Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Pledge to America

You'd think Republicans and Democrats have such genuine philosophical differences that they could have a political debate about those differences.

Instead they tell lies about their own positions and the other's positions. Makes me think both sides' elected reps lack the courage of their convictions.

As a Democrat I find plenty on my side that's egregious--particularly about illegal immigration and public employee unions. But the jaw-dropping whoppers emitted en masse by the Republicans beggar the efforts of the Democrats to bamboozle voters.

The latest is the Republicans' "Pledge to America." tackled this on their website. I don't always agree with them but they do strive to call it as they see it and not get involved in ideology--just the facts, ma'am--and if they don't always succeed, at the very least they certainly criticize Democrats often. So it's not like watching something utterly one-sided like Fox News or the Huffington website.

They factchecked the "Pledge to America" here. This is their executive summary:

  • It declares that “the only parts of the economy expanding are government and our national debt.” Not true. So far this year government employment has declined slightly, while private sector employment has increased by 763,000 jobs.
  • It says that “jobless claims continue to soar,” when in fact they are down eight percent from their worst levels.
  • It repeats a bogus assertion that the Internal Revenue Service may need to expand by 16,500 positions, an inflated estimate based on false assumptions and guesswork.
  • It claims the stimulus bill is costing $1 trillion, considerably more than the $814 billion, 10-year price tag currently estimated by nonpartisan congressional budget experts.
  • It says Obama’s tax proposals would raise taxes on “roughly half the small business income in America,” an exaggeration. Much of the income the GOP is counting actually comes from big businesses making over $50 million a year.
These are not minor errors. Nor are they differences in opinion. They are lies. Conscious, manipulative, baldfaced lies.

They didn't have to say these lies to mount a conservative critique of this Democratic administration. Yet they chose to, and to do so across the board, in a disciplined reiteration of the lying talking points of this "Pledge to America" by nearly all Republican congressmen, spokespersons, pundits and right wing "journalists." Turn on the radio, turn on Fox News, look at press conferences--where are the conservatives denouncing the unconscionable lies in this fake Pledge?

And why does the Republican Pledge--42 pages long--contain not one word about corporate responsibility, alternative energy, or the environment. To the Republicans, therefore, CEOs invariably behave in the interests of America, we don't need any form of energy except what we get from oil, coal, and nuclear power, and the environment has no problems. Don't worry, be happy. It's Morning in America!

Real conservatives should be disheartened. Instead they seem to tacitly approve of whatever means will get their tribe back in power.

Well, they've made a pact with the devil.

As for the Pledge--the wording is incomplete. What it really is, is this:

Our Pledge to America's Billionaires:

We'll do whatever we can short of physical violence to get back in power so we can serve your interests as we did during the Bush era. We pledge to do everything in our power to turn our government into a government of the billionaires, for the billionaires, by the billionaires--in particular to keep working on turning America's demographics into those of a third world country, with a tiny, hyper-wealthy ruling elite and everyone else running like a hamster in a hamster wheel just to stay in place.

Replacing the stars on the American flag with dollar signs will take more time, but we're working on it.

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