Courtesy of The New York Times:
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina dissed Norquist on ABC’s “This Week,” saying that “when you’re $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge we should be making to each other is to avoid becoming Greece.” On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Representative Peter King of New York also stressed that the country’s current fiscal woes trumped vows made in less debt-ridden times, and over on “Fox News Sunday,” Senator John McCain signaled a receptiveness to new revenue, another dagger to Norquist’s dark heart.
All three Republican lawmakers were echoing previous comments of their own and of a small but significant cluster of colleagues, whose numbers continued to grow on Monday, when Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, appearing on CBS’s “This Morning,” pronounced himself “not obligated on the pledge.” It’s as if some spell has at long last been broken, and the formerly bewitched villagers are rising up to defy their evil overlord and insist on the possibility of life and even mirth without a deduction for corporate jets.
Well old Grover does not like this. Not. One. Little. Bit. In an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News yesterday he seemed to be threatening to run candidates against anyone who backed away from his pledge.
As he tends to do, Norquist adopted a modest posture, saying that the pledge is not about him but it is about the American people. But that did not stop him from issuing veiled threats to Republicans who have begun to turn away from him.
Norquist recalled President George H.W. Bush, who failed to secure a second term after breaking his “no new taxes” promise. He also chalked up Tennessee Senator Bob Corker‘s election to his embrace of the pledge and questioned how Corker’s constituents will react if he breaks the pledge now.
Later in the day, Grover was interviewed by Piers Morgan about the Republican mutiny. Mediate has the clip and the story.
Morgan came out swinging at Norquist, telling him that “everyone is laughing at you from afar,” because while “the American public is sick and tired of all the games going on, there you are — a very bright guy — still saying ‘a pledge is a pledge is a pledge, it cannot be broken,’ when many of your own party is saying, ‘You know what? It doesn’t make sense to just have this irresolute position anymore.”
One of those Republicans is Rep. King, who told NBC that Norquist’s pledge is easily dismissed because “a pledge you signed 20 years ago” is only good for that particular time.
Norquist fired back with a pointed stab at King: “The pledge is not for life … [but] Peter King, who tried to weasel out of it, shame on him as the New York Sun said today. I hope his wife understands that commitments last a little longer than two years or something.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Morgan shouted. “Hang on. That was a bit below the belt, Grover.”
So, it looks as if Grover and his ridiculous pledge may be in trouble, and he is lashing out in a very unseemly fashion at those politicians who want to hang onto their jobs. That smacks of panic to me. Lisa Murkowski is the latest person to jump overboard. She has also told ABC that she doesn’t feel obligated by the pledge.
I wonder who will be next? This is starting to get very interesting. I have a feeling that if the Republicans don’t increase taxes on the wealthy, then the American electorate will take a very dim view of their actions.