Grover Norquist is the most tenacious anti-tax warrior in the conservative movement. No lobbyist whips Republican elected officials into line as effectively. Privately, both Republicans and Democrats admit that his Taxpayer Protection Pledge is the single biggest obstacle to effective governing in Washington.
But as frustration over congressional gridlock gives way to panic over fiscal armageddon in January, more and more Republicans are publicly breaking ranks with the anti-tax movement and publicly disavowing their pledge never to raise a cent of new revenue. At the same time, Norquist can boast accurately that despite deadly politics, and dangerous legislative brinksmanship, Republicans haven’t yielded — and thus 2011 passed with zero dollars in new tax revenue paired with trillions of dollars of cuts to federal programs.
Several days ago, multiple Democratic sources alerted me and other reporters to an event House Republicans — conservatives and tax bill writers — had planned for Thursday in the Longworth House Office Building with the man himself. He was invited to answer questions about the pledge nearly every member of the conference had signed. If the pledge is as straightforward as Grover insists, his visit suggests some Republicans are seeking flexibility ahead of the rough fight awaiting them at the end of the year.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment