“America is an idea – an idea that free people can govern themselves, that government’s powers are derived from the consent of the governed, that each of us is endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America is the belief that any man or woman can – given economic, political, and religious liberty – advance themselves, their families, and the common good.”
Boehner Unveils GOP "Pledge" photo courtesy of USA Today
Good enough. Fair enough. Absolutely right. Also the introduction to the G.O.P.’s new “Pledge to America,” a 48 page manifesto that states what the GOP hopes to accomplish if/when they take back Congress.
In their introduction alone you’d think the Republican half of Congress would have agreed with Obama’s policies and pushed things through in the last two years. For example, even if you ignore the fact that “any man or woman” includes the poor, the uninsured, the homeless, immigrants, minorities, or the LGBT community, you’d think that helping the middle class and small businesses with stimulus money or controlling big spending that killed the middle class in the first place would make sense. Let me give another example:
“America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine their own destiny.
“Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.”
True. And guess what? With 66% of the vote, in 2008 we did just that. We elected our first black president. We overwhelmingly elected Democrats to Congress. We wanted our elected officials to cooperate for once and finally GET SOMETHING DONE. We believed that those of us that ‘yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine our own destiny’ would get health care, would get help getting an education, would get help finding jobs, would get help with housing so that we could figure out our destiny. That’s hard to do while living hand-to-mouth. We wanted our sons and daughters home and for the billions of dollars we’re spending building other country’s economies to benefit us.
And guess what you did, Republicans? You stalled everything! You made sure there was so much misinformation, so much infighting, so much sheer ridiculousness that people still don’t know how the health care bill works. (Now granted, that’s not all your fault. Obama wasn’t helpful either. But he was busy trying to get the damn thing through in the first place.) People honestly think that Obama isn’t an American citizen. That he’s a Muslim even though he goes to a Christian church (not that that should matter in a country built on religious freedom). That he’s going to send old people to “death camps.”
And even those of you who know this isn’t right, know that laws like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell discriminate against those brave enough to serve our country, won’t stand up! (I’m looking at you Senator Susan Collins of Maine.)
And you want to issue a manifesto?!?
So here’s what it says, in brief: They want to repeal the health care bill. They want to extend the Bush era tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year. They want to freeze stimulus spending. They want to freeze hires in government departments. They oppose taxes on carbon fuels. They oppose government regulation of Freddie and Frannie.
How will this help our economy?!?
So, you’re going to take health care away from children with incurable conditions that are no one’s fault. From those, like me, working 3 jobs and still unable to afford health insurance. From kids finishing college and looking for a job in this horrible economy who get sick or hit by a car, that under the new bill are now allowed to stay on their parent’s health insurance another few years. I think you get the idea.
You want to extend tax cuts from the old administration that got us in this mess in the first place. That’s not going to help the disappearing middle class. I hope they realize the wealth gap is reaching Great Depression era standards.
You want to freeze spending, and freeze hiring? You really, really, truly want to stop the government from HIRING PEOPLE THAT NEED JOBS? Wow.
And oh, you want to stop regulation of the banks that got us into this mess in the first place. Double wow.
Here’s a newsflash: You can’t get something for nothing. You can’t take away health insurance and expect people to be able to contribute to a thriving economy. You can’t be a world leader when others are pushing ahead with green initiatives and we’re not giving companies the economic push they need to do it. You can’t have a healthy economy by taxing those that currently have no money and foreclosed mortgages. You can’t stop hiring people and expect your economy to grow. You can’t ensure this doesn’t happen again without some oversight into those who got us here in the first place, since they obviously can’t be trusted to read the signs themselves.
As you say yourselves: “In town halls and on public squares, in every corner of this country, people have gathered and spoken out – in small groups and larger crowds, through phone calls and in letters, through websites and new technologies.
Though these petitions come from different walks, their message is uniform: Washington has not been listening.”
Hey GOP, it’s time for you to listen.