George Will and Grover Norquist For Progress!

by evanmcmurry

George Will has been ratcheting up the hackitude lately—what with his “Mitt Romney will win by a billion electoral votes” and “Obama caused college football“—but yesterday’s column is just plain weird. Will defends Grover Norquist, whose grimy conservatism seems below where Will knots his bow tie, with the following logic:

Or horrible Grover Norquist. Although a surfeit of numbers are being bandied, a pertinent one is missing — the number of legislators who have pledged to Norquist not to raise taxes. The number is: Zero. All pledges have been to voters. Progressives lament the public’s distrust of the political class while urging many members of it to treat their promises as pie crusts.

No, they pledged to Grover Norquist, which is why it’s he and not voters who appears on cable news networks threatening legislators who break the pledge. But the last sentence is the strangest: if conservative lawmakers say insane things, according to Will, it’s in our interests to make sure they follow through on them, or risk further eroding faith in public officials. Makes sense!

This part’s even better:

Given progressives’ “principled” refusal to countenance entitlement reforms, the principal drivers of the fiscal imbalance will not be untouched even by raising, from 65, the age of Medicare eligibility. In 1965, the year this program was created, the average life expectancies of men and women at age 65 were another 13.5 and 18 years respectively. Today they are 19 and 21, and rising. Given modern medical — especially pharmacological — marvels, longevity often involves living with several chronic ailments that might have been fatal a generation ago. For liberals, however, no demographic or scientific changes need be accommodated.

You see, progressives have trouble dealing with change. That’s why we call them “progressives.”