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HEMMED In – Pledging to Care

August 17, 2011

HEMMED In

HEMMED In – Pledging to Care

Today’s output from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute’s state-of-the-art HEMMED (High-Energy Meta Mojo Elucidation Detector) machine is another episode in the long-running series “What makes Democrats different from Republicans?”

Episode 1,000,000: It’s the caring.

Much has been written about the Republican pledges. GOP 2012 candidates were asked to pledge to a questionable group called The FAMiLY (the small i means that i am small … get it?). Republicans in Congress were asked to pledge to “Cut, Cap and Balance”. Some Republicans even had the temerity to suggest that there were too many pledges (as if too much of a bad thing ever deterred a Republican).

The mother of all Republican pledges is the Grover Norquist Pledge of Submission: never raise taxes, never let a tax cut expire, never close a loophole. Or else.

This pledge is technically to the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) but is called Grover Norquist’s pledge because he is the enforcer. He takes his job very seriously because the anti-government anti-tax mantra was burned into him by his father’s mental abuse:

After church, his father would buy him and his three younger siblings ice-cream cones and then steal bites, announcing with each chomp, “Oops, income tax. Oops, sales tax.”

The story finishes with the ice cream cone being completely eaten by his father and the young Grover crying … and vowing to never let the government eat his ice cream cone (or something like that).

So while the Republicans let Grover deal with his childhood issues at the expense of our country’s solvency and the needs of our fellow citizens, we ask the question: what is it about Republicans that makes them need to pledge to something?

Are they too busy to read a bill and vote on it after evaluating it in relation to their constituents? And what about those constituents … is the pledge to Grover more important than the needs of the people in their districts? Does the money tied to Grover (and the threat of a primary challenge) trump being a public servant? Is it Mad Vow Disease as Bill Maher calls it? Or is it something else?

After reading Warren Buffet’s op-ed in the New York times over the weekend suggesting a tax on millionaires and finding that only 236,883 households make over $1 million a year, it is easy to see who the GOP no-taxes pledge is intended to protect: 236,883 millionaires.

Democrats make pledges also. Here are a few of the Democratic pledges:

From Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

Of course we will continue to seek to improve working conditions for the workers of America–to reduce hours over-long, to increase wages that spell starvation, to end the labor of children, to wipe out sweatshops. Of course we will continue every effort to end monopoly in business, to support collective bargaining, to stop unfair competition, to abolish dishonorable trade practices. For all these we have only just begun to fight.

From Lyndon Baines Johnson:

The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.

The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.

From Edward M. (Teddy) Kennedy

Our cause has been, since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the cause of the common man and the common woman.

Our commitment has been, since the days of Andrew Jackson, to all those he called “the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers.” On this foundation we have defined our values, refined our policies, and refreshed our faith. [...]

And to all those overburdened by an unfair tax structure, let us provide new hope for real tax reform. Instead of shutting down classrooms, let us shut off tax shelters. Instead of cutting out school lunches, let us cut off tax subsidies for expensive business lunches that are nothing more than food stamps for the rich.

Our pledges created and maintained our social safety nets: Social Security and Medicare and the Affordable Care Act and hundreds of government programs that gave millions of Americans a better life.

The Republican pledges are to the millionaires, ours are to the millions. It could not be more clear.

Our pledge now is to continue caring. And to remind people every day that Obama Cares and Democrats care so that in 2013 we can get back to creating and maintaining Good Government programs to help those millions.

Happy Tuesday Wednesday to everyone and fist bumps!

The BPI Campus Progressive agenda:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

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11 Responses to “HEMMED In – Pledging to Care”

  1. JanF Says:

    We need Good Government. Let’s pledge to ourselves to work in 2011 and 2012 and beyond to get one and keep one.

  2. winterbanyan Says:

    Excellent HI, Jan, and I love the contrast you provided. I join you in the pledge to work in all my coming years for a more caring group in government. Governments should exist to care for all the people, not just a small handful. The vast majority in this country have been getting trampled.

    So if there’s any pledge we should sign, it’s yours. :)

    • JanF Says:

      Democrats don’t sign pledges … we live them.

      Thanks for your commitment.

      • winterbanyan Says:

        That’s very true, Jan. :) Very true. It’s been a lifelong commitment on my part, and I never signed anything.

  3. Jim W Says:

    A fine statement of thoughts to remember. The oath of office is not a pledge to Grover Norquist.

    • JanF Says:

      Exactly, Jim W.

      Our country should not be held hostage to pledges to Grover Norquist and his obsessions. If we can’t get the pledgers to renounce their pledges, then we need to renounce them.

  4. addisnana Says:

    Walking and phoning with you on this approach. This was a very well written article. :smile:

    • JanF Says:

      Thanks, addisnana. Your walking and phoning (and Fred whispering) are a big part of continuing to care.

      Obama Cares and Democrats Care. Pretty simple message.

  5. NCrissieB Says:

    I want this on a bumper sticker:

    The Republican pledges are to the millionaires, ours are to the millions. It could not be more clear.

    Of course, I’d have to get Chevy Suburban Subdivision to have a bumper big enough for that. Hrmm. Still, I love the thought. Great HEMMED In Jan! :grin:

    • JanF Says:

      We could shorten it to “Vote Democratic”. Same thing. Then you just need a moped.

    • winterbanyan Says:

      I think we should suggest that statement for a bunch of billboards around the country.

      They’d be big enough.