Monday, December 24, 2012

David Paul: The Absolutist Politics of Norquist and LaPierre Will Destroy the Republican Party

David Paul: The Absolutist Politics of Norquist and LaPierre Will Destroy the Republican Party
National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre really out-did himself this week. Speaking in response to the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, LaPierre concluded that armed guards in the schools were the answer. Like those old time liberals he so disdains, LaPierre's solution to mass murder in schools was to throw money at the problem, demanding that Congress "appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation."

In the days leading up to LaPierre's public statement, the NRA announced that it was "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again." As it turns out, LaPierre offered nothing meaningful in his statement, and the only contributions were those that he demanded come from Congress --which is to say from the rest of us. On the issues of assault weapons or background checks, LaPierre would give no ground. And where might the money come from? No doubt from other federal education dollars. Perhaps we could divert National Science Foundation funding for science and mathematics education to pay for armed school guards.

Better that he had kept his mouth shut.

In one week, the two major planks of the Republican Party have demonstrated later stages of rot. Even more than its anti-abortion stance, the Republican Party is bound to its anti-tax pledge and pro-gun commitments. And those two political shibboleths are enforced by the organizational and political skills of the two men who are their public personae: Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist and LaPierre.

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