Free Markets, Free People

GOP’s Pledge? Just words …

That’s my initial reaction. Can’t help it. Been there, done this.

Sure, I understand the urge to be something other than the party of “no”.  I understand the desire to tell the American people what you stand for, and not necessarily only what you’re against.  Ok … got it.

But until and unless substantial change is enabled and accomplished by the GOP, this is just another in a long line of promises that ended up on the ash heap of history.

Oh certainly, much of it sounds wonderful – on the surface.  In fact, to the right, this is much like the sounds the left heard from the Obama campaign.  The reality, as they learned, isn’t anywhere close to what was promised.

Then there’s the recent GOP history.  An all Republican Congress led by a Republican President gave us Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind among many other things which would be directly opposed to what is promised in “A Pledge to America”.

Steven Taylor does a good job of hitting most of my objections to a quick read of the “Pledge”:

I would take the whole affair far more seriously if the Pledge contained even the outline of real plan to deal with the country’s structural fiscal problems.  Caps on spending, especially ones that seems to partially exclude security-based spending, always sound good, but aren’t a solution to the problem (not by a long shot).  I am willing to accept the notion that one has to start somewhere, but this is nibbling around the edges.  This pledge does not seriously address the major issue facing the country.

As Taylor points out, it’s mostly warmed over GOP talking points, which, to this point have mostly remained talking points vs. action.  And the “Pledge” does indeed seem vague in a lot of areas.  Perhaps instead of calling it a “Pledge” or a “plan” it would be better to call it a “blueprint” or “outline” – detailed plan to follow.

Certainly this will please much of the base – but frankly, they didn’t need much pleasing.  They’re already eager to hit the polling booths.  What one has to wonder – especially with the obligatory social con stuff thrown in when it wasn’t necessary – is what the independents will think.  Certainly they been seen by polling data to at least be abandoning the Democrats – but does that mean they’ll embrace the GOP?  The social con inclusion in what should have basically been a small government plan sort of argues against the whole premise, doesn’t it? 

It will be interesting to see how indies respond.

I’m going to be reading the “Pledge” more closely and will respond with more detail, but at the moment, those are my thoughts.  How about yours?



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13 Responses to GOP’s Pledge? Just words …

  • Haven’t had time to check it out myself, but your comments are echoing what I’ve heard from other people too. And I’m really not surprised; it’s just what I’d expect from the Republicans.

    I’ll be very happy to see the Democrats take a beating, I just wish that didn’t mean that we’ll have to deal with Republicans.

  • So it appears as if it contains a lot of attractive-sounding generalities that might garner support (and votes) but it is light enough on specifics so that any Republicans who are voted into congress won’t feel as if their hand is forced?  Sounds like typical DC politics; put out a fancy rug for people to stand on, so that you can yank it out from under them.

  • How amusing that he scorns the Repub Pledge as “just words”, when the leader of his team (Obama) has set the world record for being a man of hollow words, empty slogans, and broken promises. If you want to know my definition of “just words” for the current decade it’s “Hope & Change”. Or maybe “A Different Kind of Politics”.  And for the final irony…the icing on the cake…the professional Left is STILL convinced their ideology is correct and that the voters only reject them because the Left has the wrong message. Yes, all that’s needed are a few pithy slogans, and a president that talks more/better.

  • Glad to see that the GOP “gets it” to this extent, but the proof will be in the pudding.  The first time a GOP senator inserts an earmark, the first time the GOP approves a budget with a deficit, the first time the GOP approves some new unconstitutional program… Well, we’ll know that this “pledge” really is “just words”.

    And why such a long bloody document?  What they need (I think that the base and most independents would agree) is pretty short ‘n’ sweet:

    1.  Balanced budget amendment

    2.  Term limits

    3.  No more earmarks… AT ALL

    4.  Members pledge to actually read the bills they vote on BEFORE they vote on them

    5.  No more shenanigans like attaching unpopular legislation to “must pass” bills or passing legislation in the middle of the night

    6.  Repeal ObamaCare and the financial “overhaul” legislation

    Is this ALL that needs to be done?  No, but it’s a good starts, and doesn’t take twenty-odd pages of verbiage to describe.

  • Precatory
    That’s a term I never came across until law school (not that long ago, BTW).
    It means “hopeful” or “aspirational” language. Which I think pretty well defines The Pledge.
    OK. Good. Nice. But hardly sufficient in the moment.

  • One wonders why they didn’t just embrace

    The Contract from America

    We, the citizens of the United States of America, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items and advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.

    Protect the Constitution
    Reject Cap & Trade
    Demand a Balanced Budget
    Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
    Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
    End Runaway Government Spending
    Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
    Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
    Stop the Pork
    Stop the Tax Hikes

  • If the GOP “got it”, they would have proposed these 3 steps to a smaller gov’t
    1) Repeal ObamaCare
    2) Amendment to repeal the income tax (16th Amendment) and replace with national sales tax
    3) Amendment to require a balanced budget with 3/5th supermajority to increase taxes
    Done !  Simple !

  • BFD.
    (Short, sweet…)

  • The “pledge” seeks to repeal ObamaCare yet keep many of it’s mandates for insurance companies. Palin has the right idea … free market reform. I wish the GOP would listen.