5 Signs That Grover Norquist is Losing His Political Power

One of the most influential figures in politics isn’t even a politician. Grover Norquist, the wealthy lobbyist who obtains the pledges of Republican candidates to not raise taxes under any circumstance, has succeeded in tying up Congress and hindering the development of realistic ways to fix the country’s budget woes. Fortunately, as of late, Norquist’s stronghold appears to be weakening. Here are five signs that Norquist is losing his political clout:

1. The Natives are Restless

For the first time, Republicans are beginning to renounce Norquist’s pledge. What was previously essentially a conservative litmus test is now up for debate. Senator Saxby Chambliss declared, “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge. If we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt.” Senator Lindsey Graham indicated similar feelings, explaining,“I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country.” Other Republican Congresspeople like Scott Rigell, Bob Corker, Steve LaTourette and Peter King have expressed similar changes of heart.

2. His Ballot Measures are Failing

This November, Norquist endorsed Michigan’s Proposal 6, a plan to add obstacles to the creation of a bridge between Detroit and Canada. However, voters rejected the Proposal anyway. Furthermore, although California’s Proposition 31 was not sponsored by Norquist, the ballot measure largely contained his philosophies in addressing the state’s budget woes. Again, voters rejected these potential laws by a large margin.

3. His Desperation is Showing

Following the media attention of potential pledge defectors, Norquist is laying it on thick that absolutely nothing will change. His outright denial, as seen in this Salon article, shows a desperate man who is ignoring the facts to retain a semblance of power. Beyond that, Norquist’s most notable talking point for the whole election cycle was when he suggested President Obama had won by portraying Mitt Romney as a “poopy head.” It was just a sophomoric stunt aimed to retain some sort of relevancy.

4. People See Through the Façade

After having a conversation with Norquist earlier this year, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni says he realized that Norquist’s idea “wasn’t supposed to be a plausible argument, merely an attention-getting one. It had less to do with serious policy or sensible politics than with sheer performance.” Increasingly, people are becoming aware that Norquist is more of a showman, and an egotistical one at that. A Washington Post profile reveals that Norquist’s library includes over 100 copies of his own book and hundreds of publications that either quote or reference him.

5. The Ideology is Losing Voter Support

Plain and simple, Norquist is less of a person and more of a philosophy. And that philosophy is no longer one that resonates with voters. As ThinkProgress points out, about 80 Republican Senate and House candidates who signed the pledge failed to win their elections. Moreover, the 15 House Republican incumbents who lost had all signed Norquist’s pledge.

While it’s premature to say that Norquist has lost his sway altogether, the tides are turning. With any luck, if enough Republicans agree that the welfare of the country is more important than a self-destructive promise to a rich lobbyist, Congress might finally be able to accomplish some significant change.


Related Stories:

Grover Norquist: The Man Behind Our Revenue Problem

Norquist Tells GOP That Raising Taxes on the Middle Class Doesn’t Count as a Tax Increase

Grover Norquist: Obama Won by Calling Romney ‘A Poopy Head’

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Dani L.
danalyn L5 years ago

who really cares what this idiot thinks?? he is interested in what is good for him and the big businesses who have purchased him to further their cause. Any republican who votes with him has been bought as well... tired of the crap already... stop stalling and do what the American people want rather than what big business wants. With out the people to purchase big business is dead.. The people spoke with the election.. Let's move on and get the old boys club out of government.

James L.
James Lord5 years ago

Last I knew he really had only one vote in an election... Let us make it happen for real...

Robert B.
Robert B5 years ago

Get our of our lives, Grover! Good bye and good riddance.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

Well said, Kevin and No.

paul m.
paul m5 years ago


No B.
Nancy B5 years ago

Who elected him king of the USA. the arrogance of the man and the Republicants.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

Since this is a depression we are in, the government very much ought to run massive deficits to stimulate the economy,,BUT at the same time, it ought to spend the money on things that are CONSTRUCTIVE like fighting global warming with ALL THREE: replacing fossil fuel with sustainable energy, capturing and storing carbon, and buying fossil fuel reserves as they are displaced by sustainable energy. We also have a lot of badly neglected infrastructure that needs to be repaired or replaced before it falls apart in spectacular fashion causing many deaths and a huge mess to be cleaned up.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson5 years ago

The anti-tax fetish is hard for me to understand. Refusing to raise taxes in the face of need is like refusing to use money when you need to buy something. There may be question as to what taxes to raise and where the burden should fall, but cutting and cutting across decades has the effect of gutting civic life and leaving us divided and polarized.

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M5 years ago

NORELCO, Grover. Gillette, for goodness sake! It's called a SHAVE. And while you're at it, take a shower too. You always have this unkempt, unwashed look about you. I suspect your lack of humanity is causing you cold sweats...that must be it.