I can already hear the chorus of rebukes from those who claim to be “conservative” or “populist” but who are really just straight-ticket Republicans. “Don’t sacrifice the good to chase the perfect,” someone will say. Someone else will chime in with, “Weak Republican policies are better than strong Democrat policies.” Still others will say, “You’re probably a Democrat pretending to be a Republican.”
In reality, I don’t pretend to be a Republican. I’m an America First patriot, and while I never have and never will vote for a Democrat, there are a whole bunch of Republicans on Capitol Hill who haven’t done anything to earn my vote, either. One of them is Kevin McCarthy, the de facto future Speaker of the House should Republicans regain the majority. Some will say he’s not quite as RINO-evil as his counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, and I wouldn’t disagree. But that’s like saying we should be thankful to swim in sewage because at least it’s not lava.
When the GOP’s “Commitment to America” was leaked, I instantly hoped it was just an early draft. My initial read revealed it was so replete with milquetoast platitudes and obscure non-promises that certainly McCarthy and his cronies had come up with something that had more legs. We’re in a time when the people crave bold and even bodacious solutions to the massive problems we face. I may not be one of them as I prefer government to just get the heck out of the way instead of trying to solve problems, but ahead of a midterm election against an immensely unpopular member of the other party sitting in the Oval Office, I would have expected a far clearer plan than what was presented.
It turned out Fox News host Tucker Carlson agrees. As he noted during last night’s show after playing a clip of soon-to-be Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni:
“She’s not kidding. She’s as serious as the moment we are currently living through. Our rights are under attack, she said. The sovereignty of our nation is under attack. And critically, ‘The prosperity and well-being of our families is under attack.’
“And that’s true. That’s why it’s resonating, because it’s real and not just in Italy. It’s true here. American families are facing the very same onslaught from the very same poisonous ideologies. The difference is in this country it’s rarely acknowledged except on the fringes.
“Meloni is not on the fringes. She’s the new Prime Minister of Italy, she will be, and she’s saying it out loud. Contrast that to what’s happening in the United States. House Republicans just spelled out what they’re running on. It’s a document called the ‘Commitment to America.’
“It’s fine. Probably not much in it you disagree with it. Have you heard of it? No, you probably haven’t. You probably haven’t read it. Nobody really cares. Why? Because there’s nothing real in it. There’s not a single word in that document about the attacks on the American family that you see every day. That’s at the center of most people’s concerns. ‘How are my kids? Will they have a life that resembles mine? That was called the American Dream, does it still exist? Will they be able to afford to live the way they grew up? Will they have the opportunities that we had?’
“No. People are upset about that. Why wouldn’t they be? But nobody says it and that’s odd because we know, and now it’s been proven that when politicians are brave enough to tell the truth about what’s actually happening, they tend to be rewarded for it.”
Unfortunately, the document isn’t just missing commitments to families. It’s missing a huge concern for millions of Americans, a concern that is spreading in light of recent revelations that have crept into the mainstream. According to Daniel Horowitz at The Blaze:
There is no recognition whatsoever that this is the Fourth Reich, the economic collapse is not by accident, and that we have suffered through the greatest tyranny and civilization destruction of all time. That is to say, the biggest omission from this document is COVID fascism. It’s as if the past two and a half years never occurred. There was no throwaway line even nodding toward banning all mandates, much less reviewing the genocide of gain-of-function research, dangerous vaccines, ending the PREP Act and immunity for pharma, and making sure this can never happen again. There was no recognition that the inflation is a result of the policies from COVID, which the GOP collaborated with. There is also no acknowledgement that the energy crisis is not just about inflation, but about building on the COVID lockdowns and social control to impose an equivalent scenario with energy and food.
History buffs are divided about the effects of Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America,” the spirit animal predecessor of McCarthy’s document. I tend to lean toward it accomplishing very little. Sure, it helped Republicans have an unprecedented red wave and they certainly tried to implement some of those contract proposals, but at the end of the day very little tangible came from it other than to rebuke the Clinton administration and force Senate Democrats to play defense. They passed bills that stalled in the Senate.
Unfortunately, this new version is far weaker, has fewer details, misses the most important issues facing Americans, and has even less of a chance of being successful than Gingrich’s plan. Even if the GOP takes control of the Senate as well, it’s very unlikely they’ll be able to pass anything meaningful that would get signed by Joe Biden. The only real difference they’ll be able to make is to slow the bleeding by not proposing more horrible ideas. Otherwise, they’re going to be allowing the same basic budgets that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are pushing.
One can even argue that this “Commitment to America” is so bland, it even has talking points that are indistinguishable from Democrats. For example, one of McCarthy’s bullet points is to, “Provide greater privacy and data security protections, equip parents with more tools to keep their kids safe online, and stop
companies from putting politics ahead of people.”
I don’t disagree with the sentiment, but it’s not a differentiator. If a Democrat lawmaker said those exact words in a campaign ad, nobody would bat an eye and wokesters wouldn’t call to have the candidate cancelled. Why? Because it’s generic and doesn’t require any actual action. It’s just words. It’s an empty promise. They’ll pass bills that never become law and they’ll claim they’re doing a fabulous job as a result.
There are some good points in the document, but nothing is memorable. Nothing is startling. Gingrich called for big ideas like a balanced budget amendment and term limits. He could do that knowing Bill Clinton would veto anything that made it through the Senate. McCarthy’s document doesn’t even take advantage of that cover. It’s as if the document was written to prevent damage and to not give Democrats anything to attack.
The real power they’ll have is in cutting budgets, which they won’t do. They’ll be able to hold some people accountable through hearings. As important as those two things are, they didn’t promise much in those realms in their Commitment to America. It’s as if they don’t want to commit to real actions.
It’s pure GOP Establishment weakness on full display. At least Gingrich had passion behind his proposals. The Contract With American was, as Shakespeare might say, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” This new Commitment to America still signifies nothing, but also bypasses the sound and fury in favor of safe and uninspiring.