Today Republicans officially unveiled “The Pledge.” As with the 1993 Contract With America, although longer, it states what the GOP will do if they hold the majority in Congress.
Reactions in the blogosphere, talk radio and cable news outlets has been mixed. Here’s a compendium of opinions heard this morning.
National Review Online gives it a thumbs-up and says it is bolder than “The Contract With America” which merely promised to hold votes on popular bills that had been bottled up during decades of Democrat control of the House. The pledge commits Republicans to work towards a broad conservative agenda that, if implemented, would make the federal government significantly smaller, Congress more accountable and America more prosperous.”
In addition, they find it “shrewd politically” because it forces Democrats to take unpopular views by opposing having a law posted online 72 hours before passage, objecting to a check on a bill’s constitutionality, saying they don’t want to hold Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid accountable and declaring they want to continue TARP stand in opposition to current popular sentiment.
For AP, The Pledge is “a manifesto.” It has “familiar proposals to slash taxes and is rife with grassroots rhetoric.”
On talk radio, Rush Limbaugh says it is “a basic, common sense position.” He likes the contrast of Obama promising American money in his U.N. speech at the same time the Republicans are at a hardware store trying to save the economy.
Laura Ingrahm disagrees about the roll out. She slammed its unveiling at the hardware store and asks if Ronald Reagan would do something there.
Redstate calls it “a pledge to nowhere.” Ear catching, but the phrase has the taste of something cooked up before the Pledge was even announced. “Hogan” faults it for not addressing the debt, and failing to cut earmarks. He doesn’t like repeal and replace for the health care reform and wants a plan like a balanced budget amendment.
Riehl World View favors it and quotes former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who said, “You go to war with the army you have.”
On CNBC Larry Kudlow asks if “part of the exercise with its emphasis on spending restraints and easing big government (the Republicans) are saying that this is no longer the big spending George W. Bush Republican Party and that they got the message.” Panelists on his show discussed the wisdom of releasing it, but noted that it prevents the Democrats from calling Republicans the Party of No. If Republicans succeed in taking back the House in a landslide they can also claim they have a mandate.
The Daily Caller has an article, “The Seven Things to Know About The Pledge.” They acknowledge the nods to the Tea Party in the document. Paul Ryan’s ideas not included in the Pledge causes some disquiet and they find that there is little about social conservative issues. Minority leader John Boehner had wanted it embargoed until today and was not happy it got leaked. The decision to release it while Obama was away from Washington is seen as a time when the White House would have trouble reacting to it. In general, they find few things for the Democrats to knock in the outline.
Democrat congressman James Clyburn had linguistic fun in saying it was “a plague on American” rather than a pledge. That tactic was also taken by Clinton, who called the Contract with America the contract on America. That tactic failed to be effective, however.
How will America react? Hard to say, but I applaud the targeting of Obamacare in the Pledge. Other things stood out, too. Any plan to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is spot on and long overdue. A full acounting of Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid gets applause and the promise to end federal funding of abortion works, too.
On the Pledge, Midtown Republican approves this message.