The 'Pledge to America' Is Pointless, and It's Not Really News

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The GOP's new talking points memo/policy proposal/governing agenda is called 'Pledge for America,' and it seems to me decidedly un-newsworthy. That's not because it isn't worthy of discussion, but rather because it isn't news, or more specifically, it isn't new.

The GOP proposes to kill anything with the whiff of Obama's first two years. That means: repeal health care reform, cancel the stimulus, and reclaim TARP funds. It proposes a 2008-level spending freeze on non-security discretionary funding (everything but the military), and a non-security discretionary hiring freeze (everyone but the military), and a series of rough budget cuts. The Bush tax cuts stay where they are, and business gets a tax break. And -- are you sitting down? -- they don't want to close Guantanamo Bay.

So, what we've got here is a Wikipedia page on "ideas we've heard Republicans discuss for the last 18 months."

Did Republicans "need" the Pledge to win big in November? I agree with Marc Ambinder that they did not. But I don't see what Democrats can point to here that will boil the blood independents who've been paying attention. Dems will say: The Republicans want to take away your health care and freeze government spending!

And voters will answer: "Of course they do. We believed them when they said it the first hundred thousand times."

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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