THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin

THE DNC & THEIR “CONTRACT ON AMERICA”

photo by Christian Science Monitor, 2010

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine unveiled an anti (?)-Republican advertisement campaign that seeks to tie Republicans to the Tea Party.  The advertisement, ostensibly, seeks to turn the American people away from Republicans (and toward Democrats?), because of their close ties with Tea Party ideas.   The ad lists the ten planks of the Tea Party “Contract From America” and then states that these are virtually identical to what Republicans want to do.  Hmmm—has it been lost on them that a majority of Americans are sympathetic to the Tea Party, if not outright members?  As I looked over what the DNC is calling “Contract On America”, I could only pray that the Republican Party is actually embracing these goals.  I think they are winning ones.

One caveat as you read the DNC “Contract” below—the annotation that follows each item is wildly inaccurate and madly spun from a Lefist point of view.  For example, the outcomes that the DNC states from repealing Obamacare, privatizing Social Security or phasing out Medicare are overstated at best.  Visit Representative Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap” site for the true plan that the conservative Congressional Republicans are developing.

Oh, and by the way, in case you are concerned about #10, consider this:

Repealing the 17th Amendment would mean that another amendment would need to be passed in order to “undo” it.  The Constitution spells out four paths for an amendment:
* Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
* Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
* Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
* Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)
When an amendment is proposed in Congress, 2/3 majority in each house of Congress must pass it before the amendment is sent on to the States.  Then ¾ of the States (or their legislatures) need to approve it,  no matter where the amendment originated.  Not an easy process.  Huge majorities would need to agree in order for this to happen.  Like it or not, I think we are stuck with popular election of Senators.

Read the DNC advertisement below.  What do you think?  I think that the DNC advertisement has a lot for Republicans to like.  With enemies like the DNC, who needs friends?

THE CONTRACT ON AMERICA
1. Repeal the Affordable Care Act (Health Insurance Reform)

Put insurance companies back in charge, repeal tax credits for small businesses, allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions and to drop coverage when a person gets too sick and make prescription drugs for seniors less affordable.

2. Privatize Social Security or phase it out altogether

Turn the guaranteed retirement benefits of America’s seniors over to Wall Street CEOs by putting Social Security at risk in the stock market or, as some Republicans have called for, phase out Social Security altogether and end a program millions of American seniors rely on for their survival.

3. End Medicare as it presently exists

Phase out and end Medicare as it presently exists for future generations of seniors — ending Medicare’s guaranteed healthcare benefits for more than 40 million American seniors — and replace it with a voucher system which will result in higher premiums and fewer services for seniors.

4. Extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil

At a cost of nearly $700 billion, extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and big oil, which are set to expire and which have and will continue to explode the federal budget deficit.

5. Repeal Wall Street Reform

Roll back the toughest consumer protections ever enacted, allow banks to continue to grow too big to fail, and ensure that predatory lenders continue to utilize their most abusive practices.

6. Protect those responsible for the oil spill and future environmental catastrophes

Cap liabilities for those responsible for environmental disasters like the Gulf oil spill and let companies like BP decide which victims deserve compensation for the disaster and what the timeline for relief should be.

7. Abolish the Department of Education

Put the big banks back in charge of student loans and put an end to federal assistance for public schools.

8. Abolish the Department of Energy

End America’s investments in a clean-energy future and disband the organization responsible for oversight of nuclear materials.

9. Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency

Gut the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act — which together protect our kids from air pollution and keep drinking water safe — and disband the watchdog that holds polluters accountable.

10. Repeal the 17th Amendment

Take away your right to pick your U.S. Senator.

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