"Going over the fiscal cliff, that's not so bad," he seems to say [not his actual words]. Here are his actual words about the fiscal cliff: [It is] "a completely invented crisis. Republicans can't allow themselves to be TARPed again."
The revolt against his tax pledge isn't a major worry to him, because the media is inflating it by interviewing the same five or six elected officials over and over. However, Saxby Chambliss, senator from Georgia, backpedaled the pledge on Wednesday, because he "cares a lot more about American" than about Grover Norquist. That's an interesting way to put it, making it about the personal power and vanity of Norquist.
Norquist seems to think that he can keep almost all the GOP in line with a threat to primary those who falter. We shall see. I predict that Norquist won't have important sway. Many Republicans will break from their pledge. They may work out the math of who shoulders the burden of voting for a tax deal (those senators not facing reelection in 2014), and those who get the safe, anti-tax vote. But a tax increase of some sort will pass.
Single-issue boogie men like Grover Norquist will pass away. The problems in this country are too complex and too pressing to let single-issue pressure groups call the shots. It's not just my view--that's the election result. Norquist is doomed already. He's still screaming as he hangs on by his fingernails, but his grip is failing, and he's going to fall... very, very soon.
Extras. Comments about Chambliss in the Atlanta Journal are mostly negative, in these two veins: he's a sell-out, or too-little-too-late. Here's the most perceptive: "Grover will find an obedient robot to run against Chambliss. Georgia’s voters are predominantly morons who will do as Fox News and Rush tell them to do." Perhaps Chambliss will be retiring in 2014, and that's why he's making the sacrifice now that relieves pressure on other GOP senators.
The Weekly Standard is trying to line up challengers already. Whoa, I'm scared... I interpret this as maneuvering in the conservative media. Some outlets are trying to keep the pressure on. Others will give GOP officials an escape hatch. That's another prediction. I'll watch for how it plays out in the conservative media.