This editorial in CNN is simply one example of a recent phenomenon that is really taking off lately. The big-government progressive keynesians are smelling blood. Moderate GOP congressmen are beginning to hint that they would absolutely be interested in negotiating with Obama and agreeing to raising taxes to avoid the “fiscal cliff” (more on this later). The MSM is here to encourage them. To tell them that selling out their core principles is exactly what they should do and will certainly be good, not only for the country, but for their political careers as well.
This, of course, is a giant pack of lies. Those GOP congressmen, like Lindsey Graham who say that they will violate the infamous Grover Norquist “anti-tax” pledge “for the good of the country” are spineless cowards with zero honor who are seeking to prove that they cannot be trusted whatsoever. The article linked is full of absurd fallacies, and I only have time to deal with a few:
1. The length of time that has passed between when a particular person signed the pledge and today is irrelevant. The pledge was specifically intended to last for one’s entire legislative career (which this article freely admits). The comparison to a declaration of war, which is presumed to exist only until peace is negotiated, is ridiculous. Furthermore, not every GOP Congressman who signed this pledge is a dinosaur like Lindsey Graham. Many of them have signed it recently, knowing full well the ramifications thereof.
2. The article calls Norquist a stumbling block for “tea party conservatives.” This is patently false. Norquist is a stumbling block for big government progressive RINOs like Lindsey Graham. “Tea party conservatives” AGREE with Norquist that taxes should not be raised, period. While the mainstream media is busy having this love-in with Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul’s comments on this matter are being virtually ignored.
3. The article, while pining for more bipartisanship and regaling against gridlock, contains a built-in assumption that a “long-term deal” would be “good for the country,” despite the fact that we have no idea what such a deal would actually consist of. Even if we take the exaggerated fears of the consequences of the “fiscal cliff” at face value (which I don’t), why do we automatically assume that the government’s “solution” will be better? Is it truly not possible that going over the fiscal cliff would in fact be better for the nation in the long term? That ANY possible deal would be preferable, regardless of what it contains? Surely that is not the author’s true position. If so, I have a proposed deal for him. Abolish the federal government, effective immediately. By rejecting this compromise I have offered, the author is clearly placing partisan ideological concerns over the good of the country.
4. In one of the most ridiculous passages, the article claims “tea party congressmen [once again, a label that does NOT apply to the RINOs the article is actually discussing] rose to power on a promise to deal with deficit and debt.” This is incorrect. They rose to power on a promise of cutting spending and not raising taxes. Literally. I cannot emphasize this enough. They rose to power in most cases by literally signing a written pledge never to raise taxes. Think about that for a second and contrast it to the argument the author is attempting to make.
5. The section about Jeb Bush seems to prove my point more than anything. I never thought I’d say this, but good for Jeb Bush! He believed that an indefinite promise never to raise taxes was not a good idea, so he didn’t sign it. Despite the fact that I disagree with him on this matter, I respect him for that. I respect him a LOT more than I would respect someone who would sign a pledge never to raise taxes, and then, less than a month after winning re-election, break that promise because they think it’s bad policy. Well here’s a thought… if it’s such bad policy… why did you sign it in the first place? Grover Norquist never held a gun to anyone’s head. He never forced anyone to sign on to this thing. He may be a widely influential people in political circles, but most of the general public has no idea who he is. The fact of the matter is that GOP politicians took this pledge voluntarily in order to show their commitment to the principles of small government and low taxes. If they choose to break it, they only expose themselves as liars and crooks, unworthy of public service.
6. Bringing up the Reagan years is just icing on the cake. Yes, Reagan did in fact agree to a plan with Democrats in Congress to raise taxes in exchange for reduced spending and entitlement reform. Does anyone remember how that worked out? Reagan gave the Democrats the higher taxes as promised, and they never delivered the spending cuts. That’s the type of bipartisan compromise this columnist and others in the mainstream media actually want. For Republicans to agree to raise taxes, for the taxes to actually be raised, and for the deficit to continue to grow as Democrats refuse to reduce spending. The Reagan example, in this case, is not a success to be emulated. It is a failure to be avoided at all costs. It did not make the country better off long term, and tarnishes Reagan’s image and legacy among real conservatives to this very day.
7. The author claims “the time for hatred, ideological obstruction, and overheated rhetoric has passed.” So now, saying that the government taking 35% of your money is enough is tantamount to hatred? I guess Obama himself was hateful and engaging in ideological obstruction when he himself extended the Bush tax cuts in his previous term. GOP Congressmen who are actually living up to their word and standing by their principles are not engaging in “ideological obstruction.” They are representing those who voted for them in no small part due to their pledge to never raise taxes. They are doing exactly what Congress is supposed to do, exercising the “power of the purse” in accordance with the wishes of the American people. If the Democrats don’t like that, then well, I guess they should have won more House seats. Or perhaps, if the Bush tax cuts are so evil, they should have repealed them when they controlled the presidency and both houses of the legislative branch, including a filibuster-proof senate.
I want to close by stating emphatically that any Republican who breaks the anti-tax pledge is outing himself as a known deceiver of the public, and is putting their future political career in serious jeopardy. While they suck up to Obama in an attempt to gain favor with a leftist population who already hates them (and will forever), they alienate those who actually supported them and voted them into office. Compromising with Obama won’t help them in their next general election, because they won’t get a next general election. There are plenty of real conservatives out there who will take Norquist’s pledge, not as a political gimmick to be discarded when convenient, but because they actually believe in it, they will run against these RINO cowards in the primaries, and they will win.