By Greg Campbell
Founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist has had a couple of hard weeks recently. Aside from being the usual whipping boy for the tax-and-spend leftists in Washington, he has also seen some political distancing by leading members of the GOP. However, as it rapidly becomes clearer and clearer that the Democrats are refusing to take these negotiations seriously, it seems Mr. Norquist’s no-tax pledge may be back in vogue with fair-weather Republicans.
Norquist was on the Victoria Taft show, aired on KPAM 860 out of Portland, OR, on Thursday to discuss the looming fiscal cliff and the negotiations that seem to be going nowhere. As he discussed the issue, he pointed out that Americans have reasons to be hopeful as he predicts a “second wave” of Tea Party enthusiasm.
The interview begins with a discussion of the recent tensions on both sides of the aisle as the fiscal cliff approaches and Democrats are refusing to offer up any serious spending cuts while simultaneously pledging to raise taxes. Norquist cites the lack of transparency as a cause of the stubborn negotiations and seemed undeterred by Republican attempts to undermine his no-tax pledge.
Norquist then began discussing Obama’s willingness to cite his stubborn Marxist position (my word, not Norquist’s) as a function of the “mandate” given to him by the American people. Norquist noted,
“He is overplaying his mandate, just as he did four years ago. Four years ago, he took a 70% support level and drove it down to below 50% in a matter of months by spending all that crazy money on stimulus and TARP II and other spending programs, because somehow he thought the American people had signed up for this. They hadn’t. Now he thinks they’ve signed up for massive tax increases as well as spending increases and, I’ve got news for him, 86% of his ads were Romney’s an idiot, Romney will give you cancer. He won a mandate not to be Romney, OK? Not the same thing as a mandate to tax and spend.”
It’s true. Many Americans may have voted for him, but I don’t ever recall an ad that said, “I’m Barack Obama. Vote for me and I will raise taxes.” Not every thought that pops into the head of an elected official is a mandate from the people simply because they were stupid enough to vote for him. It’s flimsy logic to believe that if the voters elected an official, then they have, by extension, voted in favor of anything that official wants to do.
Norquist then went on,
“We are about to have a Tea Party second wave that will dwarf the first wave and that is because while ‘spend too much’ brought the Tea Party into existence, we’re about to walk into ‘spend too much, regulate too much, and tax too much, all together. It’s going to be a perfect storm of annoying government behavior, which is devastating to the economy, and I think the small business community which is particularly hit by Obama’s tax increases are going to lead the fight bigger, stronger, tougher than the last Tea Party.”
There’s no doubt that the Tea Party Movement has matured. We have gone from protesting outside the Capitol to legislating inside the Capitol. Our movement’s enthusiasm has not slowed down, but has been transformed into a more productive effort. However, as we see the economy getting worse and worse, we welcome more and more patriots to stand up and say, “Enough is enough!” It was an unwillingness by our government to listen to American citizens that created this grassroots movement, and it is the continuation of that same governmental arrogance that will spur on a second act in this movement to transform America. Government has gotten too big and we aim to change that.