The Washington Post today profiles two men widely seen as implacable foes of government — Grover Norquist has at least talked a good game in the past. But the differences between him and Rep. Ron Paul — the former the consummate insider, the latter a real outsider — come through plainly enough.
Of course, Abramoff aside, what all the snipers are taking aim at Norquist for these days are actually the things that he’s relatively good on. He’s been a loyal militarist and Republican flak, but he’s just not statist enough for today’s GOP:
Some social conservatives who have jousted with him over his more libertarian views on the regulation of television and its depictions of violence and depravity are exploiting his weakness to press their positions on Capitol Hill. Security-minded defense hawks who for years have questioned his ties to Muslim activists are resurrecting charges that Norquist has turned a blind eye to terrorist sympathizers.
Republican lawmakers who have chafed at his dogmatic position on taxes are also ready to shrug off his heavy hand.