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A Modest Proposal. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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A Modest Proposal.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Grover Norquist.

That's a lie, I hear you say. Fine. Assume it is. Republicans lie. "Grover Norquist is a Republican" is a lie. Therefore, I am telling the truth. QED.

I'm a iconoclastic one-issue demagogue, and that issue is taxation. Hate 'em. So much, in fact, that I make every Republican candidate in these great United States take The Pledge.  I'd link to it, but my site seems a bit wonky at that location right now.  It says, simply, that if you want my support, you will pledge to "oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."  If you don't sign, you're political toast, and either my group, or some other group, will oppose you in the Republican primary, bomb you with attack ads, and make your life miserable.

It's evil, but it works.  I claim responsibility for well over 90 percent compliance with my demands. 

I'm here today, though, to propose trying out my technique on a new pledge.  It's one that is, in theory, completely non-partisan and non-objectionable to even the most ideological on the right.  Maybe if I try something else, you'll get to know me as not such a bad guy. Heck, I did cameos as myself on that stinkin' liberal show Alpha House with John Goodman. 

So here's the idea.  I was inspired by the whole brouhaha that broke out when John Boehner, the third most powerful man in America (and fourth most powerful total behind Hillary), announced he is resigning from Congress and his speakership.  The libturds all hated him because he was conservative, pro-life, anti-Obama, and a weird shade of orange.  Many on my side hated him even more because he wasn't enough of any of those things. (Except the orange; we take no position on that.)  It seems he had a revelatory moment when Pope Francis spoke to Congress last week, and he just couldn't take all the hate in the face of such a command to love. Thus, he's on his way out, but not until the end of next month, making it much more likely that Congress will somehow go along with the government staying in business after October 1st and ignoring the calls to shut it all down over funding to Planned Parenthood.

Don't get me started on that one. Not my circus, not my dead babies.

This is what occurred to me, though.  So much of Washington reality is tied to 536 elected officials and their career plans. (That's 100 in the Senate, 435 in the House, and one President. I'm not even counting the veep, because who ever has?)  Imagine a world in which, for one brief shining period of moments, those officials were committed to anything and everything BUT their own re-election.  Where they didn't have the complete safety of their remaining terms, and the almost complete safety beyond those terms that you get from being an incumbent.

One way we could do this would be to follow the rest of the Western democratic tradition and adopt a parliamentary system.  In Canada, the UK, indeed most of the West, you must govern, not just act in your own self-interest.  If you don't, the whole game can be over in a heartbeat. Either the entire legislative body can end your term immediately through what's called a "vote of no confidence," effectively dissolving the majority or coalition of majorities that got you into office; or the Prime Minister, either fearing that or acting pre-emptively on his or her own, falls on the sword directly and calls for a dissolution of Parliament.  Either way, your job security is shite, as they say Over There.  You are forced into an election cycle that takes weeks, not years, and you have to go through the same exercises of building coalitions and trading horses just to know who's in charge when it's over.  It has many advantages over this constant and expensive election business we have going, where we're essentially choosing our leaders through sound bites and late night television show appearances.

Just one problem: it'd never work. It's not Murkin enough for anyone to accept, and would take major Constitutional changes even if they did.  Therefore, I have a backup plan, which we could do. Maybe. Once, if ever. It, too, involves a Pledge- two of them, actually- only this time I'd extend it to every incumbent in, and every candidate for, every federal office in 2016 to take effect in January of 2017.

THE CURRENT INCUMBENT PLEDGE
I pledge to:

-immediately announce that I will not be a candidate for re-election in November 2016 (current House members and Senators up for re-election)
OR
-immediately announce that I will resign my office effective October 31, 2016 (current Senate members- roughly two-thirds of the 100- whose seats are NOT up for re-election).

-only endorse a member of my own party who signs the New Electee Pledge, and actively campaign AGAINST any member who will not sign. Yes, even if they are of the opposing party.

THE NEW ELECTEE PLEDGE-
I pledge to:

- commit to serving for only four years beginning in January of 2017.  If I'm running for President and win, that's it.  If I'm running for the House and I win, I get to run for one more two-year term and THAT'S it.  The Senate is trickier, because of those darn Founding Fathers.  If I'm finishing the remaining four years of a resigned incumbent's term, that's it. If filling out the remaining TWO years of such a term, I may seek re-election once and only once.  If elected to my own six-year term, that's it.

In some states, Senators replacing resigned incumbents will be appointed by state governments under their own rules. In others, elections will be called either before, after or at the same time as the 2016 Presidential election. However the job comes to me, though, I will follow these rules and be gone four to (in no more than 34 cases) eight years after I am elected or appointed to the seat.

I will do no fundraising for myself or anyone else during my term.  This is a one-shot commitment of my time and talents to serve my country, not a steppingstone to a lifetime appointment.  I will not attempt to end-run the rules by having my predecessor, my spouse, my children or my business associates to take my place.

For those four years, the government is going to govern.  Our leaders will debate, decide and do the right thing without being in constant worry of, and constant participation in, an ongoing game to get re-elected and pander to the men with the money.  They can still encourage you to vote for somebody else in 2018, and that's fine- but either way, in 2020, they'll get their chance all over again. If this works, who knows? Maybe we can do it all over again.

Sound reasonable? Let me go to the back room to print a couple copies out; I think I hear someone com




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