Supercommittee Death Watch: Here There Be Norquists

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 15 2011 4:48 PM

Supercommittee Death Watch: Here There Be Norquists

In this edition of the Supercommittee death watch, which should pick up as the November 23 deadline lurches nearer, I'm marveling at how much time Harry Reid spent talking about Grover Norquist today. He walked outside the Senate Democrats' weekly luncheon, addressed the media, and then announced a reading.

"You've all seen what Grover Norquist has said the last day or two," said Reid. "I'll read some of his quotes. They're priceless."


And then he read the quotes. First, Norquist saying Republcians were double-talking about what they'd accept from a debt deal.

"It's not written down," said Reid-as-Norquist, "it's a negotiating position… I've talked to the House leadership and the Senate leadership. They're not going to raise taxes." Another quote from another interview: The deal-making Republicans have "Stockholm Syndrome."

"It's obvious that Grover Norquist has a lot of pull in the Republican caucus," said Reid. "That's an understatement. So far, I haven't seen any indication that they'll move off their pledge."

He was referring to the anti-tax pledge that, actually, Norquist has been having some unexpected trouble enforcing. As Republicans would remind reporters, they had started offering deals with tiny -- yet existing! -- tax loophole-killers. Ah, but it's not enough. Greg Sargent explains it pretty well: Republicans will give in on loopholes in exchange for tax reform based on the permanence of Bush tax rates, a net tax cut in the trillions. So Reid keeps his eye on the target, freezes it, polarizes it. As he concluded remarks, a PBS reporter who usually asks some version of "what should the American people think" asked Reid: If he's so pessimistic, "what should the American people make of it?"

"Maybe they should impeach Grover Norquist," he said.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.


See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
Sept. 30 2014 10:44 AM Bull---- Market America is overlooking a plentiful renewable resource: animal manure.
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 30 2014 10:10 AM A Lovable Murderer and Heroic Villain: The Story of Australia's Most Iconic Outlaw
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 10:59 AM “For People, Food Is Heaven” Boer Deng on the story behind her piece “How to Order Chinese Food.”
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 10:48 AM One of Last Year’s Best Animated Shorts Is Finally Online for Free
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.