Breaking The Norquist Spell
One of the many depressing things about obsessive Norquist coverage: It genuinely counts as news in DC when someone stands up to a thug
— Chris Lehmann (@lehmannchris) November 26, 2012
I see the partisan point, but it really is news that Norquist is finally getting Sister-Souljah’d. Norquist has — or had — a stunning amount of power over the fiscal direction of the US government, given his ability to extract the tax promise from conservatives, and to enforce it. Breaking the Norquist spell doesn’t mean that raising taxes is a good idea, necessarily; the value of it means that the Republican Party is moving from ideology towards prudence. More broadly, it means that the GOP frees itself to think more creatively about policy and strategy. The Norquist pledge was the kind of thing that added value to the GOP brand back in the day, by ensuring that the Republicans were the Anti-Tax No Matter What Party. Now he’s seen as a deadweight, because his pledge keeps the GOP from being flexible and practical on policy.
This puts me in mind of Bruce Bartlett’s TAC piece today.