Norquist: "Democrats Don't Have Souls"

March 11, 2010 5:57 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Grover Norquist

One day after House Democratic leaders announced a ban on earmarks for private companies, House Republicans today "agreed to a sweeping moratorium on all funding requests for pet projects." However, as Media Matters Action documented earlier, the 10 Republican leaders who issued a statement in support of the move have requested more than $240 million in earmarks since 2008.  In a new interview with U.S. News & World Report, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist was asked if there's a realistic way for earmarks to be eliminated.  Norquist responded by saying "earmarks are necessary" to bribe Democrats, who "don't have souls":

Earmarks are the "broken windows" of government overspending. Earmarks are not the problem, and broken windows are not rape and murder, but when you look around and see there's graffiti and broken windows, everyone says there are no policemen here, and so people do rob and murder and misbehave. If every congressman is busy doing earmarks, they never get to tackling the big questions. Sometimes earmarks are necessary to buy Democratic votes for useful stuff. If I could do it, I'd say only Democrats should be able to get earmarks, no Republicans, because they're bad for your soul, and Democrats don't have souls anyway, so it really won't affect anything. [Earmarks] are used to bribe people to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do. 

In the interview, Norquist also derided the idea of a deficit commission as "stupid" and "BS," predicted that Democrats will successfully enact health care reform, and stated, "There is not a leader of the Republican party."