Who is wrong with the American Government?
By Natasha Dowdy Gordon
Introduction: For the last two years we have offered our readers valuable insight into not just what is wrong with the American Government, but who. With the sequester in full force and the exposure of some secret government tapes being released, and played on the Rachel Maddow Show last week, we felt that we needed to re-run a series of articles, on the one person that is pulling all of the strings in the United States House of Representatives, and holding the country hostage in the process.
Rachel Maddow played audio tapes on her show that revealed that President Lyndon Johnson had struck a deal to end the Vietnam War, and Richard Nixon who was a candidate at the time, went behind Johnson’s back, committed treason, and convinced the Vietnamese to continue the war by telling their military leaders that Johnson was going to sell them up a river. Do we have another case of a citizen intervention that has kept us engaged in conflicts in the Middle East? Follow this series for the next three weeks as we delve into the inner workings of Grover Norquist, and then you decide.
For months now the people of the United States have been held hostage by the Republican party over the country’s debt, and the best ways to manage it. The future of this country’s standings in the world has come down to tax breaks for the wealthy, corporate jets, Medicare and Medicaid. Now things are almost always never the way that they seem, and when you take a deeper look inside to examine the current situation as it pertains to the battle over whether or not to raise this country’s debt ceiling, it becomes clear that this crises has been in the making since the Reagan Administration and is the creation of one man.
Over the course of the next three weeks, we will take an in depth look into who, not what is responsible for the Republican party becoming the party of no, and what has caused the party to appear to be so against some of the very policies and programs that they have been so willing to support over the decades like Medicare and Social Security.
On the surface of it all, it would appear that members of the Republican party have chosen willingly to travel down the road of self destruction while the Democratic party is dragged behind it while kicking and screaming along the way. It is true that with the swearing in of so many of the new brand of Republicans following the 2010 elections not just in the United States House of Representatives, but also in the United States Senate, and in state legislatures all across the country, that there seems to have been a rather abrupt and radical change within the Republican party.
In terms of the battle as to whether or not to raise this country’s debt ceiling, it is important to understand and to recognize that congress has failed to reach an agreement on what they clearly know that they have to do because of 60 words, 236 pieces of paper and one man. It is incomprehensible that the state of the world economy comes down to those things, but indeed it has.
Two hundred and thirty six members of the United States House of Representatives have signed a piece of paper known as the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The pledge reads I, Johnny Lawmaker, pledge to the taxpayers of the 0 District state of nowhere and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and businesses; and TWO, oppose any net deductions or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.
This pledge that is bringing the United States to the brink of financial and fiscal calamity is the brainchild of, and is being held by one man, and his name is Grover Norquist. At this point in time Mr. Norquist is the most powerful man in the country, and amazingly enough, he has never been elected to any political office, yet he has managed to lock down the United States House of Representatives, and he has major influence over nearly every state legislature in the country.
So just who is Grover Norquist, and how is it that he has been able to just come onto the scene and amass so much power and invoke so much change in such a short period of time? Understand that Grover Norquist did not just weave himself into the fibers of American politics, as he has been around for many years, decades even, and has influenced every administration since he decided to become a player. Norquist is the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that he established in 1985.
American’s for Tax Reform’s
(ATR) number one policy goal is to produce the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) consumed by the federal government. Norquist organized ATR following a request from then President Ronald Reagan. In literature produced by the ATR, they state that they oppose all tax increases as a matter of principle. The organization also op-poses cap and trade legislation and all Democratic attempts to overhaul healthcare.
Just how effective has Mr. Norquist been in regards to interfering in and successfully disrupting any Democratic attempts to tackle the issue of health care reform? In 1993 in an effort to help fight President Clinton’s plans for health care reform, Norquist began holding meetings at ATR headquarters every Wednesday. This one strategic move placed ATR on the road to becoming one of the most influential and significant players in American political organizing among conservatives.
Norquist, who describes his occupation as a conservative lobbyist is perhaps the political sleeper of this millennium and the last. He moves about the political landscape, enforcing his pledge, and landscaping public and political policy, and all this without the vast majority of the American public knowing the wiser. Norquist’s tactics may be undermining the Constitution of the United States, undermining all of the principals that the general population stands for, and finally bringing the country to the brink of financial ruin, but it is hard to deny the genius behind the strategy and the man.
Norquist is definitely the mad scientist of politics, as we will expose in the coming weeks. Be sure to follow us next week as we delve deeper into the enigma known as Grover Norquist and his influence on politics in the United States and in countries all over the world.