A Republican Surfaces for a Final Breath
by David Atkins
This is interesting:
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) launched a verbal assault on an unconventional target Tuesday, taking aim at Grover Norquist and his highly influential tax policy group, Americans for Tax Reform.
In a speech from the House floor, Wolf accused Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform of complicating the deficit-cutting process with their efforts to encourage Republican politicians to sign onto a "no new taxes" pledge, which has recently stretched far past the issue of personal taxes.
"Everything must be on the table, and I believe how the pledge is interpreted and enforced by Mr. Norquist is a roadblock to realistically reforming our tax code," Wolf said, after first clarifying that he didn't "support raising taxes on the American people."
"Have we really reached the point where one person's demand for ideological purity is paralyzing Congress to the point that even a discussion of tax reform is viewed as breaking a no-tax pledge?"
I applaud Congressman Wolf's courage, and look forward to seeing which Tea Party challenger will defeat him in a primary battle next year.
The fact is that for Congressman Wolf and anyone else in the GOP with even an ounce of sense, the time to speak up against Norquist and his brigade was years if not decades ago. It's too late now. He who lives by riling people up into anti-tax hysteria will die by it, too.
The same phenomenon is taking place as casual observers nervously fret over the embarrassing spectacle that is the the GOP Presidential debates. Republicans have managed to muscle their way into power in this country by carefully nurturing a poisonous, nonsensical and unrealistic view of the world among somewhere between 30% and 40% of the American public. Like a foolish comic book or B-movie villain, they thought they could keep that monster in check to use for their own ends. In reality, that monster now controls their destiny.
Fox News is no longer the propaganda arm for the GOP. The GOP is the legislative arm of the conservative media empire. Grover Norquist is no longer a useful vote-getter for the GOP. The GOP is a useful policy-making tool for Grover Norquist and his allies.
Congressman Frank Wolf is about to find out who really runs things in Republican land, and it's not John Boehner or anyone in official GOP leadership.