This week's "contract" is today's "pledge". It's the same old bullshit with a different dessert topping. By now these ridiculous Republican photo-ops have become as predictable as they are unintentionally comical. There they were in their shirtsleeves - ties strategically removed, while the women wore casual slacks - all in a pathetic attempt to come off like real hard-workin' folks. They even staged the event in a Hardware store! They must really think that the American people are awfully stupid to fall for something as obvious as this. The very fact that so many people did swallow this nonsense without so much as a chaser proves that perhaps these politicians are onto something.
And of course, just like their silly "Contract with America" sixteen years ago, the voters will more-than-likely hand the congressional majority back to these corrupt dingbats on Election Day. And when the 112th Congress is sworn in this January, their so-called "pledge" (just like the contract of yore) will be rendered merely as dust in the wind.
The "pledge" to America is loaded with scads of nifty things that are sure to thrill the half-witted Tea Party types out there: doing away with even more of the government; the continuation of the Bush tax cuts; "rightsizing" the federal work force by means of a freeze on hiring; more outsourcing - all sorts of neat stuff! In spite of the fact that the federal workforce is now smaller than it was in 1967 (when we had one-hundred million fewer people living in the United Sates than there are today) it's still not small enough for these jackasses.
The fact that nearly every economist of note has stated that their policies with regard to taxation will cost this country several trillion dollars over the next four years was conveniently ignored. The simple and nasty truth of the matter is that under their plan - their "pledge" - the tax burden will fall on the shoulders of the middle class. The class of people who already have more money than they know what to do with? They'll be sitting pretty, baby!
"And again, I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God." --Jesus of Nazareth from the Gospel according to Matthew, 9:24
Gee, I really hate to do this. I know how uncomfortable it makes these nitwits to have the teachings of the Prince of Peace thrown in their faces. Were Jesus Christ to return to the earth today, it's a pretty safe bet that He would be more-than-a-little confused at the hypocrisy of the party that claims to hold his teachings in such high regard. I often wonder if any of them have even read the New Testament much less comprehend it. Their stated policies are a mockery to the messiah they pretend to revere.
"And now abideth, faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of those is charity." --Jesus of Nazareth (Same guy!), 1 Corinthians, 13:13
"There's gonna be a lot of dues, Jim!" --Lenny Bruce
The weirdest (and funniest) aspect of their nutty "pledge" is their proposal that every law passed in the next session of congress should have a provision that proves that the law-in-question is not "unconstitutional." It's bad enough that these people are within months of taking back the legislative branch of our government. Apparently they're planning to hijack the judicial branch as well.
An insightful writer named Susan Milligan pointed out something I hadn't even thought of: If they are that intent on interpreting the Constitution - word for word - as it was put forth by the founders of this nation over two-hundred and twenty years ago, that implies that we're going to have to do away with the Air Force. As she points out, "The Constitution only provides for the creation of an Army and Navy." Also, when that document was ratified in 1789 slavery was legal in many states. More-than-a-few of it's creators were slave owners. Does this sad historical reality justify a debate over the constitutionality of slavery in 2010?
I know what you're thinking and I agree wholeheartedly: It doesn't get any stupider than this. It just doesn't.
The Republican "pledge" to America is just another right wing scam, loaded with lots of bells and whistles and pretty colored lights. Their only constituency is the plutocracy they've been acting as water-carriers for since the administration of Ulysses S Grant almost a century-and-a-half ago. Their only goal to continue the charade for at least another two years come January. Are the American people going to be naive enough to go down this self-destructive road yet again? Barring a national intellectual earthquake the answer is, sadly, yes.
I hate to sound like a mouthpiece for the Democrats. As I've said many times before, I gave up my registration in that gutless party almost thirteen-years-ago and never - not for a fleeting moment - have I regretted it. With very few exceptions they are, in their present incarnation at least, utterly void of real political courage and insight. They are an insult to the memory of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Jack Kennedy. But I also know this: They're a damned sight better than the alternative - and that's pretty sad.
This is totally - shamefully - off topic, but I feel bad ending this piece on such a down note. Here's the greatest, funniest television commercial ever produced. It stars the late Ann Miller and was written and directed by the great Stan Freberg. Make way for the Great American Soup:
It's a scream!
The Republican party's "Pledge" to America
That's pretty funny, too.
Tom Degan is a 51-year-old video artist who in 2006 became so thoroughly disgusted at the state of America’s national political dialogue, he decided to take time off to become a freaking civics teacher.