Monday, September 27, 2010

GOP's old contract born again as a pledge .

HOW TO YOU LIKE THAT? I had long left Newt Gingrich's Contract with America for dead, but after all of these years along comes the Republicans' Pledge to America. Alas, as presented to us by John Boehner in between his golf outings via corporate jets, it would have been easy enough to confuse it with that spray-on polish that brightens your furniture. As some observers have quickly pointed out, it was another superficial wipe-on to clean up a political culture that thrives on earmarks, taxing the rich and relieving hospital emergency rooms of unfortunate folks without health insurance.

Why, beyond the normal excesses of political rhetoric, does Boehner insist on dragging out the GOP's well-worn notions - a 'manifesto" says Rupert Murdock's Wall Street Journal - to bamboozle the public into believing it is on the fast track to prosperity? Largely it is a party so eager to regain power that it can only do so by cooking the figures - a tactic that it holds dearly.
Not being one of the party's mathematicians, I keep waiting for someone to explain how you can cut billions in taxes, balance the budget and live happily ever after. Nobody can. That's the beauty of the magic polish to give new life to a party myth that is as old as a mature olive tree. This pledge is nothing more than a cynical revival by GOP politicians in empty suits who won't have a clue once they get into office to spend more time with their lobbyists. As for Boehner, who is commonly known as the leading recipient of perks from well-positioned lobbyists (R.J. Reynolds, MillerCoors, etc.) he can ill-afford to ignore the fattest cats if he wants them to continue to host his pleasure outings and ritzy hotels.

He had better get the job done. There's also another coalition of rightwing outfits with names like FreedomWorks, Liberty Control and Tea Party 365, that is up and running as the "Contract from America." Honest. With America? From America? To America? With so many
maniacal Tea Party bleaters running for office today, we can only hope that when the New House of Representatives begins its labors to, say, abolish health care and move the government to Birmingham or Hilton Head Island, the next proclamation won't more accurately be a Contract After America - after, that is, the neo-anarchists take over.

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