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Ridicule, praise for the 'Pledge to America"

Our Democratic-sounding Readers Who Comment, largely silent recently, emerged from an apparent funk this morning to heap scorn on the Republican "Pledge to America," a House GOP promise on what it would do if it wins a majority in the mid-term elections.

While Republican-sounding voices are certainly heard, the majority of the more than 600 comments filed at the hour this is written seem to come from Democrats. They want to know why national security costs should be protected (and wonder where the savings will come if the defense budget isn't whacked), why health care reform should be repealed and why the wealthy should be protected from taxes while the nation continues to stick it to the poor.

As Paul Kane and Perry Bacon Jr. write, "The 21-page document is meant in part to echo the GOP's 1994 "Contract with America," a 10-point agenda unveiled at the same point in the election season before the party gained control of Congress in that year's midterms. But it is also an effort to signal that a new generation of Republicans is ready to lead."

We'll start with BobChicago, who wrote, "The devil is in the details, but at least the runaway federal spending (caused by both parties) is the primary target. However, instead of simply reducing spending back to 2008, there should also be a mandatory reduction in headcount. The private sector has absorbed major cuts. Time for feds to share the sacrifice."

curtis2 said, "Reduce spending to 2008 levels, except national security?! Our ridiculous military budget is one of the first things we could easily scale back in order to re-discover fiscal sanity. Why in this country do we talk about reduced spending on social programs but never on military? I would go along a bit with the Republican idea if they showed some willingness to make a compromise on military spending. But since they don't, I will fight them all the way..."

rcvinson64 added, "Why did I know that "national security" would be exempted from their cut back? Typical hogwash. We all know that the military and homeland security don't waste any money. The bloated government contractors survive off of national security contracts. This plan is pure tripe."

Realist201 wrote, "Finally some Fiscal discipline is returning to America. Obama keeps spending like a teemage girl with Daddy's credit card and the GOP is the only hope for America's finanaces now."

moebius22 said, "Their proposals are as predictable and non-sensible as the Demcorats, but I want a check on the Demcorats, so they will have to do."

MNUSA asked, "Does where the Guantanamo prisoners have their trials affect me? No. They aren't going to undo the health care bill, which should have been done 70 years ago. And a spending freeze just as we're climbing back up out of the hole the Repubs got us into? This sounds like part emotional politics and part 'voodoo economics.' "

jdonner2 said, "What a foolish thing to do. The best thing to do while your enemy is commiting suicide is to stand back and watch."

twnctyguy wrote, "What a joke! To think that people could be hoodwinked into voting for the same failed policies that drove us over the cliff in the first place is pathetic! Hey Republicans...where are all of the jobs and booming economy from those Bush tax cuts...HUH???????"

huntsf said, "I honestly don't understand the Repubs' ideology that keeping tax cuts or giving further cuts will stimulate anything. How do any of them think this nation's infrastructure and services are funded? Get real...it won't hurt anyone to raise taxes back to Clinton days and pay down our debt. It would be even better if the corporate loopholes were closed and speed up the payback as well. Get real!"

Waterloo1 wrote, "Go ahead Republcians. Try and send everyone back to the days of pre-existing conditions. Make public your goal of restoring the former regime of health insurance companies. Because next time, we're going to skip the idea of accomodating you and go to single payer or deep public option. And the public is going to love the deficits you produce when your expedient "Pledge to America" starts producing even greater deficits"

fudador asked, "Why are Republikkkans so eager to screw the weak and helpless by removing their health care assistance while retaining it for everybody else? They truly are worthless, aren't they?"

Bobby06 wrote, "The Republicans tried reducing government spending at the beginning of a severe economic downturn. The result was the Great Depression. Let's not experiment with our country to test out the far-right ideology again. And surely the $750 billion yearly lay-out for the military has a few extra things that can be cut, doesn't it?"

dummy4peace said, "Spending less does not guarantee economic recovery. We need to spend to stimulate our economy in infrastructure and education on reading, math and science. However, the last thing we want to do is to hire any foreign countries to build our infrastructure such as high speed rail. Had the Chinese hired a foreign corporation to build their high speed rail, they wouldn't be trying to sell California their high speed rail technology now. The economy that needs stimulus is ours, not the Chinese."

Citi__Street wrote, "Republicans are winning on enthusiasm ballot (Likely Voters) as opposed to (Registered or All Voters) not on the number of votes which is the only thing that counts in any election cycle! If Democrats turn out the votes like they had in past elections, then this entire BS is mute!"

We'll close with scrub-brush who said, "I am confused; is this the Tea Party Pledge, the Old GOP Pledge, or Both????"

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  | September 23, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  Bailout  | Tags:  Democrats, Miltary Spending, Pledge to America, Republicans  
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Comments

Posted by: DJOURNO | September 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

So if reducing taxes stimulates the economy, what about cutting all taxes? That should send it soaring.

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 23, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm really disappointed in the recent blatant partisan bashing of the Washington Post. Hopefully the post gets it together, no one likes to hear constant mud slinging regardless of the political affiliation. The past week has been absolutely absurd, the rampant GOP criticism's are very unlike the Post. At least make an attempt to criticize both parties for their shortfalls. Today more then ever it is important for our media to realize America must be united. Obvious bias just puts more Americans at odds, forget conservative this or liberal that. America first.

God bless this country.

Posted by: AndresLeal_2012 | September 23, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

It is not a "Christian Nation" that exempts war spending from freezes but not education and health care for its children.

It's an ugly, puss filled war-mongering sore brought to you by white supremicist teabaggers and Glenn Beck Christians.

Thanks to Rove and Ailes, America is now a very disgusting spectacle.

Posted by: areyousaying | September 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

On the one hand, I am disappointed that President Obama has not been more successful in implementing change to benefit the majority of Americans and reduce the influence of Big Money. On the other hand, he has conscientiously followed up on his promise to try to bridge partisanism and work toward consensual solutions (despite a monolithic partisan opposition). The notion that the media fawn over him is just laughable. All this is preamble to my observation that the Republican "Pledge" is just blatant pandering to Big Money, supports the terrorist agenda of wanting us to be afraid, and resembles the fundamental Islamist agenda of devolving back to an idealized and regressive past. Hopefully the American electorate will wake up and realize it is not in our interest to support corporate autocracy and the buying of elections and congresspeople. Please God, may we be guided by reason and compassion, rather than propaganda and fear.

Posted by: patrickw9 | September 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

They should have added: Point out the lies this Oobamie and the democraps have been allowed to get away with because of the fawning news/print media. #1 blaming republicans when Borock and the dems were in charge for the LAST 4 Years.

Posted by: mightyheidi | September 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I voted for President Obama. I'm disappointed in some of the things he has not done that he said he would. If he would bother to explain why, perhaps those of us who hoped for more would understand. As it is, I don't. BUT no matter what, the GOP / Tea Party won't help us at all, while at least Obama is trying to do mostly good things, while trying to deal with problems that Bush brought on us.


Posted by: tojo45 | September 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Repubs for pledging to reduce my taxes. The only problem is that your fiscal policies got me laid off in the first place and I don't have income to tax. I hope the electorate is smart enough to see through this.

26.2

Posted by: MCMarathoner1 | September 23, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The challenge of course is for the Democrats to one-up the spending cuts proposed by the Republicans. That however is a bit difficult since the enormous spending increase by Obama is the most obvious and glaring target. But if we were to take the Republican posed spending cuts, and add to them all of the spending cuts proposed by Democrats, and throw the lot of them out in favor of Tea Party candidates who would actually pass those proposals, well that would be a good start.

The only thing Obama has shown is that by taking centralized spending to new absurd levels, even the most die hard Keynsian must sit there and have to vomit up the notion that any of this works. What Reagan did for the cold war by accelerating spending to ridiculous levels, Obama has done for domestic spending, forcing the issue to its logical conclusion sooner than it would have without him. Where Reagan had his Star Wars, Obama has his LA stimulus spending and $2M per job.

Posted by: Wiggan | September 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

In 1994, the Republican party still claimed to be the party of the "elite", that is the wealthy, the owners, the people who ran things. Nowadays, Republicans hate anyone with an education, anyone who urges rationality, tolerance, or charity. They have become "the Party of the Stupid", and their own followers are proud of this. They have no ideas but the ones that failed before, producing the worst-performing decade economically in U.S. history.

Posted by: DaveHarris | September 23, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm less upset by the divergence in political views between the parties than by the insistence of the leadership (of both) that all members vote in lock-step.

The average congressman represents some 666,000 people who live in his district. Does he really represent only those voters from his own party and how many of those does he actually talk (and listen) to?

I understand most congressmen spend so much time raising money for reelection they don't have time to read proposed legislation. I guess since they are voting as a bloc, they don't really need to read it anyway.

And if all congressmen from one party are supposed to vote as a bloc, why not save money and have each party appoint three or four "champions" to represent them. That would really reduce the cost of government.

We seem to have evolved a "yes" party and a "no" party, depending on which is in the majority. Our democracy seems to be suffering from overpopulation and income inequality - not to mention greed.

Posted by: loyalsyst | September 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm less upset by the divergence in political views between the parties than by the insistence of the leadership (of both) that all members vote in lock-step.

The average congressman represents some 666,000 people who live in his district. Does he really represent only those voters from his own party and how many of those does he actually talk (and listen) to?

If all congressmen from one party are supposed to vote as a bloc, why not save money and have each party appoint three or four "champions" to represent them. That would really reduce the cost of government.

I understand most congressmen have to spend so much time raising money for reelection that they don't even bother to read proposed legislation. I guess since they are voting as a bloc, they don't really need to read it anyway.

We seem to have evolved a "yes" party and a "no" party, depending on which is in the majority. Our democracy seems to be suffering from overpopulation and income inequality - not to mention greed.

Posted by: loyalsyst | September 23, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Our Democratic-sounding Readers Who Comment, largely silent recently....."

You HAVE to be KIDDING. Where have YOU been hiding? That amounts to 85% of the people who comment anywhere on the Washington Post website comments, people who can see a Republican conspiracy in the comic strips "Cathy" and "Red and Rover"!

Posted by: LNER4472 | September 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

If "BS" were dollar bills this pledge would provide enough money to pay off the national debt and there would be billions left over.

Posted by: WESHS49 | September 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

It is now appairent that just as Dr. Martin Luther King had a "Dream", the Republicans and their corporate alies have a "Scheme". A "Scheme" to stick it to the poor and middle class - again!

The Culture of Greed is alive and well in America!

Posted by: alfa73 | September 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Now the steady drone of the Republicans being the party of "No" from it's detractors can be stopped and the Dems need to clarify what their plan for the country is besides more spending.

Posted by: whineridentifier | September 23, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The republicans will do anything to get back in power. Pledge to America is just another ploy to do this. If our politicians would really listen we would be a lot better off. Mitch McConnel is a good example of who don't listen along with bunning and 100's more. The politcal parties are only interested in what the party wants and not what the people want.
Mid term will be interesting.
Neut 1

Posted by: Neut1 | September 23, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The republican's pledge to America is more of the same party line rhetoric. The party will continue to be the "exclusive" club and "The Party of NO!"

Posted by: pearlgirl83 | September 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

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