Grover Norquist is one of the most odious political operatives of all time. The power hungry egomaniac has shared his love for Stalinist methods that shaped his political style. The Wrecking Crew: What concerned Norquist were the tactics of
August 29, 2012

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Grover Norquist is one of the most odious political operatives of all time. The power hungry egomaniac has shared his love for Stalinist methods that shaped his political style.

The Wrecking Crew:

What concerned Norquist were the tactics of seizing and holding power, which he adapted straight from the playbook of Joseph Stalin. Or, as he put it:

First, we want to remove liberal personnel from the political process. Then we want to capture those positions of power and influence for conservatives. Stalin taught the importance of this principle. He was running the personnel department, while Trotsky was fighting the White Army. When push came to shove for control of the Soviet Union, Stalin won. His people were in place and Trotsky’s were not. . . . With this principle in mind, conservatives must do all they can to make sure that they get jobs in Washington.

Frank, Thomas (2010-04-01). The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule (p. 128).

Norquist holds in admiration a man who murdered millions of people to stay in power. That's wonderful, isn't it? He also started the hellish K Street Project which turned DC into a partisan bloodbath with his pal Tom DeLay after the corrupt Bugman became Majority Leader.

One way was to start ensuring that the new GOP agenda of radical deregulation, tax and spending cuts, and generally reducing government earned the financial support they thought it deserved. In 1995, DeLay famously compiled a list of the 400 largest PACs, along with the amounts and percentages of money they had recently given to each party. Lobbyists were invited into DeLay's office and shown their place in "friendly" or "unfriendly" columns. ("If you want to play in our revolution," DeLay told The Washington Post, "you have to live by our rules.") Another was to oust Democrats from trade associations, what DeLay and Norquist dubbed "the K Street Strategy." on

Since the tea party won seats in the House in 2010, Grover has gotten all the credit for the conservative resurgence in Congress by the Beltway Villagers and now, CBS joining the crowd. What was very revealing about this interview is the rank hypocrisy in the world in which Norquist inhabits. He terrifies Republican politicians into signing his tax pledge and then promises a swift death for their political career if they renounce it or vote for any type of measure that includes revenue increases of any measure by the federal government even if they have nothing to do with taxes. Steve Croft said his reign of terror had the GOP by the short hairs because he can crush them coming and going. Boy, did Grover love that one, but when he was asked to make his donor list public for transparency, he turned into a typical Republican hypocrite.

60 Minutes: (This interview originally broadcast Nov. 20, 2011, but I just watched it.)

Simpson also wants to know where Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform, with its multimillion dollar budget gets its money.

Simpson: When you get this powerful, and he is, then it's, 'Where do you get your scratch, Grover?' Is it two people? Is it 10 million people? The American people demand to know where you get your money, Grover babe.

But under federal law, Grover babe, as Simpson calls him, and Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit organization, aren't required to disclose the identity of its contributors. So the finances of a group that demands transparency in government are opaque. Isn't that convenient? Norquist says the money comes from direct mail and other grassroots fundraising efforts. But a significant portion appears to come from wealthy individuals, foundations and corporate interests.

Kroft: In the interest of transparency, would you disclose your major donors?

Norquist: I-- I would not-- I don't know. Haven't thought of it. It doesn't really matter because what we do is what we do. I guess I would argue, thinking back on it, we've had times when people who are contributors to us were literally threatened by senators and congressmen.

Kroft: So you're protecting the corporate interests from harassment and threats?

Norquist: Well, protecting me and anyone who wants to participate in American politics. You don't want people threatened because they wanna fight against higher taxes.

Over the years, some of his group's lobbying activities have stretched into areas that are not generally associated with preventing tax hikes. He has lobbied the State Department on behalf of the controversial Keystone pipeline and has dipped into areas like communications law, raising suspicions that the "Leave Us Alone Coalition" includes a lot of wealthy and powerful interests. His reputation also took a hit a few years ago because of his close association with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But none of the insinuations of impropriety have ever stuck.

He doesn't want people who are active in his politics threatened for promoting the fight against higher taxes, but makes his living threatening those who don't toe his company line. Not only that, he then tries to make the voters the heavies in all of this by saying it's them carrying out the political death sentence for GOP pols.

Norquist: The pledge is not to me. It's to the voters. So an elected official who says, 'I think I wanna break my pledge,' he doesn't look at me and say that. He looks at his voters and says that. That's why some of them look at their voters, don't wanna say that, and they go, "Well, how 'bout you? Could you release me from my pledge?" No, no. I can't help you.

Kroft: But you--

Norquist: You didn't promise me anything.

Kroft: But you're the keeper of the pledge.

Norquist: We remind your voters that you took the pledge.

Kroft: You are the ones that are--

Norquist: That's true.

Kroft: --gonna retaliate if they break the pledge.

Norquist: Oh, no, no, no. The voters will retaliate. We may inform the voters. But let's say the voters all want --

Kroft: Inform the voters with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign or educational -

Norquist: Nineteen--

Kroft:--expenditures to point out the fact that they broke the pledge.

Norquist: If necessary.

Kroft: But you make it pretty clear. If someone breaks the pledge, you're gonna do everything you can to get rid of them.

Norquist: To educate the voters that they raise taxes. And again, we educate people--

Kroft: To get rid of them.

Norquist: To encourage them to go into another line of work, like shoplifting or bank robbing, where they have to do their own stealing.

Kroft: You've got them by the shorthairs.

Norquist: The voters do. Yeah.

It must be nice to be a conservative bully since the media never holds them accountable.

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