The Corner

Pledges

Kathryn: You are not alone. I think all these pledges are basically silly — tax pledges, marriage pledges, the lot. They’re needless lightning rods and unnecessary straitjackets — unless, of course, we don’t trust the character of the man or woman standing for office, in which case why vote for them in the first place?

The Left generally avoids pledges like something bubonic: Pledges are made to be broken (and if they’re not, they ought to be, given the right exigent circumstances), and they know it. And even when they make them — as in, oh, say, the Budget Control Act of 2011 (stop laughing) — lefties have no intention of keeping their pledges, especially to credulous, hapless Republicans. Already, the voice of the tax-rise turtle is heard in the land, and the super-special committee hasn’t even been formed yet. When it is, you can bet your bottom dollar that the six Democrats will all be named Chuck Schumer, eyeing the half-dozen dewy, trembling Republicans like a wolf pack sizing up lunch.

The same holds true for the doomed Balanced Budget Amendment: Why bother? It won’t pass, and even if it did, what real guarantee is there that the “balance” will come on the spending-reduction side? Surely it would have enough loopholes and wiggle room to justify huge tax increases in order to support the levels of spending the Left would demand. The budget will be balanced, the Left will get what it wants and the Right will be sitting on the ground, spitting teeth and wondering what just hit us. As usual.

Better solution: find the right candidates and elect them.

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.

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