Late Thursday, Saxby Chambliss let it be known that he's no longer bound by Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Well, last night, Norquist responded with a tantrum in Newsmax.
In a statement to Newsmax, Norquist said, "Sen. Chambliss promised the people of Georgia he would go to Washington and reform government rather than raise taxes to pay for bigger government. He made that commitment in writing to the people of Georgia.Um, Grover? Chambliss made his announcement on WMAZ-TV in Macon.
"If he plans to vote for higher taxes to pay for Obama-sized government he should address the people of Georgia and let them know that he plans to break his promise to them."
Norquist all but announced that if Chambliss does indeed support a deal that includes raising taxes, Americans for Tax Reform will find and fund a challenger in the 2014 Republican primary.
Norquist reminded Chambliss what happened to two people who he said reneged on taxation promises: President George H.W. Bush, with his famous "Read My Lips" comment, and Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, who, he said, "withdrew because polling showed he could not win a general election having both lied to his state and raised their taxes."Is that the Godfather theme I hear?
This should be a wake-up call to the Georgia Democratic Party. In all likelihood, Chambliss will either be bloodied up by any primary or dumped by one of the wingnuts in Georgia's congressional delegation (in my view, the second looniest in the former Confederacy). And given that Georgia is turning purpler by the minute, Norquist may have just handed us an opportunity to pull off a repeat of what happened in Indiana a few weeks ago.
5:30 PM PT: Several commenters have mentioned that a likely primary challenger will be Karen Handel, who lost the 2010 gubernatorial primary to Nathan Deal. Whether it's Handel or anyone else, the elephant-on-elephant violence will be something worth watching.