PLEDG­ING TO BE FRUGAL

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

low, the group’s chief coun­sel and pol­icy di­rec­tor. “The phrase ‘un­der God’ is not a throw-away line, an af­ter­thought.”

The letter — avail­able on­line at www.aclj.org — calls on the net­work to “put a pol­icy in place to pro­tect the Pledge of Al­le­giance in its en­tirety. In­clude ‘un­der God’ in fu­ture broad­casts of our nation’s Pledge.” The Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter, mean­while, is draft­ing let­ters to the nation’s re­li­gious lead­ers, ul­ti­mately de­mand­ing that NBC fire those be­hind the “brazenly de­lib­er­ate” re­cast­ing of the patriotic word­ing. Clever ad­vo­cacy groups once tracked which lawmakers pledged to ac­tu­ally read lengthy health care re­form leg­is­la­tion be­fore vot­ing on it. Some­thing sim­i­lar is afoot. On June 22, 42 or­ga­ni­za­tions — in­clud­ing Free­domWorks, Let Free­dom Ring, Club for Growth, the Na­tional Tax­pay­ers Union, In­de­pen­dent Women’s Fo­rum, Con­cerned Women of Amer­ica and Tea Party Ex­press — un­veiled an­other prac­ti­cal idea for Congress to con­sider.

The “Cut, Cap and Bal­ance Pledge” re­quires lawmakers to op­pose any debt limit in­crease un­less Congress passes enough spend­ing cuts to re­duce the deficit. They must en­force spend­ing caps and fa­vor pas­sage of a Bal­anced Bud­get Amend­ment, but only if it in­cludes both a spend­ing lim­i­ta­tion and a su­per-ma­jor­ity for rais­ing taxes.

The pledge has some Repub­li­can fire­power. On hand in the Can­non House Of­fice Build­ing for its in­tro­duc­tion: Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Ken­tucky, Pa­trick J. Toomey of Penn­syl­va­nia, Or­rin Hatch of Utah and Rep. Joe Walsh of Illi­nois. Track who signs the dec­la­ra­tion at www.cutcapbalancepledge.com. have signed it.

Es­sen­tially, the pledge ensures that if they’re elected, can­di­dates will nom­i­nate pro-life ap­pointees at key fed­eral agen­cies, end tax­payer sup­ported abor­tion, ad­vance a “Pain-Ca­pa­ble Un­born Child Pro­tec­tion Act” and nom­i­nate Supreme Court and fed­eral judges not apt to leg­is­late “from the bench.” The pledge can be seen at www.sba-list.org

Mr. Rom­ney ex­plains that the “well-mean­ing pledge is overly broad and would have un­in­tended con­se­quences,”and could “un­duly bur­den a pres­i­dent’s abil­ity to ap­point the most qual­i­fied in­di­vid­u­als to a broad ar­ray of key po­si­tions in the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.” But he also in­sists he’ll “cul­ti­vate, pro­mote, and sup­port” a pro­life cul­ture.

“Our pledge calls for ac­tive lead­er­ship, not just check­ing the box. Five can­di­dates took the pledge, and the pro-life grass roots know where they stand,” says Mar­jorie Dan­nen­felser, pres­i­dent of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. “Gov. Rom­ney re­fused to take the pledge and his ex­pla­na­tion raises more ques­tions than an­swers. In good con­science, we can­not let this rest.”

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