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Letters | Where the deficit supercommittee stumbled

Anti-tax pledge drove Republicans from duty to serve

JOSHUA GREEN attempts to blame the Democrats for Republican obstructionism in assessing the budget impasse (“Picking up pieces after ‘super’ fail,’’ Op-ed, Nov. 24). Try reading both the congressional oath of office and Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge before laying blame here. Governing a democratic society is necessarily about pragmatic compromise, where many diverse interests must be harmonized.

“We the people,’’ contrary to the libertarian ideology of rugged individualism, is a collectivity, as are the common defense and general welfare listed in the preamble to the Constitution. That collectivity is what every member of Congress is sworn to serve when taking the oath of office, to “bear true faith and allegiance’’ to the Constitution, and to do so “without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.’’


The mindless Norquist pledge, however, requires both a mental reservation and ideological evasion as it pertains to Congress’s fundamental duty to pay the national debt by raising revenues, as stated in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution. Ideologically driven Republican intransigence against this clear congressional mandate is what drives the budget impasse.

Richard K. Latimer