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Crack in the Republican Armor

Leading Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss has publicly renounced Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, stating “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”

Chambliss may not be the first, but he is definitely the most prominent Republican to say he no longer feels bound by the pledge (which he signed) to not raise taxes. Some freshmen Congresspersons have also said that they no longer feel bound by the pledge, which they were almost required to sign before winning a Republican nomination.

Maybe there is hope for the GOP yet?

Or maybe not. Karen Handel, the former executive for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, who nearly destroyed that charity with her attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, is considering running for the Senate against Saxby Chambliss. Handel previously ran for governor of Georgia on a strong anti-abortion platoform, but lost. Handel has called Planned Parenthood “a bunch of schoolyard thugs.”

UPDATE: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has now said “I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform.”

On the other side, Grover Norquist claims that the anti-tax pledge will hold. “For 20 years Democrats have tried over and over to trick Republicans into breaking the pledge. It hasn’t happened. This isn’t my first rodeo.”



  1. Jon wrote:

    The GOPers are doing this so that when we go over the fiscal cliff (which they want), they won’t be considered hypocritical when everyone’s taxes go up when the Bush tax cuts are cancelled. They have no intention of actually actively supporting any tax increase (i.e., increase revenue). They continue to have a position that would destroy the nation rather than allow Obama to accomplish anything.

    Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
  2. BTN wrote:

    Jon, don’t forget the Gojden Rule”: he who has the gold makes the ruels. The fiscal cliff is a much bigger problem for the 1% than the 47%, so Republcians will never let it happen. It’s not worth it for an elction 2 years away, and the public may view it as the ultimate obstructionist gesture, particularly if it derails the economy.

    Also, Obama’s *starting point* for negotiations is still lower taxes than when Bush II took office.

    Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink
  3. Mario Savio wrote:

    That’s my senator! I’ve been frustrated for so long by my state’s congressmens’ inflexible stances on virtually every key issue. I’m about as hard-nosed a liberal as they come, but between him and a Democrat who’d likely have more similar views to mine, I’d vote for Chambliss simply to have that more moderate voice influencing the GOP.

    As for Karen Handel, is she really a legitimate threat? Chambliss is an 18 year veteran, well-liked in Georgia, and he has an excellent history among conservative interest groups (link below). I find it difficult to believe that someone from his own party could offer a challenge.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink