At long last, some in Congress are finding some backbone to state some resistance to the silly practice of pledge signing by political candidates. We can only hope that this movement will grow.
Can you imagine anything sillier than grown men and women obediently allowing anyone to bully them into signing on to a promise to be loyal to one person or organization, at the expense of common sense legislation? Sign this or we will primary you in the next election, candidates are told. Sign this or we will not endorse your candidacy, they are told. What is this, middle school?
Pledge signing is one step away from the utterly corrupt system of pay for play slates. The county in which I reside has experienced this corruption and it has almost completely destroyed the county Republican party. Pay up or you won't be endorsed is the way it's done in Harris County. Three men run the game and we are now beginning to see new groups forming with the same plan in mind. It is no less corrupt to demand a candidate sign a pledge than it is to demand a candidate sign a check for support.
Truth be told, I never understood the logic of someone like Grover Norquist being allowed to make a career out of such nonsense. The pledge mentality dumbs down the process and discourages budding politicians. It's really a cowardly way to seek office, this caving to a silly demand.
In the news now, thanks to Senator Saxby Chambliss, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Rep Peter King specifically, the big dog of the pledge bullies, Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform pledge is under the microscope. His pledge is called the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. I encourage you to read it. It is meant to stop any Republican office holder from voting for any tax rate hike on anything or anyone. In theory it sounds good, right? Generally speaking, yes. But that's the catch - it's so general and it doesn't allow for any change at all.
You'll find comments from Graham, Chambliss, and King HERE, HERE, and HERE. H/T to Mullings.com for putting it all together.
Times change, leadership changes, and the economy changes. Just as it is unrealistic for President Obama to present Clinton-era economics as our salvation now, it is unrealistic for conservatives to expect a Republican to abide by a decades old pledge at the expense of our economic health. Remember the phrase, "Country First"? You should. It's more than just a campaign slogan.
Compromise is not a bad word. It's a grown-up word. I'm not asking anyone to abandon core values and principles. All I ask - all that most Americans are asking now - is that the grown-ups take over and get serious about economic healing.