From the diaries by Erick
When House Republicans rolled out the Pledge to Americalast fall, my first thought was, "Not exactly a roar here. More like a squeak." Return spending back to 2008 levels? Ooohh, knock me over with a feather at the decisive nature of that one. Cut $100 billion from non-security discretionary spending in 2011? Wow. We're how many trillions in debt and we're going to cut $100 billion? That's on the level of exfoliating an elephant and then saying the elephant was significantly reduced in size.
At least the Pledge, a word synonomous with promise,is a start, albeit a whimper of one. But it was a specific promise: $100 billion in FY11. The good folks over at Heritage Action pointed out that Paul Ryan's recently proposed budget would actually only cut $58 billion and leave $42 billion on the table. Now we're hearing all sorts of gobbly-gook (which is a highly technical term for "We're spinning the bejesus out of this one and hoping no one notices.") from House leaders that the $58 billion is pro-rated, a formulated number that if it were for a full year, it would actually be $100 billion. Enough already. Either the Republicans in the House will do what they said they were going to do, or they will be called out for shameless posturing and face the voters in 2012.
I think Republicans (and for truth in advertising, I am still registered as one) in both the House and the Senate would do well to remember that they were not elected because there was great love for them. There is still deep skepticism about Republicans in Congress from many in the tea party movement. Republicans were voted in not out of love, but because they were not the other guys. The leash on which the Republicans, and quite frankly all elected officials, are operating, is a very short one. The House GOP doesn't quite seem to get that yet. A friend expressed disappointment not long ago with the Republican leaders, and I replied, "The mistake you make is that you came looking for lions, but all you'll find are mice, scurrying about, squeaking about how bold they are." In a time when bold leadership is needed, perhaps those mice can start acting like lions, but I doubt it.