Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rudy's Contract with America

While having thrown in with Thompson, I will still take a look at other candidates, particularly ones that also appeal to me on some level. Rudy has a 12 point contract with America he is publishing at NRO that he says he'll implement if elected. Nice talking points, to be sure.

1. He'll keep America on the offensive against terrorists.
2. End illegal immigration and identify every non-citizen in our nation.
3. Restore fiscal discipline to Washington.
4. Cut taxes and reform the tax code.
5. Impose accountability on Washington.
6. Lead America to energy independence.
7. Give Americans more control over their health care choices
8. Increase adoptions, decrease abortions, and protect children's quality of life.
9. Reform the legal system and appoint Constructionist judges.
10. Ensure every American community is prepared for a terrorist attack.
11. Give access to quality education to every American child by allowing school choice.
12. Expand American involvement in the global economy and strengthen our reputation.

Like a lot of politicians, he is strong on the rhetoric, and it all sounds pretty wonderful and I wish it all were politically possible. I just don't see how it all gets accomplished with the facts on the ground. I can see points that 1, 2, 9, 10 and 12 are definitely executive issues and can be accomplished, but 12 will be difficult to make progress on until you replace wholesale parts of the State Department and perhaps some of the other Federal agencies. Point 10 also depends a lot on the quality of local officials, which can vary a lot as hurricanes in Florida have proven to be nowhere near the problem that hurricanes in Louisiana have wound up being. Point 2 would also need some involvement with Congress, but you could at least start by enforcing the current laws, particularly those about employment.

Points 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 11 needs A LOT of help from the legislative branch, which is unlikely with the other party in power there. You'd need a change in at least one house in Congress to even get started on much of it, but all the Republican candidates face that same problem. At least points 3-5 could be partially addressed, but the others aren't really executive issues at all and would almost certainly get loaded up with crud like earmarks in the process of crafting the legislation.

6 is currently wishful thinking at best and until a market based solution is reached, there really isn't a whole lot anyone can do, although expanding our ability to drill domestically would be a good start, and the government could push for more research into some of the more promising technologies.

This is not to be overly critical of the good Mayor, just simply my critique of the usual campaign rhetoric that every candidate for every office spouts off, and I'm sure Fred and every other person running will do the same, it's just a part of the process to make campaign promises that require help from the other branches of government. You can always blame them if you don't follow through.

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