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Cokie Roberts On Grover Norquist: "The Emperor Has No Clothes"

STEPHANOPOULOS: And what you also avoid there, Dan, something else that I think some Republicans are worried about, not '92, but 1994 when the government shut down, Newt Gingrich was blamed.

SENOR: Right. Oh that's -- trust me, you talk to Republicans that is what their -- they said no matter how this shakes out, if we go over the fiscal cliff, we are blamed. I hear that over and over.

I will say, look, there's something to what Tom is saying, which is it is an amazing notion to think that a -- a just elected Democratic president is necessary in order to make permanent the vast majority of Bush's tax cuts. Those were tax rate cuts -- you know when those tax cuts were demonized by the Democrats, they weren't just the tax rate cuts on the upper income, they were tax rate cuts across the board. The idea that most of them could be made permanent -- I mean, Bush couldn't have gotten that done in 2004 after being reelected. So I do think Republicans should take a victory lap in that regard, even if I'm skeptical of raising the top rates.

ROBERTS: It is really politically smart to do this. You know, but it's also politically smart to cut the knees out from underneath Grover Norquist. I mean, this guy -- I mean, who is he? He's an unelected...

SENOR: But it's not him. It's all the members of congress he's telling to play. He's become a straw man. He represents something that's real. He represents something that's real.

ROBERTS: The emperor has no clothes and to say that is I think very...

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