Don't ask me how, but I managed to get my hands on a copy of the first draft of the much-publicized and wildly popular GOP Pledge to America. I know, I know, you've already read the final draft dozens, perhaps hundreds of times. But I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the raw ideas straight from the mouths of revolutionaries and before the slick marketing people polished off all of the rough edges (Some of this stuff is too real for the American people to handle, obviously). Since the actual Pledge is almost 50 pages long, I can't go through the whole draft here but I can share the overview. Pretty interesting stuff:
We Pledge…to write a document so long that you will not actually read it. At 48 pages we fully understand that this is 47 pages beyond the attention span of our target audience. Hell, the average Family Circus panel is a little overwhelming to the kind of voter we expect to be persuaded by this cloying, viscous garbage. We will gin up the introduction with the most insipid fluff** we can copy from Mitch McConnell's campaign brochures so that the rare person who decides to try reading this will be glazed over and daydreaming by the third paragraph. Our goal is to get our base to treat this the same way they treat the Bible and the Constitution – don't read it, just agree with it vociferously.
We Pledge…to continue fighting the Cold War until it is over and victory has been achieved. Missile defense? It's in there. We won't let Ivan slip one past our radar. We're relying pretty heavily on the 55-and-over crowd this November, so it was either Missile Defense (which doesn't even work) or something about Matlock. This made more sense because, I guess, conceivably in 20 or 30 years Iran could build an ICBM.
We Pledge…to take advantage of your short memories to cover our naked hypocrisy. You people are like fruit flies, so we can say things like "We promise to read every bill before voting" and rest assured that you won't remember the Patriot Act and stuff like that. Ditto "We will adhere to the Constitution" which will make good use of that black hole in your memories between 2000 and 2008. On that note…
We Pledge…to re-hash a bunch old, stale ideas and hope you won't notice. Tax cuts! Reducing spending! Smaller government! Yeah, it's pretty much the Contract with America. Or our talking points for the last 75 years. Or the same shit we said for the 12 years we were in power. Which dovetails nicely into our next point…
We Pledge…to make a bunch of promises we haven't the slightest intention of keeping. We're gonna reduce the size of the Federal government this time, we swear! We're totally going to cut the budget, honest Injun! We're going to respect the rules and procedures of Congress and treat the minority party respectfully.
We Pledge…to slip in a few of our donors' pet causes even though they have nothing to do with the goals we lay out in the document. If we promise like 50 different things, what are the odds anyone will notice "malpractice reform" and "prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion" (which doesn't even exist! But don't tell our base!) among all the nonsense? I think "card check" is in there somewhere too, but it was like 5:45 AM when we finished so I don't remember. Seriously, the sun was coming up and I was all like "Let's go get some IHOP" to Jim DeMint and Bob Corker.
We Pledge…to strain credulity to the breaking point and beyond. We will say things like "We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain" with a straight face so that every sentient person who reads this thing will be like "Holy balls. Are they fucking serious? I mean, is this like a real thing or The Onion?" Honestly we're just having some fun with you in the last few pages. But it all sounds enough like stuff we might say in earnest that the media will be perplexed. Is this satire? We won't tell!!
We Pledge…to get a week's worth of free advertising out of this mind-blowingly uninteresting shit. There's not a single new idea here, but what is the media going to do, ignore it and let us go into hysterics about "liberal bias"? Despite the fact that the uncritical media coverage will essentially be free advertising for our candidates, we know that the networks will run with this stale nonsense in the interest of "fairness" and objectivity.
And most of all…We Pledge…to laugh our asses off it this works. Come on, people! We're not even trying anymore! This took about six hours and zero dollars to put together, and most of the six hours was waiting while Dick Armey made the cover – He was all like "Dude I know Photoshop" but it was obvious that he had never really used it, and then we wasted about an hour looking for that Olde Tyme Constitution-lookin' font. But it was totally worth it, because the cover looks sweet…and that's the most important part.
**"America is more than a country. America is an idea – an idea that free people can govern themselves…America is the belief that any man or woman can – given economic, political, and religious liberty – advance themselves, their families, and the common good. America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine their own destiny."