I noticed a slightly desperate edge to Sean Hannity's eyes last night. Before the Tea Party quite realized what was going on, Obama forced them into an immediate decision on whether to back the GOP in Congress, following McConnell, or to start a civil war now. This was a lose-lose proposition for the tea brigade. This Hugh Hewitt monologue captures just how difficult a time the Republican Party is having as it tries to square its campaign rhetoric with, you know, governing:
The worst part of "the deal" is the damage it does to the Pledge to America. Speaker-designate Boehner's website prominently features the Pledge, and this Facebook page provides all the handy links to GOP rhetoric about it from September forward.
"The deal" violates five provisions of the Pledge, though hopefully one of those provisions --"Read the bill"-- will be honored before the House votes on "the deal" this week. Representative Steve King of Iowa bluntly declared what everyone knows on last night's Sean Hannity program --he hasn't read the bill yet because there is no bill to read. Thus all the GOP members declaring for the bill have been abandoning the pledge for the sake of creating a sense of momentum around "the deal."
On yesterday's program Congressmen Dan Lungren and Tom McClintock, both fiscal conservatives, declared for "the deal." Both argue that it was the best this Congress could do. Many conservatives reject that argument, but it is obviously a legitimate position to hold. But the GOP leadership needs to get out and talk about the Pledge and why it needs to be abandoned for the moment but will guide the new Congress.
Good luck with that. They're a calm, reasonable lot, as we know, and abandoning their promises before they have even taken their seats is quite an achievement.
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