Holding the GOP accountable
In the two weeks since the midterm elections, Democrats and liberal bloggers have been on fire with vitriol about the appointment of Scott Walker, the defeat of Russ Feingold and the assumed ascension of John Boehner as Speaker of the House.
Meanwhile, Republicans have been rubbing their House majority in the President’s face, thinking that they will change the entire direction of the country in the next two years.
Boehner embraced a document titled “A Pledge to America,” similar to the “Contract with America,” which swept Newt Gingrich and his acolytes into office and sent Bill Clinton to the middle for the remainder of his presidency.
It consists of five pledges which can be used to measure the GOP’s effectiveness over the next two years.
1. to honor the constitution and the precepts that are consistently ignored, such as the 10th amendment which gives to states those duties not enumerated to the federal government by the other amendments;
2. to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, robust defense and national economic prosperity;
3. to honor families, traditional marriage, life and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values;
4. to make government more transparent in it actions, careful in its stewardship and honest in its dealings; and
5. 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 bouy the hopes of mankind.
While there are few specifics, the Pledge to America does include statements such as “create jobs, end economic uncertainty by repealing job killing policies, ending tax hikes and giving small businesses a 20 percent deduction on their income taxes. That sounds eerily like Ron Johnson’s campaign stump.
The authors even quote former President John Kennedy as an authority for their tax cut promise: “An economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will create enough jobs.”
The pledge also contains priorities to return federal government spending to pre-stimulus levels, enforce a strict budget cap and cancel TARP. For health care, repealing the Health Care Reform Act, imposing limits on malpractice payouts and ending taxpayer-funded abortions are the priority for pledge signers.
Boehner and his cohorts promise to cite the constitutional authority for every bill the House presents. They also promise to allow three full days for the reading of a bill before it is brought up for a vote, a measure similar to the Read The Bill movement.
To ensure a strong and safe country, the 48-page document promises to fully support and fund deployed troops, restore funding to the missile defense program, enforce sanctions against Iran and keep all terrorist combatants at Guantanamo Bay to face military tribunals.
It’s been almost two weeks since the midterm elections and while some people are angry and sad about the outcome, others are euphoric.
But this “pledge” lays out what the party soon to be in charge in Madison and the House (and very close behind in the Senate) believes in. No matter your feelings about the midterm results, here’s something we all can do – hold those elected accountable to the promises they have made.
Judge them by those promises and if they don’t deliver, let’s hand them a pink slip in two years. It’s that easy.
Cover photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons by meninfoilhats.