Saxby Chambliss and Grover Norquist Are No Longer BFFs

November 24, 2012 18:21 pm

by Nathan · 55 comments

In among the stories about turkey, football, and massive hordes of zombies Black Friday shoppers, this story from the New York Post about an interview on WMAZ where our senior US Senator, Saxby Chambliss, has indicated that he would be backing out of his decades-old pledge of not raising taxes:

“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” he told WMAZ-TV. “If we do it his way then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”

Somewhere, Grover Norquist’s head has probably exploded.

Senator Chambliss is up for re-election in 2014.  He’s not the most popular Republican among the Georgia Republican Party grassroots, and I suspect that he probably won’t win a lot of support from the conservatives in the state with this move.  Rumors abound of Saxby picking up challengers in ’14.  I suspect this will continue to fuel the speculation.

So, what say you?  Do you believe this move will hurt Saxby and help the (currently mythical) primary challenger?  Do pledges candidates make on the campaign trail mean anything anymore once they take office?

Bridget November 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Senator Chambliss will be speaking at the Cobb GOP breakfast this upcoming Saturday morning. It’ll be interesting to hear what he chooses to speak about.

Nathan November 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I expect you’ll be giving us updates of that speech?

Romegaguy November 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Michelle Bachmann says Grover and his Muslim wife raise money for the terrorists. I dont want to support the terrorists so I’ll be with Saxby

seenbetrdayz November 25, 2012 at 8:03 am

I suggest we really start tracing where that foreign aid, which Saxby keeps voting for, ends up.

James Fannin November 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Saxby should keep two pledges only, the one he made to love and honor his wife and the one he made to protect and defend the Constitution and just say “no” to Grover Norquist and Georgia Right to Life and the NRA and the unions and tell Move On.org and all the other single issue pleaders to just “move on.”

Rick Day November 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Just when we get one nurtured back to sanity….

Harry November 24, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I like Saxby. There is nobody who can primary him, or best him in the general election.

Harry November 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

As Norquist said, “I hope and trust that Senator Chambliss will keep his promise to Georgia and not raise taxes on the people of Georgia.”

IndyInjun November 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm

“There is nobody who can primary him, or best him in the general election”

I think you are wrong on both accounts. He certainly can be ‘primaried.’

My issues with him are rooted in his utter lack of fiscal conservatism before now and the deep hole that got us into.

Harry November 24, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I adhere to the 80% rule.

seenbetrdayz November 25, 2012 at 8:06 am

I like that rule too. Let Saxby pay 80% of the spending increases he votes for and let taxpayers work on the other 20%.

Trey A. November 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Yeah, Saxby’s toast. The absolute last thing voters want is a politician who has the gumption to talk to the other side, form bi-partisan “gangs” and actually try to get stuff done.

Washington’s broke. Clearly, we need to more Paul Brouns and Lee Andersons to fix things.

IndyInjun November 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I actually like Saxby’s new found courage. It comes far, far too late in a game in which he stacked the deck against us, though. Broun cannot touch him, but Price or Handel would be another matter.

NorthGAGOP November 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Saxby is sitting on $1.5 million, Price $1.7 million, Handel $0. Price is well positioned.

IndyInjun November 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm

After blasting T-Splost, Norquist’s AFTR offered up a $500,000 campaign for Anderson. I would say that the AFTR and Norquist are pretty much done as having credibility after that. They are about the same sad spectacle as Joe “YOU LIE!” Wilson endorsing Anderson.

Joshua Morris November 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for a good chuckle. Bi-partisan gangs have gotten exactly nothing done. You people who believe that bipartisanship is more important than solid principle amaze me. Our schools have utterly failed you.

Trey A. November 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

“Bipartisan gangs have gotten exactly nothing done.” Hmmm… Maybe a refresher on U.S. history is in order? Or, if you can’t be troubled to open a book, you can pony up $10 and go see Lincoln. It’s in theaters now.

seenbetrdayz November 27, 2012 at 4:32 am

Trey’s right. Bipartisan gangs do an excellent job of spending money and voting for things like the PATRIOT act..

You bring two sides together, talk about how we need to cut spending, and end up walking away with spending bills that are larger than ever. It’s a beautiful thing to see everyone coming together in harmoney to screw over the American people.

saltycracker November 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Saying “No” to Grover is fine if connected to spending cuts and a revision in the tax code like addfressing subsidized mega-agri-corporations and exploding food stamps. Unfortnately his fellow legislators would reduce Georgia subsidies while increasing theirs.

seenbetrdayz November 25, 2012 at 8:34 am

“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” he told WMAZ-TV. “If we do it his way then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”

If I thought for one second that this would be the compromise that buys the folks in Washington some time to address spending, I’d say double my tax rate and let’s cut some spending. But, let’s be honest folks, do you think a sincere look at spending is even on the radar for these critters? It’s never worked before (it just reinforces the belief in Washington that there’s always more money to milked and spent), but let’s try it again, right? Fingers crossed, and all hopes on politicians to finally, just this once (again), try to cut spending. — At risk of pissing folks off:

Some of the ‘let’s just increase taxes and see if they get the message this time’ crowd are at least as naive as Groquist.

Give them their tax increase and I promise you that in a few more years we’ll be sitting in this same spot (the same one we’ve been sitting in . . . forever), with folks like Chambliss once again saying that we have to increase taxes to pay down the debt—never once admitting that our Senators needed to be holding up their end of the bargain by addressing spending in the mean time. But, I’ll bet you whatever I have left after taxes, that they won’t.

The beat goes on:

“Oops, looks like we spent more money. Let’s increase taxes. Done. That was easy.”

“Oops, looks like we spent more money. Let’s increase taxes. Done. That was easy.”

“Oops, looks like we spent more money. Let’s increase taxes. Done. That was easy.”

Sen. Chambliss, If you’re ready to make the middle class work harder to fund this government, maybe you could work a little harder to figure out what really needs to be funded, and what needs to be cut. Or you could just wait until things start boiling again in a few more years and you again have to find a way to raise the lid.

seenbetrdayz November 25, 2012 at 8:41 am

Grover Norquist is now abbreviated Groquist, lol.

Harry November 25, 2012 at 10:29 am

Let’s not forget the Laffer curve. Increasing taxes kills the incentive to work, produce, and capitalize.

IndyInjun November 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

The problem with the Laffer curve is the obligations that the very same pols who cite it created before using it as an excuse to not pay those obligations.

seenbetrdayz November 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm

It presents sort of a chicken-and-egg problem between taxation-and-spending, doesn’t it?

IndyInjun November 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Yes, as Reagan found out, it is easy to cut taxes and leave the heavy duty spending cuts for another day, somewhere out there in eternity. In Georgia, the GOPers let Bart Graham execute a multiple $billion sales tax cut without a vote of the legislature and made it retroactive to 1/1/2009. That coincided very nicely with a second downward spike in collections. Nobody told the teachers and state pensioners that their benefits would be endangered, did they?

Cause and effect. People affected by the effects never see the cause. And yes, that is double entendre.

In Saxby’s case, when he exclaimed that a derivative “can be a phone call” not one person in 100,000 understood the effect and probably 1 in 1 million could get the cause. When the scammers pulled the same thing prior to 1929 there were no computers and no internet to exponentially do damage within seconds. Georgia’s Senators are closer to 1929 vintage than 2012. Cupidity or stupidity matters not in the face of a $quadrillion derivatives that Saxby birthed.

Maybe the next US Senator can wave his hand and make the $Quadrillion problem Saxby made go away. Math sux, doesn’t it boys?

gcp November 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Yes, Saxby “trick knee” Chambliss will be primaried. For those that support his big government Republicanism you are part of the problem. For those that praise him for disagreeing with Norquist and his silly tax pledge stuff did you also support Chambliss when he voted for the 58 billion a year Medicare Drug Program in 2003? I find it especially strange when folks praise Chambliss because he now has “seniority”. Politicians such as Chambliss that spend much of their life in office should be ridiculed not praised.

James Fannin November 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I’m one of those who believes that there is indeed great value in having your state represented by a senator with seniority. The Framers created this system you don’t like to ensure each state had an equal voice. What that means is there are two senators who are supposed to care a great deal about Georgia and 98 who don’t so much. I like the fact that Saxby is working across the aisle, building alliances and finding ways to solve big problems while also looking out for Georgia’s unique interests.

As I have pointed out in an earlier post, Georgia has an abundance of critical defense establishments and interests. That makes sense because Georgia is a great place for the Army, Navy and Air Force to train and for the Air Force and the Marines to repair their equipment. In the coming years, there will be significant miltiary reductions and when that occurs, decissions will be made that will affect that livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Georgians. Absent a strong voice like Saxby’s, those decisions will be made by the winners of the last election for political and not necessarily strategic reasons. That is just one example among many why it will be important to have Saxby Chambliss represent us and why seniority and knowing how DC works matters.

gcp November 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm

And how much was wasted on the useless Lockheed F-22 thanks to Chambliss and other Ga. politicians? How about 65 billion. This plane was designed in the 1990s and was only recently deployed overseas. It is so unsafe some AF pilots refuse to fly it. Even McCain and former Sec. Gates wanted the program discontinued. If Chambliss had his way we would still be wasting money on this plane. The purpose of the military is not to be a jobs program for Georgians but to defend this country.

Trey A. November 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm

GCP, rolling out the “trick knee” jab? If it were a choice between the knee and the moderate war hero who once held his seat, I’d be cutting checks and knocking on doors to send Saxby home. But that’s not likely the choice we’re going to have. It’s going to be Saxby or Broun. Or Saxby or Price. The Dems are either going to trot out an ambitious young liberal with zero chance of winning (like Kasim Reed) or a washed-up moderate with zero chance of winning (like David Poythress). I foresee Saxby 2014 yard signs in my future…

seenbetrdayz November 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

Oh Saxby’s position is important, but only helps Georgians if he actually uses it for benefit.

What I mean to say is, that our Senior Senator is one of the staunchest advocates for farming subsidies and one of the staunchest advocates for military spending. If we are to make even a dent in our budget, we will need to cut domestic and foreign spending.

And we will need to start thinking about financial reasons, not just strategic reasons, or else we will eventually find ourselves unable to afford a strategy.

Ken November 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

There are times when trade-offs exist that would warrant breaking that pledge. We’ll have to wait and see if this is one of those cases.

For one, I would support a decrease in tax exemptions (Grover will call them tax increases) in exchange for overall reductions in marginal tax rates.

What I really want to see is a complete overhaul of the federal tax code.

saltycracker November 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Both sides know what they should do, they just believe doing it involves selling out to the other guy, they prefer to spend and borrow while fighting over tax compromises to show concern….

IndyInjun November 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

The magnitude of the spending overwhelms tax reform.

Ken November 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm

It’s not impossible to do both. The current code is incredibly wasteful, encoraging business and individuals to do anti-productive things.

The real problem IS spending, but Norquist is the tax pledge guy.

Ed November 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

It was (I’m pretty sure) it was this weekend’s The Wall Street Journal–that known MSM operator of left-wing propaganda–that had a lengthy article about how GN and his movement are done within the current GOP.

Maybe they were correct.

Ed November 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm
Harry November 25, 2012 at 9:24 pm

We all know what happened to Daddy Bush. It’s well and good for politicians to break the pledge, but their constituents will not appreciate the hit on their paychecks. In other words, I doubt Norquist is done in the GOP – no matter how much you may wish it.

Ed November 26, 2012 at 10:20 am
Harry November 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

They can certainly repudiate the pledge at any time, and maybe can escape the consequences. I’m not so sure. I myself agree that tax increases are needed, but should be offset with real spending reductions in a ratio of 1:5.

IndyInjun November 26, 2012 at 10:58 am

They will be so offset, by one means or the other. There is very little chance that Congress would even do 1:2, but the math says $1:$4 will happen, like it or not. Politicians cannot repeal mathematics.

Ed November 26, 2012 at 11:14 am

Arbitrary ratios, ftw.

Harry November 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Which one works for you?

Ed November 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm

13.463232:7.8123155 is the only sensible ratio, bro.

Harry November 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I wonder which one works for the GOP?

benevolus November 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I don’t know, but if you were negotiating this, and your opponent/partner said 1:1, would you settle at 1:2.5?

Ed November 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm

1:2.6 and that’s my final offer.

Harry November 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm

At 1:1 we reduce – at most – 20% of the annual deficit. That’s not really gonna impress those union pension funds.

Harry November 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm
KD_fiscal conservative November 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

While Saxby is definitely going to have primary opponents, from observing the the last couple of cycles both from the outside and inside campaigns, its is clear, the “grassroots”/”tea party” type repubs. aren’t *nearly* as powerful as they think they are. Look at the 9th district and the 12th district primaries, the 12th district general from this cycle and the gubernatorial primary from last cycle for further evidence.

An added problem for the far-right wing “grassrots” types is these days, the state is increasing swingy and if that crowd somehow does get one of their candidates through, the state could elect the first Dem Senator in years. Much of Georgia’s VAP have voted for Dems in past, and if they really don’t like the GOP candidate, and the Dem seems reasonable, I could definitely see a portion of the electorate voting for the (D).

seenbetrdayz November 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I’d vote for (D) to get rid of some of these establishment GOP types, so, if for some reason I’m not alone, that’s something to consider as well. But that would require the democratic party to dig up the remains of ‘Blue Dog fiscal responsibility’, because I don’t see much from the Democratic ranks right now except supporting whatever Obama wants to spend money on (not all that different from the way republicans followed Bush off of a cliff, now that I think about it).

To give you an idea of how off-base democrats are on fiscal matters, Sanford Bishop still believes he is a Blue Dog. If he’s a blue dog, oh dear God, what does that make the others?

IndyInjun November 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Exactly where was the “tea party” contingent? The “grassROTS,” as you put it, was quite appropriate for the hay farmer the Gold Dome bosses offered up, though! I would say that the GOP rebels made quite a statement in the 12th about force feeding the voters an establishment token.

KD_fiscal conservative November 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I was talking about the 12th district primary….Tractor Man is about as establishment as you can get and TP/grassrot types could do nothing to stop him from winning(the primary). Of course, it is important to note, even within the grassroters, there is much variation….from the single issue wackjobs to the hardcore TP nuts…the point is there in any election, there are a bunch of different types of voters and the far-far-right only makes up a portion.

Harry November 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Why do you think the tea party people are nuts? They’re just people who’re exhibiting their frustration with the status quo.

saltycracker November 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Harry – It gets a little hinkey when the cause de jour of “free thinking individuals” goes against the TP’s core mission statement.

IndyInjun November 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

The 12th result was an anomaly. There was a highly charged Sheriff’s race on the Democratic side and the GOPers in Augusta/Richmond County crossed over to the tune of 12,000 or so in the primary. They could not then vote in the GOP run-off. The ‘conservatives’ royally screwed themselves as they lost both races.

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