Democracy Under Assault
Theopolitics, Incivility and Violence on the Right

Michele Swenson

Grover Norquist: The K St. Project
with Promotion of Chaos and Bankruptcy in the States
in Service of Political Right Agenda

Grover Norquist actively campaigned against 2005 Colorado Referenda C&D, the redress of Colorados TABOR Amendment straitjacket effect. TABOR was passed in 1992, promoted by the Heritage Foundation. Its effect has been to continually shrink Colorado's budget, without correction from years of recession to times of economic expansion.

As a chief architect of the "K Street Project" and the Bush administration annual large tax cuts for the rich, Norquist has embodied the Republican goal of shrinking government so that he can "drown it in a bathtub" - democracy and the common good be damned. He has threatened, "We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals, and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship." Applauding the effects of states fiscal crises on schools and the poor, Norquist expressed the hope that at least one of the states"goes bankrupt."

"There isnt any us and them with [the Bush] administration. They is us. We is them," boasted Norquist. Toward creation of a one-party system in America, the "K Street Project" is a Republican power grab that demands corporations hire Republicans to high-level  industry lobbyist positions, while firing those with Democratic connections. It was Senator Rick Santorums job during the 108th Congress to reward party loyalty by vetting the hiring decisions of major lobbyists.

Indicative of a Washington culture of intimidation and bullying, Tom DeLay pronounced, "If you want to play in our revolution, you have to live by our rules."

The right's  efforts to "defund the left" and eliminate all programs since the New Deal amount to a major transfer of wealth and political power toward their wealthy allies. They protect capital, and tax labor, while adding to the gross inflation of corporate welfare.  The right has set its sites on defunding public education and all social programs since the New Deal (including Social Security and Medicare), all the while furthering expansion of corporate welfare and the shift to a corporate state. Tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies were awarded to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries by the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Bill alone. Even as the right went after the $67 billion total social welfare programs in 1995, the Center for Responsive Law reported that corporate welfare (subsidies and tax breaks) totaled more than twice as much, $167 billion, that year.

Devastation like that of the Gulf States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is the effective outcome of Norquist's vision for the states.