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Breaking The Norquist Spell

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.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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