Rep. Frank Wolf, R-N.Va, is one of the longest serving GOP members of Congress, and Tuesday on Capitol Hill he displayed a political mettle you don’t see much of these days: essentially, Wolf called the biggest anti-tax crusader in Washington a crook on the House floor.
That would be Grover Norquist, a man of many unsavory acquaintances, and the head of Americans For Tax Reform.
That group has almost every congressional Republican by the balls, because they’ve persuaded almost all of them (including Reps. Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt and Eric Cantor) to sign a pledge that they would oppose “any and all tax increases.”
Wolf is one of six House Republicans who refused to sign the thing. And Tuesday he explained why.
From Raw Story:
[Wolf] cited Norquist’s relationships with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and terrorist financier Sami Al-Arian, and his ties to Fannie Mae and the Internet gambling industry.
“Simply put, I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with or has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream,” the congressman said.
“I also believe Mr. Norquist has used the ATR ‘pledge’ as leverage to advance other issues many Americans would find inappropriate, and when taken as a whole, should give people pause.”
Wolf added that the anti-tax pledge — which demanded “ideological purity” — had paralyzed Congress so much that even discussion of tax reform was in gridlock.
Norquist told The Washington Post that Wolf, unlike Americans For Tax Reform, believes tax increases should remain on the table in congressional negotiations over deficit reduction.
That disagreement, Norquist said, is why Wolf “got so pissy and got so stupidly personal about a bunch of stuff that’s either not true, old or discredited from the past.”
Bravo for Wolf. He knows, among other things, that Norquist is a slimeball pal of convict Jack Abramoff, and that Norquist knowinly allowed Abramoff to launder money through ATR.
It’s nice to know there’s at least one Republican from Virginia who refuses to be cowed by political miscreants.
(h/t to DaveH on this post)