Pledge Fatigue, My Butt

Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are pushing out stories, encouraging various media outlets to write about “pledge fatigue.”

This is in response to the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge being pushed hard by conservative groups.


One reporter called me for comment and said several senior Republican offices on Capitol Hill had pointed to my recent posts on the pledge as evidence of fatigue.

Boy were they badly mistaken and, more so, allow us to confirm it is Republican leadership offices pushing the fatigue story for their own gain at the nation’s expense.

What I said was that I am tired of pledges that have no teeth. Conservatives in Washington often do pledges to avoid doing the hard work of beating liberal Republicans.

The real problem Republican Leaders have is that they just got burned with flaking out on their own pledge. They promised $100 billion in cuts, folded like a cheap suit under the slightest pressure, and now, instead of growing a spine and keeping their promises, have just decided to stop making any promises. This is the Mitch McConnell strategy: never announce what you are for, so no matter what you get you call it a victory.

Conservatives need to take note of this and up the ante dramatically.I think the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge is great and strong, but I want conservatives who support it to pledge additionally to beat the hell out of any Republican who does not cut, cap, and balance before raising the debt ceiling.


Sadly, the Republican leaders are being helped by groups like Tea Party Patriots who are opposed to absolutely any increase in the debt ceiling — a position I love, but know will never happen. In fact, it is the knowledge that the debt ceiling will be increased that led to the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge — force real and sizable cuts, cap spending, and pass a Balanced Budget Amendment before raising the debt ceiling.

With a handful of groups saying they hate the pledge because it allows an eventual debt ceiling increase and Republican leaders saying there is “pledge fatigue”, conservatives seem to be in a tough bind.

But when you break it down, you see that the “never raise the debt ceiling” folks are well meaning, but fighting against a tide that will overcome them. The real issue here are the leadership folks trying to undermine this pledge.


Because it boxes in their negotiating room. Ultimately, in Washington, leaders cut deals that more often than not sell out the American people. Republican Leaders are ready to sell out their base.

By putting teeth into the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge and having conservatives in Congress hold the freaking line, it will be much more difficult and painful for the GOP to fold.


As a result, GOP leaders must get it out there that there is pledge fatigue. Otherwise, they would have to be honest and admit they are just scared of conservatives right now.

Likewise, conservatives need to pay attention to and capitalize on this fear. Now is the time for conservatives to up the ante and pledge scorched earth on Republicans who raise the debt ceiling without first cutting spending significantly, imposing enforceable caps on spending, and passing the Lee-Cornyn-Hatch Balanced Budget Amendment a/k/a the Walsh BBA for you House guys.


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