In a 2005 profile in the Christian Science Monitor, Republican uber-consultant Grover Norquist said this about his party’s goals in state legislatures:
“We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals — and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship.”
In that regard, Mr. Norquist just won an “enormous victory” in Missouri.
We put those two words in the preceding sentence in quotation marks because they are the identical words Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones used on Wednesday to describe what was actually a failed vote to get his veto-proof Republican majority to pass one of his stated priorities: right-to-work legislation intended to weaken unions in the state.
Why would the speaker of the House, who knows a bill or resolution needs a constitutional majority — at least 82 out of 163 — votes to pass, celebrate getting only 78 of them as not only a victory, but an enormous victory? Particularly when he couldn’t even control his own caucus; 19 Republicans voted against the anti-union measure, two voted present and nine others took the proverbial walk out of the chamber to avoid voting.
Reason: Because Grover Norquist will consider it a victory.