Republicans: The Party of No
As President Obama and Republicans in
The president made keeping the Bush tax cuts for the middle class a centerpiece of his campaign, along with eliminating them for the wealthiest 2 percent. The voters have spoken on the matter, the Democrats insist, and that their will should be done.
But another factor in the election equation may well be the damage the
Time and again in the campaign, Obama reminded audiences of the debate during the Republican primaries in which all the candidates were asked whether they would accept
That moment was a crowning jewel in the decades-long campaign of the party's Mr. No -- tax foe
Undertaken by Norquist in 1986 and eventually including 95 percent of all Republicans in
But in 1990, faced with a severe budget crisis, Bush yielded to the entreaties of key advisers and broke that pledge, confirming to party conservatives their long suspicion that he was not one of them,. It was a major factor in his re-election loss in 1992; the no-new-taxes pledge proved its political potency among the
Since then, Norquist's pledge has endured as a firewall of Republican obstruction against Democratic efforts to extend federal government growth, particularly through the entitlement programs like
Obama's re-election has produced much Republican rhetoric about the willingness now to compromise on deficit reduction, paired with new revenue required to maintain the social safety net. At the same time, however, House Speaker
For the first time, there appears to be a breach developing in that firewall of the Norquist pledge. Such leading Republicans as Sens.
In pure political terms, the operative question now is whether the
A realization appears to be shaping within the party that its tea-party component is headed lemming-like over the cliff, all too willing to take its more moderate composition into the abyss with it. In 2010, after the sweeping Republican victory in the midterm congressional elections, the
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Republicans: The Party of No | Politics
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