09/29/2010 04:05 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

GOP Pledge: Repeal Arithmetic!

American students currently rank 25th in math among advanced nations.

The Republican "Pledge to America" will further lower that ranking.


Ever since Barack Obama became president, the Republicans have been shouting "No" to all proposals for improvement and encouraging people to focus on every diversion they can think of, from birth certificates to genetic anti-colonialism, from "death panels" to deficits, from "socialism" to citizenship, from immigrants to mosques.

Now the Republicans have given voters the context that unites these red-state herrings. The "Pledge to America" provides the text behind the GOP con.

The GOP "Pledge to America" is a text composed of cons, a Con-Text.

Reading this Con-Text makes it plain that all the diversions are designed to throw the American people off the trail of the Wall Street bandits who destroyed the economy for their own enrichment.

Perhaps the greatest con is that they campaign on fear of the effects of a growing deficit, yet pledge to maintain tax cuts that will add an estimated 3.7 trillion dollars to that deficit over the next ten years, while also pledging "robust" military spending and specifying only a very few cuts in other programs.

It is reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign in which he said he would begin with a deficit, vastly increase military spending, greatly reduce taxes, maintain the "social safety net" and the result would be a balanced budget. George H.W. Bush correctly called that "voodoo economics" and John Anderson said it could only be done "with smoke and mirrors."

In fact the only way to do it then, as now, is what is implicitly the centerpiece of the Republican Pledge:

A Constitutional Amendment to Repeal Arithmetic.

The winning message for Democrats is very simple:

Republicans say they want to take our country back;

Democrats want to take our country forward.

The choice is yours.