The Democratic Valley Of Dry Bones

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

—Ezekiel 37:3  

Ezekiel, call your office.  

I’m just going to say it: There aren’t too many Democratic leaders around these days with whom I would want to share a foxhole.  

When you’re besieged by your political enemy; when it doesn’t appear there will ever be a way of escape; when things look bleak for your survival; one might think that if a weapon magically appeared in your foxhole that had a chance of freeing you from the dominance of your enemy, or a weapon that might stop your opponent’s advance, there would be no hesitation in brandishing that weapon, in fighting your way to a possible victory.  

But then we are talking about Democrats.  

By not holding a vote on the expiration of the Bush tax cuts before the upcoming election, by not holding Republicans accountable for their threat to deny middle class Americans a tax break because Republicans insist on giving millionaires and billionaires an average of over $100,000 every year to sock away for a rainy day, Democrats have essentially surrendered, the leadership has caved.  

And that’s why I would fear for my life if I were sharing a foxhole with a lot of them.  

Whether it was Blue Dog Senate Democrats or whether it was weak-kneed moderate to conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives, it doesn’t really matter.  The Democratic leadership in both legislative houses failed.  Their job is to lead, to do what is right.  

If it weren’t for the fact that a lot of innocent and hardworking folks would get hurt, I would wish the entire Democratic leadership go down in flames.  And I would wish the Democrats lose control of both legislative chambers, if the results weren’t slated to be so deleterious for already struggling Americans.  

There just aren’t enough pejoratives for such cowards, for such pusillanimous political pansies.   

After showing considerable courage in pushing for a modest reform of the health insurance system, and after pushing for reform of the financial system, and after rescuing the economy from the brink of disaster, these once-audacious legislators have pulled back on an issue that had a large majority of the people on their side.   

You see, folks can understand that when you are worried about the deficit, when you are concerned about the fiscal health of the nation, you don’t keep letting zillionaires off the hook on taxes, when everyone knows that their tax breaks won’t end up helping the economy.   

I don’t know.  Perhaps Democrats are tired.  Maybe they have carried the load of governing so long—by themselves, without Republican help—that they just want to take a break, rest a while.  It does get old doing all the work, and while you’re doing it the Republicans sit on the sidelines not only doing nothing, but jeering and throwing big ugly rocks at you while you are trying to pull the wrecked economy out of a Republican ditch.  

I understand that. But here we are, a campaign gift delivered right to the door of ailing Democrats, a gift that could lift Democrats everywhere and help them fight back against Republican demagoguery.  And not only will Democrats not accept the gift, they won’t even go to the door.  They’re hiding behind the blinds, hoping it will all just go away, I guess.  

In the mean time, the Republican onslaught will continue.  They will overrun those Democrats cowering in the foxhole, and this time, by co-opting the Tea Party, Republicans will not just take Democrats prisoner, they will slaughter them on the battlefield, leaving nothing but a Democratic carcass behind as the victorious Republicans march toward their goal of undoing all the social progress that has been made over the last 70 years.*  

One would think that prospect would be enough to energize Democrats, to put flesh on their dry bones.  And one would think that an Ezekiel would rise up from somewhere and command the four winds to give them life, to make them “an exceeding great army.”  

But then we are talking about Democrats.  

[Blue Dog illustration found here.]

______________________________  

*In fact, Glenn Beck said today that the Republican Pledge to America wasn’t bold enough in calling for spending levels to go back to pre-TARP 2008.  “How about a return to the ’08 spending levels of 1908?” he asked. Federal spending in 1908 was less than $800 million (almost 50% was for defense).  The federal government spends that much in about two hours today, so at about 2:00 am on January 1 (nevermind the fiscal year), the government would have to shut down, if Beck had his way. Good luck senior citizens! Good luck Pentagon!  Good luck airports! And on and on and on.   

28 Comments

  1. Duane,

    I can’t help but to sympathize.

    Redistribution of wealth is anathema to a pure capitalist, and a progressive tax system fits that bill. But reality, as I think even John Boehner knows, is not that simple, and the cause of the dissonance has many names. One is “interest”, which, as I have posted, may be immoral. (OMG, the Muslims could be right on that one!)

    Another cause is “inheritance”, a means by which means one amasses wealth without having to earn it. Those who wrap themselves in righteousness on the issue ignore the basic fact that money makes more money, so great wealth is seldom a moral achievement. Thus, the foundations of the class system in Britain and other countries. That Britain has a monarchy only confirms the thinking.

    All that said, there is something pure and just about simple capitalism, the concept that one reaps the fruits of his labors, and that is a sacrosanct part of America. It works really well on a small scale, and poorly on a large scale. Worse, most redistribution schemes are inherently unjust because they are subjective by definition. The GOP is appealing to the purists while ignoring reality and real pain, and that says something very bad about their character.

    Don’t worry. The cycles are large and unfairness abounds, but our political system appears to be self-correcting over the long term. Hope not for perfection and settle for good-enough. So many people are left without even the hope that America affords.

    🙂

    Jim

    Like

    • Jim,

      Thanks for trying to cheer me up.

      I want to comment on something you said about the inheritance tax, or as Republicans like to call it, the death tax.

      As things stand now, the rate is slated to go up to 55% next year, as the original 2001 Bush tax cuts finally die. This year, of course, it was ZERO.

      ZERO, NADA. Thus, George Steinbrenner’s billion buck estate was passed on without being taxed, at a cost to taxpayers of over $500,000,000. That’s even more than Anson’s rich friends (all of them together and likely their children) would pay in their lifetimes.

      Here’s what Warren Buffet said about it a few years ago:

      I would hate to see the estate tax gutted. It’s in keeping with the idea of equality of opportunity in this country, not giving incredible head starts to certain people who were very selective about the womb from which they emerged.

      I’m not an enthusiast for dynastic wealth when there are 6 billion people who have much poorer lives. I can’t think of anything that’s more counter to a democracy that dynastic wealth. The idea that you win the lottery the moment you’re born: It just strikes me as outrageous.

      Not only would it violate the American ideal of equality of opportunity, it also would cost billions upon billions of dollars, even though most of the people affected amount to about 1% of the population–the wealthiest Americans.

      Even the 55% rate (the rate that existed under Clinton) wouldn’t affect those with less than $2 million dollar estates (per couple). But Republicans have included a provision in their Pledge to America that would prohibit the inheritance tax from going up to its previous level. That is yet another example of how a large swath of the public has been duped into supporting tax policies that are nothing more than aids for the rich to maintain their cultural dominance.

      Finally, you said,

      …there is something pure and just about simple capitalism, the concept that one reaps the fruits of his labors, and that is a sacrosanct part of America. It works really well on a small scale, and poorly on a large scale.

      I hope you mean that conceptually it is perfectly just that someone reaps what he sows through his labors, but that practically that isn’t what happens. The wealthy control the benefits of individual labor, at least for most individuals. That is a simple fact. The only thing that brings some semblance of equilibrium is collective bargaining. An individual standing alone is essentially powerless in most cases.

      You also said,

      …most redistribution schemes are inherently unjust because they are subjective by definition.

      Now, you know I can’t agree with that statement. Not all subjective “schemes” are necessarily “unjust.” The plot to kill Hitler was a subjective one, yet even the pacifist Dietrich Bonheoffer believed it to be just. He said,

      …the ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation shall continue to live.

      So, it is quite possible—and I contend the American system fits this definition—that even subjective redistributionist efforts are just, so long as they are not confiscatory, thus damaging to our regulated capitalist economic system.

      I do, however, agree completely with your statement about the character of the GOP, in their appeal to “purists,” and in ignoring the “real pain” some Americans are experiencing.

      And I certainly agree that we need to keep things in perspective. Even under Republican control—as long as there is a vibrant and courageous opposition to thwart the excesses—America is a beacon of hope for the world.

      It’s just that it could shine so much brighter without episodic reactionary revolts.

      Duane

      Like

  2. Duane,

    Too many Senate Democrats think they’ve already framed the tax issue in their favor without calling for a vote. According to a senior Senate aide, “We have a winning message now, why muddy it up with a failed vote, because of course, Republicans are going to block everything.” Sure, why force Republicans to filibuster a middle-class tax cut? It makes perfect sense to let the clock run out…assuming Harry Reid is reading John Barth novels for political inspiration.

    And now I’m going to reread “The Pledge to America” in the hope that I can figure out how voting against eight separate measures to help small business translates into pro-small business GOP campaign speak. Then again, maybe their pledging to finally stop hurting small business. On the bright side, as long as socialism is thwarted by keeping the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy from reverting back to draconian Clinton era rates, the middle-class should be grateful for the impending financial windfall that automatically flows from Laffer’s Curve — or “Gravity’s Rainbow”, depending on atmospheric conditions.

    juan

    Like

    • Juan,

      You are right about the miscalculation on the part of Dems. The one sure-fire way to set themselves on the side of the angels and against the Republicans would be to force the Rs to defend the wealthy at the expense of the non-wealthy.

      Your reference to Arthur Laffer and Bill Clinton remind me that a month or so ago I saw Laffer on TV giving his normal spiel—Obama bashing—when he commented how much he liked Bill Clinton and his administration because of the economic growth that took place. That was amazing to me, since basically what the Democrats and Obama want to do is return to the Clinton era in terms of taxes (except for those on the middle class) and return to a time when 21 million jobs were created (a record) even with the “outrageous” and “job-killing” tax rates in place then.

      Sometimes, Juan, I wonder if anyone is paying attention, besides a diligent few.

      Duane

      Like

      • Duane,

        Once again, Krugman nails the GOP on their unexplainable lack of basic arithmetic skills. There is no plausible explanation why deficit reduction town criers should think the current collection of politicians (masquerading as conservatives) are remotely serious about balanced budgets or sound fiscal policies. Believing that Republicans are serious about deficit reduction only makes sense if hiring known arsonists as fireman is consider good judgment.

        No surprise that Karl Rove now applauds the way Christine O’Donnell is handling her “dabbling in witchcraft” youthful indiscretions. Not that there’s anything wrong with pagan ritual experimentation. It might come in handy if she’s anywhere near the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. With the usual suspects suddenly terrified that English Common Law is in imminent danger of being replaced by Sharia Law, first hand knowledge of ungodly activities would give her an advantage over traditional Christian Republican Senate colleagues content to rely on stale Muslim fear mongering as their justification for starting another war. And who can argue that O’Donnell leading a crusade against masturbation doesn’t paint a stark contrast between America’s free, enlightened Christian Republican and Iran’s medieval, repressive theocracy?

        Check, please.

        juan

        Like

        • Juan,

          I’m glad there is a Krugman around. Especially these days.

          And Karl Rove’s flip-flop was better than anything I’ve seen on this year’s America’s Got Talent. Wow! That guy has some serious flexibility!

          Christine O’Donnell’s witchcraft past would be an asset in the Senate, I admit, but an even bigger asset would be her hands-off masturbation position. Speaking of flexibility!

          Duane

          Like

  3. Duane,

    I dashed off my note too quickly last night. Usually I put more thought into it, but I’ve been running out of time lately and I wanted to give you some support. After all, we need to take care of you. Liberals are an endangered species around here you know. My bad.

    I should have said suspect rather than unjust, as in , “. . . most redistribution schemes are inherently suspect . . . ”

    I always liked old Warren Buffet. I like his style. Shining example of a guy who thinks for himself, a rare thing indeed. And the quote is terrific. I have never heard it expressed better.

    Thanks.

    Jim

    Like

    • Jim,

      Thanks for your support and for your understanding of the life of a Southwest Missouri liberal.

      And Buffet is, indeed, a unique character. I hope he is around for a long, long time. We will need him.

      Duane

      Like

  4. ansonburlingame

     /  September 24, 2010

    To all,

    I watched Rep congressional leaders (Ryan, Cantor and the guy from CA) explaining both the “plan” (OK defending it) AS WELL as their views on voting NOW for extending Bush tax cuts. Let’s just focus for the moment on voting NOW or after the election, as well as framing the “vote”, how it is written.

    Not at all surprising ALL Reps that I have heard call for an up or down vote on extending ALL of the Bush tax cuts NOW, before the election. Dems are not allowing that vote to go forward. I join you in condemning that tactic by the DEM leadership. Vote now, up or down on extending the tax cuts, all of them, again right now.

    I am pretty sure how that vote would result. The Bush tax cuts would be extended for ALL Americans probably for two more years. A lot of Dems whether out of political necessity or careful thought (don’t raise any taxes now) will join a complete Rep sweep on such a vote and the Dem leadership will lose, handily. That is the way government SHOULD work on this issue, IMHO.

    But no we get political gamesmanship. DEMS, if they thought they could get past a filibuster in the Senate would choose to extend the Bush cuts for all EXCEPT….. They would love an up or down vote on that point and then scream in disdain when Reps either filibuster it or for sure vote as a bloc against such a maneuver.

    So knowing full well that they would probably lose, decidedly if not overwhelmingly, an up or down vote for ALL (with no exceptions) have decided to delay until after the election leaving voters guessing where Dems might come down once the election is over.

    Good tactics, MAYBE. HIDING their real sentiments, MAYBE. But the decision not to vote is a DEM only decision with no Rep support of behind the scenes maneuvering that I have seen.

    Like

    • Anson,

      Here’s the deal: Dems control the Congress. Period. They decide what legislation comes up and what gets voted on. They’re in charge. What should have come up was a vote on the middle class tax cuts only—which includes tax reductions on ALL income below $250,000 (even millionaries and billionaires).

      They could have done that and forced Republicans to vote against it. They didn’t. That was foolish in my view, as well as cowardly.

      Duane

      Like

  5. ansonburlingame

     /  September 24, 2010

    To all again,

    Now for my views on the blog above in a broader sense. For sure I understand where Duane is coming from. His is a call for Dems to stand tall behind their principles. I support such a call. Stand tall and speak in support of principles which Duane does all the time and I respect that willingness to do so and take whatever heat results.

    Of course it is the principles themselves, fundamentally and specifically in legislation (Obamacare as a prime example) to which I object and speak rather frequently in this blog why I take such a position. In my own blog I try to state MY positions and defend them as well.

    NOW, most of us know, including the President and most Dems up for election that it is political “death” for now given the mood of the country reflected in polls, that campaigning on the “success” of recent legislation (Obamacare, stimulus, cap and trade, etc) will only result in even a bigger Rep sweep than what may happen in 39 days.

    So they “keep elections local” and attack very negatively any Rep positions, particularly passed ones and now their vision for the immediate future. For sure Reps painted a big target on their back for those on the left to take big shots at with their PLEDGE TO AMERICA. Some, even many Reps argued against such a pledge right now.

    But to me those in the House proclaiming the pledge are doing exactly what I admire, stand tall and speak on principles which one believes. Then follow up such principle based belief with enough specificity to be held accountable in the future.

    IF Reps stick to the “guns” announced it is certainly clear to me what to expect in Jan 2011 (given a Rep win in the House). I am sure it is equally clear to you all as well. Great. NOW we have something REAL to vote upon rather than guessing or simply hoping what may happen.

    BIG target, BIG ax to hold over their head(s). But at least we know rather clearly where they stand. And it is a far different place “they” are now standing than during the Bush administration. Just read the Pledge and see the changes.

    And for sure we now have something to debate over that is real and forward looking, not a reguritation of the past mistakes. I like that approach.

    Anson

    Like

    • Anson,

      I disagree that campaigning on the results will mean bigger defeats. On the contrary, it may garner Dems more independent votes than one would expect. The fact that some of them are running from the record communicates cowardice and crassness. And I don’t know anyone who admires those things.

      The problem with the Republican pledge is that what few principles are in there aren’t backed up with any specifics, something which I would have thought you’d be the first to condemn. There wasn’t even a mention of Social Security and Medicare in the damn thing. How can someone like you, who constantly complains about the long-term debt problem, admire a party that puts out a 45 page document without even mentioning SS and Medicare?

      And thus we don’t know where Republicans stand, at least by that document. We know were some Tea Party candidates stand: they want to end SS and Medicare in some way or the other. And Republicans have quietly been nodding in agreement (some not so quietly), but are afraid to let the American people in on their vision.

      And if you read the document, you will find out that it does just represent the same old approach that got us here in the first place.

      As I said, I am quite surprised you are satisfied with it.

      Duane

      Like

      • ansonburlingame

         /  September 25, 2010

        Duane,

        Just wait and I will write a blog on the Pledge. See my recent Heads Up post. You said I was “whole heartedly in favor” now “satisfied with it” and I haven’t yet made a broad written statement one way or the other. So hold your horses.

        You also know damn well my view on the Pledge NOT addressing SS. See my previous comment on other blog. The Pledge is action proposed IMMEDIATELY after Jan 1, 2011, not a long range plan of legislative action. You know that.

        Can’t expand further for lack of time now.

        Anson

        Like

        • Anson,

          It’s funny, but when I tell you that Obama and the Democrats’ actions are “immediate” actions meant to address the poor economy and not meant to address the “long range” debt problems, you say, WHEN will we deal with the long range?

          You’d better think this one over; your slip is showing beneath your skirt.

          Duane

          Like

  6. Now you know why I can’t bring myself to post much other than impotent wailing lately.

    Come jump on the Disillusionment Bouncy Castle with me, everybody!

    Like

    • Kaje,

      I wouldn’t say it was “disillusionment” with me. I’ve followed politics most of my adult life pretty closely and I know how self-serving and fatally cautious most politicians on both sides can be. But this is not a strategy that will serve anyone’s interest in my opinion, no matter how cautious one is. Forcing Republicans to vote against a tax cut for the middle class in order to run interference for their rich friends is the perfect issue on which Democrats could have run—and possibly cut their losses.

      Duane

      Like

  7. Jane Reaction

     /  September 24, 2010

    Forget the right/left divide manufactured by the MSM, the vast majority of us know what fairness looks like.

    Jane knows that the American people, if given an opportunity, would repeal the Bush tax cuts because they said so in the latest Gallup Poll.

    The small contingent of billionaires and their bloated entourage of wannabes and dupes added up to 37 percent which would keep the cuts, while 60 percent, the rest of us, said no.

    The majority know that trickle-down only works at the sewage plant.

    Like

    • Jane,

      Amazingly, the new (old) Republican Pledge To America discusses the Obama administration and Democrats’ refusal to listen to the voice of the people. Yet we have a situation in which Republicans ignore the overwhelming number of folks who disagree with the Republican defense of the tax cuts for the wealthy. If that doesn’t say something about whose voice the Republican Party is really listening to, then nothing does.

      Duane

      Like

  8. Jim H

     /  September 25, 2010

    I am in total agreement with you, Duane. I am so disappointed when I hear Harry Reid whining, Kent Conrad, Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and others backing what I consider to be the wrong side of the aisle. The Republicans represent the wealthy and corporate interests only, and use the money from these sources to influence and buy the votes of the uninformed. The Democrats let this go unanswered.

    We are seeing this strategy in the Roy Blunt campaign. He is campaigning on jobs, saying that he will bring jobs to Missouri. He has been in Congress for many years, and has voted repeatedly against the minimum wage and for cutting taxes for corporations who move their manufacturing overseas. When Sunbeam moved their operations overseas, and La-Z-Boy is moving their operations piece-by-piece to Mexico, they will continue to receive tax breaks, supported by Blunt, while Neosho residensts are unemployed. Mr. Blunt is anti-jobs, just look at his voting record. His campaign commercials are a pack of lies.

    And what about Billy Long? Who knows what he believes–he is fed-up, but fed-up at what? I don’t have any idea what he believes. He refuses to answer questions from the media and attendees of his events. He is a mysterious man who is running as a Republican, knowing that many of the uneducated voters in this district will look for the elephant and vote for everyone under it.

    While I am happy to be a Democrat, and support many, but not all, of their policies, I am ashamed of the lack of backbone exhibited by the leaders of the party, especially in the Senate. It appears as if they want to lose the election. There is so much to brag about, but many of these spineless Democratic leaders in the Senate will not do it. What a disgusting bunch they are.

    Like

    • Jim,

      It appears Nancy Pelosi may have gotten the message from disgruntled Democrats. There is talk now of a vote in the House before the election.

      Duane

      Like

  9. ansonburlingame

     /  September 27, 2010

    To all,

    Just to close the loop, I have now read and digested the Pledge to America. Not surprisingly, I think it is a great document. In the preamble which I think Duane called “too vague” is lays out clearly the principle(s) by which Republicans intend to govern. And I agree with such principle(s).

    Liberals will NOT agree and should take their best shot at the preamble. I look forward to reading your arguments against primarily the preamble. But I will be willing as well to listen to arguments against specific intents that follow directly from the principles in the preamble.

    I have also now posted my “take” on the Pledge. Have at it if you so choose.

    Anson

    Like

    • Anson,

      You said you would be willing to “listen to arguments against specific intents that follow directly from the principles in the preamble.”

      If the specific intents follow from the principles, why didn’t Republicans simply put the specifics in the document so dunderheads like me could know for sure what they were? Huh?

      Duane

      Like

      • Duane,

        I was surprised that Anson praised “A Pledge to America.” Considering the 21 page “pledge” received poor reviews from fellow deficit hawks for its glaring lack of specificity, I figured he would have followed suit and ripped the weak effort a new one. Color me puzzled.

        juan

        Like

    • I read your critique of the Pledge. It can be found here. The following is my response to your critique:

      You said, “they have said exactly what they will do.” Nope. They haven’t said exactly what they will do at all, which is the point of the criticism from the left and, most important, from the right. They chickened out.

      You said, “It is not intended as a pledge acceptable to many with different political views.” So, you mean that Republicans aren’t going to be governing ALL the people, just those who watch the Republican “News” Channel?

      You said, let’s start with the “America is a BELIEF an IDEA, not a country alone.” Okay. Let’s do that. Edmund Burke, who is credited with being the father of conservatism, would not appreciate the notion that America was such an abstract concept. He saw America as organically related to the Brits, not some new-fangled “experiment.” But then again, there aren’t too many Tea Party conservatives who have ever heard of Edmund Burke. Generally, it is liberals who make the “America is an idea” argument.

      But beyond that, you said,

      Right behind that view is the following: “America is the belief that any man or women CAN (my emphasis)….advance themselves, their families and the common good”.

      There is no more profound a statement that distinguishes conservative and liberal principals in today’s politics, in my view.

      That is a straw man argument. You can’t find one liberal in America who would subscribe to your characterization of them as wanting “equality of outcomes.” Good luck on your search. But you won’t find any.

      You mentioned the idea in the pledge about every bill having Constitutional authority cited within it. Are you kidding? How would that help a damn thing? For instance, let’s say the Tea Party winners wanted to prohibit abortion and inserted into their new law something from the Constitution that gives them the power to force a woman who is pregnant, say, via rape, to have her rapist’s baby. How would that improve the bill? And how would that end the argument?

      It is a meaningless—and I mean an absolutely meaningless—idea, designed to appeal to those who don’t think it through. Whether a bill is constitutional is ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, and just because a legislator inserts a dubiously applicable citation in the bill doesn’t mean dook.

      And Wow! Cutting spending all the way back to 2008! You mean back to the year that already set a record? Wow, again! What bold Republicans! That’ll really reduce the deficit.

      And your fondness for the “decentralization” idea in the pledge is nothing more than a fondness for the old states’ rights arguments conservatives used to make when they were oppressing black folks in the South. I guess the Republican Party and its true-believers never learn.

      And besides, there is an argument that “diffusing” power among local entities is just as bad, or worse, in terms of controlling power, than having it at the federal level. Do you not think the rich and powerful in Joplin wouldn’t want to control everything that goes on, were more power given to our local officials? Come on. The Joplin Globe doesn’t have enough reporters to follow all the corruption that would ensue. Hell, they can’t even afford to send a reporter to Jefferson City to keep tabs on the folks up there. Only a couple of state papers can afford to do so.

      And as for the profligacy of Republicans you mentioned, including spending on the wars, I just don’t understand your point. Are you arguing that we should quit the wars? Pull out? Or are you arguing that we should tax Americans for the cost? Explain how you can do that while giving them huge tax cuts. I’ll be waiting.

      You said, “The Pledge says in effect that such spending was wrong and is a clear affirmation that such will not take place again if Republicans gain control of part or even all of the federal reins of power.” So what? It essentially says “mistakes were made.” But NOTHING in the document indicates what they will do about correcting those “mistakes.” No war tax, no asking Americans to sacrifice for our war commitment, no idea on how Republicans will deal with entitlements. “Just trust us,” is their pledge. Yeah, right. The only thing you can count on in trusting Republicans is that they will take care of the well off, those who already have theirs and aren’t too worried about anyone else. I do trust them to do that.

      So, you are mistaken that we have something “concrete” to argue about in the Pledge. It’s all sand and no cement.

      Duane

      Like

  10. ansonburlingame

     /  September 28, 2010

    Duane,

    I of course expected nothing less in your critique of the Pledge. You feel it is not specific enough and even when specifics are mentioned you disgaree with them. Fine.

    I would only ask the you copy the above and make it a comment directly on my blog. That will close the loop in countering my blog and be available for everyone to see your rebuttal, which is “valid” from a liberal perspective.

    But leaving “specifics” aside for the moment, I believe the Pledge is a fundamental redirection of the Republican Party. If followed the Pledge will not be the Republican Party of old. It will be something new, even a radical departure from the old GOP.

    If followed it might even be the genisus of a new third party, one that is a combination of conservative as well as libertarian ideas. Whether or not it will succeed politically is anyone’s guess.

    For sure and only if followed at a very fundamental level, the Pledge could STOP, dead in its tracks, our economic decline and FORCE us to live within our means. You will object to that conclusion with all you power and beliefs for sure.

    But now that it is “out there” is certainly gives everyone a very clear idea exactly what they might be voting for IF they vote Republican in November 2010.

    We’ll see what happens in 35 days and counting.

    Anson

    Like

    • Anson,

      Of course, I will put the comments on your blog.

      But in response to this comment, in which you said, “For sure and only if followed at a very fundamental level, the Pledge could STOP, dead in its tracks, our economic decline and FORCE us to live within our means,” I have this to say:

      Huh? The thing endorses $4 trillion in tax cuts (over 10 years) while cutting the budget about, let’s see, about fifty cents. As Obama said, it’s not a serious document. And all of us who have read your concerns about the deficit over the last 18 months or so are quite shocked that you find it a valuable tool to do anything, especially stopping “our economic decline.”

      It could have done what you have tried to do a couple of times in the past: identify specific cuts in spending (like defense) and explain a method to reduce entitlement spending, and so on. That it did not and that nevertheless you extol its virtues is, well, strange.

      Duane

      Like

  11. ansonburlingame

     /  September 28, 2010

    Just post it all please. I am sure some will choose to argue or agree. For sure it is a valid, very valid discussion today.

    And I agree that whether one likes the Pledge or not there is the great unknown whether it is a Political ploy to get votes or something that will really be used as written.

    No one knows the answer, yet to that question, for sure.

    BUT I am very confident that I have the sense to consider future legislation and compare it to the Pledge. I think many others have that sense as well.

    Anson

    Like

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