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The Waning of Grover?

[ 54 ] November 24, 2012 |

Moving away from reflexively opposing any possible tax increase is still a long way from being to vote for decent tax policies, but it’s still an interesting development. I still wonder about whether Republicans who break from The Pledge in congressional votes will be able to survive capable primary challenges.

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  1. ploeg says:

    If said Republican can still dole out the defense dollars, I doubt that it will make a difference. (And this is what this is all about: defense patronage vs. tax pledge.) Certainly all that the tax fundamentalists have been able to do as of late is primary viable Republicans out of office in favor of lunatics who can’t get elected.

  2. Leeds man says:

    Remind me; why isn’t the fucker sharing a cell with Ralph Reed?

    • Sheetrock Bobby says:

      Ralph Reed has never been arrested or convicted.

      It is a frustrating complication.

      • Leeds man says:

        It does read as though I thought Ralphie was already in the nick, but no. I just want both of them to get what they deserve.

        • Sharculese says:

          Y’know, I know Ralph Reed is a crook and all, but watching him take that first tentative step into electoral politics a few years back, when even the voters of Georgia, said ‘fuck no, we do not want this creep as our Lt. Governor,’ was satisfaction enough.

        • Snarki, child of Loki says:

          “get what they deserve” is a most horrible fate indeed.

          But since Scalia hasn’t *explicitly* ruled out infection with Guinea Worms, I suppose it’s still a possibility.

  3. LosGatosCA says:

    I still wonder about whether Republicans who break from The Pledge in congressional votes will be able to survive capable primary challenges.

    No. SATSQ.

    And thank goodness for their preference for self-immolation in the name of their twin gods of money and willful ignorance, it’s one of the core Democratic advantages right now.

    • ploeg says:

      The key here is “capable primary challenges,” as in primary challenges where the GOP replaces the incumbent but keeps the seat. And that’s where the GOP has had trouble as of recent.

      I am, of course, in full agreement about the Republicans primarying themselves out of the House and Senate.

      • DrDick says:

        My big question, given the Republicans we have in Congress now, is where are they going to find any capable challengers who have not renounced the pledge. I mean the folks we are talking about have never been sane, reasonable, or moderate in their lives and even they can see the writing on the wall.

  4. somethingblue says:

    First Elmo, now Grover …

  5. Tnap01 says:

    You’ll know when the GOP wants to kill off Grover when you see Fox News running reports about his wife (is Norquist a sekreet Mooslim?)

    • Warren Terra says:

      This was sort of my line of thought: whatever value the R’s place on The Pledge, there seems to be a growing sentiment among the R’s that they need to reject Norwuist personally, because he is married to a woman of Arab heritage (I forget the details). This means that he, like Zogby, must be rendered an Unperson, however much he shares their policy preferences.

      In other words: if they can rebrand The Pledge to drop Norquist, and substitute Reagan or Jeebus or the next Tea Party Darling or whoever, they likely will. Rebellion against Norquists’s Pledge should not be assumed to be meaningful rebellion against the content of The Pledge.

    • JL says:

      Doesn’t the right do this periodically already?

      It always makes me feel a little sorry for Grover, and then I remember how terrible he is. But Islamophobia is bad even when it’s directed at bad people.

  6. Manju says:

    The most interesting part of this story is:

    The New York Times reports the following proposal is on the table in negotiations over raising additional tax revenue so that Republicans can say they have not allowed marginal tax rates to rise:

    One possible change would tax the entire salary earned by those making more than a certain level — $400,000 or so — at the top rate of 35 percent rather than allowing them to pay lower rates before they reach the target, as is the standard formula. That plan would allow Republicans to say they did not back down in their opposition to raising marginal tax rates and Democrats to say they prevailed by increasing effective tax rates on the rich

    http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2012/11/23/throwing-the-1-under-the-bus-for-the-0-1/

    • Anon21 says:

      Kind of an awful idea. Marginal tax rates are a good thing; they keep people from taking less salary in order to make more after taxes.

      • John says:

        Yeah, this is moronic. All those idiotic stories about people purposefully making less money so as not to hit the higher bracket would actually be true if you did this.

        • mpowell says:

          You could do this with a trick of math. Just change the percentage of your income exposed to the higher tax rate as your income increases. You could get the same result of marginal rates. It would be absurd of course. I don’t think Grover would consider a scheme like this to pass scrutiny. Only a moron would.

    • Anonymous says:

      Apart from being dumbshit policy, why would this be OK within the terms of the no-tax cult itself? Not only this but all the trial balloons being floated to allow Republicans to reconcile their delicate consciences to “new revenues” — stuff like reducing deductions that everyone takes or taxing revenues that didn’t used to be taxed.

      I’m paying $X taxes in $Y income now. Next year I’m still making $Y but paying $(1.2)*X.

      But that’s not a tax hike because the topline rate number hasn’t changed? My nutbar base is going to give me a pass on that lawyerly technicality?

      /realizes Republicans only actually care about cutting taxes for rich people; just asking what the theology is here.

  7. c u n d gulag says:

    Grover needs to be belittled to the point where he, his ego, and this sordid reputation, can be drowned in a bathtub.

  8. owlbear1 says:

    Signing the pledge offered no demonstrable protection against losing and Norquist’s bluff has been completely revealed.

    As this reality trickles down on the slower Republicans in Congress we’ll see more of them telling Grover to fuck off.

    Especially when the fact that unlimited amounts of campaign cash aren’t a guaranteed path to victory also percolates it’s way up.

    • owlbear1 says:

      Speaking of unlimited campaign cash, can anyone think of a reason why the Supreme Court might find a law that declares all campaign money left over after the campaign pays off its debts should go to the general fund of the candidates’ State coffers as unconstitutional?

    • Eli Rabett says:

      Grover was never the problem, it was the Club for Growth and the Chamber of Commerce.

  9. War On Tax Cuts says:

    You liberals and socalists, yet again, deny the obvious: low taxes spur economic growth. We saw it under Coolidge, Reagan, and most other presidents. But Obama (or Carter 2.0) wants to increase them dramatically to levels even his own party rejects.

    • Hogan says:

      Eisenhower and Clinton were never really presidents.

      • owlbear1 says:

        And 8 years of zero job creation and stagnant wages is the height of prosperity.

      • Observer says:

        Eisenhower and Clinton were never really presidents.

        You cite great times under Clinton and only hold one variable constant…taxes.

        Great, now here’s the fun part.

        The “fiscal cliff” is nothing more than going back to the rates enjoyed during the great Clinton days.

        So, why aren’t you for just allowing the law to sunset and have the rates return? According to you, this should usher in a tremendous wave of prosperity.

        • Hogan says:

          You cite great times under Clinton and only hold one variable constant…taxes.

          Yes, I’m the one saying marginal tax rates are the only thing that matters. Do you read your own comments? I’ll understand completely if you don’t.

        • Malaclypse says:

          The “fiscal cliff” is nothing more than going back to the rates enjoyed during the great Clinton days.

          That’s actually not actually true, but it is the sorts of wrongness you usually manage, so, um, well done.

    • Leeds man says:

      Causality-challenged wingnut definition of “obvious”: Article of Faith.

    • FlipYrWhig says:

      Here’s where this gets particularly moronic. Sure, cutting taxes does, broadly speaking, lead to economic growth. But somehow conservatives and Republicans will ALSO bellyache about deficits, saying that spending has to be cut too. Well, cutting services and government assistance… diminishes economic growth. Just use a modicum of consistency in arguing your dopey points.

    • Manju says:

      You liberals and socalists, yet again, deny the obvious: low taxes spur economic growth.

      This is not the right tact, since boilerplate Keynesianism tells us that lowering taxes is stimulative and raising them is a legit counter-inflationary tool.

      It’s just that tax cuts for the rich have a low multipliers, whereas an increase in foods stamps for example has a high one. And while tax cuts are stimulative, they don’t pay for themselves. You have to pay the cut back…ie raise taxes/cut spending once you’re close to full-employment.

      There’s not point mocking Republicans for the parts of the Keynesian consensus they get right.

    • los gringos son locos says:

      Ah yes, the 1920s. There was a decade where conservative economic policy had no negative consequences whatsoever. The forever boom they called it. Unicorns and rainbows everywhere. That Calvin Coolidge sure was an American legend!

    • Warren Terra says:

      I’m always happy to take these Wingers at their word, to embrace the tax cutting that proved so successful under Kennedy, and therefore to “cut” the top rate to 70% like Kennedy did.

      • Observer says:

        There is no such thing as a “tax cut”. And they don’t “cost”.

        All of this is PoliticalSpeak for the uninformed.

        There are only changes in rates, changes in credits, deductions, etc.

        Taxes change. They don’t “cut” of “cost”.

        • Hogan says:

          It’s amazing, the bullshit you can talk when you use enough quotation marks.

        • spencer says:

          They absolutely do cost. The cost comes in the things that the government is either a) no longer afford to do or provide, or b) forced to borrow money to pay for.

          That interest paid on debt incurred due to irresponsible tax cutting is most certainly a cost that must be paid eventually.

          In other words, you’re an idiot.

    • Johnny Sack says:

      Holy shit–Coolidge? Really? You remember what happened a year after he left office?

  10. TT says:

    I don’t know how coordinated it is, but Grover Defiance, should it grow beyond Chambliss, et al, could become a major combined GOP/Villager pincer movement against Obama and the Democrats in any upcoming Grand Bargain talks. “See”, the GOP will say, “we’re willing to kinda sorta break the (completely non-binding and legally unenforceable) ‘pledge’ we’ve been making to a private citizen for the past 25 years by offering to partially close certain tax loopholes that favor the super-rich (and which, ahem, we will reopen the second we get a chance), and maybe but not really raise the top income tax rate by making it effective rather than marginal! Now in return you must give us the Ryan Plan for SocialSecurityMedicareMedicaid!”

    Andrea Mitchell, Fred Hiatt, David Gergen, and Tom Brokaw will gravely pronounce the Democratic goose officially cooked by this irresistible logic, and as a resilt massive media pressure will mount on Obama, Reid, and Comrade Pelosi to eat this delicious shit sandwich. High five!

    • Joel Patterson says:

      Don’t believe Saxby.
      This has been another edition of What Digby Said.

      • Believe Joel and foller teh linkee.

        Digby simply eviscerates this nonsense.

        Chambliss is still an evil bastard…

      • TT says:

        I think Digby’s saying exactly what I and lots of others believe, namely that the GOP will happily pocket “breaking” their blood oath to Grover (however temporarily and meaninglessly said “breaking” actually is) and in return use the Villager brownie points culled from this extraordinarily unprecedented and monumental act of political bravery to exert maximum pressure on Obama and the Democrats to eviscerate Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

        My sense is that Chambliss or the few other GOP “Gang of Six” types in both Houses will play good cop, show a willingness to close certain tax loopholes and credits (or offer to simply raise effective rates as opposed to marginal rates), and in so doing will claim good faith negotiating and demand major cuts to SS, Medicare, and Medicaid in return. Since Obama and others have foolishly made higher “revenues” their red line, they will probably be only too willing to play ball.

    • FlipYrWhig says:

      That’s the deliberate legerdemain of the so-called Grand Bargain. It goes something like this: now that we’ve agreed that reducing the deficit requires a mix of revenue increases and spending cuts, the best way to handle the spending cuts side is to eviscerate “entitlements,” i.e. benefits.

      Now, there’s really no good reason why spending cuts have to be aimed squarely at benefits, as opposed to technocratic fixes on the provider side (for health care programs) or raising the income cap for Social Security.

      (All of which presumes that deficit reduction should be an immediate concern, which I doubt, but resisting that pull is not politically feasible these days.)

      That’s the step the pundit-political complex are quite eager to browbeat us all into accepting: that the only real, brave Grand Bargain is between “tax increases” and benefit cuts. Don’t fall for it.

      IMHO there are smarter ways to bring in revenue and to reduce wasteful expenditures. There’s a great primer in this Washington Monthly article from 2011: 20,000 Leagues Under the State.

      • Pestilence says:

        Lets really cut entitlements:
        Equalise education spending in all schools
        Reintroduce affirmative action

      • djanglermust says:

        “is not politically feasible”

        Sure it is.

        There’s no reason that any national politician either as part of a group or as an individual needs to support any of this nonsense. They’re doing it because it’s what they want to do.

    • UserGoogol says:

      I really think people overstate the powers of the “media centrists” of the world. Politicians will do what they have the votes to do. When you have the support of the Andrea Mitchells of the world, you are likely to also have the support of the pivotal votes in Congress. But that’s not necessarily because Andrea Mitchell actually has any influence, it just means they tend to occupy the same position on the political spectrum.

      I’m willing to suppose that “media pressure” can theoretically make a difference, but a lot of is just an epiphenomenon.

      • It means the Andrea Mitchell and everyone else like her decides what to say on TV after they have been told what to say by aides to the Republican leadership or, in some cases, the Republican leadership themselves.

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