Grover Norquist on NPR's Fresh Air today.

Did anyone happen to catch Grover Norquist on NPR this morning? Grover is the president of Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative group who wants lower taxes and tax reform in the US. Grover is also credited with advising GW Bush on domestic fiscal policy.

All I can say is that this guy is a right wing freak. I personally feel bad for Terry Gross for having to interview this ass. During the interview, you could feel her sense of uneasiness of having to deal with this loon’s ramblings.

Keep in mind that I cannot find a transcript of the show, so all quotes are subject to error, but here we go.

When asked about he repealing of the estate tax, Grover compared the estate tax to the holocaust. Terry interrupted him as asked him if he really did compare the tax to the holocaust. The backpedaling began. After rambling, he stated that the estate tax would only affect 6% of the US populace, which happens to be about the same population ratio of the Jews in Germany before WWII. Then he states that the tax is racist being that it is targeted at a minority.

When Grover was asked about the privatization of government jobs, he said that if having people on the government’s payroll was good, then the USSR, East Germany, and some other eastern block country would have been rich and prosperous.

When asked about how the states would pay for homeland defense, he stated that local governments were not smart enough to use the federal funding.

Where does someone with such crazy ass notions become powerful enough to warp fiscal policy towards his will? Is he drinking the same tap water as Anne Coulter?

To me, this freak sounds like he has a cabin in Montana where he hides out, feeding on dessert storm surplus k rations, during democratic administrations. Please tell me that republicans in general don’t use this man as a source of republican anti-tax dogma. Please tell me that conservatives are wise enough in their old ways to see this man is a loon.

Well his mother did name him Grover. The rest was inevitable.

Fresh Air has a link that allows you to listen to the show. I’m listening right now. It brings Samual Clemons to mind. There are 3 types of lies, lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Samuel Clemens.

I knew that spelling looked wrong.

Right at the get-go he sounds fairly angry. I just heard the holocaust line. Whew. This guys a grade A moron. He’s comparing taxing a small group to killing a small group. He’s saying it’s like apartheid now.

The man has the fundamental qualification and characteristic to be the mouth piece for any radical group: the ability to say the most outrageous things in a calm and reassuring tone with a straight face. It only the guys that foam at the mouth that can be trusted, and not all of them.

Wow, I am learning to respect Terry Gross here. She sure can hunt down a straw man.

It’s a pity really. I kind of agree a little with this guy about the whole road building bidding process (but not on the racist claim). I think that non-union shops should be allowed to bid, and the quality of materials should be taken into consideration for the bids. This guy goes in and makes such a pathetic argument that I cringed. Then he goes into the tired old claim that Social Security is a Ponzii scheme. Man, Terry is making easy work of shooting down this guy. I’m not sure of this link will work. Everybody should listen to this guy.

I just got done hearing this guy during my lunch hour and, sad to say, he’s typical of many in the right-wing brain trust. Whenever Gross would bring up, for the sake of discussion, questions pertaining to the fairness and necessity of the Bush tax cuts or the need to abolish estate tax, Norquist would pull out the old “class warfare” argument-enders that many conservatives rely on and then, in the case of the estate tax, launch into absurd comparisons with the holocaust and apartheid. He strikes me as someone who would be very pleased to see us, in terms of government, go back to the 19th century when the robber barons could monopolize, pollute, and treat their non-unionized workers like dirt without the state intervening to tax or regulate them. (Sorry about indulging in a little “class warfare” with that last sentence.)

Anyway Mr. Tuff Paws, I didn’t hear all of Gross’ introduction of Norquist but didn’t she say something about his past job experience included working for an interest group whose function was to try to pressure companies to hire only CEO’s who were conservative Republicans? Maybe I heard this wrong, but if I didn’t, that really strikes me as a rather disturbing example of excessive right-wing political correctness.

link

I’ll try again. Damn Hasids. ;j

Just listened to the program.

Let’s see… Norquist didn’t answer Terry’s first question about our country’s current position in Iraq and Afghanistan at all, but said that “the government” took our money “by force.”

Didn’t really answer her second question either, about who the Bush tax cuts help more, but instead went into a blanket dismissal of the idea of different economic classes.

In his answer to the third question, about the estate tax, he says that it’s comparable to “the morality of the Holocaust,” but backpedals when Terry rightly called him on it, saying “you can use what rhetoric you want.” Guess he forgot that he used that particular rhetoric himself only a few minutes earlier. He says it’s “immoral” to divide a society by class.

He’s perfectly OK with cutting government jobs is massive amounts, ignoring the masses of unemployed folks this would inevitably result in.

In response to Terry’s specific question about the reduced services that would result from “cutting government in half,” he went off on a tirade on the Davis-Bacon act and (again) didn’t answer the question. He actually denied that anything would change, and quoted lots of out-of-his-ass statistics.

He accused local and state politicians of being lazy when they ask for more funding for Homeland Security measures from the Federal government, again quoting a few out-of-his-ass numbers.

I loved Grover’s dismissal of Terry’s criticism of his Social Security comments as “leftist jargon.” Guess he doesn’t know who he was talking to. :smiley:

His thoughts on Medicare amounted to the idea that it erases other options for people… which struck me as instant bull. When Terry asked him if he would do away with Medicare, he backpedaled again and called it “semantic games” to say so… but he didn’t say he wouldn’t do away with it.

On the subject of national defense, Norquist’s comment that we could “run the planet with 2% of GDP” was truly amusing.

Lots of sound bites at the end, but very little of substance. The comment about “tyrannical” governments taking money away from their citizens was priceless.

This guy’s office is the “incubator for the Bush Administration’s tax policy?” He’s a complete nutbar… this explains a lot about the fiscal policies of this administration. If this is the sort of person they listen to (seriously), and use to shape public policy, it’s no wonder everything is completely whacked.

Credit to Terry Gross, though… she called him on what he needed to be called on, but remained calm and collected while doing it. She also drew him out into saying some stunningly stupid things, and he did it all on his own.

NDP:

Yes, you heard the intro correctly. This loon is a fucktard if I ever heard one.

I wonder how long before the champions of the right come to defend them?

It amazed me how much he separated “the government” and “the people,” as though being associated with one automatically cut you off from the other. Apparently, in Grover’s view, being a government employee (including a member of the military) excludes one from also being a person. He completely fails to recognize that those who work for the government are still citizens of this country.

Wow… the more I think about what he was saying, the more outlandish it seems.

Just to clarify a minor point, but I went back and relistened to Gross’ introduction on NPR’s “Fresh Air” link and she said Norquist’s previous job was working for an interest group that tried to encourage company CEO’s to hire conservative Republican lobbyists not pressure companies into hiring conservative Republican CEO’s.

That still doesn’t mean Norquist isn’t a rigid right-wing idealogue.

Jumping in here, not really to tempt Gaudere’s Law, but to ask for clarification:

Doesn’t an ideologue actually traffic in ideas?

This guy strikes me as a shrill and strident demagogue.

An ideologue traffics in an ideology. A demagogue traffics in the demos, the people. Norquist is an ideologue, but one can be both.

You guys should try interviewing him sometime.

Jonathan, tell us more, don’t leave us hangin…

Did anyone catch the interview with Paul Krugman(sp?)? Grover’s interview was sort of in rebuttal to this. I only heard a little bit, but from I could tell, Krugman was suggesting that the current administration is making decisions based on wiping out government funded social programs and the like. Do I have that right? Can anyone give me a summary about Krugman’s theories?

Norquist must be a truly awful debater to get shot down by Terry Gross. I’m surprised she didn’t interrupt his Holocaust comment to ask him if he had suffered any childhood traumas related to Jews or Germans. She seems to have an inordinate interest in that sort of thing.

lost4life, Krugman writes a column for the New York times two or three times a week. You can read it for free at the Times website. I’d like to see Krugman and Norquist go head-to-head; Krugman would tear his head off and crap down his neck.

Here’s an article packed with all sorts of interesting bits about Norquist:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20010514&s=dreyfuss

Hey! Don’t knock the name “Grover.” He was my favorite Muppet on Sesame Street. Sure, he had trouble in his job as a waiter getting that blue bald headed guy’s order right, but nobody’s perfect!