Grover Norquist to take day off from drowning government in bathtub

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) founder Grover Norquist, dubbed the “field marshal of the Bush plan,” will take Tuesday off to celebrate the anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration and, incidentally, gird his tax-cutting loins against the incoming Obama administration, Politico’s Ben Smith notes. Norquist, the preeminent “thumb-in-the-eye radical rightist,” famously set the course for the modern Republican Party when he stated, “My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

An ATR release Monday explains the office’s Tuesday closure by juxtaposing quotes from its small-government hero, Ronald Reagan, and big-government scoundrel Barack Obama:

“In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various levels of government. Progress may be slow, measured in inches and feet, not miles, but we will progress. It is time to reawaken this industrial giant, to get government back within its means, and to lighten our punitive tax burden. And these will be our first priorities, and on these principles there will be no compromise.”

— Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981 Inaugural Address

“At this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe.”

— Barack Obama, January 8, 2009 Address at George Mason University

Smith notes Norquist could find other reasons to take the day off if he wanted:

Tomorrow is also the 72th anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt’s (second) inauguration, the 60th anniversary of Harry Truman’s, the 40th of Nixon’s, the 20th of George H.W. Bush’s, the 16th of Clinton’s, and the 8th of the current president’s, if you’re looking for something else to celebrate.

Not to mention the anniversary of the discovery of the first pulsar, in the Crab Nebula no less, the day Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday was first celebrated as a national holiday, and the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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