Thursday, 23 September 2010

'A Pledge to America'

The video's from House GOP Conference Vice-Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA). It's a good one. Yet the Republicans' new "contract" with the American people is more far reaching, "Boehner’s governing platform centers on repealing Obamacare, rolling back of tax increases and regulation."

House Minority Leader John Boehner and the House Republican leadership are set to unveil Thursday their agenda for governing, with an emphasis on repealing President Obama’s health care overhaul and reining in tax increases and regulation.

The plan came under immediate criticism from congressional Democrats but also was brutally savaged by some leading conservatives. The full document can be read here.

Erick Erickson, founder of RedState.com, called the proposal “dreck.”

“The entirety of this Promise is laughable. Why? It is an illusion that fixates on stuff the GOP already should be doing while not daring to touch on stuff that will have any meaningful longterm effects on the size and scope of the federal government,” Erickson wrote.

“This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy,” he said.

But National Review, one of the two leading conservative magazines in Washington, had praise for the document, deeming it “bolder” than the 1994 “Contract with America.”

“The pledge is explicitly a beginning to the lengthy task of providing conservative governance, and a very good one,” the magazine’s editors wrote. “It is also a shrewd political document.”
I'm reading the document now (in PDF). I don't pay too much attention to these things anyway. Parties make pledges all the time. And they often keep their pledges. But they sometimes abandon them as well. What matters to me is focusing on a few key issues, especially those that relate to holding firm on government expansion. Controlling spending and stimulating job growth with tax cuts would be a good place to start. The contract will not abandon social issues, which is good. But Republicans would be wise to avoid the Obama administration's pitfalls. Focus like a laser beam on job creation and spending reductions. With a congressional majority Republicans will be able to stand firm against the social destruction of the Democratic-left. The real business on social issues will be when the GOP again controls the White House (and thus judicial appointments).

Republicans have the choicest electoral --- and hence policy --- environment in decades. I think John Boehner's a smart cookie, so we'll see. I'm going skim over this document a bit more. Perhaps there's a plank on avoiding hubris?


Cross-posted from American Power.

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