Grover Norquist, Alpha Male?

June 18th, 2011 at 9:19 am | 12 Comments |

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J.D. Hamel wrote a great piece here at FrumForum regarding the struggle between Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist over the issue of ethanol subsidies.  Norquist is, of course, a longtime fixture on the conservative political scene, so Senator Coburn’s public rebuke of Norquist’s position has gotten a lot of attention.  While the legislative and policy points are well-discussed by Hamel and others, I noticed this rather crass little bit of commentary from Norquist, as quoted in an article by Andrew Stiles at National Review and cited by Jonathan Chait at The New Republic:

Norquist says Coburn’s statements after the vote make it clear that his amendment had nothing to do with ethanol subsidies and everything to do with forcing Republicans to go on record supporting a tax increase — essentially a gateway drug that would inevitably lead to additional increases down the road. “He said, ‘Ha ha, popped your cherry, lost your virginity. Now give me $2 trillion in tax increases,’” Norquist says. “As soon as they voted, he turned around and called them sluts. Guys like that didn’t get second dates in high school.”

Now, I’ve never met Senator Coburn or Grover Norquist, and I don’t have much knowledge about their high school or post-high school experiences.  But it is worth pointing out that Senator Coburn is a very much of an Oklahoma boy-made-good, with a successful career in medicine and business before he entered politics, and he is married to a former Miss Oklahoma.  And Grover Norquist is … Grover Norquist.  The reader can draw his or her own conclusions.

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • balconesfault

    thinking of Grover Norquist and being an Alpha Male, I’m reminded of the South Park episode with that epic episode with quintessential Alpha Male Tom Cruise …

  • elsongarino

    I think of GN and I think of dragging the pious turd to the bathroom and drowning him in the bathtub.

  • Sidfinkel

    That Mr. Norquist is dishonest has been documented here

    and here

    That anyone who calls himself Conservative can attack Coburn or oppose ending Ethanol subsidies is just beyond reason. Mr. Norquist needs a new day job.

    • Carney

      I’m a conservative, and I oppose ending ethanol subsidies. Why? Because every principle must yield at some point to a more important principle when the two conflict.

      It’s right for conservatives to have a “default setting” against subsidies, and in general to be against any government intervention in the marketplace.

      But we conservatives are not libertarians. We don’t fetishize the unintervened-in market with infallibility or religious significance. We understand that market outcomes don’t always give us the best result for our values, our national security, or even our economy.

      That’s why we support bans on pornography, and limits on sexual or ultra-violent content on broadcast TV, especially on prime time.

      That’s why we limit trade with hostile nations, and limit transfers of sensitive technology to China.

      And that’s why many of us support interventions in favor of alternatives to oil.

      Even Adam Smith supported sailcloth subsidies – he did not want his nation to be dependent on foreign powers or even enemies for what in his day was the strategically crucial source of motive power.

      OPEC has over 78% of world oil reserves and rising, while the USA has less than 2% and falling, even when counting the Arctic and offshore. Domestic drilling is not the answer. We must use some method other than oil to move around, and if that requires subsidies, so what? Better to be our own masters than dependent on our foes.

  • Who elected Grover Norquist? – Washington Post

    [...] when Republicans ceded their responsibility to make their own educated voting decisions and …Grover Norquist, Alpha Male?FrumForumThe Anti-Tax Pledge Cracks in Congress, Opening a Door to… Kill Subsidies!BNET (blog)The [...]

  • NRA Liberal

    I don’t know how much profit there is in these speculations over who is and who is not “alpha”, but Norquist is undoubtedly extremely effective.

    That said, he totally reminds me, in appearance and affect, of my cousin who married the first girl to sleep with him and produce a kid which they homeschool.

  • TJ Parker

    Alpha male with a viagra dependency.

  • John Frodo

    I have no reason to think Grover is Gay. There does or did exist a Gay Mafia in the Republican party and its most public face was Ken Melhmen, the former RNC. Gay men are particularly effective in the time crunch of modern politics, generally no family constraints. It is also interesting that in Canada it would not be completely insane to speculate many powerful Conservative people are unsuccessfully closeted.

  • gmckee1985

    Coburn is very conservative, but a responsible politician that is pragmatic when needed. Norquist is an extremist, and a tool.

  • Carney

    Government has a kind of gravitational force, a natural push to make itself bigger and bossier and heavier and more costly. For government, that is the equivalent of rolling downhill. It takes effort and and expenditure of energy to even keep it at its current level, let alone roll it back to a smaller state it was once at further uphill.

    Norquist’s point, crassly made and as unnecessarily personal as it was, is that without a major, blanket taboo against new or increased taxes, such as that involving virginity for unmarried young women, the natural momentum of government will lead to an endless round of spending increases outpacing revenues which then produce pressure for tax increases, which only temporarily close the gap if at all.

    It’s a psychologically valid point. Regardless of the nature of the misdeed, in this case tax increases, it’s typically the first transgression that is the hardest to commit and the easiest to prevent. After that it becomes easier and easier to engage in the activity and harder and harder to resist the temptations and rationalizations (“I’m just closing tax loopholes! Some tax breaks are really the moral equivalent of spending! I need to seem reasonable so I can cut a deal – surely the Dems will honor their word to cut spending in return!”).

    Again, obviously, Norquist’s way of illustrating this, or at least how it has been portrayed, is both objectionable and ineffective, even counter-productive.