Today the Contract ON America 2010 will be released under the name of Pledge to America. The original Contract came out in 1994 and was orchestrated by Newt Gingrich. One thing caught my eye in the advance that came out on Wed. Sept. 22:

“They agreed to include the abortion provision and a vaguely worded statement on social issues: “We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.”

What does this all mean? Is this a first amendment issue rearing its head? Those words are vague and unspecific, and on a topic I always think needs watching…closely. What if my American values differ with the GOP  American values?

Bad, bad deja vu. Wait! It isn’t deja vu if it has happened before, now is it?

Updates as the entire Pledge is released.  The spin has become and there will be lots of photo ops on Thursday.

According to the Washington Post 9/23/10 :

Highlights of the plan include:

• Requiring all bills to be posted online three days before votes and requiring legislation to cite the constitutional authority for the new law;

• Holding the trials of detainees from Guantanomo Bay, Cuba, outside the United States.

• Reducing federal spending to fiscal 2008 levels, except for national security.

Draft of the Pledge to America  available for download.

A good synopsis and analysis–Washington Post: The GOP’s ‘Pledge to America’: A closer look at the details

30 Thoughts to “Contract ON America …revisited”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    “What does this all mean? Is this a first amendment issue rearing its head? Those words are vague and unspecific, and on a topic I always think needs watching…closely. What if my American values differ with the GOP American values?”

    I know you don’t mean for this stuff to be funny, but sometimes…it really is.

  2. Glad to give you a laugh. What are you going to do if your plan doesn’t win?

    I laughed at the retread on Contract on America. And I am laughing at the GOP cow-towing to the reactionary branch of their own party.

    The pendulum swings….

  3. Starryflights

    Here’s your Constitutional authority:

    Article VI, Section 1, Clause 2

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

  4. Starryflights

    What was in the original Contract on America, anyway? What were its pledges and goals and were they accomplished? Anybody remember?


    I don’t think many of those things got accomplished, just glancing at it.

  6. Why do we care what was in the Contract For America? That’s so 90’s. However, compared to 21 pages of the current “Pledge,” it was the epitome of conciseness and accuracy. That one actually said what the new Congress was going to do differently from 40+ years of Democrat control.

    This one is a sop to the Tea Party filled with vague pablum.The GOP wants to have it both ways. If the GOP continues down this path, they won’t like the destination in 2012 or 2016.

    Here’s what conservatives are saying about the new Pledge:

    I don’t understand your statement about the 1st Amendment. If your values differ from the GOP values, then don’t vote for them.

    There is no boldness in this thing. There is no vision.

    As for Starry’s #3 post: all that states is: The Constitution os the Supreme Law of the land, anything contrary nonwithstanding. That article does not give authority to any body or document except the Constitution. Sooooo….what are you saying, Starry?

  7. @Moon-howler
    They didn’t. But the Contract was not to pass it. It was to try and pass it. Too much opposition in the Senate. But at least they had the guts to put out specific agenda items and defend them. This bunch wants to sound conservative, but they don’t want to have to defend specific ideas.

    More tea, please.

  8. Pat.Herve

    very little substance.

    Funny thing is that many of these Republicans were in office, and in power, when the rise in all this spending happened. I really have to ask, what would they be talking about if McCain had won? I think we would still have the unemployment and housing crisis we had. Why don’t they talk about SS reform or Medicare reform? Why don’t we just abolish all health insurance, and truly let the free market set the prices of healthcare, right now, it is the insurance companies that dictate reimbursement prices and procedures (like you have to try OTC Claritin before Rx drugs – even if you know that Claritin is not effective for you).

  9. Now that I’ve had more time to think about it, I still think that the “Pledge” has very little substance in it, especially for those of us that like tea. However, as a “sticky trap” for overexcited pundits (not here), its a great document. The other side has announced that the Pledge will contract the evil GOP to to horrible things. And when you read it, the response is, “Huh? What are they talking about? This is bland.”

    Also, instead of a contract or plan, I can see how this is a statement of general principles. Now, let’s see them put their money where their mouths are.

    More tea, please.

  10. Elena

    Whatever…….. sounds like a regurgitation of the ole “contract with america”. GOP had 12 years in control of both houses and 6 in control of all three branches. From my perspective, it was a disaster.

  11. Elena, really? Low unemployment and lower taxes was a bad thing? Wow….12 and 6 years in control. That’s a whole lot of time to change the way things are done in DC and the USA. So, the Democrats that were in control all those other years don’t get any of the blame?

    However, I will state that the GOP DID NOT live up to their own platform principles.

  12. My taxes are lower now than they were under Bush.

    I don’t know why anyone thinks that the jobs market is going to just snap back after the critical state of affairs in fall 2008. I am also not sure what the govt can do to stimulate the job market other than give tax incentives.

    As for extending the tax credits to the top 2%–isn’t anyone suspicious that almost everyone in congress is a multi-millionaire? All this bs about it hurting small business owners…well make them except. Personal wealth and corporate wealth are not the same thing. That’s real simple. Or give them just a little nudge. No one says they have to be body slammed.

    Everyone should be real suspicious over people who don’t want to give themselves a tax hike. That’s just a no brainer.

  13. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :My taxes are lower now than they were under Bush.

    Yeah?? Hold that thought for a couple of months.

    [Even though you were being evil, I fixed it for you. MH]

  14. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    The blockquotes thing can sniff my butt.

  15. Elena

    Ummm, are we living in the same country that just almost fell into a depression?

  16. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Elena :
    Ummm, are we living in the same country that just almost fell into a depression?

    We live in the same country, but in different realities. In your reality, a bunch of crooked politicians (each and every one of them crooked) tell you that if you don’t let us borrow billions and trillions of dollars from China and our kids and grandkids, the world will end, and you buy it, hook, line, and sinker. In my reality, I realize that government intervention in the economy caused the problem in the first place, and although the dip will be painful, it will be short-lived. Toxic assets will be written off, and the economy can start growing again. In my reality, I know what happened in Japan during the “lost decade”. In your reality, it’s “OK, whatever you say, Mr. compulsive liar politician!”

  17. And you are aware that many conservative people feel that TARP was necessary and critical to the overall long term goals of this country? @ slow

    What would YOU have done? Start with the basic premise that banks would have failed, there was no credit and paychecks wouldn’t have gone out to many workers.

  18. I have known many people personally who lived through the Depression. That wasn’t a place we wanted to go. Many of us feel it is better to prevent something like that from happening in the first place.

    Interesting how so many people feel it wouldn’t have affected them. You have no way of knowing if it would or wouldn’t have. It affected my father’s family horribly. Jobs were lost. As a high school kid he set up pins in a bowling ally for 10 cents an hour.

    My mother’s family was relatively unaffected because her father was City Manager of Charlottesville and he got paid.

    The problem is, you don’t know what is going to happen. Yoru savings can all dry up, your funds can be frozen, there can be no paycheck, and your retirement resources decimated. If you are young, you might be ok. What if you aren’t. What would have happened to your parents? grandparents? If you feel the world is just about you, you will be fine. If your world involves carrying about others, then it would have been a horrible thing to let happen.

    If this world view should ever get control of our government, I feel certain you all will destroy the country. You live in 2010.

  19. The Great Depression became great due to government interference. FDR demonized business. His policies were horrible.

    And no, I did not get that from Beck. I got it from my mother who lived through it, providing for her family.

    This world view that you fear was in control of our government prior to FDR. Depressions and recessions were sharp but short.

    TARP, as it originally was used, to shore up the system while someone was draining liquidity our of it (wonder who did that?) may have been necessary. However, since it is not under the control of Congress, it is being used as a weapon to influence banks. Many, including some democrats, think TARP was NOT necessary or was not correct designed.

    We conservatives don’t think that the job market is going to “snap back” if conservatives take over. But we know that the current policies, historically, end in disaster and are prolonging this recession. Countries that did not overspend are already recovering. Who would think that Germany would recover faster? Who would think that Russia would advise US that we should embrace the free market to build our economy?

  20. Cargo, and you know what you just said is opinion? As for the Depression, many people disagree and feel that FDR policies held body and soul together. And perhaps for your mother’s neck of the woods, she was correct. As I said earlier, my parents both came out of very different experiences. They were teenagers during that time.

    I wish you conservatives would say ‘think’ or ‘believe.’ You don’t really KNOW and neither do I.

    As for TARP, people I know and trust and who deal with things of this nature have convinced me that TARP was the right thing.

    As far as I can tell, many conservatives won’t quit until they get their way, which means destroying the country or at least what I consider my vision of the country to prove a point. I won’t sit idly by and watch it happen.

    I would love to never have to ever think about politics again. I find them horribly repugnant.

  21. Yes, its an opinion, but one backed by evidence. We can point to similar policies and their results all over the world. We do know. We can see it.

    As far as I can tell, many liberals won’t quit until they get their way, which means destroying the country or at least what I consider my vision of the country to prove a point. I won’t sit idly by and watch it happen.

    See…..that statement works this way too. You made the conservatives to be evil. Well, now you know how we feel about progressives. Except that conservatives don’t want to “fundamentally transform America.”

  22. The word ‘we’ makes me uneasy. I am not even sure why.

    I never said conservatives were evil. I come from a long line of conservatives who I don’t think are evil at all. I certainly don’t want to transform America. I would just like to keep the status quo.

    I don’t know what the answers are but I certainly don’t like the politics I see on the horizon.

    As for the culture warrior stuff–I can just laugh at that. I don’t like it but its something I can poke fun at. The economic stuff is another story. People who advocate letting the US go into a Depression scare the hell out of me.

  23. marinm

    I’m not ‘in to’ the cultural warriors (on either side) I just want to vote for someone that’ll fix the mess we’ve been in these last 2 years. If that’s a TP that happens to be way in la-la land on cultural issues; that’s the deal with the devil I have to make and that the -D party gave me no choice in making.

    Cultural damage can be fixed in time if they muck it up but the last 2 years of -D control has given me no confidence that they can ‘fix’ the economy.

    ……..can we argue that HCR was itself a cultural-warrior fight? 😉

  24. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    I’m afraid that no matter how much evidence they see, and no matter how many facts you show them, some folks will never stop believing in the unfailing skill of central authority to fix all things.

  25. marin, what gives you the idea that just because someone says something will happen, that it will happen?

    I don’t think the ‘mess we are in’ the past 2 years is necessarily fixable by an elected official. Are you discussing the financial crash and recovery or are you talking about something else?

    Do you mean HCR is health care reform? No, it isn’t a cultural warrior fight but there are some cultural warrior fights going on inside it regarding abortion. As far as I am concerned, the entire topic of abortion can stay outside of the health care issue. Keeps it simpler.

    How did you feel about Bill Clinton or were you too young to care about him one way or the other?

    I saw this same nonsense being done over him, although I think the tone and tenor has been ratcheted up a vew notches for Pres. Obama.

    Me? I’m sitting here wondering how I could have ever considered voting for McCain. He has proven himself to be a real AH since the election. He is without principles, IMHO. I didn’t see that before.

  26. BTW, marin, if your way ever prevails, I will be penniless and living on a street grate. I have strong reasons to disagree with the world according to marin.

    The world I have lived in and the promises that were made told me to do one thing….and now there are those people who want to turn what I consider my world, upside down. Now what would YOU do and how would YOU feel?

    And it has very little to do with cultural warriors. They are just an added irritant.

  27. marinm

    Mr. Clinton wasn’t too bad in my eyes. Then again I was young and indoctrinated by public schools. 🙂

    In all seriousness since I was just getting out of high school and he seemed pretty cool I may have actually voted for him. Maybe even the second time. I’m pretty sure I voted for him the 2nd go around. And, I’m man enough to say I’m not ashamed of it. I may have had no idea about politics and taxes and all but the guy seemed pretty nice, genuine and I think they ran Dole (??) against him. Maybe I’m biased but a younger President vs. an older candidate……….

    As for our first American Idol president? If you watch the History channel and see many of the things said and printed about Lincoln or Jackson or heck even the 1st Adams… This country has always been about taking the guy on top and throwing slings and arrows at him. If he can’t handle that (and lets be honest a Press that gives the guy a pass) then he really isn’t ready for the chair.

    It’s a heck of a lot easier to be on the outside looking in and throwing stones. When you sit in the chair and have to make the call. It’s tough. But, he knew that when he was going for the job. He’s a big boy — he can take it. So, the idea that things are somehow worse in terms of the tone and tenor doesn’t make sense to me at all. We can revisit that when someone throws shoes at the guy.

    I used to be left of center in my youth. I then grew up and got married and now I’m to the right of Cooch. I think social issues should be handled by direct vote of the People btw.

    I could argue that HCR is a cultural warrior thing. Paraphrasing arguements from the left; “It was the right thing to do”. It won’t save us money. It won’t make care better for “us”. But, if your goal is to give something to people that don’t have anything. Goal achieved. I have no issue with charity or other non-profits doing just that. I do have a problem with the US government and taxpayers having to do it. That’s a cultural shift.

    I would not want you in the streets. Wherelse would I blog? 😉

    My world has gone upside down. Finance reform, healthcare reform.. The world has changed.

  28. HCR isn’t culture warrior. Its something else. Not sure what but not culture warrior. Not enough sex, religion or sin involved.

    ACtually, the world hasn’t changed that much, at least not since you have been an adult.

    Clinton actually knew a great deal about a lot of things–especially politics and taxes. 😉

    I am afraid you should have stuck with more of the afterglow from the public school system. I think you got in a nest of some real bad thinking. What you advocate will never come to pass and you are just frustrating yourself and coming off looking like an evil person. And no, I dont think you really are.

    but what you advocate would leave me on a great if all your pronouncements here on this blog were to come through.

  29. marinm

    Heck. Your downright nice considering the things my wife has said about me “taking away her gram’s social security”. Many a night on a cold floor in MY own house. 🙂

    I don’t say things cause I think they’re popular I say ’em cause I think they’re right. But, you are right. It won’t come to pass because we would rather live off credit cards and enslaving our future youth than making the hard decisions and sacrifices today.

    If you put a smiley face, Clinton and taxes all in one sentence. I’m scared. Very scared. I say lets get the IRS out of the tax business and just goto a consumption or flat tax model. This progressive tax makes me want to hurl.

  30. She ought to kick you while you are on that floor.

    The thing is, people, and maybe your wife’s grandmother, go through life thinking one thing and acting accordingly. They might even have a back up plan. You can’t go changing the plan on them when they turn 50 or 80, when its too late to go to plan C. And when you say things like that, it makes people insecure and and makes them fearful. I actually see it as being a bully.

    Many people’s grandmothers didn’t work and are dependent on their dead husband’s social security. That’s all they have. It isn’t their fault. I think you need to look at all sides of this before making these grand pronouncements.

    It would be one thing if you said you wanted to switch over to some other plan….phase out SS and replace it with another plan or program. But that isn’t what is being said. You have said you want to do away with social security, throw out all pension plans that involve government workers, reduce 401k plans with govt workers,….all on top of people who have already gotten kicked in the crotch by the crash of 2008.

    Good guys don’t do that. I know you won’t prevail. why? baby boomers. Be very afraid.


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