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As probably most of you know, the most famous quote associated with puffed-up, has-been, anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist, the snide quip with which he will always be equated, is “I don’t want to destroy the government; I just want to shrink it down to the size where I can drag it up to my bathtub and drown it.” Translating, only half-jokingly, as “Of COURSE I and my companions want to destroy the US government.”
‘Tis the season now, however, by the looks of it, where a few folks – folks who have long thought themselves powerful enough to hold our government at bay, to issue it orders, to bring all its business to a halt – are starting to be revealed as mere paper tigers.
First, of course, there’s Grover himself, the “stubble-faced dickwad of fiscal doom,” who for decades has held every Republican politician in what they at least pretend is a death-grip with his famed no-tax pledge (which they prioritize over their oath to the Constitution.)
Perhaps it was the beginning of the end for Grover when Obama and the Democrats won this last election handily on the specific promise of raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. That fact just had to take some of the fear out of Grover’s threat to publicize some Republicans’ willingness to consider doing such a popular thing.
And the beginnings of unprecedented trash talk from his former minions has driven him to increasingly erratic behavior. After months – years – of decreeing that a vote for any partial extension of the Bush tax cuts for folks under a certain income level would count as a de facto vote for increasing rates on the wealthy and hence a betrayal of the sacred Grover oath, he inexplicably gave the green light last week to Speaker Boehner’s doomed “Plan B” which did exactly that.
Nobody understands exactly how he justified this sudden about-face in his simple well-known philosophy. But it didn’t matter because, most remarkably, NOBODY PAID ANY ATTENTION TO THE ONCE-FEARSOME GROVER.
And then last Friday marked the Emperor-Has-No-Clothes moment of another regressive political force of equally exaggerated omnipotence – the gun manufacturers’ lobby group known as the NRA. For a week, the grieving nation had been expectantly awaiting the constructive solutions promised by this group in response to our apocalyptically skyrocketing plague of mindless gun violence.
And then what the whole nation beheld, representing the all-powerful NRA as its longtime leader and spokesman, was an obviously psychotic freak who blamed everything in America EXCEPT for guns, and made it clear that his group would continue to stand in the way of any new restrictions on Americans’ weapons of mass destruction. Stuck in the 90’s like some cranky hermit, Wayne LaPierre obsessed on Mortal Kombat and Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, and insisted the only solution to gun violence in America is MORE GUNS.
I believe Mr. LaPierre did his cause more harm with his eccentric performance than any of US could have done on purpose. The reaction of the generally conservative New York tabloids to the spectacle is instructive, entertaining, and I think typical of your average American’s:
LaPierre’s rant has been ably demolished by all sane commentators. His suggestion of putting an armed guard in every American school – which does sound like a not bad idea to most people at first blush – is utterly impossible and unserious, with its price tag in the billions. Beyond that, he made it crystal clear that the NRA will continue to stand in the way of any reform that makes it just a little harder for psychos to slaughter us.
But it was good for the whole country to see that clearly.
Back here in the OC, Matt “Jubal” Cunningham seems to have anointed himself the local Jeremiah against any and all gun control. Other right-wingers may scoff at his sincerity, but we’ll give the mercenary scrivener the benefit of the doubt. In our post last week about the letter from the nation’s Mayors asking Congress for quick action in the wake of the Sandy Hook Massacre, Matt stood steadfast against any new or stronger bans on armaments or ammunition; but, giving into our Ryan Cantor’s insistent demands as to whether the nation needs more or less gun control, he finally allowed as to how he “doesn’t think guns should be sold to crazy people.”
Well, if Cunningham really doesn’t think guns should be sold to crazy people, a sentiment with which probably 90% of Americans would agree, then I’d think he has to agree with at least the second and third of the Mayors’ demands, to “strengthen the national background check system and eliminate loopholes in it, and to strengthen the penalties for straw purchases of guns.”
Because, how else are we supposed to stop crazy people from getting guns? How will Cunningham wordsmith his way out of this one?
UPDATE 3:45 p.m. 12/29 by GAD: Just to make things more interesting, let’s address a couple of examples. I ask in this comment: http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2012/12/grover-norquist-and-wayne-lapierre-drown-in-small-bathtub/comment-page-1/#comment-342827 should Stanley Fiala or I be allowed to own guns? Whats your opinion?