Erick must have blocked out DC's distinguished Mayor Marion Berry.
But his point -- that the GOP's effort is mostly "dreck" -- is valid. Washington's so freaking broken that the usual platitudes and rhetoric can't and won't suffice.
21 pages? How about starting with two words: THE CONSTITUTION?
To be sure, the Constitution is paid lip service in the GOP's pledge. And a few (unfortunately, too few) stats are powerful. For example: did you know that there are 2,050 federal assistance programs?
And consider this sentence, notwithstanding the "sic":
Despite having the largest Democratic majority since 1993, the current Congress marked the first time in the history [sic] that not a single spending bill was considered under an 'open' amendment process.
But there's also plenty of fluff, with anecdotes and quotes and lengthy paragraphs that morph into meaningless mush.
Consider the summary of the GOP pledge:
• We will fight to ensure transparency and accountability in Congress and throughout government. [Platitude]
• We will continue to fight the growth of government and oppose new stimulus spending that only puts our nation further in debt. [Platitude]
• We will fight efforts to fund the costly new health care law. [Feh]
• We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national “cap and trade” energy tax. [Okay, barely]
• We will fight for the rights of workers and oppose “card check” schemes that put union bosses before individuals’ right to a secret ballot. [Okay, barely]
• We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain. [I have no idea what this means]
Reps. Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and other members of the GOP: you could have come to me for the one-page pledge. It would read as follows:
The GOP Pledge to America
We pledge that every action we take will be gauged by the answer to a single question: Does it show fidelity to the Constitution, our highest law?
With that as our guide, we solemnly pledge the following as our first actions:
• We will repeal the Democrat health care bill and, if vetoed by the President, will de-fund every aspect of that bill until such time as the American people have input into a sensible health care reform process.
• We will slash the size of the federal government bureaucracies (Commerce, Education, Energy, the EPA, Labor, etc.) by 20% in 2011 with a goal of reducing each by 50% over the next three years, thereby saving hundreds of billions of dollars.
• We will secure the border with physical fencing suitable to repel drug smugglers, human smugglers, and terrorists, while encouraging legal immigration and enforcement of the law.
• We will confront the entitlement crisis -- Social Security and Medicare -- by preserving benefits for those who depend upon them and moving to privatized options for younger workers. Anything less condemns future generations to mountains of debt and economic catastrophe.
• We will strengthen our armed forces, space and missile defense programs to retain our unparalleled superpower status.
• We will begin the process of paying down our debts, spending within our means every year.
• We will ban public sector unions, which exist solely to wage war against the taxpayers who fund their operations.
Put simply: we intend to adhere to a strict interpretation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Faith, Family, and the Founding. That is our creed.
And for your support and with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
It really is just that simple.
We are fighting to prevent the destruction of the American way -- and the remedy is simple. It's been right in front of our faces the whole time.
Somewhere, James Madison and John Adams are looking down on us with expectant gleams in their eyes.