Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, came to the offices of The New Republic Thursday for a wide-ranging discussion on American politics and the future of the Republican Party. Unsurprisingly, the government shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations came up more than once. Norquist has already expressed his disdain for the Tea Party’s “defund Obamacare” strategy, led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whom Norquist has said "crashed and burned" and dragged Republicans "across broken glass for no purpose."
Today, he attacked Cruz with analogies. Here were the three best:
1. “Cruz looked up this summer and said, ‘They’re going to give us a bunch of stuff in order to do the debt ceiling! What will we ask for? I’ll jump out with the biggest ask, demanding that that’s the only thing to ask for.’ [Paul Ryan] has put the work in. This is the wind and the lion. The wind blows by, but the lion is still there. Cruz comes in, sells everybody on 76 trombones, and people buy in temporarily.”
2. “I was a supporter of [asking to delay Obamacare rather than defunding it]. I thought we should’ve opened with delay. And we’d be very accordion-like on how much of a delay would be a win, and I thought the president could actually accept some delay and you’d have some progress. It’s this idea that if you’re going to come in and say, ‘I’d like your kidney,’ you might have a chance of a negotiation. If you ask for a liver, the answer’s probably no. So by asking for too much, they just kicked it away.”
3. “There’s a TV show where Amish kids spend a year off in the big, evil city [for Rumspringa], and then they decide to come back. Everybody was happy in Boehner-world and then Cruz comes and goes, 'Let’s go to the big city and do sinful things,’ and they all went off with him, and then they came back and said, ‘We want to stay here.’ Partly because it didn’t work, and they got a little embarrassed by claiming things were going to happen that couldn’t possibly happen.”