Friday, September 24, 2010

Lemon Pledge

The Four Tops sang it best. “It’s the same old song, but with a different meaning since you’ve been gone.” But give credit to the GOP; they sure came close. The “song” was the recent “Pledge to America” that House Republicans unveiled in a Virginia hardware store yesterday; the “you’ve” (as in you) represents the power that they lost when America got tired of their rhetoric and kicked them out of the mansion in ’06. And now they’re back pleading for another chance, hoping the public doesn’t figure out how tired the song really has become.

Look closely at this “pledge” and it reads almost exactly like the “Contract with America” back in 1994, but with one obvious exception: that of repealing Obama's healthcare law. They didn't have to do that to Clinton's healthcare reform bill in '94.  It was already dead before they took control. 

Back then Republicans pledged to cut spending, reduce taxes, restore family values, enact tort reform, support the military, etc, etc, etc. How’d that work out? Not very good, I’m afraid. Spending wasn’t cut, at least not at the levels called for in the Contract; taxes stayed right where Clinton had placed them – which, as it turns out, was the best thing that happened to the country since the ‘60s; there was no tort reform; and that thing about restoring family values turned out to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. About the only promise Republicans kept – along with their Democratic conspirators – was to support and increase military spending. Seems you can never be beholden to enough military contractors, regardless of party affiliation.

But that was different. Back then, Republicans lost their way and got corrupted by the power and glamour of Washington. It’ll be different this time; you’ll see. As Yogi Berra might say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Jon Stewart went a bit farther, calling it the “same sh*t we’ve heard before.” He then went on to play a Jon Boehner clip of him saying, “We are not going to be any different than what we’ve been.” To which Stewart replied, “I believe that is a promise you can keep.”

Maybe from here on in, Democrats should just shut up and let the Republicans talk. The GOP is doing a much better job increasing Democratic prospects than anything they could ever think of. Really, how many times do you have to hoist the same old tattered flag up the flag pole before you stop saluting it? If you’re the Republican Party, I guess, one more time.

The real question though is how will this play, not to the Republican base, which has proven time and again that it has no mind of its own, but to independents? I assume they are still the key to this November’s election hopes for the GOP. And with prospects looking good for them, what better way to grease their skids to victory by unfurling a pledge to restore America?

Except this isn’t a pledge. It’s a lemon pledge from a tired, old, worn-out party that still can’t accept the fact that Ronald Reagan is dead, along with the myth that supply-side economics works, and that everything they’re proposing to do has either been tried and failed or ignored because of a lack of political will. While Democrats lean back on their heals looking for a spine, Republicans peddle a false nostalgia and prey on the fears and anxieties of the electorate, leading many to wonder whether anyone is fit to lead.

Mark Twain was right. This is the best government money can buy. And we deserve every nickel’s worth.

1 comment:

jasdye said...

that's no flag they're hoisting up there. that's their underwear. from 1995.

how's that image working for you, America?