Ayatollahs seem to just appoint themselves and then start enforcing their own brand of orthodoxy. Grover Norquist has been doing that in the
Norquist has never been elected to anything. Nobody ever said he should be in charge of the GOP’s true religion (although he claims Pres.
He got 95% of Republican candidates for Congress, the presidency and state offices to sign a pledge never to raise taxes and he enforced it by getting retribution at re-election time on any who failed to keep their promise. Now, though, he is facing a dramatic rebellion in the ranks. The country is teetering on the so-called
Norquist calls such ruminations “impure thoughts.” He has said anyone who thinks them is “an idiot” and has warned that those who abandon the pledge will pay at the polls. Speaker of the House
Norquist has never been random – he has been the specific guy who kept Republican officeholders in line. He is still trying to play that role, insisting that his guys will hold firm while the president caves under pressure and allows all the Bush era tax cuts to live on. But Obama never has to run for office again. He has political capital to burn while plenty of Republicans know they will inherit a heap of blame if a deal is not reached and the economy goes into a nosedive.