A “Pledge to America”…to be boring

"A Pledge to America"

I didn't judge this book by its cover. I judged it by its insides. Its long, boring, insides.

I decided to sit down and read the GOP’s “Pledge to America.” Kick the tires a bit, give it a fair shot. I used to be a pretty conservative Republican back in the day, so maybe this will reawaken the elephant in me.

In a word, No. Here are my random notes, taken while reading:

It’s only page 3 before they jump into the anti-gay agenda, pledging to “…honor…traditional marriage.” This comes just one paragraph after pledging to “advance policies that promote greater liberty, (and) wider opportunity.”

This is where the GOP loses me, where I no longer feel connected to the party. Limiting marriage to two members of the opposite sex doesn’t promote greater liberty and wider opportunity. It does quite the opposite. And I don’t understand why people who are for limited government want to expand government when it comes to the private lives of two consenting adults.

That point is driven home just two grafs later when they say “the blessings of our liberty buoy the hopes of mankind.” Unless, of course, you’re gay, then you can’t get married, or adopt children, or serve in the military. But beyond that, yes, liberty.

On page 6 they tell us they’ll simply repeal the health care overhaul, which is totally awesome. I had no idea they could do that. I was under the impression that once it became law, it was game over, man. So why were they so worked up with that whole “Kill the bill” thing, if they could simply repeal it later?

Oooh, they go after Keynes again on page 14. Here’s one of the great things I learned about Keynesian economic theory last summer: Yes, homeboy did propose increased government spending to act as a stimulant when they economy is in trouble, but he also recommended the use of tax cuts as another way to encourage spending – the idea being people will spend the extra money. Hmmmm…who’s the Keynesian economist now? Basically Keynesians believe the government should act to help the economy, not just wait for built-in stabilizers to help shorten a downturn.

Really, guys? Still trying to blame the mortgage crisis on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? I did some research on this and found ample evidence to suggest that it was private sector loans that were the real problem (here’s one example: “Private sector loans, not Fannie or Freddie, triggered crisis”). I’m still not buying this one.

Holy crap, it seems like they use the phrase “common-sense reforms” a lot…often in place of any specifics.

Glad to see on page 38 they’ll hold “President Obama and his administration responsible for any Guantanamo Bay detainees they release who return to fight against our troops or who have become involved in any terrorist plots or activities.” Does that mean they’ll do the same for the 18 confirmed and 43 suspected detainees who returned to terrorism after being freed by President Bush? Surely it does, right?

P.S. – There are lots of pretty, patriotic photos in this document. Here’s a fun game to play: Count all the cowboy hats pictured, then see how many non-white people appear in the photos.

In all, it’s a relatively boring read, with all the usual platitudes. Democrats have bashed it, sure, but now conservative bloggers are calling it out, too. I’m intrigued to see what effect this has on the November midterms. This will likely not go far enough in the eyes of Tea Partiers, but really, who else are they going to vote for besides Republicans? My guess, though, is this could splinter conservative votes in places like Alaska, where the defeated “mainstream Republican” candidate is writing as a write-in against the Tea Party-approved, official Republican candidate.

Color me unimpressed, and still not ready to return to the Republic party anytime soon.

–QCFM

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