady parts) and that McConnell’s “first priority” is not governing but bringing down Obama. And, Impeachment is it? Oh, my dear! Again, nobody, nobody, nobody in their right mind is buying the threat that Obama could be impeached -- of all things! -- for letting tax cuts expire on schedule. Remember that pesky bit about High Crimes and Misdemeanors all ye tricorn hat wearing Constitutionalists? Not everybody would agree with my own spin on the specifics of the political scene, by any means, but nobody this side of sanity would credit Norquist's fantastic pronouncements.

The simple reality is that whatever his limitations, Obama and the Democrats simply outmaneuvered Boehner and the rest of the dumb-dumb GOP last year, over and over again despite their wave-election numbers and crazytown energy, so that at this point he really can do literally nothing while counting on Congress continuing doing nothing and just let tax rates return to a semblance of sanity and Defense budgets get slashed in the direction of sanity all the while demagoguing the GOP refusal to carve out an exception for middle class tax-rates (making him the tax-cutter even as taxes rise precisely as he wants them to do) and touting his various splashy bloody military accomplishments (making him strong on Defense even as he cuts the Defense budget and shifts the emphasis to “soft power” and multilateral diplomacy).

The truth is that Obama and the Democrats have too many of the facts on their side and far more talent on their side and are simply incomparably better attuned to the spirit of the country as it is, rather than as a few whiny white guys and old bigots want it to be, than racist dimwits like Jan Brewer or Mr. One-Percent, Mitt Romney.

More painful still, the truth also is that Norquist already got what he wanted, he already got what he has fought for all his life: he already built his daydream Congress, and it is America’s nightmare, with every poll to prove it in spades. Movement Republicanism was consummated in the Gingrich Contract Hit on America and W’s Killer Clown administration and 2012 (whatever a handful of bigoted assholes in South Carolina say) is turning with a decisive shudder of revulsion from the legacies of both. Obama is almost certain to regain the White House, and even if Democrats were to lose the Senate and Republicans keep the House, it is clear that neither result looks to be a GOP triumph, and the Democratic presence in both chambers will certainly remain substantial, while prospects for regaining the House and retaining the Senate are far from impossible, even though the odds look steep on paper and the necessary result remains an achievable hard-won triumph given the national mood and demographic trends. Either way, Norquist’s anti-civilizational anti-tax pledge is about to die on the altar of realpolitik, at least as an unchallengeable axiom of GOP politics (and once that dam cracks there follows the flood), his vision has been falsified and repudiated.

Just another mean broken flim-flam McCarthy or Nixon or Gingrich of the debased Republican Right is Grover in his corner. And you can be sure, Norquist can already taste the punchline he is about to become and which will be the lousy legacy of his whole life, and you can see the darting-eyed desperation, you can hear the shaky bluster in his voice, you can smell the horror on his breath

1 comment:

jollyspaniard said...

He's a salesman and the first rule of sales is to believe in the bullshit you're selling. He's got to tell his donors something after all.