The Pledge: the first steps forward

posted at 11:36 am on September 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Today is Pledge Day, when the house Republican Caucus releases their new “Pledge to America” that details the commitments they will make for the 112th Session of Congress, assuming as most do by now that they will run the show. The 21-page draft has been called “dreck” by my friend Erick Erickson, but perhaps a closer read and a consideration of context might be in order. It doesn’t contain complete solutions to the woes we currently face, but then again, Republicans controlling the House will have limited power to make those kinds of sweeping changes many want while Barack Obama remains in the White House, and certainly not enough votes to get constitutional amendments through either chamber even apart from Obama.

House Republicans put the preamble into a YouTube video, and CBS has the document online with Scribd:

GOP Pledge to America

After reading through this a couple of times, I’d call it the Two Year Plan, or perhaps the Guiding Principles for a Two Year Plan. People tend to forget (although Allahpundit didn’t) that the Contract With America was a rather short-term document, too — and became even more so once the effort to get term limits got dropped. The CWA was mostly about changing Congressional rules in the wake of a series of scandals to make Congress more accountable. This Pledge is far more about policy than process; in fact, it’s almost entirely a challenge to Obama and a promise to undo everything he’s done, and some of what George Bush did on top of it.

That’s not to say that it couldn’t have gone farther.  The plan calls for rolling back spending to a pre-bailout, pre-stimulus level, but that’s not going to be good enough to start reducing debt.  It won’t eliminate the current deficit, especially with the pledges for rolling back some of the Obama-era tax and fee hikes contained in the bill.  Spending would have to roll all the way back to FY2007 or FY2006 just to hit the break-even mark.  But here again, perhaps it’s good to remember to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  Rolling back to FY2008 levels (which is presumably what the HRC has in mind) would at least be going in the right direction, and may be all that the GOP can get if the Senate remains in Democratic hands and Obama wants to provoke another government shutdown.

Some of the rules and promises in the bill are rather gimmicky and obviously intended just to tweak Democrats.  Republicans propose a “must read” rule for voting on bills that would be difficult to enforce, even within their own caucus, for instance.  Voters need to hold their own Representatives accountable for ignorant vote-casting.  Demanding a Constitutional citation for every bill that hits the floor sounds like a great idea, but it would only mean a little more work to develop boilerplate language regarding the Commerce Clause to append to every bill.  The problem with Congress isn’t that they can’t make an argument for Constitutionality of their schemes, after all.  They mutter platitudes about the Commerce Clause and the “good and welfare clause” by rote, except for the clueless few who are foolish enough to admit they don’t care about controls on their power anyway.

The weekly spending-cut votes seem like another gimmick, but that may have more teeth than one would presume.  It’s actually a rather clever device to keep the grassroots engaged.  When controversial votes take place in either chamber, bloggers and talk radio flood Congressional offices with calls, hang on the outcomes, and publish the vote lists.  Having those on a weekly or otherwise regular basis isn’t a bad idea, and putting elected officials on the spot for spending reductions isn’t a bad idea either.  If the House sends a spending cut once a week to the Senate and/or the White House, they’ll either force Democrats to publicly oppose them or start signing off on some of the cuts — and either would be a pretty good development for small-government conservatives.

Don’t be too quick to dismiss this Pledge.  It’s not the alpha and omega of small-government goals, but it may at least be the alpha and beta of getting the process started.

Update: The final version of the pledge can be found here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Hey look – a dipsh*t on an anonymous web board has crying fit over something.

Dave Rywall on September 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Project much?

kingsjester on September 23, 2010 at 1:52 PM

That’s not to say that it couldn’t have gone farther. The plan calls for rolling back spending to a pre-bailout, pre-stimulus level, but that’s not going to be good enough to start reducing debt. It won’t eliminate the current deficit…

Tax cuts and job growth and balanced budgets and unicorns and triple rainbows… oh my!

I don’t think any major politician in American has the guts to come out and say how truly painful the economy will remain in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, or just how much flesh must be extracted in order to balance the budget.

bayam on September 23, 2010 at 1:54 PM

This is not even a step forward. It’s more common sense.

This doc is like saying the sky is blue, when you are trying to build the first airplane.

faraway on September 23, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Excuse me, common sense for whom? Certainly not the Dems.

New Patriot on September 23, 2010 at 1:56 PM

But here again, perhaps it’s good to remember to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Rolling back to FY2008 levels (which is presumably what the HRC has in mind) would at least be going in the right direction, and may be all that the GOP can get if the Senate remains in Democratic hands and Obama wants to provoke another government shutdown.

We DO need to remember not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Per Gallup, about 40% of the voters are conservative, 25% liberals, and 35% “moderates”. A document that pleases ONLY conservatives leads to a House MINORITY which can get nothing done. In this election, “moderates” or “independents” AGREE with conservatives (and form majorities of voters) that taxes and spending must be cut, and ObamaCare must be repealed, so that’s what the Pledge says the Republicans will do.

After the 2010 elections, Republicans will probably have a House majority, but may not have a Senate majority, and they will certainly NOT have a filibuster-proof Senate majority or a veto-proof (2/3) majority in either chamber. They can use the “power of the purse” in the House to de-fund some of Obama’s excesses, but due to Democrats’ resistance in the Senate or Obama vetoes, they might not even get this much done.

Even this Pledge might be an “over-promise”, but only slightly so. Obama promised “the moon” in his campaign: hope, change, socialized medicine, jobs, lower spending, low unemployment, closing Gitmo, and world peace, and voters know that he has NOT kept his promises, but lots of things have gotten worse. Obama over-promised and couldn’t deliver, so disillusioned and angry voters are turning against him.

We should NOT over-promise, or only slightly so. If Republicans get a House majority but not a Senate majority, and fail to deliver on a FEW things in the Pledge, they can always blame Senate Democrats and Obama for blocking part of their agenda, and hold the remaining parts of the Pledge as an incentive for voters to elect a Republican Senate and President in 2012 to seal the deal. But if Republicans promise TOO MUCH and fail to deliver, voters could have the same reaction to them as they did to Obama this year.

Steve Z on September 23, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Hey look – a dipsh*t on an anonymous web board has crying fit over something.

Dave Rywall on September 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

I hear geese honking.

nico on September 23, 2010 at 1:59 PM

So no laws to reduce taxes or to pass budgets or to declare war or to change Social Security or Medicare? I think you need to think that through more carefully.

Jimbo3 on September 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Right – no more budgets – like the Democrats are doing?

Repeal tax laws and repeal the tax code. Shrink government.

Your Democrats have already gutted Medicare.

You need to think this through more carefully.

fossten on September 23, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Hey look – a dipsh*t on an anonymous web board has crying fit over something.

Dave Rywall on September 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Yeah. We’ve been dealing with a fool longer than nico’s been around.

Lanceman on September 23, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Fossten, without a budget or other appropriation bills, the government can’t spend anything. Any repealing tax laws and the tax code would require a law.

Jimbo3 on September 23, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Yeah. We’ve been dealing with a fool longer than nico’s been around.

Lanceman on September 23, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Nico goes back to the days when Michelle posted daily videos. Just don’t have the time to participate much. Effing capitalism!

Enjoy the sane regulars here very much, though.

nico on September 23, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Nico goes back to the days when Michelle posted daily videos.

nico on September 23, 2010 at 2:09 PM

The sad part is so does Bradky.

Lanceman on September 23, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Thanks Ed – I agree it is just a first step so I’m glad you see it that way too – That’s why you are “the man!” Once all the new GOP House Frosh arrive, they’ll have a say in it too, that’s why we need to elect as many of them as possible.

Done That on September 23, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Hey look – a dipsh*t on an anonymous web board has crying fit over something.

Dave Rywall on September 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

..hey, hoser, don’t you have to get to your road crew work picking up moose turds or something, eh?

The War Planner on September 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Unless term limits and omnibus legislation is addressed, it’s all a moot point.

ButterflyDragon on September 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Fossten, without a budget or other appropriation bills, the government can’t spend anything. Any repealing tax laws and the tax code would require a law.

Jimbo3 on September 23, 2010 at 2:07 PM

No it doesn’t. You need to study up on your civics.

How did the government avoid shutdowns in 1994?

fossten on September 23, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Any repealing tax laws and the tax code would require a law.

Jimbo3 on September 23, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Duh. Go back and read my original post. It said ‘except for laws that SOLELY repeal old laws.’

Somebody missed their Flintstones vitamins this morning.

fossten on September 23, 2010 at 2:56 PM

From Ace:

We have a lot of arguments ahead of us. Let’s have those arguments among ourselves once we’re in the g*&%$mned majority, huh?

Thank you.

Read the whole thing.

catmman on September 23, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Re: Something shorter. Perhaps:

We pledge to restore America to its roots, founded in self-government – of self, of family, and of our local communities. We will disempower all forms of domestic government beyond this scope. Issues outside those addressable at local scope will be resolved by voluntary associations of the assembled communities. Laws and regulations will be written and enforced locally. Taxes will be collected locally and spent locally. Funds for activities beyond the community will be allocated by the communities. We pledge to restore power to the people and their communities, and destroy once and for all the ability for those far removed from us to dictate law, regulation and policy, and be influenced by interests that are not ours, i.e. are not local. In this way there can be no special pleading, no special interests since if the majority of the communities adopt a practice by their individual choice, by definition it will be of the general interest. We will use freedom to discipline these communities, the freedom of the citizen and their enterprise to vote with their feet as well as the ballot box. Communities will experiment and compete for their citizens’ favor. San Francisco can turn into a reefer heaven. The Central Valley will again be able to compete with the world’s best sources of food. The gangrenous areas of Detroit will either recover or in bankruptcy, be recycled into a better place.

We pledge that in three more Presidential elections you will no longer care about the federal government. All but a few of the functions of the central government will be returned to jurisdictions of around 300,000 citizens. Government employment will drop from the 10s of million to sub-million. Much of D.C. will be returned to the local communities and other areas turned into parks and museums. The legislature and courts as you know them today will be much less important to you (and of much less stature and cost) than those individuals heading local institutions you invent and support. The same as businesses decentralized in the 70s and 80s you will see a new architecture for governance based on 21st century automation and networks that does not rely on a King, or the rule of a majority far removed from your interests. Call it the Mass-Customization of Governance and the end of the Regulatory/Administrative State (good riddance). And just like businesses, we’ll see that faster and smaller governance can be delivered at a 10th of today’s costs, and in its distributed nature, survive all those threats that a centralized hierarchy of even well intentioned intellects cannot.

= = = =

Well, I can dream.

aritai on September 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Ah, willfully ignorant wingnuts …

Health care
Proposals: Republicans call for repealing the health-care law signed earlier this year by President Obama. In its place, they would enact a series of ideas long touted by the GOP, such as health savings accounts, enrolling people with chronic illnesses in state-run, high-risk pools, and limiting lawsuits against doctors that claim medical malpractice.
DOA. Totally symbolic nonsense, offers nothing to citizens. Name the last repeal of huge legislation by Congress … exactly. No way Obama would ever sign anyway.
Government Reform
Proposals: Republicans have a series of ideas to change how Congress works. They would require Congress to cite the specific constitutional authority that undergirds each piece of legislation, to post bills online 72 hours before votes, and to make sure that bills are passed “one at time,” meaning legislation would not be packed with numerous provisions, as it often is now.
Symbolic concession to Tea Party wackos. When was constitution cited when slavery was abolished?
Spending
Proposals: Republicans would halt the hiring of non-security federal employees, cut the budget of Congress, freeze increases on most domestic spending programs, stop any additional spending under the TARP program and last year’s stimulus, and cut government waste.
DOA. Very unlikely Obama will sign any of these measures. None will do a thing for job growth. A return to Bush policies.
National Security
Proposals: Republicans did not offer a lot of detailed new proposals. They would bar trying accused terrorists on U.S. soil, not attach any unrelated measures to defense spending bills (as they accuse Democrats of doing) and “fully fund missile defense.”
GOP is offering nothing not already being done; it’s easy to pledge to “put all the jailed terrorists on trial when you have absolutely no control over the process.
Job Creation
Proposals: Republicans would keep in place tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, reduce regulations by federal agencies on businesses, and allow small businesses to deduct up to 20 percent of their business income.

DOA: LOL. More Bush-era deficit spending with nothing to show for it. Great. How very fiscally responsible.

bifidis on September 23, 2010 at 3:28 PM

bifidis on September 23, 2010 at 3:28 PM

You’re at the wrong place. HuffPo is in the alley, on the Left.

kingsjester on September 23, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Goddamnit Ed, Allah and the rest.

Did you not read the whole document? Did you notice this pathetic line in there?

We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick.

Here’s MORE

Does that sound familiar? Let me give you a hint…it starts with “O” and ends with “bamaCare.”

Can we stop slobbering over this pathetic document and hammer the GOP for this please? This is a MAJOR ISSUE people! And the GOP is not just dropping the ball on this BUT HAVE ABSORBED THE PROGRESSIVE AGENDA!. Oh you want more proof? How about ThinkProgress? HERE

Seriously, people. I BEG YOU. LETS GET THIS MEME OUT. This is a MAJOR CATASTROPHIC adoption of the Progressive healthcare plank.

MUST.HOLD.THE.GOP.ACCOUNTABLE!

flawedskull on September 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I want a declaration of WAR- NOT a Goddamm pinky promise!!!!

abobo on September 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Look, it’s understandable that people “want more” than this document outlines. I want to be taller. I don’t expect that this means the Republicans need to promise to do that for me.

We need to have a serious discussion about what is possible for the next two years. Not what we wish for, not what we think we “need”, not what we “demand”, not what our principles tell us “should” happen in a perfect world.

What is possible.

It may be a dash of cold water in the face of some folks, but it’s time to say it: The best case scenario for what is actually possible to get done legislatively from a rightward direction is…. NOTHING.

Nothing getting passed into law that we want to see happen is the best we can realistically hope for. This is the case because of two fundamental facts that are not going to change:

1. The Democrats will continue to hold the Presidency for the next two years.

2. There are not enough Democrat seats up for election this year which could be flipped to Republican to allow for the override of a Presidential veto.

It simply can’t be done this cycle. The math doesn’t work. Without the ability to override a veto, there is nothing that can make it into law, no matter how much we might want it, unless Obama decides to not veto it.

It doesn’t matter how strong the wave is, how loud the repudiation is, how much turnout we get… it simply cannot be done in this one cycle. We could “run the table”, and it still would not be enough.

How much of the Republican agenda do you think he’s going to not veto after his party has been decimated? Nothing of any substance will become law if it doesn’t align with his desires.

The next two years are going to be gridlock, folks. Write it on your calendars in pen.

Given that inescapable fact… what should this pledge have been? A promise to do things that cannot actually be done over the next two years? No.

It should be exactly what it is: a statement of principles.

For the next two years, the House will be able to pass legislation in the mold of what we’d like to see enacted, if the voters decide in 2012 to return the government to a non-divided state, under the guidance of the (hopefully reformed) Republican Party.

This is going to be a two-year dress rehearsal for the proposed new model of governance.

The time to talk about making substantial progress on the more divisive issues will be after the 2012 elections. Since we have no real possibility of getting it actually implemented into law before then, it’s best to keep our powder dry, present a good example of how the reformed version of the Repubs expects to go about the job of governance post-2012, and avoid unnecessarily making enemies.

That leads to a less-than-perfect Pledge being offered… but it has to be taken in the context of what’s actually possible over the next two years.

And in that context, it seems like a pretty reasonable cut at it, to me.

VekTor on September 23, 2010 at 5:05 PM

yep, it’s rino dreck kiddies…..oh wait!

Taking the Pledge! Americans should be proud to support the commonsense,Constitutional solutions;NRO spot-on editorial http://bit.ly/ahw0ch
about 2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Retweeted by 74 people
.SarahPalinUSA

here is the rino NRO editorial Sarah wants you to read, run along Pbots for Purity :)

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/247475/we-ll-take-pledge-editors

windansea on September 23, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Is there any chance that an analysis of the GOP Pledge might raise the glaring omission that nine years into a shooting war with 3,000 innocent civilians murdered in the homeland, many more thousands of troops Killed In Action, tens of thousands more Wounded In Action, over a trillion dollars spent and no end in sight our political elites in both parties seem unable or unwilling to identify our enemy, their doctrine and their objectives?

Lon Chaney on September 23, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Fossten, without a budget or other appropriation bills, the government can’t spend anything. Any repealing tax laws and the tax code would require a law.

Jimbo3 on September 23, 2010 at 2:07 PM
No it doesn’t. You need to study up on your civics.

How did the government avoid shutdowns in 1994?

fossten on September 23, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Fossten, they used a continuing resolution. That is an appropriations legislation (read “law”) Congress passes by joint resolution to fund government agencies if a formal appropriations bill has not been signed. I may have missed my Flinstone vitamins, but I did have my Frosted Flakes.

Jimbo3 on September 23, 2010 at 6:38 PM

I want a declaration of WAR- NOT a Goddamm pinky promise!!!!

abobo on September 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM

I really hope you get your wish, because it’s that attitude that will keep you scoundrels out of political power and in the dustbin of history — where you belong.

bifidis on September 23, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Republicans controlling the House will have limited power to make those kinds of sweeping changes many want while Barack Obama remains in the White House, and certainly not enough votes to get constitutional amendments through either chamber even apart from Obama.

If Republicans come to control the House, they will control the nation’s purse-strings. If they choose not to fund something, it will not get done, and that’s something neither the Senate nor the President can overcome. The budget is the one place where the House plays the first chair role, and I would expect Republicans (especially the TEA Partiers) to dig in their heels on expenditures for things they don’t like.

unclesmrgol on September 23, 2010 at 9:29 PM

flawedskull on September 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Not quite Obamacare. Insurance companies have been retroactively denying coverage to people they contracted to cover when they determine that those people have pre-existing conditions. Now, it’s one thing when these people lie on their applications, but it’s another when they sign up, believing they are healthy, and then find afterward (perhaps several years later) that they have some disease such as cancer which will cost a hefty sum. Several insurance companies have a record of rescission of policies in this case, leaving the policyholder not only uncovered but with legal liability for any previous services rendered by the company.

Certainly, the GOP has an interest in assuring that applicants don’t commit fraud when applying and using insurance, but it should also have an interest in assuring at some level (federal, state, or local) that insurance companies don’t try to balance their bottom line by breaking their contracts when they are on the line to pay out.

As for the caps, those are contractual arrangements between a customer and the insurance company, and I don’t think the Government should intervene. However, any such caps should be only for the actual cost of services rendered through that company — no “coordination of benefits” should be allowed. Currently, if you have more than one insurer, each one counts the full value of billed services rendered (before they pay their coordinated amount) against your lifetime limit. That’s unfair and needs to change.

unclesmrgol on September 23, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I think it is too complicated. 4 or 5 bullet points so we could remember them and they could be used in ads. If they wanted to back it up with a more detailed document, fine.

huckleberryfriend on September 23, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Am I the only one who noticed how very odd it was to see Boehner and co. were all dressed ultra casual for their promo for this pledge? (no ties, nope, not a one of them, and no jackets) It looked forced and a set up.

I don’t want to bash (I’m no liberal troll) but, to me, it smacked of a pathetic and poorly veiled attempt to say, “Hey, Tea Partiers! Look! We’re just like you.”

I mean, are they so condescending that they really think we are stoopid?

fullogas on September 23, 2010 at 10:14 PM

And add to my above post: I would really like people to be honest in their dealings with us. We are the people. We aren’t just some demographic group that they need to dress a certain way to appeal to. It’s insulting.

fullogas on September 23, 2010 at 10:18 PM

This Pledge is 100%+ better than ANYTHING the Dems are offering…and 1000% better than what they have delivered thus far.

Are you better off now than you were FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS AGO???

Justrand on September 23, 2010 at 11:22 PM

Did you not read the whole document? Did you notice this pathetic line in there?

We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick.

Here’s MORE

Does that sound familiar? Let me give you a hint…it starts with “O” and ends with “bamaCare.”

Can we stop slobbering over this pathetic document and hammer the GOP for this please? This is a MAJOR ISSUE people! And the GOP is not just dropping the ball on this BUT HAVE ABSORBED THE PROGRESSIVE AGENDA!. Oh you want more proof? How about ThinkProgress? HERE

Seriously, people. I BEG YOU. LETS GET THIS MEME OUT. This is a MAJOR CATASTROPHIC adoption of the Progressive healthcare plank.

MUST.HOLD.THE.GOP.ACCOUNTABLE!

flawedskull on September 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Boehnercare.

GOP hopes to capitalize on Disdain for Government by Offering more Government, WTF?:

This is it. Boehner and Co. have released a document that tips their hand and tells you where they’re headed and should instruct you that there is no party, none, zero, no political party that stands for limited government, individual liberty and freedom, and the Constitution. They talk a good game, but they’re fakes. They’re liars. They’re hacks. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you will stop what you’re doing right now, let us have a moment of silence for the Republican Party.

Rae on September 23, 2010 at 11:58 PM

All well and good but we have some unfinished business in that ‘Slick Willy’ has been running around for years touting his ‘balanced budget’ and surplus, while you and I know that the Contract with America was responsible for that. Clinton was responsible for relaxing lending practices which lead to the financial collapse of 2008. Don’t let the Clintons take credit for a conservative initiative.

sonnyspats1 on September 24, 2010 at 12:24 AM

as always the test will be a competition between those who agree with this preamble, and those who say…wait one minute…. I’M OWED

i think the R’s are growing up

r keller on September 24, 2010 at 1:39 AM

I don’t think any major politician in American has the guts to come out and say how truly painful the economy will remain in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, or just how much flesh must be extracted in order to balance the budget.

bayam on September 23, 2010 at 1:54 PM

I take it you missed the Carter years and the Misery Index. And the gas lines.

Luka on September 24, 2010 at 2:52 AM

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it….

james23 on September 24, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Not quite Obamacare. Insurance companies have been retroactively denying coverage to people they contracted to cover when they determine that those people have pre-existing conditions. Now, it’s one thing when these people lie on their applications, but it’s another when they sign up, believing they are healthy, and then find afterward (perhaps several years later) that they have some disease such as cancer which will cost a hefty sum. Several insurance companies have a record of rescission of policies in this case, leaving the policyholder not only uncovered but with legal liability for any previous services rendered by the company.

–In most states, this can happen only if there was a significant omission or misrepresentation on the application. Many states also make policies unchallengeable if they’ve been in effect for a period of time. Insurance companies also have been hit with a bunch of expensive “bad faith” lawsuits that they’ve lost in connection with recissions, so they generally now tread carefully in this are.

Jimbo3 on September 24, 2010 at 10:43 AM

The pledge is a joke. I’ve heard this promise before and it reeks of BS that I’ve heard before. Where are the words, “Cut corporation taxes”? Where are the words printed in the pledge about the Dept. Of Education being eliminated? Where are the words that eliminate the Dept. of Energy? Where are the words drill baby drill. How about eliminating some of these government entitlement programs? Empty words the GOP will regret.

mixplix on September 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM

All well and good but we have some unfinished business in that ‘Slick Willy’ has been running around for years touting his ‘balanced budget’ and surplus, while you and I know that the Contract with America was responsible for that. Clinton was responsible for relaxing lending practices which lead to the financial collapse of 2008. Don’t let the Clintons take credit for a conservative initiative.

sonnyspats1 on September 24, 2010 at 12:24 AM

It needs to go far beyond just Clinton… we need to smash to tiny bits this notion that any President is responsible for spending. They are not. Presidents set goals, directions and agendas that they would like to see, but they don’t have the power to make those things happen… and therefore we should stop once and for all with this silly notion that it was Clinton that had a surplus, or that it was Bush that spent too much on entitlements.

Presidents don’t spend. Congresses spend. Every bit of excessive spending, and any savings from reining spending in, belongs to the Congress that authorized that spending via their appropriations bills.

Yes, a President can color that via a veto in order to try to force a political compromise, but again, whatever eventually makes it to a President’s desk that is signed was crafted and approved by a Congress.

Bush did not “spend trillions on an unnecessary war”. Congress did. Bush did not spend exorbitant amounts on Medicare Part D. Congress did. Clinton did not drastically reduce the deficit during the dot-com boom. Congress did.

We need to start putting the blame (and the credit) where it belongs.

Once that message is delivered strongly, it will be that much more clear to the American people why it is important to have small-government advocates in both houses of Congress.

With enough of those, even a far-leftist president couldn’t stop good legislative outcomes, because those vetos could be overridden. But we either need to get there, or get a president who philosophically agrees with the notion of reduced spending. Until then, the House will be able to pass legislation in the pattern of what we’d like to see, but it won’t become law.

All the better to help push the message that we need to “finish the job” come 2012.

VekTor on September 24, 2010 at 1:49 PM

And to be fair, it’s not Obama that has spent us into a financial ditch. It is Pelosi and Reid, and Obama simply agreed with what they did by signing it into law.

VekTor on September 24, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Of course, if we hadn’t spent the last 40+ years woefully neglecting the importance of proper civics education, it wouldn’t be necessary to point these things out, because they would be self-evident to almost everyone involved.

VekTor on September 24, 2010 at 1:58 PM

I laughed when I saw the White House blog response to the Republican pledge. The posting argued that Republicans were hypocritical for not supporting the Democrat “Small Business Jobs Bill”. They touted that the “potential benefits to Tart Lumber in the Small Business Jobs Bill include…Investors in firms like Tart would receive zero capital gains on their investments.”

Maybe the White House doesn’t realize that receiving capital gains on your investment is a good thing.

huskerjeff on September 24, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Should I infer that Jugears might want Mitt as the Republican nominee because Mitt’s the only one who can make Obama appear even marginally competent by comparison?

Extrafishy on September 25, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Um Mitt comes off plenty competent. From the potential 2012 candidates…Sarah is the one that doesn’t come off as competent. She quit her job as Governor.

terryannonline on September 25, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Comment pages: 1 2