Haven't you heard? Our blessed Republic is under attack by a shadowy, maniacal puppet master bent on eating newborn children and murdering poor folk.
In recent months, one cannot read a single newspaper without encountering tales of woe about the evil Grover Norquist his tax pledge. We are but the slaves of a madman reminiscent of Lex Luthor or Ra's al Ghul, bent on bringing the world to its knees.
He's an ayatollah! He's holding America hostage! He's an ideologue bent on world domination!
Okay, maybe not that last one, but I wouldn't be surprised to read it if a deal on the fiscal cliff isn't reached by Christmas.
What is all of this hullabaloo about Norquist on his pledge? What the hell is the pledge anyway? Is it a legally binding contract? Is it some sort of blackmail?
Well, no, it's just a pledge. So why all the fuss? Why is Norquist being cast into the pit of shame? Is it because he is using some sort of sleazy, underworld tactic that would make Capone blush? Again, no, he's just sticking to his principles and there is nothing Washington hates more than principles.
You see, if Republicans want to, they could tell Norquist to go hell and raise taxes to their heart's content. They could join Obama on his pious crusade against rich people and bring top marginal tax rates up to 90% without breaking a single law. No, the pledge is not a law.