It was around this same time last year that I wrote an article here titled “Another pleasant valley Sunday,” based on things that I’d seen on the Sunday morning news talk shows.  Grover Norquist was a topic of discussion then, and he’s a topic of discussion now.

And then there’s “Papa John” Schnatter and a bit of damage control he’s been facing that kind of goes hand in hand with Grover.

Grover Norquist, Bathtub Killer
Grover Norquist, Bathtub Killer (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Norquist’s a topic of discussion now because we’re facing talk of another “fiscal cliff” in our government’s budget, and after too long it seems that Americans want our nation’s leaders to do something leaders are supposed to do — negotiate and come to some form of compromise on how to solve a deficit problem.

That seems to have been a prevailing message that came out of the last general election, with the majority of voters in national races saying to those running for office, in effect, “We’ll let a lot of you keep your jobs, except for some of these more extreme Tea Party members, but you’d better figure out a way to work together or you’re out in the 2014 mid-term elections.  Now, stop screwing around, get to work, and figure out how to solve some problems.”

Since then, it seems, Republican lawmakers have been tripping over themselves to back away from their no-tax-increase pledges that they signed with Norquist, the UNELECTED YET ALL-POWERFUL lobbyist/conservative activist/founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).  In the meantime, Norquist — who’s only been able to wield any form of power because he was asked to help out by President Reagan way back when (making Norquist a sort of … gasp! … “Reagan czar!”) — has been working overtime to hold on to any sense of power he can, and it’s dwindling by the day.

Republicans like Saxby Chambliss, Peter King, Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have all said they’re willing to back away from the no-tax-increase deal they signed with the dev … err, Norquist … because they now seem convinced that the majority of Americans want revenues raised through tax increases on the top 1-2% to go along with reasonable spending cuts.

Grover Norquist is starting to look more and more like a king without a country, when for all too long he was claiming that ATR and his “pledge” was speaking for the majority of the people.  And many of the things that were predicted in this “60 Minutes” profile from a while back are — to Norquist’s dismay — coming true.

Along with the power that seems to be returning from the voices of the majority of voters at the ballot box comes what could be seen as the return of the power of consumers at the cash register, with a case in point coming from John Schnatter, owner of the Papa John’s pizza franchise.

Schnatter was among those major CEOS speaking loudest both pre- and post-election about the possible dire consequences the Affordable Care Act would have on Papa John’s customers through increases in the cost of a pizza by 14 cents a pie, and/or on employees through reduced hours.

Papa John's Pizza
Papa John’s Pizza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The end result has been a public backlash, leaving Schnatter and other “anti-Obamacare” CEOs or franchise owners from other chains with the proverbial pizza dough all over their faces, with large numbers of customers or potential customers saying in effect, “Papa John’s, your pizzas just aren’t THAT good, and if you can afford to give away 2 million pizzas in a National Football League promotion then why can’t you absorb the cost of health care?”

Now, it appears that — just like we’re seeing with lawmakers backtracking on their “no tax increase” pledge to Grover Norquist — Schnatter is trying to backtrack in a public way on his “Obamacare” statements.

FORBES.COM:  Papa John’s Schnatter Says He Will Honor Obamacare And Give Health Insurance To All Employees

Of course, the thing to be aware of here is that not all people you see working at a Papa John’s pizza joint are employees of Papa John’s but of the individual franchise owners, which could be John Schnatter or John/Jane Doe.  Oh, and Schnatter has been offering health care to those same full-time Papa John’s corporate and company-owned restaurant employees all along, so it leaves a person to scratch their head as to why Schnatter was raising such a fuss in the first place.

I love it!  That’s amore!


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