"PLEDGE TO AMERICA": THE ORIGINAL DRAFT

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."

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32 Responses to “"PLEDGE TO AMERICA": THE ORIGINAL DRAFT”

  1. ts46064 Says:

    "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."

    Silly Ed, republicans dont watch Matlock anymore, Andy Griffith is a communist.

    http://washingtonscene.thehill.com/in-the-know/36-news/5907-approval-for-dem-andy-griffith-plummets

    http://blog.american.com/?p=19289

  2. J. Dryden Says:

    "America is the belief that any man or woman can – given economic, political, and religious liberty – advance themselves, their families, and the common good." Would this include gays? Or Muslims? Or pornographers? I mean, "*any* man or woman" would include pedophiles. Late-term abortion providers. Wiccans. Wife beaters. Believers in evolution. I mention these categories together because as far as I can tell, social conservatives consider them equally repulsive. Except the wife beaters, because hey, traditional family values.

    But of course it'll work, for the same reason it worked the first time: it's what selfish, spoiled people want to hear–less for everyone else, more for ME ME ME. No one ever went broke selling that message.

  3. eau Says:

    Great post, Ed. Killer ending.

  4. Brighton Says:

    The apologists for capitalism know, deep inside, that their system is immoral. They go to great pains and get upset when they have to explain why massive accumulations of wealth, often inherited and frequently squandered, are good for humanity as a whole. They start out going through rhetorical contortions about freedom and bootstraps, but their final retort is always the same: we're smarter and morally superior, so god clearly meant for us to be richer. Here's their formula:
    Divine Right Monarchy +The Bell Curve + Ayn Rand = Deal with it, Hippy! my 2 cents:
    http://brighton-towne.blogspot.com/2010/09/divine-right-monarchy-bell-curve-ayn.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FKGpTb+%28Dolphin+Kazoo%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

  5. acer Says:

    Yeah, this is pretty much the political equivalent of Mac and Me.

  6. beergoggles Says:

    Do the rest of us really deserve the government we get from the idiots who believe this shit and the national media that considers this 'very serious stuff'?

  7. Andy Brown Says:

    Here's what Pledge is made of:

    Naphtha, petroleum, light alkylate 5%-10%
    Polydimethylsiloxanes (Silicon oil) 5%-10%
    Water 70%-85%
    Butane 1% -5%
    Isobutane 1% – 5%
    Propane 1% – 5%

    Drink up.

  8. bb in GA Says:

    Capitalist running dog liars, I suppose…or they're stealing it from grandma.

    From:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2008/01/14/the-decline-of-inherited-money/

    "1. According to a study of Federal Reserve data conducted by NYU professor Edward Wolff, for the nation’s richest 1%, inherited wealth accounted for only 9% of their net worth in 2001, down from 23% in 1989. (The 2001 number was the latest available.)

    2. According to a study by Prince & Associates, less than 10% of today’s multi-millionaires cited “inheritance” as their source of wealth.

    3. A study by Spectrem Group found that among today’s millionaires, inherited wealth accounted for just 2% of their total sources of wealth.

    Each of these stats measures slightly different things, yet they all come to the same basic conclusion: Inheritance is not the main driver of today’s wealth. The reason we’ve had a doubling in the number of millionaires and billionaires over the past decade (even adjusted for inflation) is that more of the non-wealthy have become wealthy.

    So it’s not just that the same old rich folks are getting richer. The more-important shift is that the rich are getting more numerous."

    //bb

  9. HoosierPoli Says:

    "The reason we’ve had a doubling in the number of millionaires and billionaires over the past decade (even adjusted for inflation) is that more of the non-wealthy have become wealthy."

    And they PROMISE if you vote for more tax cuts for rich people, eventually you'll become one too! Really, it's in YOUR best interest!

  10. Sator Arepo Says:

    "Pablum" is too kind and metaphorically neutral to describe this bullshit; I've decided "chum" is more appropriate.

  11. John Says:

    @J. Dryden: One of the biggest irks I have with modern Republicanism (and its various pseudonyms and disguises) is the constant bleating of the "We just love Freedom™ and the Constitution™!" mantra, despite clear and obvious evidence to the contrary. It annoys me to no end that when a pundit or politician utters such a phrase, the interviewer or host invariably fails to use the obvious follow up:

    "What about the freedom of gays to marry each other, or serve in the military? What about the freedom of muslims to build a community center that contains a mosque on their own privately-owned land? What about the 4th amendment that makes most of your beloved PATRIOT Act unconstitutional?"

    Nobody dares force them to actually support their claims of loving freedom and the US constitution. Hence why I often use trademarks in that context.

    @bb: While it is true that inheritance is not the primary source of wealth among America's top earners, I don't believe that it is fully fair to simply say "There are more millionaires now" and be done with it, even though that is true. The deeper story behind that is that, as our national productivity has risen, real wages/compensation for the working class have stagnated, while real compensation for executives has skyrocketed.

    http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/tabfig_03.html

    Particularly noteworthy is "Figure 3D: Change in real hourly wages for men by wage percentile, 1973-2005". As productivity has increased (though not shown on that particular graph, you can obtain it elsewhere quite easily), real wages for the 50th percentile have stagnated or declined, while the 80th percentile and above have jumped dramatically. Trickle-down, it turns out, stops trickling at the nearest executive. They don't inherit their wealth, they just steal it from the workers below them by having them work harder for the same or less pay, while skimming all of the extra profits for themselves.

  12. Ladiesbane Says:

    bb, you don't need to inherit millions if you go down the CEO path, or outsource your labor, or invest with the not-yet-caught Madoffs of the world, or hire undocumented workers under the table, or any number of other ways legal or illegal. Or purely vile, like war profiteering. Doesn't make it okay.

  13. evrenseven Says:

    and it will totally work. They will take over both houses of congress, and I can't WAIT! Oh man this is going to be fun.

  14. Paul W. Luscher Says:

    Well, as my old law prof said, "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit…"

  15. Ben Says:

    Real wages in america are stagnant and/or have been decreasing since the late 90s. There have been small localized cyclical upcycles, but when trended and straightened, we're talking about a decrease.

    Now, lets just say "awesome – but there are more millionares than before." To that I say ok, so for the trended line to go down despite having added more on the top, that would mean that you would have to add even disproportionately more at the bottom for real wages to NOT go up. As a matter of fact, you actually have to increase the number of lower waged workers faster than you have to add those with higher compensation.

    Go ahead, keep pretending that an increase in the number of millionares means that we, collectively, are more prosperous as a nation. Its not the case. We've added a few more at the top and disproportionately punished the middle and poor. Proof? TL;DR: from '08 to '09 we went from 13.2% below poverty to 14.3% below poverty. 3.5 MILLION people fell below the poverty line over that time. (for a grand total of 43.6 Million). This is the largest number of people below the poverty level in the 51 years poverty estimates have been done. Find me 3.5 more millionaires in that same time frame and *maybe* you would even have a sembalance of a point.

    Really though, its ok for you to have made money and be less concerned with the well beings of others – just be honest with us and say "F-you, I got mine."

  16. jazzbumpa Says:

    bb -

    Real median HOUSEHOLD income has increased from $36847 in 1967 to $48201 in 2006, a compounded annual growth rate of less than 0.75%. Of course, 2006 looks pretty damned good compared to 2010.

    http://hosted.femjoy.com/galleries/gotd1/?affid=809211

    Also, back in '67, the single income family was still the norm. Remember women's lib? That came in the '70's. Now the double income family is the norm. You know why? Men today make less in inflation adjusted dollars than their fathers did.

    Nice that you can cherry pick facts that support your pre-conceived notions. But the fact remains that the U.S has been straying ever further from it's egalitarian ideals since the Reagan administration – when the assault on the middle class began in earnest, and the American economy jumped the track, and started down the bumpy road to 3rd world status.

    And people like you are either ignorant of the relevant facts – like the tea party retards, or – like Jim Bunning – simply don't give a shit.

    WASF,
    JzB

  17. jazzbumpa Says:

    Oops. Wrong link. Enjoy.

    http://uspolitics.about.com/od/economy/ig/Consumer-Income–Insurance/Real-Median-Income–2007.htm

    Sheesh,
    Jzb

  18. bb in GA Says:

    Y'all get wadded up in imagining all sorts of things spinning in MY head. All I was doing was refuting the poster who was woofing about all this inherited wealth that was coming down.

    I was also being a little smart assed by tweaking the dominant left handedness hereabouts.

    None of You has access to my calendar nor my checkbook, so please spare me the sermons about my supposed greed, screw You attitude, etc. etc.

    //bb

  19. The Man, The Myth Says:

    Posters pretty much already beat up on bb like I wanted to. I would just re-enforce the important point made: despite the American media propaganda that everyone in America is happy and rich, real income has dropped significantly in the past ten years. The fact more people aren't starving in the streets just proves that Americans were pretty (very) well off for a long time. I think the trend will continue to be south for the foreseeable future.

  20. eau Says:

    Hey bb?

    Direct inheritance is far from the only form of nepotism keeping the money with the moneyed.

    Also –

    What about the kid who inherets a business "worth" a couple million, breaks it up, sells it off, and triples her money? Inheritance drops from 100% of her fortune to 30% instantly. What a go-getter! Bootstraps up around her fuckin' chin! Um-air-air-ri-i-cah!

    That's a patently silly example, but you get the gist.

    Or, going on past experience, you don't get it. At all.

  21. bb in GA Says:

    uh, er…hmmm

    gist a minute

    I didn't quite get that…eau. Ain't that Frainch for water?

    //bb

  22. Batocchio Says:

    Nice job, Ed. Thanks.

  23. Don Says:

    I am opposed to immigration "reform" (amnesty). This country is overpopulated, and 21 million Americans are out of work.

  24. bb in GA Says:

    Jzb;

    "Nice that you can cherry pick facts that support your pre-conceived notions."

    Let me type this slowly again…I was refuting a particular factoid about a huge percentage of the wealth in the US in modern times having been inherited.

    You stuffed the rest of your post into my head and mouth.

    I wasn't selling anything else. I wasn't cherry picking (or ahem…peach picking) I wasn't praising, I wasn't justifying, I wasn't testifying, I wasn't batter frying, I wasn't glorifying, …

    Since I'm not a fully paid up member of Liberal Land, you have determined that I couldn't possibly agree w/ you about anything. You are a proxy for many others that also went spinning off into the outer parts of the solar system responding to things I didn't think or say.

    That would be somewhat closed minded of you all.

    //bb

  25. eau Says:

    @bb – "According to a study by Prince & Associates, less than 10% of today’s multi-millionaires cited “inheritance” as their source of wealth."

    And it was a survey, so they must have been telling the truth, right?

    You didn't refute a fucking thing.

  26. Ian Says:

    I think the Pledge is brilliant, although I started just looking at the pictures after the second page. My only complaint is that they let that one black lady slip into one of the photos near the end.

  27. bb in GA Says:

    eau:

    You are correct. I refuted nothing. I presented evidence supporting a point of view. You rejected part (or all) of it in an immature and profane way all too typical of your side.

    //bb

  28. eau Says:

    @bb – No, that is not evidence. As for "an immature and profane way all too typical of your side.", go fuck yourself. How's that for profane and immature?

    This is Gin and Tacos. People make fun of each other and say bad words here. You may have noticed. Maybe not. To state that this behaviour is somehow unique to the left side of politics is insulting, sure, but it's also just really fucking stupid.

    I have continued to attempt to talk to you long after others have given you up as a troll and a lost cause. But you are baby, I see that now. You can't reason with a baby (even a 60-odd year old one). You give it what it wants, or you get out of earshot. I'm done with you.

    (I may still make fun of you when you say dumb stuff here).

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