[for the first half of this article focused on taxes, use link below]
Grover Norquist is the problem with Washington DC, not the solution by Patrick Poole at The PJ Tatler
Hypocrisy, thy name is Norquist.
Speaking of hypocrisy, in the late 1990s, Norquist teamed with Christian Coalition executive director Randy Tate to help sell social conservatives on the Defense of Marriage Act. In fact, I was in some of those meetings, including one where Norquist and Tate publicly browbeat a female intern for the Eagle Forum for raising the objections of her organization to using the Commerce Clause as the basis for the legislation and how that might undermine federalism and states rights. Yet now Norquist sits on the advisory board of GOProud, which is working to overturn the same act claiming it should be a states rights issue.
Norquist’s record gets worse.
Not only has he sold his influence to the highest bidder, some of those that Norquist gave entry to the GOP corridors of power were downright dangerous.
Take for instance Norquist escorting Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror leader Sami al-Arian into the White House for a meeting with Karl Rove. During Al-Arian’s terror support trial, his attorney specifically cited the top Republican government officials that Al-Arian had met with courtesy of Norquist’s introductions as a defense that his client couldn’t possibly be a terrorist leader. When Al-Arian plead guilty to terror support, the federal judge noted that Al-Arian had been “an active leader” in the terror group.
Where were the apologies by Norquist for exposing Republicans to such a dangerous individual? In fact there were none. Rather, he attacked as racists, bigots and Islamophobes anyone who dared raise issue for his new-found terrorist friends.
Nor were there any apologies, but rather a cover-up, when one of his lobbying firm’s clients, Abdurahman Alamoudi, came under fire for his terrorist associations. In response to those news reports, Norquist’s firm altered their lobbying disclosure forms naming Alamoudi as their client to try to conceal the relationship:
Lobby disclosure forms originally filed by [David] Safavian’s firm [co-founded with Norquist], Janus-Merritt Strategies, show that it represented Alamoudi, a prominent Muslim activist, until 2001. Alamoudi has since been convicted and imprisoned for accepting money from the Libyan government as part of an alleged plot to assassinate the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
Janus-Merritt Strategies changed its lobby disclosure forms in 2001 to indicate that its client was not Alamoudi but Jamal Barzinji. In March 2002, Barzinji was named in a search warrant affidavit filed by a Customs Service official as “the officer or director” of a group of entities in Northern Virginia “controlled by individuals who have shown support for terrorists or terrorist fronts.” No charges have been filed against Barzinji, and he has denied any wrongdoing.
The Treasury Department later identified Alamoudi as one of Al-Qaeda’s top North American fundraisers.
Alamoudi even spoke at an anti-Israel hatefest in October 2000 co-sponsored and promoted by Norquist’s Islamic Institute, where Alamoudi led the crowd gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House making his support for terrorists crystal clear, saying:
“I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas,” Alamoudi told a crowd of about 3,000 people in Washington’s Lafayette Park on Saturday who were protesting U.S. Mideast policies. “Anybody support Hamas here?” Alamoudi asked three times, as the crowd roared its approval.
“Hear that, Bill Clinton?” he continued. “We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah. . . . Does anybody support Hezbollah here?”
The crowd again roared its approval as Alamoudi repeated the question.
“I want you to send a message,” he told his audience. “It’s an occupation, stupid. . . . Hamas is fighting an occupation. It’s a legal fight.”
And yet Norquist continued to push Alamoudi, even arranging for the Al-Qaeda financier (who was funneling money for Osama bin Laden since as early as 1993) to appear with President Bush just days after the 9/11 attacks.
And when other Norquist lobbying clients (and donors to Norquist’s organizations) were raided by the US Customs Service in the Operation Greenquest terror finance investigation, Norquist immediately sprung into action, arranging a meeting for his clients with then-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. With considerable money being directed to a number of GOP candidates, the investigation was quietly shut down by the Bush administration over the strong objections of the federal investigators on the case.
So in conclusion, while those cowardly GOP souls who seem eager to collapse to Obama’s demands for higher taxes are clearly in the wrong, the evidence shows clearly that Grover Norquist is not the anti-tax, limited government advocate he would have you believe.
Norquist’s record is that he will cheer unfunded government spending increases when it suits his own interests, and will shift his interpretation of the ATR no-tax pledge depending on who is lobbying clients are or what special interests he is protecting. As seen with the Defense of Marriage Act and his lobbying for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he will take both sides of the issue given enough time. The Abramoff scandal showed that he willingly whored out the conservative movement to the highest bidder. And his promoting terror leaders, such as Sami al-Arian and Abdurahman Alamoudi, along with his attempts to scuttle the Operation Greenquest terror finance investigation targeting his lobbying clients and friends, shows he has no reservations putting his own financial interests ahead of those of the country.
Make no mistake: Grover Norquist is the problem with Washington DC, not the solution.