Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Pledge to America": A Beginning

I carefully read the Pledge today and am buoyed by its sincerity and clarity of purpose. And, frankly, I believe our founders would be reassured as well.

Though much is missing, e.g. term limits, tax code reform, English only, reducing the corporate tax rate, and reforming Social Security, there is still much to commend in the document.

Relying on those rock-solid founding principles which made America the exceptional economic and political power we all want it to be once again, the Pledge appears to be a commonsense and unabashed expression of an at-once chastened and reinvigorated GOP intent upon returning America to its constitutional principles and traditional American values. (Thank you, Tea Baggers one and all!)

Understandably short on specifics as to how their goals will actually be achieved, it does provide direction and clearly defined ending points. It will, of course, be the day-to-day strategy huddle of the players themselves on the field of political battle which will necessarily determine how the GOP will get us there. For me, therefore, until the battle is joined there’s really no need tipping off Progressives as to the GOPs specific tactics to achieve the Pledge’s goals. Just achieve them!

Despite Red State’s Eric Erickson who was so quick to denigrate what he apparently saw as the banality of the document, the Pledge didn’t strike me as a hollow, self-serving contrivance merely to get GOP candidates elected or re-elected. In any case, I’m all for the Pledge and ANY candidate who honestly and demonstrably espouses the Pledge.

The highlights of the Pledge which were of special interest to me were as follows:

1.impose a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees
2.cancel TARP
3.reform Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac (a long-term project)
4.repeal and replace Obamacare (repeal, of course, can’t happen
until we have a Republican President; however, reforming and withholding
funding to hamstring implementation of Obamacare is a must)
5.require congressional approval of any new federal regulation
which contributes to the deficit or destroys jobs
6.require that every bill contain a citation of Constitutional authority(Finally, HR 450, the Enumerated Powers Act, has been adopted)
7.fully fund missile defense, enforce sanctions against Iran, keep
terrorist combatants in Guantanamo, and try foreign terrorists in military
courts
8.prevent elimination of Bush tax cuts and the resulting $3.8 trillion tax
hike in 2011
9.revive free enterprise by ending uncertainty in the business sector
10.end the burdensome 1099 reporting mandate
11.cancel unspent “stimulus” funds
12.eliminate ineffective or unnecessary federal programs
13.legislation should be understood by all interested parties before
being voted on; at least 3 days to read the bill; advance major legislation
one issue at a time—no packaging
14.establish unencumbered operational control over our borders; reaffirm
authority of states and local law enforcement to assist
15.restore transparency and accountability in Congress and throughout gov’t
16.increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose cap-and-trade
17.stop “card check”
18.cap deficit spending

Though it's up to each of us to make sure the GOP follows through, this is a laudable and do-able start, a blueprint to jumpstart restoration of a truly representative and responsible limited government. Am I necessarily cynical? Yup. But, am I reasonably hopeful? Yup. But, again, ultimately it's up to "we the people" to make sure it all happens.

In truth, this is probably our nation’s last chance to restore the luster of a republic whose century-long downward spiral into the bowels of socialism and authoritarianism has gone essentially unchecked. So, our work is yet undone.

So, let’s get behind this Pledge and hold our representatives’ feet to the fire at every critical step to ensure that the Pledge's short-term and long-term goals are achieved, failing which it really is over, folks. No drifting back to complacency and the GOP default position of accommodating the Progressives merely to get elected. For if that course is pursued, left before us will be but the bleak and unavoidable prospect of either secession and the disintegration of the union, or our uniform acceptance of servitude. And given those stark choices, I suspect most Americans will opt for secession.

We should all be mindful that our nation is “indivisible” only insofar as it uniformly embraces and advances its founding principles and strives for constitutional order. Nothing less should ever be tolerated by any American citizen. And to ensure these ends, we must continue to expect a lot of ourselves and much, much more character, courage and integrity in our representatives.

Let's get it done!