Former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) ripped his Republican colleagues over the weekend, accusing them of holding extremist views and lacking common sense.
“I guess I’m known as a RINO now, which means a Republican in name only, because, I guess, of social views, perhaps, or common sense would be another one, which seems to escape members of our party,” Simpson told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
Simpson — the co-chair of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission which proposed to reduce the deficit through both domestic spending cuts and new tax revenues — went on to slam Republicans for their total refusal to compromise.
You can’t cut spending your way out of this hole. You can’t grow your way out of this hole. And you can’t tax your way out of this hole. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, we tell these people. This is madness. If you want to be a purist, go somewhere on a mountaintop and praise the East or something. But if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise. And you learn to compromise on the issue without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.
Simpson saved his harshest words for anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, whose “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” has been widely blamed for Congress’ failure to tackle the deficit. 238 House Republicans and 41 Senate Republicans have signed the pledge, which promises to never raise tax rates.
“For heaven’s sake, you have Grover Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you,” Simpson told Zakaria.
“He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house. The only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.”