by Chet Hardin
Grover Norquist, the noted "armed nerd" of the anti-tax, pro-gun, libertarian crusade, is scheduled to make an appearance next month at a El Paso County Republican dinner.
Norquist has long been an influence at the very top of the Republican Party, and one of its most ardent small-government activists. From a 2004 Mother Jones profile of Norquist, which focused on his famous D.C.-based Wednesday evening meetings:
Once a consigliere to Newt Gingrich, Norquist now has the ear of Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, who has been known to stop in at the Wednesday meetings. In turn, Norquist plays the role of national ward boss, delivering the coalition that has rallied around the president's policy agenda.
Norquist calls it the "Leave-Us-Alone Coalition," a grouping of gun owners, the Christian right, homeschoolers, libertarians, and business leaders that he has almost single-handedly managed to unite. The common vision: an America in which the rich will be taxed at the same rates as the poor, where capital is freed from government constraints, where government services are turned over to the free market, where the minimum wage is repealed, unions are made irrelevant, and law-abiding citizens can pack handguns in every state and town. "My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA-owning guy with a concealed-carry permit," says Norquist. "Because that person doesn't need the goddamn government for anything."
So, while Norquist seems to be the perfect speaker for a number of county Republicans, he does come with controversy.
Some on the right see him as being a bit too chummy with Muslims, perhaps because he co-founded the Islamic Free Market Institute, which his wife, who was born into a Muslim family, oversaw as director for a time.
Others criticize Norquist's association with the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud, which "represents gay conservatives and their allies [and] is committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy." His relatively lax stance when it comes to sexual orientation has drawn the attacks of the Family Research Council and Republican blogger Erick Erickson.
There's much more at Right Wing Watch.
On Nov. 12, Norquist is set to be the keynote speaker at the county GOP's Reagan Gala at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on South Circle Drive. Wonder who, if anyone, will be protesting outside this Republican event.
Here, watch Stephen Colbert interview Norquist.
Reagan Gala. Saturday, November 12th, 2011. Because It Matters.
The Reagan Renaissance: Let's join together for a gala celebrating the life, leadership, and legacy of President Ronald Reagan.
WHO: Any red-blooded American who reveres "Ronnie" and who respects Reagan conservatism.
WHAT: A classy - and festive - gathering of enthusiastic Reaganites to capture a moment of the Reagan Years, kickoff the one-year countdown to a new Republican era, and unite for the launch of the Great Push to election day, 2012.
WHEN: Cocktails and then dinner starting at 6:00 pm, Saturday, November 12th.
WHERE: The Crowne Plaza Hotel ballroom, 2886 South Circle Drive, Colorado Springs, 80906. Where the action is.
WHY: Because It Matters. It matters that conservatives clutch together to clap and cheer, stand and salute, and sing the praises of a legendary leader. It matters that we shore up for the showdown and toughen up for the takedown-we will pull together and stand apart. Because. It. Matters.
Won't you join us for a Grand Old Party? Please be a part of a memorable evening that will feature Reagan crony GROVER NORQUIST, glimpses of The Gipper and his contemporaries, and dozens of reminders that the Elephant herd is on the move.
Please register at our website: www.gopelpaso.com.
Ticket prices are $50 per person. Premium tables are available.
In honor of our proud Precinct Committee People, I'm reducing the Precinct Leader cost by 20 percent - just $40 per person (current Precinct Leaders only, please).
You won't want to miss this event. You know what President Reagan might have said: "Mr.
Gorbachev, ATTEND THIS GALA!"
REGISTER AT WWW.GOPELPASO.COM.
This is an open event. Please feel free to invite your friends to join us for this very important celebration and fundraiser. All proceeds benefit your local El Paso County Republicans.