Norquist’s Brash Managerie: Pledge-Breakers Beware the `Sugar Plums’

Grover Norquist, never at a loss for words, is employing an increasingly purple collection of them to lash erstwhile Republican allies mulling abandonment of the anti-tax pledge which he’s used for years to thwart federal tax increases.

In recent days, Norquist has wandered from The Nutcracker ballet to a crime scene investigation, to a Catholic schoolboy in the confessional, to a GOP lawmaker’s matrimonial vows — all in search of the right denunciatory images for the growing number of Republicans who say they’d consider raising taxes.

Those who would entertain a tax hikes have “sugar plum fairies dancing in their head,” Norquist, who is president of Americans for Tax Reform, told the Huffington Post Wednesday.

Backing a tax increase means Republicans would  “have their fingerprints on the murder weapon,” he said at a Politico breakfast on Wednesday.

Those talking about renouncing the anti-tax pledge are beset by “impure thoughts”, Norquist told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Monday.

In the same interview, Norquist said the idea that Democrats will agree to a fiscal-cliff forestalling package with enough entitlement cuts to offset a tax increase is like imagining “a pink unicorn.” He was talking about that unicorn on National Public Radio, too.

Also on Monday, Norquist took a swipe at Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, who said he’d consider repudiating the pledge he signed more than a decade ago because circumstances have changed.

“I hope his wife understands the commitments last a little longer than two years or something,” Norquist told CNN’s Piers Morgan.

Norquist is a “lowlife,” and his wife will “knock (Norquist’s) head off,” King subsequently fired back in Politico, proving, perhaps, that Norquist does not yet have the market on over-top-commentary cornered.

Norquist’s colorful defense of the pledge should not surprise anyone.

The vow itself is a yawner, but the animating statement underlying it is anything but.

“I don’t want to abolish government,” Norquist said on NPR in 2001. “I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

If enough Republicans stray from their vows and taxes are raised, it may be because lapsed pledgers agree with another recent much-publicized observation by Norquist, originally meant to apply to Mitt Romney.

They may decide, however, that it’s Norquist who is the “poopy head.”

Norquist’s facility with words does not extend to spelling them.

The ATR web page describing the pledge and how it has become mandatory for Republicans seeking office misspells “de rigueur” two different ways.




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