The Right Opinion

Norquist Loses His Grip

And his stealth Islamist agenda also loses influence.

By Arnold Ahlert · Nov. 26, 2012

Anti-tax promoter Grover Norquist is losing his vice-like grip on the Republican party. The head of Americans for Tax Reform, who as recently as last year counted 238 members of the House and 41 members of the Senate among those who had signed his anti-tax pledge, has seen those numbers decline to 217 in the House, one shy of the 218 needed for a majority, and 39 in the Senate. Both totals represent an all-time low. Last Wednesday, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) disavowed his pledge not to raise taxes, even as he acknowledged doing so could hurt his reelection chances in 2014. “I don't worry about that because I care too much about my country,” he said. “I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist.” Americans might not like seeing their taxes go up, but Grover Norquist's fall from grace has its benefits: as he goes down, so goes his pro-Islamist agenda.

That agenda was laid bare by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) in a speech on the House floor, October 4, 2011. “My conscience has compelled me to come to the floor today to voice concerns I have with the influence Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, has on the political process in Washington,” said Wolf. “My issue is not with ATR's goal of keeping taxes low. My concern is with the other individuals, groups, and causes with whom Mr. Norquist is associated that have nothing to do with keeping taxes low.”

Wolf mentioned Norquist's “association and representation” of terrorist financier and vocal Hamas supporter Abdurahman Alamoudi, and terrorist financier Sami Al-Arian. In 2004, Alamoudi, one of the most prominent and influential Muslim Brothers in the United States, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for supporting terror. Alamoudi, a self-described supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, had cultivated ties with the Clinton White House that eventually enabled him and his associates to select, train and certify Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military. Fearing a loss by Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, Alamoudi befriended Norquist to ensure his access to senior levels of the U.S. government would be maintained, if Republicans took charge. He gave Norquist $20,000 to establish the Islamic Free Market Institute, and Alamoudi's longtime deputy, Khaled Saffuri, became the founding director.

Norquist and Saffuri eventually became an integral part of the Bush administration's Muslim outreach efforts during the 2000 campaign, with Saffuri named as Muslim Outreach Coordinator. During that campaign, Bush was also introduced to Sami Al-Arian. In 2006, Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to provide support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Wolf illuminated the bigger picture of that relationship, noting that Norquist was an “outspoken supporter of Al-Arian's effort to end the use of classified evidence in terror trials." Al-Arian ran the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), and Norquist supported their efforts to weaken or repeal the Patriot Act as well, despite the terrorist atrocities perpetrated on 9/11. Wolf also revealed that Norquist "was scheduled to lead a delegation to the White House on September 11, 2001, that included a convicted felon and some who would later be identified by federal law enforcement as suspected terrorist financiers.” One of the members of that delegation was Omar Ahmed, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was named an un-indicted co-conspirator when the Holy Land Foundation was convicted of sending million of dollars in funding to Hamas and other Islamic terrorist organizations.

Another relationship Norquist cultivated was with Suhail Khan, who has ties to a variety of Islamist movements. Khan's father, the late Mahboob Khan, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and one of the founders of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), whose anti-Semitic activities at American colleges has been documented on numerous occasions by FrontPage, including their latest attempt to organize a divestment campaign against Israel at the University of California, Irvine.

In 2007, Norquist promoted Suhail Khan's candidacy for election to the American Conservative Union's (ACU) board of directors. He was subsequently appointed. In 2012, at an irregular meeting of that organization, the board voted to dismiss accusations made against both him and Norquist by Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy and a former defense official in the Reagan administration. Gaffney has been hammered by the ACU and others for suggesting that the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood reached the highest levels of the U.S. government, despite the reality that it was Gaffney who drew attention to Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami Al-Arian, both of whom ended up as convicted felons for their terrorist activity. Yet it is Gaffney's credibility that has been called into question for daring to draw attention to Norquist's unseemly activity.

Wolf also pointed out that Norquist was “an outspoken advocate for moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States,” and “led a public campaign to undermine Republican-led efforts to block the Obama Administration's transfer of 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheik Mohammed to New York City” in 2009. In 2010, Norquist inserted himself into the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, which he characterized as a “Monica Lewinsky ploy,” distracting from the core Republican message heading into the 2010 elections. Yet according to Wolf, Norquist “used Americans for Tax Reform to circulate a petition in support of the 'Ground Zero Mosque'” completely undermining his own contention that the issue was a distraction.

For years, Grover Norquist's reputation as a staunch anti-tax advocate has overshadowed his dubious associations with Islamists, and anyone who has dared to criticize him for those associations has drawn rebuke from both sides of the aisle. Thus, it is more than a little ironic that his ability to influence Republicans with respect to taxes is waning, even as Islamists, most notably Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, who are attempting to establish a dictatorship in Egypt, are becoming ever more powerful.

Sen. Chambliss isn't the only Republican distancing himself from Norquist. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) has referred to him as “some random person.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) noted that “fewer and fewer people are signing this, quote, pledge.” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK.) called the pledge a “tortured vision of tax purity.” House newcomer Rep. Ted Yoho, (R-FL), who declined to sign the pledge, was sarcastic. “I'll pledge allegiance to the flag. I'll pledge to be faithful to my wife,” he quipped.

Yet it was Rep. Peter King (R-NY) who best summed up the growing rebellion. “A pledge is good at the time you sign it,” he said. “In 1941, I would have voted to declare war on Japan. But each Congress is a new Congress. And I don't think you can have a rule that you're never going to raise taxes or that you're never going to lower taxes. I don't want to rule anything out.”

Republicans can resist raising taxes without signing a pledge, should they choose to do so for the good of the nation. Yet without the pledge Grover Norquist has long wielded like a hammer, his leverage among Republicans is precipitously diminished. Considering his dubious ties to Islamists and their agenda, that's more than a reasonable tradeoff.

Arnold Ahlert is a columnist for FrontPage Magazine.

14 Comments

Gregory in Yakima said:

Looks like Grover's friends are ready to toss "some random person" under the bus. I'm guessing Republicans will now see raising taxes as anti-Muslim Brotherhoood and very pro-American.

Wave the flag kids your world is being tossed for a more sale-able model. As Peter Ueberoth said to Pete Rose....yer-out!

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Tad Petrie in Westerville, OH said:

The problem here is NOT Grover Norquist! These pseudo-Republicans just want yet another excuse to fall into lockstep with Boehner and McConnells' AGENDA OF COMPROMISE! Everyone in Washington wants to be warm and fuzzy and "Bipartisan" now and that means rolling over and letting the President and his liberals raise taxes as much they want! They are just part of a growing number of so-called Republicans displaying INCOMPETENCE and COWARDICE! Why are these people getting re-elected?!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Robinius in Broomfield, Colorado replied:

Did you even read this article? Grover Norquist is in bed with Islamic terrorists. We need tax reform but I happen to think that can happen without Norquist and not signing his pledge does not indicate "incompetence and cowardice" as you say. After reading this article I think Norquist's motives are in question and I would expect ALL Republicans to disavow the pledge.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

Tad, I see King Peter, oops Peter King (RINO - NY) is for raising taxes, no surprise there. As for the unPatriot Act it is a further attack on our liberty. Ben Franklin had something to say on that.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

KQ in Bel Air, MD said:

The real problem with legislators disavowing the anti-tax pledge they signed 20 years ago is that THEY ARE STILL IN CONGRESS 20 YEARS LATER!

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

During the late 40's and well into the sixties "Commies" were the scourge. There were in the State Dept. Even Secretary of State Dean Rusk was called the "Red Dean" (by disgusting Republicans). All non-sense of course. Not all non-sense really though...the tax payers were frightened into supporting fraudulent pork by the trillions of dollars.

Each side tried to be the most anti-communist, dedicated to closing imaginary missile gaps and on and on. Burt Prelusky would like to drum up the same hysteria with this crappola "All over the world, we've seen those people (Muskims) burning and killing, allegedly in response to a video or a promo for a video nobody appears to have actually seen. Now it's bad enough that a religion that has a billion faithful scattered all over the place is the looniest on earth. But by this time, we in what continues to pass for the civilized world have come to expect nothing else of those fanatical goons. They never seem to have the time or inclination to write a book, paint a picture, compose a symphony or cure a disease, but they're always up for a bloody riot."

Grover Norquist consorting with Muslims is nothing new. But now that he's a political liability Republicans abandoning a sinking ship are "shocked" at the revelations. Out with the old...speaking of which Republicans are newly enthusiastic in welcoming illegal immigrants into the fabric of society and politics.

Raising taxes, kicking Grover in the nuts, welcoming immigrants...and you're left looking foolish as usual.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 3:48 PM

countrygirl in Texas said:

"During the late 40's and well into the sixties "Commies" were the scourge."
They still are. Anything not allowing liberty is a scourge, and for the last 100+ years communism was the main active force behind trying to squelch it. It's been joined more recently by an incredibly re-energized Islam which also seeks to destroy liberty. Unfortunately both American political parties DID use the opportunity to tax and spend, and encroach further and further on American's liberties. Shame on all of them. But derisively blaming it on American's fear of communist infiltration (which was and still is, very real) does nothing to help promote liberty now. Getting rid of someone who has sold out does not cheapen at all those who once aligned with him. If they would actually purge their own tactics of all that would cripple liberty, we might still turn things around and be able to leave our children a "free country" after all.
But I keep wondering Gregory, what exactly is it that you stand for?

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Country Girl, Greg stands for obfuscation, lies, and socialism in order for everyone to enjoy the good life whether they contribute anything to accomplish that good life or not. Didn't you know everybody is equal according to the Socialist agenda except some are more equal than others, ie, those in charge.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

Looks like the GOP is not interested in the "person hood bill or Bob Marshall, the person sponsoring it: "But since the 2012 election, he said, the party is "more overtly gun-shy" about dealing with abortion, and the pressure from GOP leadership to back off of his socially conservative agenda is constant. "

John McCain urges his party to "leave the abortion issue alone". See how they run, see how they run...your champions acting like beggars before the door of God.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 5:52 PM

countrygirl in Texas replied:

@Gregory - I ask again: What is it that YOU believe in and stand for?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

M Rick Timms MD in Georgia said:

See ya later Saxby. I couldn't care less about Grover Norquist, but any Republican that agrees to tax increases---and that's what they are , not "revenue" enhancements---- is selling out conservative principles that are proven to be the be way to limit spending and increase revenue into the treasury. That is the point , increasing income into the treasury. The best way to do that is to decrease tax rates and broaden the base thru an expanding workforce. Obama does not really want to raise revenue- he just wants to punish the productive. I stopped sending money to the rino's years ago. I contribute directly to the campaigns of conservatives -- but when the GOP controlled Florida legislature gerrymandered Allen West into a democrat district -- that was the straw. I remain registered so I can vote for the most conservative in the Republican primaries- but it is time for Saxby and the old timers to move on. Confiscating all earned income over $250 k will run Obamas corrupt government for 162 days....

It's the Spending stupid!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

We had a latino guy , at work, who used to rant/rave, against the wealthy Americans, of our United States. He used to play the lottery every chance he got. One day he announced that he won big money, and he was retiring.I told him good luck, and start hating YOURSELF, because you are now in the wealthy category---EGADS!!!Govmint raped his winnings-he got what he wanted!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 6:05 AM

countrygirl in Texas replied:

Yep Tod, somewhere in the last few days I remember reading that of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the US, eight of them voted for Obama. So let the Dems enact their huge tax increase on the top income earners, they asked for it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:05 AM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

I am not defending the actions of Grover Norquist, but it appears he was hired as a lobbyist, which in DC is tantamount to you or I hiring a lawyer. Norquist probably is a lawyer, and anyone has Right to legal counsel. Notice that Rep. Wolf, & Mr. Ahlert have just called our attention to Norquist role as a lobbyist or Spox for a couple of Islamist groups where the prinicipals have been either accused or convicted of terrorism or support of terrorist groups. Mr. Norquist himself has not been investigated, indicted, tried, or convicted of any of these activities but only as representing persons of interest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:05 PM