The qualifications for President are heatedly debated every four years, this year being no exception. However, Grover Norquist (of No Tax Increase Pledge fame) espouses a new and unique approach. He envisions a President that is little more than a tool of Congress and has whittled Presidential qualifications down to one – the ability to hold a pen. Speaking at “Americans for Tax Reform – CPAC 2012” on February 11, 2012 he proclaimed the following (emphasis added):
- “All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a President to tell us what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan Budget, which cuts spending $6 trillion.
- … The Republicans in the House have passed 24 plus bills that create jobs and opportunity and strip out regulations.
We just need a President to sign this stuff
- We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. … The leadership for the conservative movement will be coming out of the House and the Senate for the next 20 years. So, focus on picking the most conservative Republican who could win for each House seat and the most conservative Republican who could win for each Senate seat.
“And then, pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become President of the United States. [laughter & applause] … This is a change for Republicans to realize that body of where we are going to be is the House and Senate doing the work with the President signing the bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”
This is not a hoax. This is not an interpretation or caricature of his speech. These are his words. You can hear him on YouTube delivering, in person, the full text of this speech.
Although Presidential qualifications are important, Democrats would do well to review the later half of the first paragraph. Note the emphasis Norquist places upon the U.S. House and U.S Senate races, where conservatives expect the heart of their battle will be waged for the next several decades. Imagine what President Obama will face if Republicans hopes for Congress come true. Scary? Then image the same result with a President Romney, a President with the prerequisite Norquest qualification!