Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pledges the Republican Way

I was thinking about all the pledges that Republican candidates have signed or are about to sign.

First up: Grover Norquist’s Tax payer Protection Pledge. It says: “I will never raise taxes on anyone ever even under threat of torture”. Even if the democrats put me to the rack I will shout: “no increase in taxes!”

Then we have the Marriage Vow Pledge. It says:  “I will oppose same sex marriage, reject Sharia law and remain faithful to my spouse”. While signed by Santorum and Bachman, I am pretty sure Newt Gingrich won’t sign this one.

Next is: Jim DeMint’s Cut Cap and Balance Pledge. This requires support of the balanced budget amendment and a super majority to raise taxes. The voters in California have hamstrung their government the same way through the adoption of referendums.  Look how well this has worked out for them! A government permanently in gridlock. Cut, Cap, and Balance has been signed by Romney, Gingrich, Bachmann, Paul and Santorum.

The Taxpayer Protection pledge was signed by every candidate who sought the Republican nomination except Jon Huntsman. 279 members of the House and Senate, including Jon Boehner and Mitch McConnell, signed it. Was the president really surprised when Boehner walked away from negotiations over reducing the debt or why the super committee couldn’t agree on 1.2 billion of reductions in the debt? They can’t discuss balancing the budget because one side has signed away there ability to negotiate.

The only Republican candidate who refused to sign a pledge in this campaign was Jon Huntsman. When asked to explain this weird behavior he saidI don't sign pledges -- other than the Pledge of Allegiance and a pledge to my wife.”.

He says he told [South Carolina Senator] Jim DeMint “You just have to understand that's where I come down.” Of course Jon Huntsman is no longer a candidate. Maybe in four years?  

I am also calling on Democrats to sign a pledge not to waste their time talking to Republicans until the Republicans repudiate all their idiotic pledges. Why are these pledges necessary? I suppose it is because Republicans don’t trust their elected officials to keep their word.

With their history this is understandable. Reagan cut taxes, increased expenditures, and then signed off on the biggest tax increase in history.

H.W Bush gave his famous “read-my-lips” pronouncement, and then when he saw the deficit skyrocketing, agreed to a tax increase. A rare act of political courage rewarded, by his humiliating defeat by Bill Clinton,

When these people were faced with economic reality they did what was best for their country, not what Grover Norquist (by the way who is he) wanted them to do.

Recently I was asked to sign a pledge of support for Planned Parenthood. I explained that I support Panned Parenthood today, things change and I might not want to do so tomorrow.

Political leaders need to keep their options open. What is best today may not be tomorrow. A compromise may result in a broken pledge and compromises are the oil that keeps our government running.

 I am going to make a pledge. I pledge never to sign a pledge.


  1. Good post and good point of view! I like to keep my mind and my actions open to change.

  2. Thank you for that - Dave pointed me to it and I liked it. I will pledge to uphold my oath to Uphold and Defend the Constitution of The State of New Hampshire and the United States of America. I have signed a number of other pledges as well that are consistent with that pledge, but I will not sign any just for political correctness or donations.