by Zack Beauchamp

Garry Wills pits Grover Norquist against Edmund Burke:

Burke makes clear what the real meaning of the Norquist pledge is for those who subscribe to it. They are signing over their souls. This first oath they take, as candidates, makes the next one they take, as office holders—the oath to preserve and protect the Constitution—an empty gesture. That oath, sworn to God, may call for changes of position in a crisis or where better knowledge has become available. They cannot preserve and protect the country if their hands are tied and their minds closed. Their participation in congressional discussion, if that discussion affects taxes in any way, becomes a charade. This is the situation Burke denounced.

What a wanker. Chait speculates about the literal immutability of Norquist’s “immutable covenants,” which are safeguarded in secret vaults.