Thursday, February 16, 2012

Crash and Burn at the Corner of “No Government St.” and “Norquist Alley”

Have you ever heard Grover Norquist’s defining quote?
"I don't want to abolish government, I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."  

Who thinks this way, let alone proudly proclaims this in a public interview? This shows Grover Norquist’s extreme disdain for almost any government regulation of the lives of citizens, and for government itself. His philosophy is that if we rid ourselves of government we will be far happier and more prosperous. He is by definition an anarchist, defined as "someone who holds the political philosophy that the state is undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful."  (Wikipedia)

It’s very important for Americans to be aware of this man’s extremist views. Although he has never been elected to public office, Grover Norquist is the most powerful person in the Republican Party. This cock does rule the walk. He dominates Republican politics. His Republican "Pledgees" must follow his iron-fisted dictates. Nominally 95% of Republicans in our 112th Congress have signed his 60-word pledge regarding taxes. A total of 1500 Republican legislators across the country have signed this pledge. But this man's alarming dominance doesn’t stop there- it extends to dozens of major, destructive movements going on at national, state and local levels. And his influential role is well under most people’s radar. Americans are under attack by Grover Norquist and his minions, his army specializing in political guerrilla warfare. You have seen the dismay over the gridlock in Wisconsin, Ohio and California.  But did you realize that it all emanates from this one man? Just this one man, aided by these pledges of destruction.

To understand more about this man’s thought processes, let us reflect upon Grover Norquist's book:  Leave Us Alone; Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives (William Morrow Publishers, 2008). In this book he neatly divides Americans into two groups: The "Leave us Alone Coalition” (LUAC) and the "Takings Coalition”(TC).  This is the kind of over-simplification one might find in a low-budget, B-grade Western movie; where all of the good guys (LUAC, of course) wear white hats, and all of the bad guys (TC) wear black ones.  

In Norquist’s view, the LUAC are the good guys because they demand almost nothing from the government. Of course, this idea is absolute nonsense in that ALL Americans rely on ALL levels of government for almost everything that happens in each of their daily lives. Those services provided by the government and avidly consumed by the LUAC refute Norquist’s notion that ANY group in America could find it even remotely possible to have our government "leave us alone."  For example, most people who own homes do so through a national government-sponsored loan-underwriting agency. Even the wealthiest in the LUAC most likely have at least one of their many homes financed through a government-backed agency. Don't want any government help? Then just move out of your homes all of you in the LUAC.  Do you own or work for a company? You, then, benefit tremendously from having an educated work force. Government at the state level most likely provided the public education for the employees in most shops and factories in the USA. Don't want any government help? Then just hire only those who never, ever attended one day of public schooling. Good luck, all of you in the LUAC! 

And so now to my final example of how all of us, including those in the LUAC, benefit from our governments. (Please bear with the following silliness… but the basic idea of the LUAC and their wish "to be left alone" is silly in itself.) At the local-government level we have cities, which regulate traffic. Most cities have an engineering department, where trained engineers work at all aspects of city traffic control. These engineers are contemptuously viewed by Norquist as mere bureaucrats. Now let's pretend that we do not have any government at the local level. Let's get rid of these bureaucrat-engineers. "Damn it, leave us alone." OK. No more street corner traffic lights. All of you in the LUAC just take your chances at each corner. Never mind that you and your family run tremendous risks at every "no government here" street corner. Might be crash and burn for you. (Pretty silly, I know.) But by considering the logical extension of the Norquist’s “no government” idea, we can all clearly see that they receive plenty of help from our government at the national, state and local levels.

Then, there are the very worst of the worst, those "black-hat" wearers. Grover Norquist lumps these ne'er do wells into... "The Takings Coalition."  It's all in his book, Leave Us Alone:

“It's time to meet the Takings Coalition. These groups and individuals view the proper role of government as taking things from one group and giving them to someone else. Taking what? Money, property, power, and control. They start with money. Often for themselves. Who are they in favor of taking it from? You and me, the taxpayers. Let's go around the table as the Takings Coalition gathers. Seats are reserved for trial lawyers, labor-union leaders, government employees' unions, recipients of government grants, and the two wings of the dependency movement: those who are locked into welfare dependency and those who earn $90,000 per year managing this dependency and making sure none of the recipients get jobs and become Republicans."  (Page 34)

Obviously, we must all have government and its services at all levels to lead productive, healthy and safe lives.  But Grover Norquist sees the "Takings Coalition" as thieves who are stealing from the rest of the population. In his view, those who fit into the TC are 1) government workers 2) labor unions 3) the nonprofit sector 4) universities 5) trial lawyers and 6) coercive utopians.  I will go into each of these categories in more detail in my next blog.  In the meantime ask yourself:  "Am I a robber-baron or coercive utopian and don’t even know it? Oh the shame!”

It’s high time for this "Cock o' the walk" to take a walk…  
Or better yet…
Hey, Norquist, how about YOU leave US alone?

That’s my take.

What’s yours?

Sincerely, Don Dyson.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Grover, the Stealth Bomber

"I don't want to abolish government, I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."   - Grover Norquist  

Who the hell is Grover Norquist? This guy flies under almost everyone's radar. Yet he's one of the most powerful men in America. So just in case he's below your radar, let me tell you a little about the man who wants to drown your government in the bathtub. Grover Norquist is at war against our U.S. Government. And it's as if he's commandeering American Stealth Bombers and raining destruction over all of us Main-Streeters of America. His "bombs away" tactics in Congress blow away almost any boost to the middle class, including almost all job-opportunity legislation. While Grover Norquist is on his single-minded quest to take down our American government, he leaves us Main-Streeters virtually out in the economic street. Yeah, we ARE down, because of him. We are nothing to this dictator, this bully, this warlord. We are simply his "Collateral Damage." And very few of us are aware of what, or who, is causing this rain of terror over us Americans. From his mike in his Stealth Bomber, he belts out:  "This is Grover, over! This is Grover, over!"  

Should Grover Norquist  be arrested for his beliefs? Not on your life. This IS America. But he must be stopped. His plans to dismantle the American government must come to a screeching halt. He is not actually commandeering an American Stealth Bomber. His destruction is coming to us more underhandedly. He is, so to speak, flying paper airplanes directly at all Republican legislators of America. His paper airplanes contain  his pledges, each of a mere 60 words,  euphemistically called "Taxpayer Protection Pledges." These pledges serve to force Grover Norquist's will on each Republican legislator in America. Each Republican legislator justly feels overwhelmingly intimidated into signing each of these pledges. And the threat is very real from Norquist and his army.  His message is: You will sign this pledge and never, ever vary from its 2 provisions, or else. Or else my army will descend upon you and you will lose to my candidate, put against you,  in the next primary battle.  And believe you me, you will be in a battle that you don't even want to think about. We will come at you with millions of dollars worth of hate ads. And your days in this Congress will be numbered.  Obey me, or start counting. 

Where did I get the idea that Grover Norquist wants to "dismantle the American government?"  Now that is a serious charge, I will admit. Please read again what this Grover Norquist has said: "I don't want to abolish government, I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." And I can not find anywhere where Grover Norquist has recanted this statement of anarchy. I have read his book Leave Us Alone, and I've looked through his other writings and interviews, and he just seems satisfied to allow these words of anarchy to echo along.    

"Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful." (Wikipedia.)  Seems to me that this is exactly Norquist's meaning. Am I wrong? Do all of you out there see this statement the same way that I do? Let's see. He wants to "reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom." This guy is advocating strong-armed force against the U.S. Government. He wants our government radically changed to something very tiny. Or maybe to no effective government at all. 

Yet this is America. We are the leading nation in the world, with the largest military presence, by far, in the world. With an itty-bitty government, we could no longer maintain our military services, which Grover Norquist claims to support. And when he says "drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub" he surely sounds like a heartless bully.  I see an image of Grover Norquist taking our whole American system and holding it all under water in that bathtub, as if the American people are an unwanted litter of kittens. Talk about nasty plans for our government of America! .

Look at  what he is doing to the Republican legislators all over America. He is actually terrorizing them.  No stealth attack here. Right at 'em. They dare not cross this bully. And that must be paralyzing for each of them. Each has worked his or her way up to the very top of their political profession. Almost all of them deserve the title of "Honorable." Yet they must cater to Grover Norquist's iron-fisted will. He locks them in with each and every pledge... and if they do not do precisely as he commands, they will be swiftly and surely hounded out of office. 

This is actual humiliation. One of the worst situations anyone, anywhere could be in. Our Republican legislators, nee "Pledgees," are forced each day to do exactly as this bully commands. As they are cowing down, they must feel vile disgust on their consciences and in their souls. Add to this an especially lingering distaste on their lips, as they bend kiss smug Grover...............on his ass.

Well, that's my take.  What's yours?
Sincerely,  Don Dyson.  (djd)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Grover Norquist, Mr. Gridlock of the 112th Congress."

The United States Congress is mostly out of business right now. America is essentially stopped in her tracks. America? Stopped? Now that makes no sense at all. And you will find it tough to believe that one man's efforts have brought the 112th Congress to a screeching halt. Just one man. And his pledge. His one pledge. This man has absolute control over 95% of our Republicans in Congress. And these Republicans are totally dominating this 112th Congress. And we, the American people, are suffering terribly because of this one man with his one pledge. His pledge of destruction.

My name is Don Dyson, 69, graduated from SDSU in '75.  I am no scholar. Let me holler:  "I am no scholar!"   But common sense, I've got some. And so do you. So together, we are going to figure this "pledge thing" out, right now. When you put your head into it, it's not as complicated as they want us to believe.     

What we MUST have here in America are... opportunities. That's all. Almost all of us want to work for all that we get. But don't you dare take away ALL of our opportunities. Don't you dare! And that is exactly what a man named Grover Norquist, with his pledge of only 60 words, is doing, right now, right here in America. One man. One little pledge. Stealing our opportunities, right from under our noses.

Mr. Norquist is 56, lives in Washington, D.C., and is a lobbyist for his corporation "Americans for Tax Reform"  (ATR). When he was just 12, he got the idea of having some sort of a pledge. That was in 1968.  So for 43 years now, Norquist has been perfecting and implementing his pledge. His pledge intimidates the Republicans in Congress into following his will. And he wants to gridlock Congress in order to stop passage of any opportunity legislation. Legislation which will create jobs for millions of Americans. All shut down because of Norquist and his pledge of destruction. 

So here is my take on all of this. Go ahead, and look over my shoulders. I'm just "One Old Guy." What do I really know, anyway? You be the judge. Criticize. Even castigate. Whatever. But just stay right here, while I put in my 2 cents worth.

Back in 1985 Norquist founded his Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).  Doesn't sound all that bad, does it?  Neither do many types of cancer. What we have with Norquist is "Pledge Cancer." This is a slow moving, stealthy type that eats away at opportunities. Devours them. Never to be seen again. This pledge prevents any signer of the pledge, named a "pledgee", under any circumstance, whatsoever, from ever raising ANY taxes, especially on the rich folks of America. Norquist has gotten 95% of all Republicans in our 112th Congress to sign this pledge. That means he's gotten all of those Republicans locked into his will. You will do as I say... demands Norquist... You will do EXACTLY as I say, or my army will descend upon you and completely destroy you.  So, be good little boys and good little girls... or else.

Are you still with me fellow Americans? You see, this is how this little boy of 12 has grown up and done his tricks upon us in America. He is now totally dominating the Republican Party. And the Republican Party is totally dominating the 112th Congress. So almost every important piece of opportunity-legislation has been stopped. And all of our millions of opportunities have been murdered. Right before our noses.  This is a deplorable outrage!

Opportunities can be generated very easily.  There are millions of ways to generate opportunities. Some of these opportunities are ready to spring from the Jobs Bill, now before Congress.  But Norquist says "No!" to  his Republican Pledgees. And all of his pledgees then run out to vote no, no, and no... and even, "Hell, no!" to every single opportunity for each and every American. We 99 Per Centers of America aren't even given a fighting chance. Norquist stops any and ALL opportunities cold, in cold blood, by his pledge, through his Republican Pledgees. Those being the 95% of Republicans in this Congress all dominated, unmercifully, by Norquist. This smug thug. This dictator/bully over America.  

Ugh, what a schoolyard bully may become. Just a thug! Just a thug!

So that's my take. What's yours?    

Sincerely,  Don Dyson.