Finally, one of their own at the top is taking a stand against the GOP's "no tax" pledge. Speaking in an interview with Parade Magazine, former President George H.W. Bush publicly broke ranks when he spoke out against what he called the "rigidity" of the pledge most Republicans have signed, asking, "Who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?”
Before the "hell" query, the former president said the rigidity of such pledges "is something I don't like. The circumstances change and you can't be wedded to some formula." His wife, former First Lady, jokingly chimed in with, "I think he ought to go back to Alaska." She was tying this into her joke she gave in another unrelated interview where she said should also return to her native Alaska.
Bold, welcoming words to many on the other side of the aisle, I'm sure. Bush is referring to the pledge drawn up by lobbyistwhich most of Washington's Republicans have signed binding them to vote against any new taxes. Well, not every tax, only those that affect their rank and file, for they were stonewalling President Obama's Bill to extend tax breaks for the middle class and working poor in December of 2011.
The elder Bush knows a thing or two about making promises which sometimes have to be broken. His "read my lips, no new taxes" campaign slogan sounded like music to the ears of voters at the time, but circumstances later called for a dose of cold reality to be dashed on those promises. As you may recall, he raised taxes.
Norquist, who created Americans For Tax Reform back in 1985 during the Reagan administration and drew up the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, is dubbed by his many critics as "the dark wizard of the Right anti-tax cult" -- referring to the strange hold Norquist seems to have over the GOP legislators on Capitol Hill. The libertarian ideologue has every top-ranking Republican neatly tucked away in his pockets.
A few Republicans have escaped the "Norquist noose," choosing instead to be independent thinkers. Bush's son, former Florida Gov., joins his father in opposing the no-tax pledge, using strong words like "outsourcing your principles and convictions to people" when describing what signing felt like.
Former presidential candidate and Utah Gov., who has always danced to the beat of his own drums, sidestepped the choregraphed beat of his party and also stands against the Norquist tax pledge. More Republicans, now uncomfortable with being beholden to anyone other than their constituents, have declined to sign.The powerful lobbyist has likened his pledge-bound Republicans to "a Coke brand."
Read more on the hold Norquist's pledge has on the GOP by clicking link below and video above:
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