Thursday, September 23, 2010

CD8: Jesse Kelly Says GOP's Pledge to America Is "Outstanding." Critics on Right and Left Say It's Shallow and Fraudulent

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Republican Jesse Kelly, who is seeking to unseat Democratic Congresswoman in Southern Arizona's Congressional District 8, said this morning that he hadn't had time to completely review the GOP's new Pledge to America, but he liked what he had seen so far.

"I'm a bit shocked by how outstanding it is," Kelly says.

Others are less charitable. Andrew Sullivan has a round-up of reaction here and here. His own thoughts on the "fiscal fraudulence" here.

David Frum, the former Bush administration speechwriter who has been critical of the GOP's direction, calls it "a pledge to do nothing":

Here is the GOP cruising to a handsome election victory. Did you seriously imagine that they would jeopardize the prospect of victory and chairmanships by issuing big, bold promises to do deadly unpopular things?

But if the document is unsurprising, it’s also unsurprising that Erickson and those who think like him would find it enraging. The “Pledge to America” is a repudiation of the central, foundational idea behind the Tea Party. Tea Party activists have been claiming all year that there exists in the United States a potential voting majority for radically more limited government.

The Republican “Pledge to America” declares: Sorry, we don’t believe that. We shall cut spending where we can — reform the legislative process in important ways — and sever the federal guarantee for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Republicans will redirect the federal government to a new path that is less expensive and intrusive than the status quo. But if you want promises of radical change? No. Too risky. We don’t think the voters want that — not the smaller, older, richer, whiter electorate that votes in non-presidential years, much less the bigger, younger, poorer, less white electorate of presidential years. And even that smaller, older, richer, whiter electorate is highly wary of cuts to programs that benefit them, Medicare above all.

But the real news is this: You can primary a Bob Bennett, you can nominate a Sharron Angle, you can balk Karl Rove and Mike Castle — but when decision hour arrives, the leadership of the party rejects the assessment of the American electorate offered by Rush Limbaugh, Dick Armey and for that matter Erick Erickson.

Sounds like Jesse Kelly might be losing that revolutionary spirit as the general election draws closer.

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