There’s a pledge war going on among Republican presidential candidates. The winner, with Tea Party backing, may well end up that party’s standard bearer in 2012.
This war doesn’t involve verbal pledges, but the written and signed variety. No Republican, it seems, will any longer accept one of those “read my lips” pledges as binding enough.
So then. What are Republican candidates lining up to pledge these days? There’s Grover Norquists’ no new taxes of any kind pledge, of course. Other economic pledges that are now being demanded by groups that style themselves true conservatives include a constitutional amendment mandating balanced budgets.
This latter pledge, by the way, was not signed by Rep. Bachmann because it didn’t also include a pledge to repeal Obamacare. Clearly, she is a candidate not about to go off half-pledged,
Economic pledges such as these are just the starter pledge kit. Iowa caucuses being the first big test for 2012, and social conservatives being very important players in Iowa, there are demands that all candidates sign a no-abortion pledge as well. And one against gay marriage. Even one against infidelity in marriage.
Not being of the conservative Republican political persuasion, much less a Tea Partyer, I can stand back and view this pledging mania with appropriate amusement. Though I’ll give the pledge demanders and the pledge signers one thing. When Republicans finally come up with their 2012 presidential candidate, American voters are definitely going to know up front what this person will and won’t do in office. And if voters than opt to give him or her the job of president, they will get exactly what they deserve — though perhaps not what other Americans and the world generally deserve.
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