Monday, November 28, 2011

Norquist's legacy ... under a bus

George W. Bush must be liking Grover Norquist more each day that goes by.

Hopefully, readers are now wondering how anyone in their right mind could find Norquist increasingly more likeable. Even those who agree wholeheartedly with Norquist’s strategy to starve the federal government into utter dysfunction might wonder about how any lobbyist could be easier to like ... each day?

OK, here’s my premise: Former presidents are always keen on polishing their legacy’s surface. But plenty of disgruntled Republicans have been mad at the most recent President Bush for some time. They say he was a bogus conservative and he did much to damage the so-called Big Tent coalition of conservatives that Ronald Reagan erected with his presidency in the 1980s.

The most unhappy of them have hurled more blame toward Bush for that transgression than any other Republican.

Now comes Norquist, with his notorious Pledge, which has most elected Republicans bound to Norquist’s self-serving whims and proclamations about revenue streams. Republican office holders fear the wrath of Norquist like nothing else. Without ever having to run for public office, by virtue of his file cabinet full of signed pledges, he has become the most important player on the GOP side of the aisle.

So, when either former-Speaker Newt Gingrich or former-Gov. Mitt Romney loses to President Barack Obama, and Democrats do surprisingly well -- coast-to-coast -- in next year’s elections, who will get the blame? What Republican will be blamed most for inciting the third party challenge from the right that will siphon off key conservative voters in swing states?

Of course, the loser at the top of the ticket will be denounced roundly, as was Sen. John McCain in 2008. With control of the House of Representatives returning to the Democrats, Speaker John Boehner will be in trouble.

But it says here that when the pundits start examining the Democratic landslide, asking what could have brought it on -- with so many still out of work -- the truth will emerge: One man did more to crash Reagan‘s Big Tent than anyone else. One rather unattractive person, who wielded his power so foolishly that history will brand him a crackpot, will emerge as the guy who destroyed a 30-year-old coalition and scattered it like leaves in the wind.

My prediction is that Grover Norquist will be named the culprit. He will be called a Judas goat. He will be likened to a sadistic inquisitor during the Spanish Inquisition. Eventually, a DC Transit bus will run over him, twice to make sure, and not a single Republican will attend his funeral.

No doubt, Bush has a nickname for Norquist. I bet it’s a doozey.

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