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The Party of Now or Never

September 23, 2010 - Rob Weaver

We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored – particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity.
We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.
We pledge to make government more transparent in its actions, careful in its stewardship, and honest in its dealings.
We pledge to uphold the purpose and promise of a better America, knowing that to whom much is given, much is expected and that the blessings of our liberty buoy the hopes of mankind.
We make this pledge bearing true faith and allegiance to the people we represent, and we invite fellow citizens and patriots to join us in forming a new governing agenda for America.

The intro to the Republican Party's Pledge to America sounds great. It also sounds largely familiar. I've heard this sales pitch before.

First, let's get to the central campaign issue this year: Federal spending. The act of actually balancing a budget, at its most basic, is simple: Spending cannot exceed income.

The difficulty will be to pay off the national debt -- especially if that is to be accomplished while maintaining current levels of spending. Even meeting current Social Security and Medicare obligations and continuing defense-related spending at current levels while paying off the debt would require an increase in revenue. That ignores most discretionary spending we now have.

Stated succinctly, Americans would have to pay more while getting less. That’s the opposite of what we have been getting for decades.

I remember the GOP’s Contract with America, rolled out in 1994 -- the first mid-term Congressional election during President Bill Clinton’s administration. The terms of the contract coaxed me into a more conservative mindset. But little of the legislative changes listed in the contract were enacted (although the contract only pledged to bring the initiatives to a floor vote; passage was not promised). The profligate spending of the George W. Bush years -- surpassed only by that of the Obama administration -- has me seeking another group that can be trusted to right this ship. Apparently, I’m not alone -- witness the people forming their own organizations to fill the political vacuum.

There is a risk in announcing the Pledge to America, and it’s not that it offers a party platform that can be criticized by the Democratic Party. Sooner or later, the party of “no” had to become the party of alternative ideas.

But we’ve heard this plan before. Mislead independents once, shame on you. Mislead independents twice, and the party’s over.


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