Erick Erickson has it right on the Republican’s Pledge to America, and grades it “A+ Rhetoric. C- Ideas.”:
Perhaps the Most Ridiculous Thing to Come Out of Washington Since George McClellan
The House Republicans’ “Pledge to America” is out. A thrill will run up the leg of a few Chris Matthews’ types on the right. As Dan noted on Twitter, the Contract with America was 869 words and this is 21 pages. The Contract told you everything you needed to know about how a Republican Congress would be different from a Democrat Congress after 40 years of Democrat control.
These 21 pages tell you lots of things, some contradictory things, but mostly this: it is a serious of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes in search of unanimity among House Republicans because the House GOP does not have the fortitude to lead boldly in opposition to Barack Obama.
A couple of weeks ago a friend was asking me why I refuse to call myself a Republican, and instead prefer to say I’m a libertarian capitalist. My reply: because the Republicans lack focus.
As Erick puts it,
This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy. All the good stuff in it is stuff we expect them to do. What is not in it is more than a little telling that the House GOP has not learned much of anything from 2006.
Don Surber wants to know,
How in the hell do you sell people on smaller government when you rattle on for 21 pages about your plans for health care and the like?
Dan Riehl, while disagreeing with Erick – calling Erick’s post a “disappointing rant” – makes an excellent point,
To be clear, I don’t trust today’s GOP any more than anyone else out here does. But are we going to turn the page and work together in the right direction, or invest all our energies re-living past disappointments, while the country goes to hell under the current far-Left leadership?
Finally, if I might offer some unsolicited advice to conservative bloggers in general. We are a democratic medium. But, over time, there will emerge opportunities for would be citizen leaders to step up and be heard. If we are to be effective, we should think about whether we want to be prudent new voices at the table, or forever resigned to the children’s table, where we can clown and kick the legs, while being mostly ignored. Good leaders don’t just lead in one way. They sometimes face off against an enemy to the front, true. But they shouldn’t neglect the responsibilty of turning around to any that might be following them from time to time to tell them hard, prudent but honest truths when times demand it for the greater good.
We’re in challenging times right now. I’d argue for doing the right thing by supporting the pledge, not simply doing what might make us feel good for a short time, while accomplishing nothing for America, Conservatism, or grassroots blogging in the end.
Allanpundit quotes an unnamed “top House Republican”,
“We have learned our lesson and we are ready to govern.”
Let’s make sure they do.
Getting some focus would be a good start:
“On my honor, I will serve God and my country, obey the Constitution, balance the budget, reduce the size and scope of government, and protect the rights of the people and the sovereignty of the United States of America.”
Post re-edited to include several parts that were omitted by mistake.