It occurred to me that our flailing Congress might, just might have a solution within itself as to how to put an end to this miserable gridlock problem that has so dismayed the citizenry and prevented Congress from being the least bit useful and productive.
I just kept thinking about pledges and then when we were watching the Republican debate this last Wednesday night (yes, we watch the debates; how else are we going to know how to disagree?), former Ambassador Jon Huntsman said something we thought was very well put: he said he wished he could persuade everyone to take a pledge to take no pledges. He said he made a pledge to his wife and a pledge of allegiance to his country, but that he felt that taking further pledges such as, for example to not raise taxes, “diminishes political discussion and jeopardizes the ability to lead.”
Well! Here’s my idea. Thinking about all that, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, those wretched Tea Party members in Congress, having taken their oaths of office, pledging their allegiance to the Constitution, and then taking a pledge about taxes with a lobbyist, of all people, they might have pre-empted their oath of office. Wouldn’t that be grand? We could say, “OK, you don’t want to even consider raising taxes, you want to hold to your pledge about that, then you’re out. O-U-T. Not a member of Congress. There could be a scramble to replace them, but whoever the replacements were, they’d have to promise to really, really mean their oaths of office. They could then, depending on the replacements, vote to the best of their judgment, and that might very well lead to not raising taxes, but it would be because of their informed choices and decision, not one imposed on them by someone who had no moral right to do so.
Oh, I know, I know, it’s a lovely fantasy. But it’s based on something very ugly and very dangerous for our country: that someone, anyone, could persuade a member of Congress to make a pledge such as this. Ambassador Huntsman is not my candidate, nor even my party, but he is really right on this.
Hey, maybe Mr. Huntsman is not a Republican after all!