Who is the most powerful person in the United States?
Not the president nor Speaker of the House John Boehner (third in line for presidency, according to our constitution). Obama and Boehner had a plan to cut spending by more than $1.65 trillion over 10 years -- a process of 44 days of negotiations. However, House Republicans would not compromise on any additional taxes.
Who controls House Republicans? According to a "60 Minutes" interview (8-26-12), Grover Norquist uses his wealth to enforce his tax pledge that these politicians have signed. He even defines closing loopholes as raising taxes. During the interview, he showed Steve Kroft his map of politicians who signed his pledge.
The story covered his method of enforcement. If any of his "politicians" compromise and vote to raise taxes, he funds a candidate to oppose him or her during the next primary.
If Americans are tired of gridlock, the best way to avoid these problems is to vote out all those who sign pledges. We could use Norquist's techniques and run candidates in the next election that pledge not to sign pledges.
Many Republicans in the past have raised taxes -- Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. My family have always been Republicans, but of the more moderate type. We need to get moderates back into the party -- people who do not sign pledges to people living outside our districts. Rather, we need candidates who represent us.
Currently, we do have moderates who have not signed pledges. During a forum at Ridgewater College Thursday, Zach Liebl, Mary Sawatzky and Lyle Koenen stated that they had not signed pledges. These candidates are moderates -- even right-to-life supporters.
I attended the last Republican caucus for my precinct. I was not welcomed as a moderate.
I oppose any candidate who signs pledges (Have Vogel and Gimse? They did not attend the forum although invited). When George W Bush ran for president, I switched parties and was welcomed, even though I had voted Republican for 28 years. I hope that moderates can feel welcome in both parties.
We need moderates to break this gridlock.