TPM has the whole document. Outside the Beltway has a good summary. Nick Gillespie reminds us why skepticism is warranted. Reihan looks at what it means for the GOP's agenda on health care. Other reactions below. National Review:
The Contract with America merely promised to hold votes on popular bills that had been bottled up during decades of Democratic control of the House. The pledge commits Republicans to working toward a broad conservative agenda that, if implemented, would make the federal government significantly smaller, Congress more accountable, and America more prosperous.
Their policy agenda is detailed and specific -- a decision they will almost certainly come to regret. Because when you get past the adjectives and soaring language, the talk of inalienable rights and constitutional guarantees, you're left with a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars, take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people, create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it.
Yes, yes, it is full of mom tested, kid approved pablum that will make certain hearts on the right sing in solidarity. But like a diet full of sugar, it will actually do nothing but keep making Washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high. It is dreck dreck with some stuff I like, but like Brussels sprouts in butter... Overall, this grand illusion of an agenda that will never happen is best spoken of today and then never again as if it did not happen. It is best forgotten.
Here is the GOP cruising to a handsome election victory. Did you seriously imagine that they would jeopardize the prospect of victory and chairmanships by issuing big, bold promises to do deadly unpopular things?
But if the document is unsurprising, it’s also unsurprising that Erickson and those who think like him would find it enraging. The “Pledge to America” is a repudiation of the central, foundational idea behind the Tea Party. Tea Party activists have been claiming all year that there exists in the United States a potential voting majority for radically more limited government.
The Republican “Pledge to America” declares: Sorry, we don’t believe that.
The Pledge is a much more radical document than the Contract With America was. I mean that in a positive sense: the Contract was a collection of micro-issues that polled overwhelmingly well--for example, that Congress should be subject to the same employment laws that it inflicts on the rest of us. But those were more placid times. This year's Pledge is a ringing statement of first principles. It deliberately echoes the Constitution and, especially, the Declaration of Independence.
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