A must-read article on Grover Norquist at the WaPo. He’s quite the….hmmm, what’s a good word…social misfit:
And yet Norquist’s bachelor townhouse bears evidence of a man whose ideological core is hard. The art in his living room is early Ronald Reagan. His Costco-brand shirts hang in a closet under a picture of former Senate leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) signing a no-tax pledge.
He is often described as an eccentric. For a bedside table, Norquist uses a giant green canister for Kraft parmesan cheese. He displays what he hopes will be the world’s largest collection of airsickness bags. At staff meetings, employees say, he holds court while variously sitting on a giant red plastic ball, eating tuna from a can, rubbing his feet against a massager and sniffing hand lotion as he kneads it into his fingers. He excuses himself to go to “the ladies room.”
His manner is charming, though bitterness creeps into his voice when he talks about classmates at Harvard, where he attended college (’78) and business school (’81). As a Republican, Norquist felt isolated among the students, whom he calls “Bolsheviks.” At a reunion in the early 1990s, he said, he told a classmate: “For 40 years we fought a two-front war against the Soviet Union and state-ism. Now we can turn all our time and energy to crushing you. With the Soviet Union, it was just business. With you, it’s personal.”
He leaves the impression that perhaps some of the 18 hours a day he devotes to establishing a permanent Republican majority has to do with punishing college tormenters. As for being socially awkward, his mother had advised him when he was growing up in Weston, Mass., to “dance with the wallflowers.” If you do, she said, you will be at the center of things.