Jon Huntsman, with no chance to be the Republican nominee in 2012, still might just possibly be a VP candidate and could be the Republican standard bearer in 2016 when the party stops steeping in dogmatic tea. He recently said that he would not sign all the popular pledges among the Republicans trying to out do each other on their litmus tests and creeds. The only pledges he is concerned about is the one he made to his wife at marriage and the pledge he makes to the flag. Now there's a true American!
I've always felt the same way. I choose certain actions or non-actions in my life because of decisions made long ago and that I continue to make because of my lifetime of actions and commitments. I have my faults, but I don't have to prove anything to anybody. Signing pledges is a lot like praying on street corners. It is to be seen of men to promote pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness. If you need exhibit number one, try Rick Santorum (although pretty much any political tea-partier will probably suffice).
I'm with Brother Brigham on this one too. He refused to sign temperance pledges because he prized his freedom so much that he wanted to be free to choose the right, not to commit to something by a silly piece of paper.
We are seeing a sillier than usual stage show in Washington today. It is the Congress's job to appropriate money and pay debts (it's in the Constitution, Art. I, Section 8). We have a good President who is trying to reestablish proper Constitutional responsibilities and authorities. He also understands, admittedly a philosophically debatable point, that debts can only be paid if we raise sufficient revenues both by taxing those who have most benefited from our laws and economy and by growing that economy so there is more revenue to gather. Maybe he is just wanting to tax us into some kind of Muslim/socialist economic oblivion. I don't think so. But I am a little concerned that some tea partyists are more concerned about doing away with aspects of government they don't like, maybe even the concept of "government" itself , rather than balancing any budgets (or ya'd think they would have caught on years ago with the Reagan, HW and W Bush deficits!).
The Tea Party House today is passing a "Cap, Cap and Balance" bill which is a lot like one of those meaningless pledges yet they are only reflecting what a majority of voters wanted in the Congressional elections of 2010 when so many were so mad about our President, the economy, and overly excited about the health care debate. I'm not quite sure a majority still feel all those things. That's why our inspired Founders set up a second legislative body with a bit more stability and national outlook, especially as modified by We the People in the also inspired 17th Amendment. Today we also heard the much more important news that a bipartisan group of six Senators, American Statesmen all, have proposed a more comprehensive and specific deficit reduction plan including cuts and revenues that the President is giving favorable consideration.
So I have six new heroes: Chambliss (R. Ga.), Warner (D. Va.), Coburn (R. Ok.), Conrad (D. N.D.), Crapo (R. Id. - dang! How do those Mormons keep getting in there?), and Durbin (D. Ill.). And I have to admit, once again, some grudging respect for my own Congressman, Rob Bishop, who also refuses to sign the cap, cap and balance pledge. Darn it! But then, we'll see how he votes . . . .
Oh, and this just in. Remember that bit about how money is imaginary? Gold is starting to drop on the President's optimism that we may actually get a deal. Constitutional government and vibrant economies are much more valuable in the long run than yellow metals you can't even eat.