Godless conservatives

Believe it or not, the word “God” appears nowhere in the Republican “pledge”. I believe — and I’m not kidding at all here — that this pledge should have contained a short, easily memorized preamble, prominently featuring the phrase “UNDER GOD”, that Republican candidates could recite at campaign events. Why else call it a pledge?

James Joyner’s summary of reactions to the pledge is pretty thorough. To sum up, Republican establishment media loves it, teatards hate it, and Villagers give it a meh. I think it means nothing, they won’t do any of this stuff and no one will pay attention to it anyway. The point of it is just to give Republicans a way to say “we have a plan” every so often during campaigns.

Eventually, some contrarian serious person will decide to praise this thing, probably with heavy use of “at least” as in “at least this is a plan to cut the deficits” (and thus reassure markets, or course) or “at least this is a roadmap to fiscal solvency”. Who will it be? Megan McArdle? Charles Lane? Mike Kinsley? Bobo?






56 replies
  1. 1
    Kryptik says:

    I bet Steny Hoyer loves it.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    My money’s on Bobo. He will praise the plan, though not with a straight face.

  3. 3
    Lukeness says:

    And, of course, as Ezra says, it is actually a plan to increase the deficits, not cut them… but I’m sure you’re right, someone will claim it is.

  4. 4
    gnomedad says:

    It strikes me as pretty wonky-sounding for a Republican manifesto. I think the idea is to be against a lot of stuff your target audience can’t understand and you can convince them is bad.

  5. 5
    Alex S. says:

    I think Ezra Klein already went there. Although he is probably really starving for an intelligent policy debate, which isn’t happening at the moment, so he takes what he can get.

  6. 6
    jeffreyw says:

    @beltane: Not true! BoBo is paid very good money to keep a straight face, and he earns it.

  7. 7
    Comrade Jake says:

    The “Read the Bill” pledge is a real gem.

    I look forward to Colbert this evening.

  8. 8
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Eventually, some contrarian serious person will decide to praise this thing,

    …which means that someone probably posted such a flaming turd of intellectual discourse about half an hour ago, and we haven’t found it yet.

  9. 9
    Savage Henry says:

    Obviously this is just a manifesto, but it is so generic it is meaningless. This is just a loosely tied together series of the same tired bromides we’ve been getting for years from these folks.

    But I don’t understand how people who repeat the words free, freedom, liberty, and self-governance also think that the government should have the power to tell people who they are allowed to marry.

  10. 10
    quaint irene says:

    Read about the ‘Pledge’ over at Daily Kos, along with a list of comments from various conservative sites. Wow, sounds like nobody’s happy with it.

    Red State: – Perhaps the Most Ridiculous Thing to Come Out of Washington Since George McClellan:

    New Republic: – The Pledge To America: Deja Vu All Over Again:

    The Atlantic – The ‘Pledge to America’ Is Pointless, and It’s Not Really News:

    Washington Monthly – With ‘Pledge To America,’ House GOP Shoots, Misses:

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Lee says:

    Any links to the teatard hate? That should be some fun reading if you can get past the stuck CAPS LOCK and multple exclamation points

  13. 13
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Alex S.: He did no such thing. Here’s what he said, along with a money quote:

    It is a document with a clear theory of what has gone wrong — debt, policy uncertainty, and too much government — and a solid promise to make most of it worse.

    He had absolutely nothing positive to say about it. He ripped into it because it was so bereft of serious policy.

  14. 14
    gex says:

    E. All of the above.

  15. 15
    PaminBB says:

    Lee just beat me to it – just what do the Teatards hate about it? Too many big words?

  16. 16
    me says:

    @quaint irene: Whats with the McClellan hate on? Without him, the Army of the Potomac would never have been a army, just an armed mob. He just wasn’t a good fighting general.

  17. 17
    dj spellchecka says:

    stealing a comment from another blog : republicans offer “A Plague on America.”

    a white plague, no doubt…

  18. 18
    dj spellchecka says:

    a contract is one thing, a pledge is another…just a promise…. like…”the check is in the mail,” and “i won’t ### in your mouth.”

  19. 19
    gnomedad says:

    @PaminBB:

    Lee just beat me to it – just what do the Teatards hate about it? Too many big words?

    Too abstract, maybe. No direct hatin’ on the Mooslim in the White House.

  20. 20
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @PaminBB:

    No, they say it’s too saccharine. Their criticism wasn’t so exciting because it made some sense.

  21. 21
    Poopyman says:

    FWIW, it’s in a word cloud over at FDL.

  22. 22
    NobodySpecial says:

    @me: Old Rosey was better at instilling spirit that didn’t involve putting the Commanding General above the President. In truth, McClellan even in a most generous reading, was not in the top 10 of best Union generals.

  23. 23
    Tractarian says:

    Seems to me this “Pledge” is like a giant Christmahanukkwanzaa gift to the Democrats.

    I mean, they should hand this thing out at Dem rallies. They should go door-to-door with free copies for everyone. They should read it aloud at town hall meetings. “Here is what you are signing up for if you vote GOP this fall” should be the Dem’s mantra.

    Obviously this is just a manifesto, but it is so generic it is meaningless.

    That’s precisely what the GOP wants you (and the media “villagers”) to think. “If it’s generic, it’s meaningless, and we don’t need to pay any attention to it!” But that’s BS. This is an important document, because it is the one opportunity for the GOP to explain how they will go about fulfilling the pony fantasies of the tea party crowd. The document shows that they just can’t do it. It’s impossible to balance the budget without major (unpopular) entitlement reform and defense cuts.

  24. 24
    Ash Can says:

    @PaminBB: I bet they hate it because it’s not nearly crazy enough for them.

  25. 25
    Michael D. says:

    Every time I thimnk of the word PLEDGE, I think of something I promise someone and then figure out how to pay for it later.

    Just sayin’.

  26. 26
    Froley says:

    pledge should have contained a short, easily memorized preamble, prominently featuring the phrase “UNDER GOD”

    We could adapt a theme song for them:

    Speed of lightning, Roar of thunder
    Fighting all who rob or plunder
    Under God. Under God!

  27. 27
    MaximusNYC says:

    “If today marks the Pledge to America, I guess the Bush years were the Hazing of America?”

    http://twitter.com/bookofsand/status/25319958365

  28. 28
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Y’know, I personally would love it if the Democrats pimped the hell out of this document, if only to suggest that they think the general electorate is smart and cares about policy. Bring on the fucking debate.

  29. 29
    Delia says:

    “I’m the one who really loves you, baby. You know it’s true. All those bad times you keep talkin’ about? They were all that other jerk’s fault. C’mon honey, take me back. Things will be great now, just like I always said they would be. C’mon baby, all you have to do is love me like you should.”

    /gooper pledge

  30. 30
    ricky says:

    Well Red State is fuming cause it doesn’t restrain spending enough or propose the increase in the defense budget we
    so desperately need.

    Time for the Tea Party Rebel nominees to hold their own tea party on the pledge.

  31. 31
    quaint irene says:

    Seems to me this “Pledge” is like a giant Christmahanukkwanzaa gift to the Democrats.

    I still fondly remember the GOP’s health care proposal. Wasn’t that the one with all those little circles and lines?

  32. 32
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @quaint irene: No, that was their 2009 budget plan. Their health care proposal was allowing you to bring your gun to the doctor.

  33. 33
    jake the snake says:

    @ Foley

    Speed of lightning, Roar of thunder
    Fighting all who to rob or and plunder
    Under God. Under God!

    fixt

  34. 34
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kryptik:

    I bet Steny Hoyer loves it.

    Dougj:

    To sum up, Republican establishment media loves it,

    Two minds with but a single thought….

  35. 35
    Alex S. says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    Hmm, the first sentence that caught my eye was something along the lines of “at least there is a plan to talk about”, and I didn’t read any further. I guess I should have done it.

  36. 36
    GambitRF says:

    My favorite part was probably when they put quotes around “Miranda rights,” like it’s something liberals just made up last year. That, and the fact that they promise to bring the deficit down to “pre-stimulus, pre-bailout” levels, but I don’t think they actually name anything that they would actually cut.

  37. 37

    Do we call it “the Lemon Pledge” or “the Underpants Gnome Pledge”?

  38. 38
    Cacti says:

    I like the part where it talks about “Self-appointed elites”.

    That sounds an awful lot like Sarah Palin, Beck, Limbaugh et al. People who hold no office and are accountable to no one.

    As opposed to the POTUS and Congress who were elected to their positions.

  39. 39

    @GambitRF: Okay, I was leaning towards “Lemon Pledge” as a name for this, but “Underpants Gnome Pledge” fits so much better. PROFIT!

  40. 40

    @Sentient Puddle: On third thought, maybe just prefacing everything the GOP says/announces with “Underpants Gnome” would pretty much cover the waterfront here.

  41. 41

    @ricky: The hilarious thing is that the GOP moved to co-opt the Tea Partiers before they could do to the Republicans what the Republicans use the Greens to do to the Democrats: leach away votes. Yet in order to do this, all the semi-sane libertarian-type secular stuff got stripped out and the GOP’s Social Cons were put in charge of the assimilating — which suddenly gave them a LOT more leverage, enough to win primaries and end the GOP threat against the Senate, if not the House.

  42. 42
    Mike in NC says:

    “A Plague on America.”

    This must be Step 1 of their promised plan to undo health care reform.

    Step 2 is to make sure nobody can afford medical care.

    In Step 3 everybody who isn’t filthy rich dies.

  43. 43
    Robert Waldmann says:

    A toughie. Kinsley isn’t in to praise and he isn’t that dumb or cynical. McMegan a bit too inclined to be extreme. Chuck Lane a deficit hawk and not that dumb. Bobo possible. But my money is on Mickey Kaus. There are lots of contrarians but only one guy who is contrarian and nothing but contrarian and dumb as a hammer to boot.

  44. 44
    Lee says:

    Since Red State wants more substantial cuts and the only way to get substantial cuts to the budget is to cut our defense spending…

    Why does Red State hate America?

  45. 45
    Brachiator says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    I think it means nothing, they won’t do any of this stuff and no one will pay attention to it anyway.

    I think the GOP plan is much like the theme of the new book about the Titanic:

    The Titanic hit an iceberg in 1912 because of a basic steering error, and only sank as fast as it did because an official persuaded the captain to continue sailing, an author said in an interview published on Wednesday.
    __
    Louise Patten, a writer and granddaughter of Titanic second officer Charles Lightoller, said the truth about what happened nearly 100 years ago had been hidden for fear of tarnishing the reputation of her grandfather, who later became a war hero.

    The Bush Administration wrecked the American economy. Despite this, the GOP want to do more of the same, and have war hero and Shadow President John McCain leading the charge on the bridge to nowhere.

    But I think the GOP plan will gets lost of attention from the usual suspects, especially Rush and the pundits on Faux News, who will all declare it to be the only hope for America.

  46. 46
    Ash Can says:

    @GambitRF: That’s because the only expenditures they’d cut are the ones that actually benefit the public at large — education, food assistance, the environment, public safety, science, all the stuff Republicans going back to Saint Ronnie have loved to cut in order to 1) help themselves and their rich friends shake down the country, 2) punish the people who are disinclined to vote Republican, and 3) prove that government doesn’t work.

  47. 47
    AZmando says:

    The DJIA was down about 85 points today – so maybe the markets were not impressed.

    That’s always the framing the wingnuts use if the market is down on any day where the decline can be blamed on Obama/Dems/Libs.

  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    @Brachiator: Actually, I have to wonder about Limbaugh and Fox. There may be some debate on Fox, since Fox tends to represent all flavors and kinds of Republicans, but Fox and Limbaugh are both leading Tea Party promoters. If the Tea Party has already expressed dissatisfaction with the GOP’s pledge, I’d be surprised to see either Fox or Limbaugh gung-ho in favor of it.

  49. 49
    Brachiator says:

    @Ash Can:

    If the Tea Party has already expressed dissatisfaction with the GOP’s pledge, I’d be surprised to see either Fox or Limbaugh gung-ho in favor of it.

    I didn’t realize that the Tea Party had any reservations about the official Republican plan (although I guess I’m not surprised).

    Still, the Republicans don’t really lose anything by not being crazy enough for the Tea Party. And Fox and Limbaugh can easily play both sides against each other.

    It might be interesting if the GOP said to the baggers, “If you don’t tone down your carping, we will stop giving you money and won’t campaign for you.”

    But that’s not going to happen. Neither are any baggers going to jump ship and vote with the Democrats if they don’t like what they hear from the GOP.

  50. 50
    Bob L says:

    @me: McClellan was the 1864 Democratic presidential candidate and proof positive that ALL liberals are surrender monkeys in the conservative mind.

  51. 51

    @beltane: Absolutely. Bobo in a walk, but with his usual have-it-both-ways smirk.

  52. 52
    Bob L says:

    @Brachiator:

    But that’s not going to happen. Neither are any baggers going to jump ship and vote with the Democrats if they don’t like what they hear from the GOP.

    True, but they might not be so bright eyed, bushy tail to run out and vote GOP next November if they see the SOS.

    It seems pretty clear what’s going on in the teabag hind brain; their seeing that the left finally got some stuff we’ve wanted for years so they are think “me too! its only fair! Now we can ban teh gay!”. If they start seeing GOP congress of the Future as no different from a Demo congress in their POV then why bother to vote?

    If I am right on this and not just insane this maybe peakwingnut and the GOP is in an utter lose/lose situation. They lose the election the wingnuts tune out because the GOP become two time losers, if the GOP wins then the wingnuts tune out because the GOP, again, won’t deliver the teabagging the wingnuts want.

  53. 53

    David Fucking Broder. He’ll praise it as bipartisan.

    Teabaggers aren’t going to really care about the platform. “Our Lord can be placed on the backburner until Social Security is eliminated and we repeal the capital gains tax,” they will say.

  54. 54
    maus says:

    @Lee: @44

    Since Red State wants more substantial cuts and the only way to get substantial cuts to the budget is to cut our defense spending… Why does Red State hate America?

    Uh you forgot EARMARKS, buddy!!!!!!!!!!!

    No, really, that’s their solution.

  55. 55
    CalD says:

    @Phoenix Woman: I was just about to say, I wonder which news outlet will be the first to roll with “Lemon Pledge.”

  56. 56

    The fact that these people aren’t relegated to digging ditches in the hinterlands of Siberia and that they may, indeed, run the country again in a few short months is very very very depressing. The only thing that will counter the depression is pictures of Tunch.

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