The Norman Transcript

Columns

December 1, 2012

The never-ending campaign

NORMAN — It used to be that those of us in the media worried about a lack of stories after the election, sweating how we would fill time and space between the ads until the first of the year. That’s not the problem this time around. Now there’s too much going on — so much news that even if we go on vacation, we have to be nervous about it.

Instead of doing holiday puff pieces, we are scrambling to keep up with the fiscal-cliff confrontation, the controversy swirling around Secretary of State wannabe Susan Rice and the remnants of the tattered career of David Petraeus.

As The Washington Post put it, “It’s starting to feel like campaign season all over again.” To quote that old “Saturday Night Live” character Mr. Bill, “ohhhhh nooooo!”

And, yes, we are seeing TVspots from various advocacy groups on both sides of hot issues, like whether to raise taxes on the rich to achieve a deal on avoiding financial disaster. The so-called lame ducks, who usually waddle out of town and into obscurity, are still here, very much a part of the nonstop game of chicken.

It’s the same cast of characters, even those outliers who exercise tight control over the congressional inliars. In one prominent case, that control seems to be slipping a tad. That would be the terror Republicans have long felt over supporting any tax hike for fear of incurring the wrath of Grover Norquist.

Surely you know Grover Norquist. His talent for self-promotion is astounding. He heads an organization called Americans for Tax Reform, but his main claim to notoriety is the pledge he forces GOPcandidates to sign, promising they will not support any increase. Ever. If they go back on that, they can expect to suffer the Grover’s Revenge, which is to say intense opposition in their next primary.

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