No doubt you have heard the name Grover Norquist quite a bit lately. He is not a member of Congress, yet he has more power than any of them, and you might argue he has more power than President Obama. Norquist is a president himself, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. His signature claim to fame besides his group's mission, is that he once said that he didn't want to eliminate government--he only wanted to shrink it to the point that he could drown it in the bathtub.
Members of the Tea Party are disciples of Norquist, as most, if not all, of them have signed Norquist's infamous pledge that they will not ever vote to raise taxes of any kind--not even corporate tax loopholes--EVER. And when the Tea Party held the economy and the President hostage a few weeks ago, and when Obama got backed into a corner and agreed to a deal with no new revenues, Norquist's name came up quite a bit. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell sparred with Norquist recently on Morning Joe, and Norquist is snarky and acts like the kid in the sandbox who pushes the other kids into a corner and tells them they can have a small corner while he and his rich friends can have most of the sandbox. And he makes right wing members of congress sign a pledge making this legal.
Chris Matthews also sparred with Norquist on his show, Hardball.
Here is the danger in this as I see it. Norquist and his corporate lobbyist friends and the Koch Brothers spend gazillions of dollars on campaigns to get Tea Pary folks elected. Those folks get elected because Fox News and other right wing farces pull the wool over voters' eyes, and enough democrats stay away from polls, allowing Tea Party candidates into office. Those people tell our President that he cannot raise taxes, ever, and they would instead prefer we default on our obligations. They say he can't do it because of their pledge to Norquist. But the problem is, they have an obligation to their constituents--all of their constituents--to never put us in a position of possible default to protect some tax loopholes or to protect taxes for the rich, period. They also have an obligation to their consitutents and to the country that they should be willing to compromise on raising revenues, especially when so many spending cuts are on the table.
Anyone who voted for those Tea Party freshmen should be ashamed of themselves unless they are wealthy. Slowly, they are sucking the life out of our country and our democracy as we know it. They suck, but Grover Norquist sucks more.