GOP pledges to wreck America
Republicans released their "new and improved" Contract with America, expanding the orginal 869 words written in 1994 to 21 pages of brilliant sloganery and retitled Pledge to America. The loyal, low info base will likely love the empty slogans and respond to the thinly veiled dog whistles to bigotry but as Ezra points out, the GOP may well come to regret the specific policy prescriptions and wish they had kept it a little shorter.
Their policy agenda is detailed and specific -- a decision they will almost certainly come to regret. Because when you get past the adjectives and soaring language, the talk of inalienable rights and constitutional guarantees, you're left with a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars, take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people, create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it.Sadly, with an establishment media that is already "reporting" the promises without adding the context of the consequences of keeping them, the GOPers may well get away with this flagrant con job. One can only hope only those 23%ers will be fooled because this Pledge isn't a rescue manual, it's a disaster plan. And by disaster plan I mean, it's a blueprint for taking the disaster they created and making it bigger -- much bigger.
You're also left with a difficult question: What, exactly, does the Republican Party believe? The document speaks constantly and eloquently of the dangers of debt -- but offers a raft of proposals that would sharply increase it. It says, in one paragraph, that the Republican Party will commit itself to "greater liberty" and then, in the next, that it will protect "traditional marriage." It says that "small business must have certainty that the rules won't change every few months" and then promises to change all the rules that the Obama administration has passed in recent months. It is a document with a clear theory of what has gone wrong -- debt, policy uncertainty, and too much government -- and a solid promise to make most of it worse.