As the media push Republicans to raise taxes, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist has been taking a pounding.
This may have reached a high point Tuesday when MSNBC's Chris Matthews and former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY.) actually joked about Norquist drowning (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: What do you make of Speaker Boehner? And we, I sort of like Boehner personally. I watch him and he seems he’s a Jack Lemmon character in the movies. He’s always under assault, you know, a middle class guy under assault, crying a lot. I don’t know what the purpose of that is.
But I get the feeling that he would like to deal, but he has this new constraint, not just the 218 votes to get a majority in the House. There has to be a majority of the Republicans in the House, and then a majority of the House. He wants to get that first majority.
Is that a reasonable demand, that he has to deliver it? I have seen politicians. You and I know this over the years. They have bucked the majority in their own caucus and they have gotten through deals that way. One party says, all right, we will kick in 100 votes. The other party says, well, we can do 120, it’s easier for us, and they get stuff done that way. Now they are saying, no, I have to get my majority before we get your minority or whatever.
ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER SENATOR (R-WYOMING) : Well, he’s got -- he lost 11 of the Tea Party guys, but he’s got then 70 guys who didn’t go to Congress to limit government. They came there to stop it.
SIMPSON: So how do you deal with guys who came to stop government or Grover wandering the earth in his white robe saying he wanted to drown government in the bathtub? I hope he slips in there with it.
MATTHEWS: Well, I can’t beat that...
SIMPSON: We'll put some soap in the tub. Throw it in there.
MATTHEWS: I’m with you on the full metaphor there. I'll give him the full metaphor.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Senator Alan Simpson, co-chair of the Simpson- Bowles commission...
SIMPSON: Always a pleasure.
MATTHEWS: ... or Bowles-Simpson, if you will, whatever works for you.
SIMPSON: Well, we don’t Bowles-Simpson because the acronyms can be wrong there.
SIMPSON: We don’t do that. It’s Simpson...
MATTHEWS: That’s right. I just thought of it. You had to tell me, didn’t you? You had to ruin my day. You were doing so good there with that soap in bathtub. Anyway, thank you, Senator.
So this is where we are as a nation now - joking about our political opponents dying.
Of course, if the butt of this joke were Democrat - or dare I say it, Barack Obama - apologies would be required.
Not if it's a Republican, though.
Then such jokes are all the rage.
Quite a country we're becoming.