American Fundamentalists
(Christ's Entry into Washington in 2008)
by Joel Pelletier
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The Cast of Characters (return to cast list)
Politicos: Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Grover is one of the guys who author the "talking points" that the Republican Party, radical-right media and pundits then stay with throughout the week. One of the authors of the Contract for America (with the Heritage Foundation), he is another true Machavellian (like Ralph Reed, who worked with Grover in the College Republican National Committee in the 1980's) who presents a perfectly reasonable demeaner, but is one of the most ruthless operators working behind the scenes. He has equated taxes, especially the Estate Tax (referred to by him as the Orwellian "Death Tax") with the Holocaust. A true no-government political fundamentalist, he says he actually started out as "a foreign-policy conservative first," further evidence that the three fundamentalist movements outlined in my painting cross-pollinate each other extensively. He is also the president of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project (RRLP); according to the organization's web site, it exists "to honor and memorialize the historic achievements of President Ronald Reagan. It aims to do so by naming at least one notable public landmark in each state and all 3067 counties after the 40th president." (joelp)

"(Americans for Tax Reform) supports a flat tax rate, school choice and tighter controls on the right to sue for injury. It opposes gun control, abortion and "all tax increases." To secure the group's endorsement, politicians must sign a lifelong pledge to oppose tax increases. (The Oregonian, 9/8/98)

Norquist is famous for his widely quoted comment that he wants to shrink government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." He is considered to be a simplistic thinker in that he sees the world only in terms of good and evil without there being any gray areas. The pledge of "no new taxes" that so many Republican legislators signed was his project. He holds regular meetings for conservative leaders in which strategy is discussed. He once commented, "We play for keeps; they play for lunch." (disinfopedia.org)

"Of course there are still apologists on the Right who pose as journalists. You point to Grover Norquist as one of them. You're right, Norquist is a mean-spirited, humorless, dishonest little creep. But in my experience, there aren't many Grovers in positions of prominence on the Right, and virtually none in conservative journalism. Which is why I wrote a piece about him in the first place, because he's an embarrassing anomaly, the leering, drunken uncle everyone else wishes would stay home. Norquist is repulsive, granted, but there aren't nearly enough of him to start a purge trial." Tucker Carlson, Right Wing Journalism, slate.com, 7/17/97

Quotes

"(We want to shrink the Federal Government) down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

"We will hunt [these liberal groups] down one by one and extinguish their funding sources."

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2004 Joel Pelletier, joelp.com, email: joelp@joelp.com, web design: the Way Home media
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