The more I think about it the more angry I become. No, I’m not talking about the stupid and unnecessary wrangling over the debt ceiling that has always been a matter of routine until just now when we have a Black President (apparently so bad and untrustworthy the number one priority of Republicans is to get rid of him at any cost, even if it means wrecking the economy).
What makes me so angry is the Norquist Pledge, an absolutely ridiculous document he has managed to blackmail so many of our Congresspersons to sign, the pledge that promises not to raise taxes no matter what. This is an idea so absurd it should never have been taken seriously by anyone. Obviously in a large industrialized society with over 300 million people you cannot have a viable nation without taxes, and the notion that taxes must stay the same over time is not only naïve, it is downright stupid. Grover Norquist was apparently put up to this by Saint Ronnie the Boneheaded. It is an idea that has merit only if your ultimate goal is to destroy government (that, in fact, seems to be what Norquist and his pals have in mind). Think of it, this pledge is rather like signing a promise to never bail out your boat, no matter what, or never call the Fire Department even if your house is on fire, or some other such idiotic promise. Interestingly, it goes far beyond just denying government the funds necessary to operate properly, it also acts as a kind of combination intelligence and aptitude test. That is, if you sign it, it is an automatic admission that you do not think for yourself, or think at all for that matter. Thus once you have proven to not be an independent thinker, or even a thoughtful person, Norquist will allow you be admitted to enter the hallowed halls of Congress. If you refuse to sign (very few have as far as I know) they (Norquist and his pals) will run a candidate against you and you may well be defeated. It operates very much like an old-fashioned protection racket.
Grover Norquist should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail for what he has done to our country with this completely unnecessary and quasi-criminal practice. He should at least be punished for taking advantage of the mentally handicapped (as in my opinion those who agreed to sign his pledge must be). I find it virtually unbelievable that someone aspiring to become a Congressperson would sign a promise to not actually govern when it comes to the question of taxes, but that is what a majority of our Congresspersons did. And the fact that they did offers some insight into why it is our government, seemingly in the hands of the mentally incompetent, has become so dysfunctional. We are in big trouble. Grover Norquist must at least share in the blame. Chalk up another to the Gipper, Saint Ronnie the Boneheaded, who apparently lost his ability to think once he met Nancy. Oh, well, water under the bridge and all that.
This is not to say that Norquist’s influence is not having its effect on the negotiations over the debt. Obviously it is, the Republicans who signed on to this inflexible and stubborn position seem to be holding fast to their pledge and, as there is still no agreement, are attempting to blackmail Obama and the Democrats into agreeing to no increase in revenues whatsoever. That is, they are protecting the wealthiest of people and the wealthiest of corporations, who could easily contribute a bit more to the recovery, at the expense of the poor, the elderly, the handicapped, and those who need help the most. This is, in my opinion, immoral, un-American, and, quite frankly, disgusting. The idea that the filthy rich and the overly profitable are going to “trickle down” their wealth and thereby create jobs has already proven to be a failure. Making record profits with what they have is not going to motivate them to create jobs, not when they can ship those jobs overseas where labor is cheaper or simply use more technology to produce more with less labor. With taxes at historic lows and the country in a recession to not expect more from the wealthy and the corporations is quite plain and simply absurd. If Obama and the Democrats agree to spending cuts and no revenue we will know we have all been “thrown under the bus.”