2012 Election Richard Falknor on 14 Feb 2012 10:00 pm
Whatever one’s disagreement with Grover Norquist over conservative principles (and we have many), one must concede that his rhetoric is powerful and that he minces few words.
Truly, Norquist is no boring, ‘happy talk’ GOP apparatchik.
But yesterday the talented sometime conservative David Frum pointed us (Daily Beast) — through his “Norquist: Romney Will Do As Told: Is Mitt Romney so weak he won’t be able to stand up to Congress?” — to what Mr. Frum calls the “most significant” speech at last week’s CPAC : that of Grover Norquist.
Explains author Frum —
“In his charmingly blunt way, Norquist articulated out loud a case for Mitt Romney that you hear only whispered by other major conservative leaders.
They have reconciled themselves to a Romney candidacy because they see Romney as essentially a weak and passive president who will concede leadership to congressional conservatives:
[Frum quoting Norquist] All we have to do is replace Obama … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.
The requirement for president?
Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”
Readers are encouraged to listen to the entire video of Americans for Tax Reform chief Norquist’s CPAC talk here. (Although Norquist does not mention governor Romney’s name in his discussion of what qualities are needed in the next GOP president, Frum not unreasonably concludes that the governor is the expected nominee and successful candidate.)
Is governor Romney “so weak that he won’t be able to stand up to Congress,” as David Frum asks?
We all favor a Ryan or even tighter budget – – but what conservative priorities will the Congressional GOP leadership avoid addressing in 2013?
(And what could we expect from the Norquist vision of the next GOP president if Republicans fail to take the Senate next November and end up with a weakened minority in the House?)
We know that Mr. Norquist (to put it charitably) turns a blind eye to the Islamist menace, inclines to amnesty for illegals, seeks a shrunken defense budget, and apparently has “no position” on “gay marriage.”
We also know that during the years of the last Bush presidency, he failed to use the power of his organization to stop or hinder the White House’s and the GOP-led Congress’ expansion of big government.
Mr. Norquist says “the leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.”
How does this current GOP Congressional leadership reflect — in spirit or in accomplishment — the concerns of the conservative base?
Or is what Norquist describes as the “modern conservative movement” from the House and Senate merely a device to calm the credulous ?
Grass-roots conservatives and Tea Partiers have good reason to be wary of the Beltway GOP which may have some unwelcome surprises for all of us.