Pledge to America: the cliff notes

The long awaited sequel to Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract On America,” is out. Here are cliff notes. A summary of sorts inspired by Cliff Hillegrass’ original, but written for the lemmings expected to be led and fall from the cliff.

Overall:

Republicans pledge to reconnect with their version of the “permanent truth” of long-buried, rich, slave-owning white men – none of whom were Baptist – who lived in a time before indoor plumbing, electricity, automobiles, telephones, television, internets, rights for women or people of color, automatic weapons, predator drones, polling, political action committees, Republicans, Democrats, citizenship, elections, Wall Street, public libraries, credit cards, corporations, health insurance, retirement plans, banks, dollars, and the life expectancy was about 30.

Republicans pledged to offer a “plan,” rather than an “agenda.” They announced their firm patriotic pledge to be against uncertainty, red-tape factories specifically located in Washington, D.C. (other color tape factories and those red-tape factories in other areas are apparently just fine) and people not working. They reaffirmed their pledge to listen to the minority mob at this critical time when those elected by the majority don’t seem to be listening to Fox.

Based on the 50 photos in their 48 page pledge, they are also pro-cowboy hats and are really really pro-white people – only one person of color was shown, John Boehner who is orange.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs:

They believe our economic problems are caused by heavy hands, a dead economist, and the continued cowardice of business owners. They believe the Democrat bill that provided the largest middle class tax cut in history, revenue sharing to the states to keep schools open and teachers and police on the job, and investments to rebuild roads and bridges that put construction workers back to work should have been cancelled.

They pledge to put people back to work by not spending money and definitely not hiring them by the government. They believe that it is critical to give people making so much money that they couldn’t find enough tax dodges and have to report over $250,000 in earned income a 3% tax break. They believe the Republican initiative to save Wall Street has caused investor uncertainty, but that if Wall Street has to obey the rules, they won’t take risks and our economy won’t trickle on middle class and poor people.

They pledge to end the deficit by permanently not raising taxes, giving more tax deductions to corporations, repealing the requirement for corporations to report expenses over $600, and requiring an act of Congress for almost any new business regulation. The Republicans pledge “put us a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt” by immediately cutting $100 billion from the stimulus bill that would have been used to buy American products and hire Americans to rebuild decaying public buildings and bridges. They pledge to go back to the Clinton-era, Obama-endorsed, pay-as-you-go strategy on new spending, except in the cases of unexpected emergency Republican spending such as highway funding, new subsidies for agriculture, more fighter jets built in Republican districts, etc. They also have pledged support of Obama’s plan to re-privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Healthcare:

They pledge to immediately repeal healthcare reform and replace it with common sense, allowing HSAs to be used for anything in a drug store, getting rid of state regulation of health insurance companies, and, of course, tort reform. No mention of the 50+ million Americans who don’t have health care coverage. They also pledge to discontinue the federal prohibition on abortion funding and replace it with a prohibition on abortion funding.

Government Reform:

The Republicans pledge a requirement that every law carry a Congressional version of a Bush signing statement – just a little something to clarify intent which can be used before the Supreme Court or campaign contributors. The idea is that regardless of whether the bill is constitutional, if they say it is, and the President signs it, they agree on intent, which should put the judiciary on proper unconstitutional notice not to disagree.

They pledge to require that all bills be posted 72 hours before a vote as the Democrats already do. The theory is that it will give Rush, Glenn and Sarah more time to alert the radio, cable and tweetisphere to alert the people to alert the pollsters to alert the staff to alert our leaders how to vote.

They pledge to require that at any point in the process, any legislator can offer an amendment to reduce spending and send the bill back to a committee to restart the never ending process which should, once and for all, mean that Congress will never pass another bill while a black man is in the White House. If that doesn’t work, they also pledge to make sure measures are passed “one at a time” rather than bundling a critically important-to-K-Street bill with other bills not considered important by Republicans. And if that doesn’t work, they also pledge to put an expiration date on all federal programs to coincide with election years including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but plan to save Social Security by cutting benefits until it is so unpopular that we won’t want it any longer.

They particularly are against big government, but pledge no specific size goals. They are also pro-accountability and transparency, which is code for, “we can’t wait to start the inquisition of Obama.”

Security:

Not much here. I suppose they got to their page limit. They pledge to pass a “Clean Troop Funding Bill,” I know it sounds as if the Republicans are anti-dirty troops, but they aren’t. The pledge is totally meaningless except to provide some cover should they fail on other pledges and have to pass a military funding bill that includes bridges to nowhere.

They also pledge to “demand an Overarching Detention Policy” to prevent those illegally detained by our government anywhere in the world, but especially those in Guantanamo, from having a fair trial, to fully fund the fully funded Star Wars missile defense shield, even though it is still illegal by treaty and will never work, but Reagan wanted it, and they reiterate their dislike for Iran and immigrants, but pledge no specifics of how they are going to make their lives worse.

Energy:

They pledge they are for domestic energy production and against cap and trade, but pledge no specifics and certainly didn’t pledge anything to address global climate change or new energy sources.

The complete 48 page Republican “Pledge to America” can be read here.

7 thoughts on “Pledge to America: the cliff notes

  1. Frank Povah

    Lee: There’s lots of nice motherhood and apple pie stuff. The preamble and foreword remind me of nothing so much as a Hollywood script.

    “An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many.”

    Does “arrogant and out of touch” also include those who would deny climate change, refuse to see the need for alternative energy production, deny that there are more ways to fix the system than by pandering to the wealthy few, and put ideology and the Party line before the well-being of the country and the great majority of its citizens?

    “We will repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care and replace it with common-sense reforms focused on strengthening the doctor-patient relationship.”

    Can anyone tell me how your doctor being nicer to you will have a positive effect on those who cannot afford health care?

    “We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives. No more hiding legislative language from the minority party, opponents, and the public. Legislation should be understood by all interested parties before it is voted on.”

    This is a winner. They’ve come up with a warm folksy way of describing blogs written by staff and published on the net (and presumably twitter, Facebook, et al.) “discussed in the public square”. They haven’t said that they’ll listen to any suggestions of course. Does it also include bills dealing with security, defense-spending allocations and the like? But for pity’s sake, the State Department now tweets the citizenry (about what I don’t know, I haven’t got cell phone coverage) so can we expect breakfast tweets from our congressmen describing their all-night discussions about “representative–constituent Constitutionally valid interactions” with the legal adviser (aka hot number) from Bent, Snide and MacDeviant, Constitutional lawyers and lobbyists?

    They also have a couple of nice escape clauses; “begin the process” and “listen to the people, fielding their concerns”.

    Does this last include actually answering letters and emails that people send to them? Of course the spelling and language used in text messages, blogs and tweets will certainly guarantee work for generations of lawyers, who, out of gratitude, will no doubt vote Born-Again until the end of time.

    All in all it’s a good read. Especially the sweeping statements of “facts and figures” with no references to substantiate them.

    Reply
  2. Monica Smith

    I keep forgetting that for these dualists every concept has an opposite and whatever they say, it’s the opposite that they mean. So, for example, when they promise to “listen,” they mean that they won’t answer questions.
    Saying the opposite of what one means is not lying when the purpose is to deceive the enemy. And, when government BY the people is on the agenda, the people are the enemy of the elite, whom the dualists represent.
    Anyway, I’ve now coined “pissant punitive pols” for the clueless instinct-driven folk.

    Reply
    1. Lee Leslie Post author

      No, but I’m in the target audience for either product.
      I often get confused in discussions of parody, satire and the like -- particularly when they involve an oxymoron being sold to traditional morons. Made more so for being mostly propellent gas, water and the rest hydrocarbons. As pledges go, however, lemon would be the flavor I’d chose for this.

      Reply
  3. Cliff Green

    On the one hand, you pinko liberals are always hugging trees and filing lawsuits to stop fine capitalistic projects in order to save a damn bug or something, but when the G.O.P. comes along and tries to recycle ideas from two decades ago, you whiz on their legs. Geez, make up your minds!

    Reply
    1. Lee Leslie Post author

      Thanks for the prospective on this. Generally, I prefer reusing or recycling to dumping things in the landfill. While this might seem just simple garbage, it is more properly labeled toxic waste as it could easily foul our environment and cause untold harm to the health of all Americans. Best to put it and its authors in a rocket and fire it into the sun.

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