Thursday morning, the GOP will unveil a "Pledge to America" (text here), attempting to reproduce the results of the 1994 election by replicating the means: the "Contract with America." Both the CwA and the PtA was / is a mere sidebars to the prevailing national zeitgeist which swept / will sweep Republicans into office - but the substance is instructive of how well the GOP has internalized the prevailing national zeitgeist.
The PtA emerged from town hall meetings and an internet project, America Speaking Out. CBS highlights the PtA agenda as:
- Stop job-killing tax hikes
- Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income
- Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit
- Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law.
- Repeal and Replace health care
- Roll back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels before TARP and stimulus (will save $100 billion in first year alone)
- Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward
- Cancel all future TARP payments and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority
- Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote
- Provide resources to troops
- Fund missile defense
- Enforce sanctions in Iran
The GOP has thus shown its hand.
The Obama administration immediately expressed its knee-jerk, blanket opposition to the PtA. Co-option of some provision and targeted opposition to others might have proved a more bipartisan, practical response. But delusions of that sort should be all but evaporated by now.
On the right, NRO's lengthy review embraces the PtA as "bold" and "compelling," and Powerline praised it as a "ringing statement of first principles" which "deliberately echoes the Constitution and, especially, the Declaration of Independence." Conversely, Redstate lambasts the PtA as "the most ridiculous thing to come out of Washington since George McClellen." "Dreck," they call it. "Stagnant water."
Six weeks to go.