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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Griper Blade: "Pledge for America" Just GOP Bait and Switch

House Republicans released a new "Pledge for America" [pdf] today in Virginia. The document begins by riffing on the Declaration of Independence and the following ideas aren't a whole lot newer. "Bold" and "fresh" aren't really words you'd use to describe it. "Hyperbolic" might be a good choice, though. "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," we're told. President Obama and Democrats in Congress apparently appointed themselves into office. It's weird, but that's not the way I remember it. I seem to recall a few very decisive elections.

Anyone who remembers 1994's Contract with America will also remember that it really didn't go anywhere. Newt Gingrich's "Republican Revolution" began to revolve back the very next election cycle and everything went downhill from there. "Gingrich, and the freshmen congressmen who signed on to the contract, thought they could turn the House of Representatives upside down and reverse the process: Issue a political agenda and demand it be approved, virtually without hearings or debate," wrote Connecticut columnist William Torpey in 1996. Government doesn't work this way, because government wasn't designed to work this way. Worse, the ideas that House Republicans spell out are bad ones to begin with, much like they were in contract version 1.0.

Ezra Klein:

Their policy agenda is detailed and specific -- a decision they will almost certainly come to regret. Because when you get past the adjectives and soaring language, the talk of inalienable rights and constitutional guarantees, you're left with a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars, take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people, create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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