In talks about the fiscal cliff, there are high-ranking Republicans willing to violate Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge. At the same time, Norquist is still standing firm.
As the 2012 United States Elections are over, there are things that are still left on the table. In regards to the economy, there is the talk of the fiscal cliff. At first, Republicans said that they didn't want to raise taxes, let alone for the wealthy. Leading the anti-tax crusade is pundit Grover Norquist. Norquist has been known as a major anti-tax crusader. Norquist is considered an influential pundit in the GOP; however, it seems that Norquist is slowly and gradually losing influence in the party. However, Norquist is standing firm. In a Salon article, Norquist seems to be unyielding and warned both Democrats and Republicans that the anti-tax pledge is still holding strong. Norquist says that nothing has changed since Barack Obama was re-elected as the United States President.
Obama's re-election was seen as a critical blow to Republicans. He had defeated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who was the GOP nominee. However, that wasn't the only loss the party suffered. While the GOP maintained control of the US House of Representatives, the GOP suffered losses in many Senate races which enabled Democrats to maintain control of the US Senate. Keep in mind there are still the 2014 Elections where there are House, Senate, and governor seats up for grabs.
However, there are signs of dissent among the ranks of the GOP.
According to an opinion piece on Penn Live, a growing number of members within the Republican Party are rethinking the anti-tax pledge they signed and are making a 180-degree about face on Norquist. In regards to the elections, some of Norquist's anti-tax pledges have lost their seats. At the same time, there are newly elected Republicans that refuse to sign the anti-tax pledge citing that there's no reason to sign it at all. In this respect, it's Norquist vs. the newly elected Republicans.
Also, this tax pledge called the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” is not binding in any legal way.
High-ranking Republicans are willing to break Norquist's pledge. One of them is Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He said that he would be willing to violate the pledge. His justification is that the pledge they should be making sure that the United States doesn't end up like Greece. Graham did lay out a condition if he was going to violate the pledge: Democrats need to do entitlement reform.
The dissent started out from GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss. Chambliss was very vocal about it and talked about caring too much about his country than he does about Norquist. He did receive political fire about it. Then people like Graham started giving opposition to Norquist's anti-tax pledge.
GOP Representative Peter King agreed with Chambliss' words. He said that the pledge, signed 18 years ago, is only for that Congress. Then, he talked about World War I. King said that he would've signed the declaration to go back war against Japan. Then, he said that today he had no plans of trying to war with Japan. He said that the economic situation was different now than it was in the past.
GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona said that there are cracks in Norquist's power. McCain was the GOP nominee for the 2008 US Elections. Former US President George H. W. Bush said that you cannot be bound to Norquist's pledge. Then, he asked who Norquist was in the first place.
These are examples of some of the influential Republicans breaking rank against Norquist.
Dissent within the GOP ranks against Norquist's anti-tax pledge can be great ammo for Obama and the Democratic Party. With Obama winning a second term, supporters are taking to YouTube and expressing their support for taxes to be raised on the wealthy. Videos would be forwarded to both Republicans and centrist Democrats. For the former, Obama's supporters hope that this will entice the GOP to break away with the Tea Party Movement.
With high-ranking Republicans ready to break away from Norquist, this seemingly makes it easier for Obama and the Democrats to prove their case and sell it to the public.