Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The mask slips

Detail from mural, Los Angeles Theatre nursery
It's going to be hard in an election year to keep politics out of this blog. I try, I really try. I don't need to cover the horse race, who's up or who's down; who ran a negative ad, who made some snappy points in a meaningless debate.

But sometimes, something strikes you as just so extraordinarily wrong that you can't let it pass without comment.

Politics, of course, is more than politicians. It's also the donors, the lobbyists, the policy wonks, and the political activists. You also know them as "special interests."  They are like a shadow government that rules the real government in Washington.

One of the most powerfully influential activists in Washington is Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. He and his group are One Issue Activists - they are opposed to taxation. Period. The fact that many Republican politicians and all the Republican presidential candidates have signed his group's pledge never to vote to raise taxes speaks to their clout.

This past weekend, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Norquist spoke, and as he made his case for the party backing Mitt Romney as the most "electable" candidate, he allowed the mask to slip from the face of the beast beneath.

We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go ...We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate...Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.
You hear that? He doesn't need a leader - he needs an automaton with a pen.

What Mr. Norquist is boldly and openly proposing is nothing less a permanent ruling cabal of non-elected powerful private interests, circumventing our democracy and electing a shill - a shell - a puppet for him to rule behind as though he were Regent behind a weak and powerless Dauphin.

No - I'm not surprised that this is possible in our political system.

What I am surprised about is that he felt perfectly safe in saying it out loud. And that no one in that crowd objected.

If this doesn't disturb you, you need to start paying attention.

3 comments:

Another Kiwi said...

Scary stuff all right. You're right, how did he feel safe enough to say that?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

What Mr. Norquist is boldly and openly proposing is nothing less a permanent ruling cabal of non-elected powerful private interests, circumventing our democracy and electing a shill - a shell - a puppet for him to rule behind as though he were Regent behind a weak and powerless Dauphin.

Sounds a lot like what we've got going on now (except more openly).
~

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

A lot of things are scaring me these days when I look around at the state of politics, elected officials, and "special interest groups" with big money.