The Republican “Pledge to America”

The last big Republican midterm election gain featured a “Contract with America” that summed up the party’s agreed-upon policies.  Now Republicans, looking for a similar victory, have put together a “Pledge to America.”  The link below will give you access to the full 21-page document, but here are some highlights:

Jobs:

- 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.

Cutting Spending:

- 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

Reforming Congress:

- Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority

- Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote

Defense:

- Provide resources to troops

- Fund missile defense

- Enforce sanctions in Iran

via “Pledge to America” Unveiled by Republicans (Full Text) – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

What do you think?  Will a platform like this lead to a Republican win?  Will it solve our nation’s problems?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Manxman

    Same old, same old. Why weren’t they doing these things all along?

    Citation of Constitutional authority? What a hoot!!! It’s way too late for that. We’ve got so many un-Constitutional, “living document” structures and programs in place now that this idea is ridiculous.

    How stupid do they think we are, anyhow?

  • Manxman

    Same old, same old. Why weren’t they doing these things all along?

    Citation of Constitutional authority? What a hoot!!! It’s way too late for that. We’ve got so many un-Constitutional, “living document” structures and programs in place now that this idea is ridiculous.

    How stupid do they think we are, anyhow?

  • Winston Smith

    Those proposals are music to the ears of Tea Partiers and others fed up with the irresponsibility, arrogance and profligacy of Washington. A bunch of Republicans will be elected to Congress, and maybe even reach a majority in one or both Houses.

    They will enact a few of the reforms, and then either 1) blame the Democrats for being obstructionist (“it’s the other side’s fault!”) or there will be some oh-so-conveniently-timed “emergency” (financial or otherwise) requiring lots of new spending without time for debate. Life on the Potomac will go on much as before.

    I’ve seen it before, most notably in 1994. “I’ll hold the football, Charlie Brown, and you come running up and kick it.”

  • Winston Smith

    Those proposals are music to the ears of Tea Partiers and others fed up with the irresponsibility, arrogance and profligacy of Washington. A bunch of Republicans will be elected to Congress, and maybe even reach a majority in one or both Houses.

    They will enact a few of the reforms, and then either 1) blame the Democrats for being obstructionist (“it’s the other side’s fault!”) or there will be some oh-so-conveniently-timed “emergency” (financial or otherwise) requiring lots of new spending without time for debate. Life on the Potomac will go on much as before.

    I’ve seen it before, most notably in 1994. “I’ll hold the football, Charlie Brown, and you come running up and kick it.”

  • Kirk

    Full discolsure, I didn’t read the document (it’s 135 megs, which on my African bandwidth would take approximately a year to download). Judging from this summary, though, I have to agree with Manxman, this is more of the same. Personally, I can’t marry fiscal responsibility with increased defense spending. If you want to take a chunk out of the defecit, cut back on some of our DoD programs. It’s how Clinton got us into deficit neutrel spending.

    I also wonder what they would “replace” healthcare with. It’s a very vague pledge. A politician that fails to realize what completely unregulated health care costs our nation is willfully blind. I’m certainly not advocating for Obamacare, which I’m definitely not a fan of. But some sort of reform is needed in that field.

  • Kirk

    Full discolsure, I didn’t read the document (it’s 135 megs, which on my African bandwidth would take approximately a year to download). Judging from this summary, though, I have to agree with Manxman, this is more of the same. Personally, I can’t marry fiscal responsibility with increased defense spending. If you want to take a chunk out of the defecit, cut back on some of our DoD programs. It’s how Clinton got us into deficit neutrel spending.

    I also wonder what they would “replace” healthcare with. It’s a very vague pledge. A politician that fails to realize what completely unregulated health care costs our nation is willfully blind. I’m certainly not advocating for Obamacare, which I’m definitely not a fan of. But some sort of reform is needed in that field.

  • larry

    I would echo Winston’s comment 100%.

    Unlike article’s of faith we need a little more than “their word” on this, something “in my hand”.

  • larry

    I would echo Winston’s comment 100%.

    Unlike article’s of faith we need a little more than “their word” on this, something “in my hand”.

  • James T. Batchelor

    This document seems to address only those things that the current regime has put into place. What about all the programs that have been enacted by both parties since the close of the civil war?

    I would also like to address one point in Kirk #3 where he states:

    “A politician that fails to realize what completely unregulated health care costs our nation is willfully blind.”

    Please keep in mind that when your employer provides health care, the responsibility of the insurer is to your employer, not to you. It is your employer who pays the premiums. It is your employer who is the client of the insurance company. Most of the insanity in our health care system comes from the fact that the ultimate user of health care does not pay the health costs directly.

    If the cost of health care were placed in the hands of the people who actually use it, many of the abuses would go away. This could be done if every employer that pays for health care would pay its employees the equivalent in cash instead. That way the employees could buy their own health insurance. The insurance providers would then be responsible to the people who actually use their services.

  • James T. Batchelor

    This document seems to address only those things that the current regime has put into place. What about all the programs that have been enacted by both parties since the close of the civil war?

    I would also like to address one point in Kirk #3 where he states:

    “A politician that fails to realize what completely unregulated health care costs our nation is willfully blind.”

    Please keep in mind that when your employer provides health care, the responsibility of the insurer is to your employer, not to you. It is your employer who pays the premiums. It is your employer who is the client of the insurance company. Most of the insanity in our health care system comes from the fact that the ultimate user of health care does not pay the health costs directly.

    If the cost of health care were placed in the hands of the people who actually use it, many of the abuses would go away. This could be done if every employer that pays for health care would pay its employees the equivalent in cash instead. That way the employees could buy their own health insurance. The insurance providers would then be responsible to the people who actually use their services.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    yawn… Can’t say as it has me gung ho to go out and vote for the GOP. I saw this back in 94 and look where it got us.

    I do like a few of the proposals. Repealing the overly intrusive and expensive health endangering bill. Requiring time for thorough study of a bill.

    The citation requirement would turn bills into Watchtower tracts, filling bills with manipulated out of context references. And the enforcing sanctions sounds way to much like let’s invade Iran for my taste.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    yawn… Can’t say as it has me gung ho to go out and vote for the GOP. I saw this back in 94 and look where it got us.

    I do like a few of the proposals. Repealing the overly intrusive and expensive health endangering bill. Requiring time for thorough study of a bill.

    The citation requirement would turn bills into Watchtower tracts, filling bills with manipulated out of context references. And the enforcing sanctions sounds way to much like let’s invade Iran for my taste.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    We really need to eliminate all government sponsored corporations like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and General Motors. They must be severed completely and receive no taxpayer dollars.

    As for TARP, I knew we had been had when I saw George Bush and Nancy Pelosi smiling nervously as they explained how they were bailing out the banks.

    Makes sense of course that both sides of the aisle would care about the biggest banks since the banks are the biggest donors to campaigns of both reps and dems.

    The republican pledge reminds me of a kid who promises to clean his room and do his homework if mom and dad will just let him go out and play.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    We really need to eliminate all government sponsored corporations like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and General Motors. They must be severed completely and receive no taxpayer dollars.

    As for TARP, I knew we had been had when I saw George Bush and Nancy Pelosi smiling nervously as they explained how they were bailing out the banks.

    Makes sense of course that both sides of the aisle would care about the biggest banks since the banks are the biggest donors to campaigns of both reps and dems.

    The republican pledge reminds me of a kid who promises to clean his room and do his homework if mom and dad will just let him go out and play.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    We really need to eliminate all government sponsored corporations like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and General Motors. They must be severed completely and receive no taxpayer dollars.

    As for TARP, I knew we had been had when I saw George Bush and Nancy Pelosi smiling nervously as they explained how they were bailing out the banks.

    Makes sense of course that both sides of the aisle would care about the biggest banks since the banks are the biggest donors to campaigns of both reps and dems.

    The republican pledge reminds me of a kid who promises to clean his room and do his homework if mom and dad will just let him go out and play.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    We really need to eliminate all government sponsored corporations like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and General Motors. They must be severed completely and receive no taxpayer dollars.

    As for TARP, I knew we had been had when I saw George Bush and Nancy Pelosi smiling nervously as they explained how they were bailing out the banks.

    Makes sense of course that both sides of the aisle would care about the biggest banks since the banks are the biggest donors to campaigns of both reps and dems.

    The republican pledge reminds me of a kid who promises to clean his room and do his homework if mom and dad will just let him go out and play.

  • Joe

    I don’t think its prefect but I don’t disagree with the principles. As for comparisons to the 94 Contract with America, that was successful. Again not perfect, but the 94 election and the principles annunciated in the Contract with America moved the Clinton administration to the center. Again, not perfect but better.

    Now, many of the Republicans who won in 94 sold out and became part of the problem. That is human nature and I think the only way to remove that from the equation is term limits.

  • Joe

    I don’t think its prefect but I don’t disagree with the principles. As for comparisons to the 94 Contract with America, that was successful. Again not perfect, but the 94 election and the principles annunciated in the Contract with America moved the Clinton administration to the center. Again, not perfect but better.

    Now, many of the Republicans who won in 94 sold out and became part of the problem. That is human nature and I think the only way to remove that from the equation is term limits.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: term limits. Why would we want to deny someone the opportunity to carry out their vocation? Especially if they are actually accomplishing good things for the district that elected them, and the nation as a whole? Re: human nature. Term limits would just motivate corrupt politicians to find faster ways to profit from their temporary positions.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: term limits. Why would we want to deny someone the opportunity to carry out their vocation? Especially if they are actually accomplishing good things for the district that elected them, and the nation as a whole? Re: human nature. Term limits would just motivate corrupt politicians to find faster ways to profit from their temporary positions.

  • Louis

    Winston @ 2: I love the Charlie Brown reference!

  • Louis

    Winston @ 2: I love the Charlie Brown reference!

  • ptl

    Wish they would add one that promises lots and lots of Congressional hearings once they get back the gavel…..just think of all the possible investigations, yeah!

  • ptl

    Wish they would add one that promises lots and lots of Congressional hearings once they get back the gavel…..just think of all the possible investigations, yeah!

  • Tom Hering

    Lots of investigations? So, the Obama administration shouldn’t be shown the same mercy it showed the Bush administration (e.g., Justice Department, torture memos)?

  • Tom Hering

    Lots of investigations? So, the Obama administration shouldn’t be shown the same mercy it showed the Bush administration (e.g., Justice Department, torture memos)?

  • http://fivepintlutheran.blogspot.com/ David Cochrane

    And if me Grandmum had wheels she would have been a truck.

  • http://fivepintlutheran.blogspot.com/ David Cochrane

    And if me Grandmum had wheels she would have been a truck.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I know this isn’t completely on topic but how is this for unintended consequences.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/22/major-insurers-stop-selling-child-policies-ahead-new-obamacare-provisions/

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I know this isn’t completely on topic but how is this for unintended consequences.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/22/major-insurers-stop-selling-child-policies-ahead-new-obamacare-provisions/

  • John C

    I thought the republicans should have at least made cricket compulsory in every High School. This is a variation of the Friedman idea that those nations who play cricket rarely go to war against one another — Pakistan and India being the only exceptions I can think of. It would certainly be cheaper than funding missile defense.

  • John C

    I thought the republicans should have at least made cricket compulsory in every High School. This is a variation of the Friedman idea that those nations who play cricket rarely go to war against one another — Pakistan and India being the only exceptions I can think of. It would certainly be cheaper than funding missile defense.

  • Louis

    John C: Hear hear!!

  • Louis

    John C: Hear hear!!

  • DonS

    I have not read the document yet, only summaries. Of course, it is a step in the right direction, how could it not be, considering the direction we have been heading the past two years? However, that being said, I am not initially impressed:
    1) “Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit” — this would be most regulations, wouldn’t it? The point of regulating is that Congress cannot possibly get into the details of implementing every statute it establishes. But now they will? How about pledging not to enact any new statutes that increase the deficit, and to establish a task force to review current federal regulations with a view toward eliminating many of them, along with their underlying enabling legislation? The horse is already out of the barn — we need to look at undoing the horrendous things we have done, particularly over the past 40 years.

    2) “Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income” — I don’t understand this one. I will have to read up on it. But, in general, I propose that we simply allow all businesses to expense everything they spend which is reasonably business-related to generate their income, and then lower individual tax rates across the board. Enough with the targeted tax cuts. Better yet, eliminate the income tax in favor of a consumption oriented tax which is not so privacy-invasive.
    3) “Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law” — Huh? Repeal the whole darn health care law. We need a do-over, one that is deliberate and considered. Repeal and replace is included in this plan, so I’m not sure what the purpose of this provision is.
    4) “Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward” — arbitrary budget caps cannot work until you eliminate entitlements, because they are not controllable and you cannot really budget for them. Once you have gotten away from the notion that anyone is entitled to other peoples’ income, through taxation, then you can just use ordinary budgeting principles on an annual basis to avoid deficit spending.

    5) “Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority” — I think they already do, but they just make it up. Usually, it’s an abuse of the Commerce Clause which is ginned up to justify the bill. What they really need to specify is that no bill will be brought to the floor unless it clearly falls within one of the enumerated federal powers or genuinely impacts commerce between the states or between a state and a foreign nation. No more “affects interstate commerce” garbage.

    6) “Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote” — Obama, Pelosi, and Reid all promised this. Again and again. Their word is, apparently, worthless. Hopefully, the Republicans mean it, but I’m dubious.

    7) “Defense:

    - Provide resources to troops

    - Fund missile defense

    - Enforce sanctions in Iran” — Now, what the heck does this really say? I would expect we are doing all of these things now, at some level (eg, we enforce sanctions in Iraq now by writing him mean letters, and wringing our hands in speeches). Maybe I need to read up on this one further to see what’s behind it.

  • DonS

    I have not read the document yet, only summaries. Of course, it is a step in the right direction, how could it not be, considering the direction we have been heading the past two years? However, that being said, I am not initially impressed:
    1) “Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit” — this would be most regulations, wouldn’t it? The point of regulating is that Congress cannot possibly get into the details of implementing every statute it establishes. But now they will? How about pledging not to enact any new statutes that increase the deficit, and to establish a task force to review current federal regulations with a view toward eliminating many of them, along with their underlying enabling legislation? The horse is already out of the barn — we need to look at undoing the horrendous things we have done, particularly over the past 40 years.

    2) “Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income” — I don’t understand this one. I will have to read up on it. But, in general, I propose that we simply allow all businesses to expense everything they spend which is reasonably business-related to generate their income, and then lower individual tax rates across the board. Enough with the targeted tax cuts. Better yet, eliminate the income tax in favor of a consumption oriented tax which is not so privacy-invasive.
    3) “Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law” — Huh? Repeal the whole darn health care law. We need a do-over, one that is deliberate and considered. Repeal and replace is included in this plan, so I’m not sure what the purpose of this provision is.
    4) “Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward” — arbitrary budget caps cannot work until you eliminate entitlements, because they are not controllable and you cannot really budget for them. Once you have gotten away from the notion that anyone is entitled to other peoples’ income, through taxation, then you can just use ordinary budgeting principles on an annual basis to avoid deficit spending.

    5) “Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority” — I think they already do, but they just make it up. Usually, it’s an abuse of the Commerce Clause which is ginned up to justify the bill. What they really need to specify is that no bill will be brought to the floor unless it clearly falls within one of the enumerated federal powers or genuinely impacts commerce between the states or between a state and a foreign nation. No more “affects interstate commerce” garbage.

    6) “Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote” — Obama, Pelosi, and Reid all promised this. Again and again. Their word is, apparently, worthless. Hopefully, the Republicans mean it, but I’m dubious.

    7) “Defense:

    - Provide resources to troops

    - Fund missile defense

    - Enforce sanctions in Iran” — Now, what the heck does this really say? I would expect we are doing all of these things now, at some level (eg, we enforce sanctions in Iraq now by writing him mean letters, and wringing our hands in speeches). Maybe I need to read up on this one further to see what’s behind it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@9), you said, “As for comparisons to the 94 Contract with America, that was successful.” Successful by what measure? That it got Republicans elected? Or did it achieve its goals? As Wikipedia notes, “A November 13, 2000 article by Edward H. Crane, president of the libertarian Cato Institute, stated, ‘The combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate have increased by 13%.’” Success? Or was it just successful in that some of the things that they proposed actually got enacted?

    “Now, many of the Republicans who won in 94 sold out and became part of the problem. That is human nature and I think the only way to remove that from the equation is term limits.” Of course, term limits were part of the Contract With America, and that was one of the things that wasn’t successful. And, if I recall correctly, several Republicans who signed the “Contract With America” ended up getting elected more times than they’d said was good for America. Perhaps those were the ones you’d said “sold out”, but still. The problem is the electorate that keeps voting in these clowns. If we limit their terms, we’ll just get new clowns with different names. That doesn’t solve anything.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@9), you said, “As for comparisons to the 94 Contract with America, that was successful.” Successful by what measure? That it got Republicans elected? Or did it achieve its goals? As Wikipedia notes, “A November 13, 2000 article by Edward H. Crane, president of the libertarian Cato Institute, stated, ‘The combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate have increased by 13%.’” Success? Or was it just successful in that some of the things that they proposed actually got enacted?

    “Now, many of the Republicans who won in 94 sold out and became part of the problem. That is human nature and I think the only way to remove that from the equation is term limits.” Of course, term limits were part of the Contract With America, and that was one of the things that wasn’t successful. And, if I recall correctly, several Republicans who signed the “Contract With America” ended up getting elected more times than they’d said was good for America. Perhaps those were the ones you’d said “sold out”, but still. The problem is the electorate that keeps voting in these clowns. If we limit their terms, we’ll just get new clowns with different names. That doesn’t solve anything.

  • SKPeterson

    I’ll be the cynic and knock the R’s on their completely out-of-whack priorities:

    Why not roll back discretionary spending to 2000 levels? or 1990? or 1950? What’s so special about 2008? We managed to be in an overspending, debt-ridden debacle then, so what gives?

    Are those spending caps going to include defense and homeland security spending? I doubt it – we need to have every police force in the U.S. armed to the teeth with automatic assault weapons, tanks, body armor and tasers, so they can more safely and easily do what? Act more like stooges in a banana republic or African dictatorship?

    As to 7) – we provide too many resources to our troops, to the extent of going broke to do so. Having the Republicans actually be serious about reining in spending and debt would require them to seriously address the bloat,waste and overspending that is endemic to DOD and DHS. How about actually spending money on defense and not offense. We could probably reduce the “defense” budget by over 50%.

    And the Iran noise is just another means of diverting our attention by having another “easily winnable” little war.

  • SKPeterson

    I’ll be the cynic and knock the R’s on their completely out-of-whack priorities:

    Why not roll back discretionary spending to 2000 levels? or 1990? or 1950? What’s so special about 2008? We managed to be in an overspending, debt-ridden debacle then, so what gives?

    Are those spending caps going to include defense and homeland security spending? I doubt it – we need to have every police force in the U.S. armed to the teeth with automatic assault weapons, tanks, body armor and tasers, so they can more safely and easily do what? Act more like stooges in a banana republic or African dictatorship?

    As to 7) – we provide too many resources to our troops, to the extent of going broke to do so. Having the Republicans actually be serious about reining in spending and debt would require them to seriously address the bloat,waste and overspending that is endemic to DOD and DHS. How about actually spending money on defense and not offense. We could probably reduce the “defense” budget by over 50%.

    And the Iran noise is just another means of diverting our attention by having another “easily winnable” little war.

  • SKPeterson

    Oh, if it sounds like I’m doubting that the sacrifices of our armed servicemen and women further our democracy and keep safe our way of life, I am.

  • SKPeterson

    Oh, if it sounds like I’m doubting that the sacrifices of our armed servicemen and women further our democracy and keep safe our way of life, I am.

  • Steve in Toronto

    “Repeal and Replace health care” First rule of reform don’t tear down what you don’t know how to rebuild. I would rather see wording like rollback and then reform. I fear for the future of health care in America. Not of the options on the table are both viable and politically feasible. If someone could just point to a real world functioning model that they like I would feel a lot better about the future of the United States.

    Regards
    Steve in Toronto

  • Steve in Toronto

    “Repeal and Replace health care” First rule of reform don’t tear down what you don’t know how to rebuild. I would rather see wording like rollback and then reform. I fear for the future of health care in America. Not of the options on the table are both viable and politically feasible. If someone could just point to a real world functioning model that they like I would feel a lot better about the future of the United States.

    Regards
    Steve in Toronto

  • DonS

    Steve @ 24: Of course, that is exactly what the Democrats did. They tore down our existing health care system in favor of an ill considered, politically expedient replacement. Few or no committee meetings. Little or no expert testimony. Little or no consideration of effects of this wide ranging reform. We are already seeing the unintended consequences of this plan surfacing as a number of major insurers have announced they will no longer offer child-only policies because of new signficant mandates that make them uneconomical. The thought is that this monstrosity needs to be repealed now, before it is in effect and it is too late to undo the damage. Then, once repealed, a more considered and thoughtful bipartisan effort (which Obama promised was going to be the basis of “hope and change” in 2008) can be undertaken to reform our present system.

  • DonS

    Steve @ 24: Of course, that is exactly what the Democrats did. They tore down our existing health care system in favor of an ill considered, politically expedient replacement. Few or no committee meetings. Little or no expert testimony. Little or no consideration of effects of this wide ranging reform. We are already seeing the unintended consequences of this plan surfacing as a number of major insurers have announced they will no longer offer child-only policies because of new signficant mandates that make them uneconomical. The thought is that this monstrosity needs to be repealed now, before it is in effect and it is too late to undo the damage. Then, once repealed, a more considered and thoughtful bipartisan effort (which Obama promised was going to be the basis of “hope and change” in 2008) can be undertaken to reform our present system.

  • Porcell

    Don, at 20, you need to carefully read the pledge that in my view has been well thought out and superbly written. Sure, one can find points to criticize, though most who do so haven’t read it and are whining about it with jaded, futile cynicism.

    The key players behind this document are Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy, all of them bright, able young congressmen who know how and why theRepublicans failed in earlier years and are determined to carry out his pledge. Of course, they won’t get even close to the whole thing given the opposition of liberal Democrats and Republicans without backbone, though, if they achieve part of it, we shall all benefit.

    I could address every one of the concerns you raise above, though I’ll focus on one, the 20% tax deduction for small business. Such a reduction would have a great effect on investment and job creation. One of the major factors behind present unemployment is the lack of small business investment.

    The document is an important statement of Republican governing principles with some specific proposals. In my view Republicans who are yearning for significant change in government have been rather well served by this pledge. One can complain moralistically and indulge in petty cynicism about it, though it would be best to support it and find ways to make sure one’s local Republican Congressman pay serious attention to it.

  • Porcell

    Don, at 20, you need to carefully read the pledge that in my view has been well thought out and superbly written. Sure, one can find points to criticize, though most who do so haven’t read it and are whining about it with jaded, futile cynicism.

    The key players behind this document are Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy, all of them bright, able young congressmen who know how and why theRepublicans failed in earlier years and are determined to carry out his pledge. Of course, they won’t get even close to the whole thing given the opposition of liberal Democrats and Republicans without backbone, though, if they achieve part of it, we shall all benefit.

    I could address every one of the concerns you raise above, though I’ll focus on one, the 20% tax deduction for small business. Such a reduction would have a great effect on investment and job creation. One of the major factors behind present unemployment is the lack of small business investment.

    The document is an important statement of Republican governing principles with some specific proposals. In my view Republicans who are yearning for significant change in government have been rather well served by this pledge. One can complain moralistically and indulge in petty cynicism about it, though it would be best to support it and find ways to make sure one’s local Republican Congressman pay serious attention to it.

  • Winston Smith

    SKPeterson @ 22/23 is right. The Republicans will not cut funding for every two-bit town and rural county to have its own SWAT team to serve warrants for delinquent child support or failure to appear. The Republicans probably would like an actual war with Iran, since the two wars we have already started in that region have gone so well.

    John C @ 18: I had heard it was no two countries that have a McDonalds have ever gone to war against each other. (Actually, Iraq has McDonalds, but in the Kurdish part that is far removed from the violence.) Perhaps the Republicans will add in some Market Promotion Program funds to subsidize McDonalds abroad in the name of world peace. The McGoat sandwich should be popular.

  • Winston Smith

    SKPeterson @ 22/23 is right. The Republicans will not cut funding for every two-bit town and rural county to have its own SWAT team to serve warrants for delinquent child support or failure to appear. The Republicans probably would like an actual war with Iran, since the two wars we have already started in that region have gone so well.

    John C @ 18: I had heard it was no two countries that have a McDonalds have ever gone to war against each other. (Actually, Iraq has McDonalds, but in the Kurdish part that is far removed from the violence.) Perhaps the Republicans will add in some Market Promotion Program funds to subsidize McDonalds abroad in the name of world peace. The McGoat sandwich should be popular.

  • Joe

    Todd – those who pledge to serve only a few terms and then kept running are among those who sold out in my mind.

    I called is successful because it moved Clinton to the center and I think that was a good thing for our country. That was the only measure of I was thinking of. Given the health care reform the Clinton Administration was proposing and accepting that as an example of the initial agenda of the Clinton, I think moving him to the center slowed down the rate of growth in the size of gov’t that we otherwise would have seen. Again, it was not perfect. I would have rather seen negative growth. To be clear that it fell short in many respects and was not perfect.

    I have come to support term limits recently (changed my position to pro about 5 years ago) because, in general, corruption seems to follow longevity in office. We may get new clowns but the new clowns will not be as effective as the entrenched clowns at fleecing us. I understand the costs of term limits good people with good ideas will lose their positions and I am okay with that. After all it is the ideas that matter not the people behind them. I think term limits would also help redirect the national conversation to ideas and policy and away from personality.

    Tom @ 10 – No one is saying these people can’t have a vocation of leadership of some sort. I am just saying there is less danger to the citizens if they are not allowed to stay in the same congressional seat for life. We the people have the right to decided how long we want people to serve in a particular office. I have weighed the costs and the benefits and for me, I think the benefits outweigh the costs.

  • Joe

    Todd – those who pledge to serve only a few terms and then kept running are among those who sold out in my mind.

    I called is successful because it moved Clinton to the center and I think that was a good thing for our country. That was the only measure of I was thinking of. Given the health care reform the Clinton Administration was proposing and accepting that as an example of the initial agenda of the Clinton, I think moving him to the center slowed down the rate of growth in the size of gov’t that we otherwise would have seen. Again, it was not perfect. I would have rather seen negative growth. To be clear that it fell short in many respects and was not perfect.

    I have come to support term limits recently (changed my position to pro about 5 years ago) because, in general, corruption seems to follow longevity in office. We may get new clowns but the new clowns will not be as effective as the entrenched clowns at fleecing us. I understand the costs of term limits good people with good ideas will lose their positions and I am okay with that. After all it is the ideas that matter not the people behind them. I think term limits would also help redirect the national conversation to ideas and policy and away from personality.

    Tom @ 10 – No one is saying these people can’t have a vocation of leadership of some sort. I am just saying there is less danger to the citizens if they are not allowed to stay in the same congressional seat for life. We the people have the right to decided how long we want people to serve in a particular office. I have weighed the costs and the benefits and for me, I think the benefits outweigh the costs.

  • Joe

    wow – sorry for all the typos.

  • Joe

    wow – sorry for all the typos.

  • Porcell

    SK Peterson: Oh, if it sounds like I’m doubting that the sacrifices of our armed servicemen and women further our democracy and keep safe our way of life, I am.

    You may facilely and ignorantly doubt this, though since the Colonial period through the World Wars, the Cold War, the Iraq War and at present the war in Afghanistan American warriors have fought and died to protect vital American security interests. A few years ago I was deeply moved to visit the American Cemetery in Luxembourg where about 8,000 warriors, including General Patton, who were involved in the Battle of the Bulge are buried and remembered with white marble
    crosses.

    The pledge actually addresses present security issues carefully and rejecting isolationist and pacifist tendencies, argues for a stronger stance against radical Islamists and Iran.

    The pledge section headings for the plan to keep the nation secure at home and abroad are as follows

    • Pass Clean Troop Funding Bills:
    • Keep Terrorists Out of America:
    • Demand an Overarching Detention Policy for Foreign Terrorists
    • Fully Fund Missile Defense:
    • Require Tough Enforcement of Sanctions Against Iran:
    • Establish Operational Control of the Border:
    • Work with State and Local Officials to Enforce Our Immigration
    Laws:
    • Strengthen Visa Security:

    You may object to this, though there it is, much in the face of your foolish and spineless views on national security. Your supposedly clever view on the virtue of the sacrifice of warriors is actually rather narrow and frankly revolting.

  • Porcell

    SK Peterson: Oh, if it sounds like I’m doubting that the sacrifices of our armed servicemen and women further our democracy and keep safe our way of life, I am.

    You may facilely and ignorantly doubt this, though since the Colonial period through the World Wars, the Cold War, the Iraq War and at present the war in Afghanistan American warriors have fought and died to protect vital American security interests. A few years ago I was deeply moved to visit the American Cemetery in Luxembourg where about 8,000 warriors, including General Patton, who were involved in the Battle of the Bulge are buried and remembered with white marble
    crosses.

    The pledge actually addresses present security issues carefully and rejecting isolationist and pacifist tendencies, argues for a stronger stance against radical Islamists and Iran.

    The pledge section headings for the plan to keep the nation secure at home and abroad are as follows

    • Pass Clean Troop Funding Bills:
    • Keep Terrorists Out of America:
    • Demand an Overarching Detention Policy for Foreign Terrorists
    • Fully Fund Missile Defense:
    • Require Tough Enforcement of Sanctions Against Iran:
    • Establish Operational Control of the Border:
    • Work with State and Local Officials to Enforce Our Immigration
    Laws:
    • Strengthen Visa Security:

    You may object to this, though there it is, much in the face of your foolish and spineless views on national security. Your supposedly clever view on the virtue of the sacrifice of warriors is actually rather narrow and frankly revolting.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@32), in case no one told you, vomiting a whole lot of ad hominem invective in the form of a list of adjectives and adverbs really doesn’t constitute an actual argument.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@32), in case no one told you, vomiting a whole lot of ad hominem invective in the form of a list of adjectives and adverbs really doesn’t constitute an actual argument.

  • Porcell

    Todd, there are times when the Marquis of Queensbury rules may be suspended and the gloves taken off. Some of the most savage ad hominem debate on the planet may be found in British parliament where real men delight in taking the verbal gloves off.

    Truth to be told, you are far from unfamiliar with ad hominem sparring, though being an inveterate moralist you could hardly admit it. Your remark at 33 is a fine example of the pot calling the kettle black.

    In the case of this fellow, Peterson, he richly deserves a robust personal attack, especially from a former Marine officer.

  • Porcell

    Todd, there are times when the Marquis of Queensbury rules may be suspended and the gloves taken off. Some of the most savage ad hominem debate on the planet may be found in British parliament where real men delight in taking the verbal gloves off.

    Truth to be told, you are far from unfamiliar with ad hominem sparring, though being an inveterate moralist you could hardly admit it. Your remark at 33 is a fine example of the pot calling the kettle black.

    In the case of this fellow, Peterson, he richly deserves a robust personal attack, especially from a former Marine officer.

  • colliebear06

    SK Peterson@ 22

    ” @As to 7) – we provide too many resources to our troops, to the extent of going broke to do so”

    As the Mom of a Marine who served 7 years and recently got out, I have to question this assertion. Maybe we spend too much on Defense (or Offense, as you like to put it), but I don’t think we spend too much on the troops. The unmarried ones at least, from my knowledge, live in stripped down barracks- with a room mate much of the time. And they don’t complain.

    When my son’s unit went to Iraq back in 2007, they floated over in a ship that they called the ‘rust-bucket’ or something. It had two engines, one of which didn’t work.

    I don’t doubt that there’s waste in our DOD spending, but don’t say that we overspend on the troops, that’s just wrong.

  • colliebear06

    SK Peterson@ 22

    ” @As to 7) – we provide too many resources to our troops, to the extent of going broke to do so”

    As the Mom of a Marine who served 7 years and recently got out, I have to question this assertion. Maybe we spend too much on Defense (or Offense, as you like to put it), but I don’t think we spend too much on the troops. The unmarried ones at least, from my knowledge, live in stripped down barracks- with a room mate much of the time. And they don’t complain.

    When my son’s unit went to Iraq back in 2007, they floated over in a ship that they called the ‘rust-bucket’ or something. It had two engines, one of which didn’t work.

    I don’t doubt that there’s waste in our DOD spending, but don’t say that we overspend on the troops, that’s just wrong.

  • John C

    You’re correct Winston at @27.
    Friedman has since reviewed his thesis and has struck out the word ‘MacDonalds’ and inserted ‘Cricket’.
    As an aside, in an act that that threatens the ANZUS Treaty, MacDonalds has removed the slice of beetroot that was intrinsic to the Great Australian Hamburger. Personally, I hold the Republicans responsible.

  • John C

    You’re correct Winston at @27.
    Friedman has since reviewed his thesis and has struck out the word ‘MacDonalds’ and inserted ‘Cricket’.
    As an aside, in an act that that threatens the ANZUS Treaty, MacDonalds has removed the slice of beetroot that was intrinsic to the Great Australian Hamburger. Personally, I hold the Republicans responsible.

  • DonS

    Porcell @ 26: Please review my thoughts on the pledge @ 20 in the spirit in which it was intended. A heartfelt criticism of the policy direction of the Republican party, with the best interests of the nation at heart. My concerns are rooted in what happened to the Republican party in the wake of the Contract with America. After considerable early success in blunting the liberal direction of the Clinton Administration, and in achieving some significant policy objectives, such as the 1996 welfare reform bill, there was a slide over time toward business as usual in Washington, D.C. This failure cannot happen again. If the Democrats are permitted to take over the government again, with their destructive tendency to maximize division through unabated warfare along racial and class divides, and with their demonstrated desire to loot the U.S. treasury and its ability to borrow to provide permanent benefits for its various selfish and narrowly focused constituencies, there will be no future hope for this nation or our children. So, this needs to be done right.

    That being said, kudos to the Republicans for having at least some vision and a desire to make America greater. That is more than can be said for the Democrats, who have no plan for addressing the horrendous budgetary problems they have worsened on their watch, other than to “tax the rich”. Note to Dems — the maximum tax rate is 100%. What do you do then, when you have put into place an entitlement nightmare which causes spending to spiral upwardly in exponential fashion? Oh, and by the way, long before you approach that number, the “rich” will be gone or unproductive. Disincentivizing your productive people — what an ingenious way to build an economy.

    We have barely survived the most incompetent, corrupt, and unresponsive government in U.S. history. But we are singed, to say the least, less free, and our children have been burdened with trillions in new debt. Our brave troops are in harm’s way, yet have no assurance that their government fully supports their efforts. It will take radical, bold governance to begin to turn this ship of state around, and the American people will be impatient. There is much to do, and I hope the Republicans who are elected this fall will be ready to do it.

  • DonS

    Porcell @ 26: Please review my thoughts on the pledge @ 20 in the spirit in which it was intended. A heartfelt criticism of the policy direction of the Republican party, with the best interests of the nation at heart. My concerns are rooted in what happened to the Republican party in the wake of the Contract with America. After considerable early success in blunting the liberal direction of the Clinton Administration, and in achieving some significant policy objectives, such as the 1996 welfare reform bill, there was a slide over time toward business as usual in Washington, D.C. This failure cannot happen again. If the Democrats are permitted to take over the government again, with their destructive tendency to maximize division through unabated warfare along racial and class divides, and with their demonstrated desire to loot the U.S. treasury and its ability to borrow to provide permanent benefits for its various selfish and narrowly focused constituencies, there will be no future hope for this nation or our children. So, this needs to be done right.

    That being said, kudos to the Republicans for having at least some vision and a desire to make America greater. That is more than can be said for the Democrats, who have no plan for addressing the horrendous budgetary problems they have worsened on their watch, other than to “tax the rich”. Note to Dems — the maximum tax rate is 100%. What do you do then, when you have put into place an entitlement nightmare which causes spending to spiral upwardly in exponential fashion? Oh, and by the way, long before you approach that number, the “rich” will be gone or unproductive. Disincentivizing your productive people — what an ingenious way to build an economy.

    We have barely survived the most incompetent, corrupt, and unresponsive government in U.S. history. But we are singed, to say the least, less free, and our children have been burdened with trillions in new debt. Our brave troops are in harm’s way, yet have no assurance that their government fully supports their efforts. It will take radical, bold governance to begin to turn this ship of state around, and the American people will be impatient. There is much to do, and I hope the Republicans who are elected this fall will be ready to do it.

  • SKPeterson

    Fine, Porcell. Maybe its my institutional (spook) bias coming thru, but, our actions have been reckless, poorly thought out, and have actually caused greater security issues than they have solved. My doubts have to do with soldiers who have fought and died needlessly in the last few war actions we’ve taken. I’m not doubting the sincerity of the troops; I’m doubting the sincerity of the politicians who facilely and spinelessly send our troops off to fight in foreign wars that have absolutely nothing, nothing, to do with making America safer and more secure. If you’re too emotionally invested in excusing the Bush and Obama administrations lousy grasp of foreign policy to admit that our military is poorly used and abused by the fecklessness of our political class of both parties, by all means continue to kow tow to the powers that be. I’ve had enough of their pseudo-patriotic claptrap.

  • SKPeterson

    Fine, Porcell. Maybe its my institutional (spook) bias coming thru, but, our actions have been reckless, poorly thought out, and have actually caused greater security issues than they have solved. My doubts have to do with soldiers who have fought and died needlessly in the last few war actions we’ve taken. I’m not doubting the sincerity of the troops; I’m doubting the sincerity of the politicians who facilely and spinelessly send our troops off to fight in foreign wars that have absolutely nothing, nothing, to do with making America safer and more secure. If you’re too emotionally invested in excusing the Bush and Obama administrations lousy grasp of foreign policy to admit that our military is poorly used and abused by the fecklessness of our political class of both parties, by all means continue to kow tow to the powers that be. I’ve had enough of their pseudo-patriotic claptrap.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@30), term limits are likely one of those suggestions about new laws we need which seem like a good idea but won’t work due to unforeseen, unintended consequences — the kind (true) conservatives are usually warning us about.

    You want to do it because you want to limit corruption. Fine. But the flaw is that you believe corruption stems from time in office: “corruption seems to follow longevity in office”. That’s only because we currently have a system that (1) allows for longevity in office and (2) doles out power in accordance with this longevity. If you dismantle this system, you will not dismantle the human drive that leads to corruption. You will merely channel it. And you will have done this at the expense of ability and expertise. Lose-lose.

    John C (@36), you and the rest of your country are, simply, wrong about the beetroot.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@30), term limits are likely one of those suggestions about new laws we need which seem like a good idea but won’t work due to unforeseen, unintended consequences — the kind (true) conservatives are usually warning us about.

    You want to do it because you want to limit corruption. Fine. But the flaw is that you believe corruption stems from time in office: “corruption seems to follow longevity in office”. That’s only because we currently have a system that (1) allows for longevity in office and (2) doles out power in accordance with this longevity. If you dismantle this system, you will not dismantle the human drive that leads to corruption. You will merely channel it. And you will have done this at the expense of ability and expertise. Lose-lose.

    John C (@36), you and the rest of your country are, simply, wrong about the beetroot.

  • Porcell

    colliebearO6, thanks for pointing out Peterson’s remeark, we provide too many resources to our troops, to the extent of going broke to do so. Of course , this is inerror. America spends a relatively modest 4.7% o GDP on the military, for which the country protects its vital security interests. By and large the military spends its dollar carefully and efficiently, something no doubt your Marine son knows well.

    Pay no attention to Peterson, as he has made it amply clear that he loathes the military and its very purpose. Such men are ciphers.

  • Porcell

    colliebearO6, thanks for pointing out Peterson’s remeark, we provide too many resources to our troops, to the extent of going broke to do so. Of course , this is inerror. America spends a relatively modest 4.7% o GDP on the military, for which the country protects its vital security interests. By and large the military spends its dollar carefully and efficiently, something no doubt your Marine son knows well.

    Pay no attention to Peterson, as he has made it amply clear that he loathes the military and its very purpose. Such men are ciphers.

  • SKPeterson

    @colliebear – you’ve illustrated a part of my point – your son and others like him are given the bare minimum to live on – they die, become maimed, physically and spiritually, through the consequences of war. For what? The politicians will tell you it was for democracy, Mom, apple pie and America. They sell a myth and because our troops die and are maimed, we believe it, because we want there to be a reason beyond the casual waste by Congress and the White House of money and the lives of your son, and my friends, that it really is. The United States was never threatened by Iraq or Afghanistan, nor is it by Iran – only our vaguely and poorly defined “national interests” which we cannot ever discuss or disagree with. Why? Because it might bring all of the deaths, the maimings, into question.

  • SKPeterson

    @colliebear – you’ve illustrated a part of my point – your son and others like him are given the bare minimum to live on – they die, become maimed, physically and spiritually, through the consequences of war. For what? The politicians will tell you it was for democracy, Mom, apple pie and America. They sell a myth and because our troops die and are maimed, we believe it, because we want there to be a reason beyond the casual waste by Congress and the White House of money and the lives of your son, and my friends, that it really is. The United States was never threatened by Iraq or Afghanistan, nor is it by Iran – only our vaguely and poorly defined “national interests” which we cannot ever discuss or disagree with. Why? Because it might bring all of the deaths, the maimings, into question.

  • SKPeterson

    Porcell – I do not loathe the military. I loathe its misuse, you celebrate it.

    I often agree with you Porcell, but in this instance you are very, very wrong. Perhaps you too are a cipher?

  • SKPeterson

    Porcell – I do not loathe the military. I loathe its misuse, you celebrate it.

    I often agree with you Porcell, but in this instance you are very, very wrong. Perhaps you too are a cipher?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@34), thanks for reminding me. Tu quoque is also not a legitimate rebuttal to an argument.

    Anyhow, I will quote some wisdom from the Internet: “One thing one learns at Harvard is to avoid ad hominem argument, something you would do well to reflect on.” (Of course, irony abounds on the Internet[1].)

    Also, maybe it’s just me, but letting everyone know that you got your knickers in a wad isn’t as butch as you think it is. “Ooh, he’s calling me names!”

    [1]geneveith.com/praying-for-the-president/_1065/#comment-29808

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@34), thanks for reminding me. Tu quoque is also not a legitimate rebuttal to an argument.

    Anyhow, I will quote some wisdom from the Internet: “One thing one learns at Harvard is to avoid ad hominem argument, something you would do well to reflect on.” (Of course, irony abounds on the Internet[1].)

    Also, maybe it’s just me, but letting everyone know that you got your knickers in a wad isn’t as butch as you think it is. “Ooh, he’s calling me names!”

    [1]geneveith.com/praying-for-the-president/_1065/#comment-29808

  • Porcell

    Peterson, isolationists always blame politicians for involving the nation in war. In the late thirties Roosevelt had serious problems with isolationists like Lindbergh who didn’t want to fight Germany. Bush and Obama knowing the serious threat of Iraq and Afghanistan hardly chose lightly to go to war. Both of these men have had to deal with moralistic isolationists who have vilified them.

    That you might have been a spook doesn’t surprise me. The CIA is loaded with left-wing spooks who care little about vital American interests. The CIA has been wrong about most vital issues including the decline of the Soviet Union and just now about the influence of radical Islam.

    Unlike in its great founding period under Bill Donovan, the CIA has become a vast, ineffectual self-serving left-wing bureaucracy. I know a few things about this from a couple of conservative college classmates, both of whom are senior CIA officials.

  • Porcell

    Peterson, isolationists always blame politicians for involving the nation in war. In the late thirties Roosevelt had serious problems with isolationists like Lindbergh who didn’t want to fight Germany. Bush and Obama knowing the serious threat of Iraq and Afghanistan hardly chose lightly to go to war. Both of these men have had to deal with moralistic isolationists who have vilified them.

    That you might have been a spook doesn’t surprise me. The CIA is loaded with left-wing spooks who care little about vital American interests. The CIA has been wrong about most vital issues including the decline of the Soviet Union and just now about the influence of radical Islam.

    Unlike in its great founding period under Bill Donovan, the CIA has become a vast, ineffectual self-serving left-wing bureaucracy. I know a few things about this from a couple of conservative college classmates, both of whom are senior CIA officials.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 43, don’t believe everything I say, especially in the heat of an argument. I was warned about the evil of ad hominem argument in college, though in truth have paid scant attention to it when dealing with such characters as Peterson.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 43, don’t believe everything I say, especially in the heat of an argument. I was warned about the evil of ad hominem argument in college, though in truth have paid scant attention to it when dealing with such characters as Peterson.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Isolationists” (@44). “Moralistic isolationists”. “Left-wing spooks who care little about vital American interests.”

    Ah, well, maybe it’ll take a while for my comment on ad hominem arguments to sink in. In the meantime, you forgot to prepend your name-calling with the word “heartland”, Peter.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Isolationists” (@44). “Moralistic isolationists”. “Left-wing spooks who care little about vital American interests.”

    Ah, well, maybe it’ll take a while for my comment on ad hominem arguments to sink in. In the meantime, you forgot to prepend your name-calling with the word “heartland”, Peter.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Don’t believe everything I say.” (@45).

    Done and done.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Don’t believe everything I say.” (@45).

    Done and done.

  • SKPeterson

    Here, Porcell. Some ‘isolationist’ comments from a source you should trust – a former Maj. General in the USMC, twice decorated with the CMH. He pretty much sums up this non-lefty, non-interventionist, non-CIA spook’s outlook.

  • SKPeterson

    Here, Porcell. Some ‘isolationist’ comments from a source you should trust – a former Maj. General in the USMC, twice decorated with the CMH. He pretty much sums up this non-lefty, non-interventionist, non-CIA spook’s outlook.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 45, thanks for noting my feeble attempt at diplomacy on this blog. I have suffered so much grief from speaking of heartland isolationists that I’m trying hard to avoid the term.

    Similarly, I have decided when talking to my wife to dispense from referring to my friend Harvey Mansfield’s book Manliness. I once gave this book to her for Christmas, whereupon she consigned it to the fireplace.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 45, thanks for noting my feeble attempt at diplomacy on this blog. I have suffered so much grief from speaking of heartland isolationists that I’m trying hard to avoid the term.

    Similarly, I have decided when talking to my wife to dispense from referring to my friend Harvey Mansfield’s book Manliness. I once gave this book to her for Christmas, whereupon she consigned it to the fireplace.

  • ptl

    Tom at 13…….mercy was appropriate in Bush’s case, after all, he was an idiot and could not be expected to act in any way other than foolish and irresponsible, isn’t that right? Obama on the other hand, is a genuine genius of the highest order, surrounded by brilliant advisors and a staff composed of the cream of the crop. As such, he is to be held to a much higher standard, and can easily and gracefully handle it! In that case, for the simple reason that he should know better, he should not be shown mercy. Nor should he want it or seek it, so as to remain true to his noble character! Now you get it, right?

  • ptl

    Tom at 13…….mercy was appropriate in Bush’s case, after all, he was an idiot and could not be expected to act in any way other than foolish and irresponsible, isn’t that right? Obama on the other hand, is a genuine genius of the highest order, surrounded by brilliant advisors and a staff composed of the cream of the crop. As such, he is to be held to a much higher standard, and can easily and gracefully handle it! In that case, for the simple reason that he should know better, he should not be shown mercy. Nor should he want it or seek it, so as to remain true to his noble character! Now you get it, right?

  • colliebear06

    SKPeterson@48, you can’t possibly be serious. I could only watch about half of the video. Even if he makes good points, obvious points, these are issues mankind has struggled with since creation itself. Life is disturbing, in many ways, but

    I will not condemn my own country, in the face of a world with the same problems or even more hideous ones.

  • colliebear06

    SKPeterson@48, you can’t possibly be serious. I could only watch about half of the video. Even if he makes good points, obvious points, these are issues mankind has struggled with since creation itself. Life is disturbing, in many ways, but

    I will not condemn my own country, in the face of a world with the same problems or even more hideous ones.

  • SKPeterson

    Porcell@49 – I too enjoyed Mansfield’s book. My wife gave it away for a local charity fundraiser.

    @colliebear – Butler was serious and I think he makes some serious points to consider – and Butler doesn’t condemn the U.S. – he condemns the politicians who didn’t care about him or the men who served under him, and the ones who far too often didn’t care about your son.

    Porcell and I disagree perhaps overly much on this. I think he thinks the world is full of bogeymen at every turn, while I think that if you poke a stick into a wasp’s nest, don’t be shocked if you get stung. He thinks I have my head in sand, while I think he has his head in the clouds.

  • SKPeterson

    Porcell@49 – I too enjoyed Mansfield’s book. My wife gave it away for a local charity fundraiser.

    @colliebear – Butler was serious and I think he makes some serious points to consider – and Butler doesn’t condemn the U.S. – he condemns the politicians who didn’t care about him or the men who served under him, and the ones who far too often didn’t care about your son.

    Porcell and I disagree perhaps overly much on this. I think he thinks the world is full of bogeymen at every turn, while I think that if you poke a stick into a wasp’s nest, don’t be shocked if you get stung. He thinks I have my head in sand, while I think he has his head in the clouds.

  • Porcell

    Peterson, Smedley Butler was a great warrior, though politically inclined to crude conspiracy theory. It is true that during his period the military was overly involved in Latin American affairs in support of business interests.

    Modern presidents including Obama have involved the nation in war for serious reasons of national security interest.

  • Porcell

    Peterson, Smedley Butler was a great warrior, though politically inclined to crude conspiracy theory. It is true that during his period the military was overly involved in Latin American affairs in support of business interests.

    Modern presidents including Obama have involved the nation in war for serious reasons of national security interest.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “@5 Giving cash directly to employees to individually buy insurance from private insurers would deprive many of these employees of health care, particularly women of child-bearing age and others with pre-existing conditions. Insurers don’t sell to such people generally and the policies that are available are exorbitantly expensive.”

    This is just plain not true.

    Both of those can find insurance, and it is not exorbitantly expensive, especially if you get a high deductible. Now if you want to get insurance that costs less than the usual amount one would normally pay for routine health care, then you are being unreasonable.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “@5 Giving cash directly to employees to individually buy insurance from private insurers would deprive many of these employees of health care, particularly women of child-bearing age and others with pre-existing conditions. Insurers don’t sell to such people generally and the policies that are available are exorbitantly expensive.”

    This is just plain not true.

    Both of those can find insurance, and it is not exorbitantly expensive, especially if you get a high deductible. Now if you want to get insurance that costs less than the usual amount one would normally pay for routine health care, then you are being unreasonable.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Been burned too often by the Republicans and their rhetoric. This looks like a pre-election stunt to ‘stop the bleeding’ and avoid an avalanche of Tea Party Victories.

    Peterson and Porcell,
    My problem with the last several “wars” is that we never officially declared war, and other than the ‘First Gulf War’ have not strenuously pursued our efforts with the ferocity needed to get the job done.

    Especially our efforts in Afghanistan. We seem to be ‘half assing’ it. Prosecuting soldiers and officers who ‘overzelously’ perform their duties; putting in place crazy rules of engagement that only allow you to shoot if you are being shot at. While our POW’s are tortured and sexually assaulted in enemy hands, our guys are Court Martialed for what for all intents and purposes was a college hazing of enemy POWs.

    If something is worth going to war over, let’s declare it and really fight it.

    If we don’t have the guts or the political will to declare a war and fight it, let Congress issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal against a couple dozen of the most dangerous terrorists and sweeten the pot with 40 or 50 million dollars in bounties on these guys.

    We save Billions and the bad guys spend their time avoiding those who are looking to collect the bounty.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Been burned too often by the Republicans and their rhetoric. This looks like a pre-election stunt to ‘stop the bleeding’ and avoid an avalanche of Tea Party Victories.

    Peterson and Porcell,
    My problem with the last several “wars” is that we never officially declared war, and other than the ‘First Gulf War’ have not strenuously pursued our efforts with the ferocity needed to get the job done.

    Especially our efforts in Afghanistan. We seem to be ‘half assing’ it. Prosecuting soldiers and officers who ‘overzelously’ perform their duties; putting in place crazy rules of engagement that only allow you to shoot if you are being shot at. While our POW’s are tortured and sexually assaulted in enemy hands, our guys are Court Martialed for what for all intents and purposes was a college hazing of enemy POWs.

    If something is worth going to war over, let’s declare it and really fight it.

    If we don’t have the guts or the political will to declare a war and fight it, let Congress issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal against a couple dozen of the most dangerous terrorists and sweeten the pot with 40 or 50 million dollars in bounties on these guys.

    We save Billions and the bad guys spend their time avoiding those who are looking to collect the bounty.

  • Porcell

    Patrick, I agree with both your points. We need to declare wars and then prosecute them with unrelenting force.

    However, Creighton Abrams in Vietnam and David Petraeus in Iraq have understood and taught us well that fighting an insurgency is a different matter. In Iraq we decisively won the initial war but then proceeded to botch the insurgency. Fortunately Pres. Bush finally came to understand this and then defeated the insurgency. Abrams, working closely with CIA and State, had the Vietnam insurgency won by 1972, though, due to Nixon’s Watergate weakness and the caving of Congress that war was unnecessarily lost.

  • Porcell

    Patrick, I agree with both your points. We need to declare wars and then prosecute them with unrelenting force.

    However, Creighton Abrams in Vietnam and David Petraeus in Iraq have understood and taught us well that fighting an insurgency is a different matter. In Iraq we decisively won the initial war but then proceeded to botch the insurgency. Fortunately Pres. Bush finally came to understand this and then defeated the insurgency. Abrams, working closely with CIA and State, had the Vietnam insurgency won by 1972, though, due to Nixon’s Watergate weakness and the caving of Congress that war was unnecessarily lost.

  • Joe

    tODD @ 39 – There is enough historical data to determine what the side effects of term limits are. 36 states have term limits on their governorships and 14 have them for their legislatures. And of course, the POTUS is limited to two terms. I am not familiar with any significant unintended consequences cropping up in any of these states.

    Moreover, until the late 19th century the idea of rotation was pretty much part of the national idea of government. Most politicians simply did not seek to stay in office for life. Rotation was normative. Wikipedia has great link to some of the source materials on this topic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_limits_in_the_United_States#cite_note-5

    I am not actively stumping for term limits (it is pretty far down on my list of priorities), but I think that they would be beneficial. So did Jefferson, so at least I’m in good company. Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian F. Boyd, et al., (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1950-), 1:411.

  • Joe

    tODD @ 39 – There is enough historical data to determine what the side effects of term limits are. 36 states have term limits on their governorships and 14 have them for their legislatures. And of course, the POTUS is limited to two terms. I am not familiar with any significant unintended consequences cropping up in any of these states.

    Moreover, until the late 19th century the idea of rotation was pretty much part of the national idea of government. Most politicians simply did not seek to stay in office for life. Rotation was normative. Wikipedia has great link to some of the source materials on this topic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_limits_in_the_United_States#cite_note-5

    I am not actively stumping for term limits (it is pretty far down on my list of priorities), but I think that they would be beneficial. So did Jefferson, so at least I’m in good company. Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian F. Boyd, et al., (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1950-), 1:411.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    we tried before to trust this republican strategy.

    the strategy is to starve the beast. cut cut cut taxes.

    the theory is that then the govt will be forced to also cut spending. they will have no choice will they then?

    well. democrats ARE the party of tax and spend. Republicans made clear that they are the party of borrow and spend.

    which I ask is worse?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    we tried before to trust this republican strategy.

    the strategy is to starve the beast. cut cut cut taxes.

    the theory is that then the govt will be forced to also cut spending. they will have no choice will they then?

    well. democrats ARE the party of tax and spend. Republicans made clear that they are the party of borrow and spend.

    which I ask is worse?


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