Washington’s Norquist Affliction — LBS (Lazy Brain Syndrome)

If policies about complex issues with far-reaching consequences could wisely be based on two, three or four word slogans, Congress could be replaced with a cage full of parrots who cast their votes by squawking “Government is the problem,” “No taxes,” “Starve the Beast.”

This, however, is not a very good mode of governance, the views of Grover Norquist on the matter notwithstanding. The fact that his views today do, in fact, seem to be dominating the behavior of many officials in Washington who are not parrots but people elected to intelligently think about this country’s needs and act accordingly, is thus a symptom of a serious political affliction — LBS, Lazy Brain Symptom.

Norquist’s “Starve the Beast” governing (or more accurately non-governing) prescription is an example of LBS carried to the level of utter political idiocy. Why? Because there are all kinds of taxes for all kinds of purposes, generating good and bad results, affecting different groups in different situations at different times, and on and on and on.

Norquist’s “pledge” is therefore nonsense in every sense. Every true conservative knows that’s so. Every conservative who has successfully governed, from Bismarck to Reagan, has found tax increases of various kinds necessary at times and promoted them to help bring about conservative ends.

Grover Norquist is not a conservative. He is a nobody. A puffed up ideological blowhard. His power is illusionary. Once some form of tax increases are enacted by Congress, which will certainly happen by year’s end or shortly thereafter, he will fade into a well deserved political oblivion.

The sooner this guy and his ridiculous parrot nostrums land in the political trash heap, the sooner Washington will be on its way to a much needed cure for LBS — at least a temporary one, until the next mind-numbing bit of twaddle catches on under the Beltway bubble.

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  • SteveK

    Well said Michael. We all must hope that “people elected to intelligently think about this country’s needs” will find the courage (and the intelligence?) to act accordingly.

  • The_Ohioan

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  • sheknows

    Yes, well said Michael. I asked in an earlier post…who IS he?? He is some demigod of the Republicans and yet not one Republican person I know can tell me why he is so powerful.
    Perhaps the Democrats should find an equal to that. Any suggestions? I was thinking of maybe a famous celebrity, perhaps a comedian who could rally all of us Dems. It would be just a legitimate but far more entertaining.

  • slamfu

    Because he wields a lot of money and represents the people who don’t want taxes on high brackets raised. Republicans who cross him often find themselves on the wrong end of a primary challenge.

  • sheknows

    So he is some sort of hit man unofficially hired by the wealthy to make sure their money is protected. Got it!

  • zephyr

    Right on target Michael. Norquist needs to take his place in the dustbin of history. We can even let the idiots who signed “the pledge” go into a state of amnesia about it. We know they can because they’ve done it with George Bush, The Iraq War, torture, and a host of other horrible failures they were responsible for.

  • Rcoutme

    My $0.02:

    a) be careful what you wish for
    b) don’t count your chickens before the eggs are even laid