Friday, July 29, 2005

Grover Norquist?

Why is it that the Democrats don't have a brilliant ideologue and organizer like Grover Norquist? In the August 1, 2005 New Yorker, author John Cassidy elaborates in The Ringleader on Norquist's power, despite never holding an elected office:

Grover G. Norquist, a former young Reaganite whom Newt Gingrich, the House Speaker from 1995 to 1998, described to me as "the single most effective conservative activist in the country," has helped bring about this transformation. For all its success, the right is an often fractious alliance of evangelical Christians, laissez-faire liberals, neoconservatives, corporate conservatives, and many other sects and sub-sects. Norquist plays a key role in keeping the coalition together, acting, by turns, as ringleader, visionary, and enforcer. "It's very unusual to have a leader in the conservative movement who can unite everybody," Charles Black, a veteran Republican strategist, says. "Grover's got a way of convincing people that they are important and that what they are doing is significant." Norquist has some critics on the right - the pundit Tucker Carlson once called him "a mean-spirited, humorless, dishonest little creep" - but his ability to marshal disparate groups has earned him access to the highest levels of power. "There's nobody like Grover," Ralph Z. Hallow, a political reporter for the Washington Times, says. "He's close to the White House. That means Karl" - the Presidential advisor Karl Rove. "He's well liked on the Hill. And he's also trusted by the movement."

One might think at first glancing at the title of Cassidy's piece that the subject is going to be Karl Rove, but it is not. Now that Karl's tarnished image is sinking into the background, will Grover's winning good looks make him the front runner for not-elected-yet-surprisingly-powerful-old-white-man prize.

I wish the Democrats would get a clue and start professing their unabiding love for men as studly as Grover Norquist, maybe then we'd have some visionaries to pull our floundering party together.


At August 01, 2005 11:22 AM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

Grover, schmrover. Actually, I think Grover Norquist is just as responsible for the rise of the GOP as anyone.

I'd like to see more Democrats and progressives challenging Norquist's broad philosophy rather than remain reactionaries to certain circumstances.

At August 02, 2005 10:04 AM, Blogger Nell Selander said...

Grover is awesome (in a scary way). I totally agree with Gilbert, the guy's done a lot and accumulated a lot of power that he wields cleverly.

I may go to some of the YDA by the Bay events and I keep thinking, "I hope it's not all focused on how horrible the other side is." Hopefully I will finally see some offensive thinking on the part of the so-called future of the Democratic party.

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