Extremism

The entire GOP has drunk the Grover Norquist kool-aid.

All six Republican members of the Super-Committee have signed the Grover Norquist pledge, committing themselves not to raise taxes. And all eight of the Republican Presidential candidates in the Iowa debate said they’d oppose a deficit-reduction package weighted 10-to-1 cuts to revenues. No doubt the absent Rick Perry will say the same.

This is, of course, where the Tea Party is. But it’s not where the country is. Barry Goldwater’s link to the John Birch Society – the forebear of the Tea Parties – was the kiss of death for his White House aspirations. But this year’s crop of Republican candidates – like the Republican Party on Capitol Hill – is far more deeply in the grip of extremism than Goldwater ever was.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

8 thoughts on “Extremism”

  1. That’s not surprising. Can you really see the House passing any legislation that would result in a net increase in revenue?

    The more interesting question is whether any Dems on the panel will vote to cut entitlement spending.

  2. “And all eight of the Republican Presidential candidates in the Iowa debate…”

    It was a zany display of pure comedic horror.
    A modern remake of the Munsters…
    I mean really: was that craziness for real?

    I was dead wrong about one thing: Bain getting buried by the media…
    But cut me some slack, I had no idea that the one company/party that could make it reverberate (Fox News), disliked Mitt so much…
    My money is now on Morticia….

  3. Paul, I’ve been enjoying reading issues of my alma mater’s newspaper, The Daily Iowan, from 50 years ago and the treatment the John Birch Society (and Robert Welch) got from the press was tougher than the Tea Party gets today, no doubt about it. An AP wire story from August 8th, 1961 noted the President of the American Bar Association blasting Welch for calling Earl Warren a Communist. IMO, the mass media in general was more respectful of government and its institutions than it is today.

  4. “…, the mass media in general was more respectful of government and its institutions than it is today.”

    Well, some things do get better with time.

  5. I’m trying to recall whether there was a 24-hour news channel put out by the John Birch Society…. nope. That’s different.

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