Before I get into “A Pledge to America,” a document not on par in writing skills with most junior high school history texts, I’ll take a brief moment to explain my political affiliations.
Uhm, I don’t really have any. I don’t belong to any particular party, and, at least on the local level, I have voted for Democrats, Republicans and Independents over the decade plus I’ve been of voter age. In terms of where I stand on issues, I’ll give you what I think is the best example of my duality: I believe abortion is wrong, but I don’t believe Roe v Wade should be appealed; I’ve made the choice (or rather, we’ve made the choice; kind of hard for a guy to make the choice on his own!), but I don’t want to make the choice for anyone else. So, like Chris Rock: ” I’ve got some shit I’m conservative about, I’ve got some shit I’m liberal about. Crime, I’m conservative. Prostitution, I’m liberal!” Word.
http://pledge.gop.gov/ I guess this is the foreward (the document itself also has a foreward), but don’t waste your time – it’s sort of a mission statement for why we wrote a mission statement. If you’re in a rush, you can take a gander at the Pledge Pocket Card, and presumably print it out and carry it around in your pocket so you can dispense talking points (that don’t really say anything) at will. You’ll sound like a genius when you say, “The Republicans are
going to reign in the red tape factory in Washington DC!” If somebody asks you specifically what red tape and how, just hand them the card and tell them you have to go to the bathroom. Once you get in your SUV and start the engine, you’re home free!
If you’re ready to do battle, here’s the full document; I know, Adobe’s PDF reader is telling you it’s 48 pages, but don’t get nervous, its really not that many pages of actual reading. Observe:
- Page 1 is the cover
- Page 2 is a picture of the Statue of Liberty. Seriously. It’s a good one, too!
- Page 3 is an interior cover, because obviously, page 1 is an exterior cover, and one cover page will simply not do. Not for a document of this magnitude.
- Page 6 simply says ‘Forward.’ The party that’s going to reign in the red tape factory in Washington used an entire page for one word. Very efficient. Putting ‘Forward’ on the top of page 7 (and thus making page 7 page 6) would be entirely too efficient and is a perfect metaphor for this entire document. I’ll refer to these as title pages from here on out.
- Page 10 is a picture of Mount Rushmore. I feel very inspired by this. It’s also thoughtful of them, because I’ve never seen a photograph of Mount Rushmore. If the Republicans didn’t put it in here, how else would I know what is looks like?
- Page 11 is a picture of the interior of a butcher shop. Taped to their counter is a picture of some grazing turkeys… I think. Look how the Republicans are supporting small businesses by including this photo in their pledge! Everybody likes meat, right? Well, not everybody.
- Page 12 includes 3 photos:
- top: somebody who I assume is a Republican Congressman at one of those town hall meetings
- bottom left: another guy who I assume is a Republican Congressman at one of those town hall meetings, but he’s gesturing to a pie chart (ooo fancy!)
- bottom right: some people at a factory or a warehouse that are too well dressed to work there. Maybe she’s a Congresswoman and she’s listening to a small business owner? The Republicans care!
- Page 13 is a table of contents. Obviously. Where else were you expecting the table of contents to be? On page two, after the cover? Or maybe they could have composited it on top of the Statue of Liberty photo… no, that would be disrespectful. But yes, table of contents is on page 13. That’s just brilliant.
- Page 14: you guessed it, more pictures!
- Top left: back of some guy’s head at a lectern
- top center: two guys in suits on horses
- top right: a guy being filmed as seen on a video camera’s instant preview screen
- center: people sitting and standing around a table, kind of invoctes The Last Supper (I like!)
- bottom: people waiting to eat and listening at an event called ‘speaking out’ while one guy talks.
- Page 15: another title page
- Page 17: 30% or so of this page is taken up by a graph that says the Stimulus Bill was ineffective at staving off unemployment. A graph? Really? Above the graph is the one sentence you would need to make this point without using a graph, but why not do both? Some people like to read information, other people like to see the information! Let’s cover our bases! Not everybody can read, after all.
- Page 19 is a photo of a guy on a horse swinging a lasso. Speaking of a lasso, I’d like to find the folks that approved this monstrosity and have Wonder Woman tie them up and make them tell the truth about why their pledge document sucks so hard.
- Page 20: more pictures; 8 in total. I’m not describing them all, I’m too pissed. I assume the people that worked on this also work for members of congress, so that means we pay them, too, right? Damn it!
- Page 21: another effing title page
- Page 25 is a graph illustrating what percentage we spend on federal assistance programs and states that these programs are crowding out private enterprises. I’m having a hard time telling the difference between the colors for Department of Homeland Security (really, you guys don’t like this one anymore? wasn’t this the Republican’s idea?) and the color for the Department of the Interior. And there aren’t any dollar amounts on here, not even estimates.
- Page 26: MORE. EFFING. PICTURES.
- Page 27: another effing title page
- Page 30 is half blank. Very efficient. This would have been a good spot for your useless pictures.
Page 31 is a chart illustrating the 160 governing bodies of the ‘new health care law.’ Enough with the charts, guys. I can’t make heads or tales of this, but I guess that’s the point. I’d like to hear why all of this is bad, but instead, you just gave me a big useless picture that might as well just say, “the new health care law is bad” on it. That opinion is fine, I just need to know why it’s bad. Telling us that there are 160 boards, bureaus and commissions is probably a good starting place for your argument, but since that’s the only piece you’re giving me, it doesn’t help much.
Page 33: another effing title page. Restore trust? I doubt you guys could auto-restore word docs on my computer after Windows crashes.
Page 36 is half blank. Very efficient. Again, this would have been a good spot for your useless pictures.
Page 37: MORE. EFFING. PICTURES.
Page 38: MORE. EFFING. PICTURES.
Page 39: another effing title page
Page 41 is 25% blank. Again, this would have been a good spot for your useless pictures.
Page 42: MORE. EFFING. PICTURES.
Page 43: another effing title page
Page 44: MORE. EFFING. PICTURES.
Page 46: MORE. EFFING. PICTURES.
Page 47: This page encourages you to speak out. This page is about 75% blank – you know, like the pledge itself.
Page 48: back cover
SO that’s… 31 pages with little or no content in a 48 page document. 11 pages alone for covers, titles and table of contents. 13 pages with nothing but pictures.
Take a closer look at the table of contents. The page itself is labeled as page 11, but it’s actually the 13th page. Yep, they expect you to print out this bastard son of an actual, coherent document and read it. Hence, all the page numbers in the table of contents are effed if you read it via adobe PDF viewer. According to the page numbering, there are only 45 pages, not 48. OK, so they’re not counting the two covers and… uhm, one other random page.
After all that, I know you must be highly motivated to read this piece of crap. I’m already exhausted and not willing to recap this flaming pile of nothing; as far as I can tell, the Republicans pledge to America is to cut taxes while reducing spending and reducing the national deficit. Exactly what they plan to reduce spending on and by how much – well, I wasn’t able to pick that up from the document, but probably health care; they were clear they didn’t like that. If there was a section on how you reduce debt while also reducing revenue (taxes), I must not have read that page, either. If anybody finds the answers to these questions, let me know. I’m also wondering who the cowboy is on page 19… I mean 17. Whatever. Maybe it’s W!
As for me, I’m going to vote for the Democrats this fall. What choice do I have? The Republicans are CRAZY. As of this writing, there is a huge picture of Sarah Palin on the GOP website. We all know she’s not currently holding an office, but I didn’t realize she was even a Republican anymore, or at least, not really. Isn’t she all about tea bagging these days? (The First Dude is a HUGE tea bagger.)
My reading comprehension skills tell me that the Republicans have a pledge, all right: lower taxes and everything the Democrats have done or will propose is wrong. That’s not a platform. It’s a quagmire.