Everyone assumes that Republicans are toeing the line on taxes because they signed the pledge for Grover Norquist that they would never raise taxes, and that their fear of breaking that pledge forces them to maintain their position in opposition to tax increases in Congress. "Grover Norquist," says Lawrence O'Donnell, "is the most powerful man in Washington, more powerful than the man in the White House."
Perhaps that is true in a few cases, but I would suggest that it is very, very few. For most part I am reasonably certain it is the other way around; they signed the pledge because it reflects the position which they held to begin with, and they would be voting the way they are even if the pledge did not exist. Grover Norquist is not powerful at all, he is merely a self serving opportunist.