Monday, May 16, 2011

Newt Gingrich's Poll-Driven, Nonsensical Platform

Many years ago in Canada, the former Progressive Conservative Party, led by Brian Mulroney, entered a national election with an array of promises that were... dare I say, a bit pie in the sky. This led to a parody song, "Brian Mulroney is Wonderful" ("He'll fix what's the matter, and walk on the water, he's wonderful"), including the passage,
He'll cut taxes on farmers and fishers and loggers, and lower the interest and increase the dollar, give loans to build ships and more jobs for the kids, and get bigger grain sales and restore VIA Rail, and expend more on health and the fighting of crime...

And he'll lower the deficit at the same time!
Needless to say, with such unrealistic overpromising, the P.C.'s were, um, victorious at the polls. There's no arguing with victory, so I can't say that it's a surprise when I hear supposedly serious candidates claiming, in effect, that if elected they will draw from a horn of plenty and magically cure everything that ails the nation. But it's one thing, I think, to make ridiculous promises that you would like to keep, and making a host of promises and representations that simply are not consistent with your actual preferred policy choices and political views. Case in point, Newt Gingrich:

You would almost think he had previously served as President, rather than self-immolating as Speaker of the House.
"I'm Newt Gingrich, and I'm announcing my candidacy for President of the United States because I believe we can return America to hope and opportunity, to full employment, to real security, to an American energy program, to a balanced budget."
"... And we'll lower the deficit at the same time."
There's some people who don't mind if America becomes a wreck as long as they dominate the wreckage, but you and I know better.
Was that intentionally phrased in an ambiguous manner? From what I can see, Gingrich has made a career out of representing the people who want to dominate the wreckage of this country. Grover Norquist types wouldn't give me the time of day; Gingrich, on the other hand....
We owe it to our children, our grandchildren, our country, and, frankly, to ourselves. Let's get together, look reality in the face, tell the truth, make the tough choices, get the job done.
That's right, if there's one thing this country need, one thing that will get the country back on track, it's platitudes.
There's a much better American future ahead, with more jobs, more prosperity, a better health system, longer lives, greater independent living, in a country that is decentralized under the Tenth Amendment, with power once again back with the American people and away from Washington bureaucracy.
And did he mention that he'll lower the deficit at the same time? He did? And he exaggerated his role in the balancing of the budget under President Clinton? Well, then, so far so good!

Did he mention that by "better health system" he means "One with far fewer patient rights and protections, that you probably can't afford to use"? It's all relative, you know - whatever the impact on you, his comment is honest if you recognize that the "reforms" he proposes may well make things better for him. And he wants us to live longer... so, what about Social Security? (We, apparently, need to "rethink" it - which is a euphemism for "privatization". But if you go to the pages on that previously contained that information... gone! He's running for President - time to scrub the record.) And it's always refreshing to hear a career Washington politician and bureaucrat promise to move us away from Washington bureaucracy.

[Edited to correct some data corruption from the Blogger outage.]

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