Massachusetts Democrats are using gridlock on the Super Committee as an opening to drive a wedge between Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and the GOP's leading anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.
"Scott Brown talks the talk on looking for bipartisan compromise, but he doesn't walk the walk," said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh, in a statement provided to TPM. "For Brown, asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share has always been off the table because of his blind allegiance to the Republican Party's agenda. Abandoning Norquist's extremist pledge that protects giveways to Big Oil and other special interests would go a long way toward showing that Scott Brown is serious about taking a balanced approach that asks the wealthiest Americans to share the burden of getting our nation's fiscal house in order instead of dumping it all on senior citizens and the middle class."
Brown signed Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge during his special election campaign for Senate and even pressed his opponent, Martha Coakley, to do the same. Now he's running against popular, unabashed progressive Elizabeth Warren -- and suddenly being boxed in by Norquist isn't particularly helpful.
The Super Committee has gotten a fair amount of attention in Massachusetts, in part because the state's other senator, Democrat John Kerry, is one of the panel's 12 members.