With all of the talk surrounding Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge, it’s almost impossible not to say something about him and this issue. But who is Grover other than the neighbor of that Sesame Street character who’s now nefarious and uncontrollable laugh is associated with gay, underaged sex? (If you didn’t understand that reference, don’t look it up if you don’t want your childhood to be ruined.) Norquist is simply a guy who hates taxes and made a lot of Republican members in U.S. Congress sign a pledge stating they wouldn’t raise taxes while they were legislators. During the past week, many of these relatively popular individuals, including Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep. Peter King, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Fox News Channel’s Bill Kristol and even former Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain stepped away from the anti-tax raising pledge. The reason these Republicans stepped away from this is much less disconcerting than what Republicans may initially think. It is all in an attempt to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff is essentially a series of across-the-board tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts put in place by Congress earlier this year in order to force Republicans and Democrats to come to a Grand Bargain before the end of 2012. The Grand Bargain has not materialized yet and may not at all if Republicans do not agree on some kind of tax increases targeted at the wealthy. Either way, Republicans stepping away from the pledge has put Norquist’s panties in a bunch. In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Norquist took a jab at New York Rep. Peter King when he said, “I hope his wife understands commitments last a little longer than two years.” Dick move, bro. Norquist’s child-like temper tantrums on national television are extremely amusing. But what is not amusing is what will happen to the U.S. economy if we do fall off the fiscal cliff. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates taxes would go up by $2,000 for middle-class families if the fiscal cliff is not averted. In addition to the across-the-board tax increases, the trillions of dollars in spending cuts could also plunge the United States back into a deep recession and possibly a depression. Despite the pending apocalyptic circumstances, there isn’t a reason for Grover to fixate on this issue at this particular time. The New York Times states: “There is no room for absolutists and absolutism in democracy, which is designed for give-and-take, for compromise. I hope that Republicans and Democrats alike will keep those principles in mind as we approach the so-called fiscal cliff. Norquist certainly hasn’t, but then he bears no responsibility for governing and is concerned less with voters and their welfare than with those of us in the news media, who have been too quick to summon him, rewarding his staged and reliable vividness.” Finally, the pledge has come to fruition. It is clear it was used as a way for Republican politicians to wave around a piece of paper they signed so they can say they are for conservative fiscal values and are real Republicans. As it turns out, a lot of these well-known Republican signatories care about the well-being of our country and the people of our country. Whereas Norquist only cares about his own image as a conservative icon. Hopefully, his iconoclasm will come in the form of him fading out and shutting up as opposed to the renewal of American economic ruin.