How'd that work out for you kids up in NY 23?
If this goes through, gone will be the future Tom Keans. Gone will be the Marge Roukemas and Leonard Lances and Frank LoBiondos. Gone will be the Teddy Roosevelts and the Abraham Lincolns.
Depending on how seriously they took this rule, gone would be Representative Scott Garrett.
While I doubt Garrett would fall from favor with this crowd, let's look at the pledge line by line to see where he gets tripped up, through a strict constructionist view (8 of 10 to pass):
(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;
Garrett, and every other Republican that voted for a Bush Budget fails on multiple fronts on this one. They exploded the deficit and the national debt. Many also voted against PAYGO, which would make new spending deficit neutral, and in many cases voted against tax cuts for actual small business owners (the non-publicly traded type).
(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run health care;
(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;
(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
Garrett's been clear on all of these, so that's a pass.
(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
This one is a mixed bag. They supported going to war with less than what the military wanted, but voted for the surge. I suppose, they could say, they'll only listen to the military after the civilians like Rumsfeld mess things up. I suppose Garrett passes.
(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;
In order to contain Iran and North Korea effectively, we need to engage them as Reagan engaged the Soviet Union. While the Republicans interpreting this little test probably won't see it this way, Garrett and many others have been on record against engagement, and therefore should fail this one.
That's two fails.
(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
Republicans used to stand for all men and women being treated equal, however that's no longer the case. Special interest fundraising based discrimination has turned into party dogma. Garrett's on board with this.
(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and
By arguing the status quo, as they do in point 2, Garrett and the rest of those that would profess these ideals are actively supporting corporate America dictating who gets what care. On top of that, they also fail point one yet again with point two, because it protects taxpayer rip off programs like Medicare Advantage.
The third fail.
(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership.
Really? With a blanket statement like that Republicans seem to want to arm every convicted violent criminal on parole? Wow. Since I don't know if Garrett would back that, we'll leave this one as an uncertain.
As I said, those who would dictate from the top what the party means instead of leaving it to their members, are unlikely to boot Garrett. That said, it's also important to look at this pledge with what it's missing:
- No commitment to a balanced budget;
- No commitment to eliminating waste;
- No commitment to veterans;
- No commitment to innovation;
- No commitment to education;
- No commitment to the environment;
- No commitment to a brighter future, only opposition.
This little Purity Test simply reinforces the image of Republicans as the party of No.
It also is a dangerous development. More on this topic to come soon...