I heard some of the news conference introducing House Republican’s “A Pledge to America” today. While some of the individual proposals—such as ending government control of Fannie Mae and repealing the health care law (good luck)–actually have some concrete meaning, much of the boilerplate strikes me as almost kitsch in its bland familiarity:
Promising to “honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers,” the Republicans added: “We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense and national economic prosperity. We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.”
The Republicans had eight years in the White House without shrinking government one iota; to the contrary, they expanded it greatly with Bush’s radically unconservative Freedom Agenda wars, prescription drug entitlement, ongoing farm subsidies, Pentagon bloat, etc. Why should anyone believe them now? The Republican call for change is exactly as meaningless as the Obama call for change.
And do Republicans fail to reduce government because they get captured by Washington special interests or because in fact when it comes right down to it, there is no popular stomach for program cuts, despite the angry rhetoric to the contrary?