Steve Kroft To Grover Norquist: 'You've Got Them By The Short Hairs!'

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On the eve of what will be the failure of the Super Committee to reach an agreement (a good thing!), CBS' Steve Kroft interviewed Grover Norquist as though he were King of the country, deserving of deference and awe for his hostage-taking and holding.

This clip encapsulates everything wrong with Grover, the Republicans, and their ridiculous obeisance to a pledge that has more meaning to Republicans than the Pledge of Allegiance or their oath to the United States Constitution.

KROFT: You make it pretty clear. If someone breaks the pledge you're going to do everything you can to get rid of them.

NORQUIST: To educate the voters that they raised taxes. Lookit, 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 short hairs!

NORQUIST: The voters do. Yeah.

KROFT: They're going to have to march in lockstep with Grover Norquist.

NORQUIST: With the taxpayers of their state.

So the "short hairs" reference was cute, but Kroft really missed an opportunity here. When polls consistently show that 70 percent of American taxpayers favor tax hikes, or at the very least, expiry of the Bush rates, Kroft owed it to viewers to ask him specifically which voters in those states he would be "educating." Norquist makes it sound like most people just loathe and despise the notion of paying more in taxes, except the polls prove that to be a lie. When Alan Greenspan gets behind their expiry, it should serve as a fairly large clue to Kroft, if not Norquist.

Yet, in what I've come to view as the lazy interviewer style, Kroft just lets it go with a laugh and a wave. But hey. At least he got to use the phrase "got 'em by the short hairs" on national television. So there's that.


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