On Fox News Sunday this morning, host Chris Wallace noted that the GOP’s “Pledge To America” has been widely panned even by conservatives. In response, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who played a lead role in drafting the Pledge, claimed that two publications praised his plan:
WALLACE: Congressman McCarthy, a number of conservatives aren’t buying this. Let’s take a look at what Erick Erickson, of the conservative website RedState had to say about this document. He said “it is full of mom-tested, kid-approved pablum that will make certain hearts on the right sing in solidarity. But like a diet full of sugar, it will actually do nothing but keep making Washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high.”
MCCARTHY: But National Review says it’s bolder than the Contract of ’94. Wall Street Journal says it will do more to shrink the federal government. It’s like when the Contract came out. There’s going to be attacks on both sides.
McCarthy misrepresents the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page’s reaction to the Pledge. In truth, the WSJ gave a the Pledge a decidedly mixed review, stating that the pledge is “less specific in offering new ideas than was the GOP’s 1994 Contract with America,” and it attacks the Pledge for its unambitious approach to earmarks, health care and tax policy.
The conservative National Review did indeed praise the Pledge, as “compelling,” “praiseworthy,” and “a shrewd political document,” but that’s only half the story. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, the National Review‘s hagiographic editorial was prearranged with GOP leadership. One Republican aide called the editorial a “political blowjob.”
There’s a reason why McCarthy could only cite one source that wholeheartedly endorses his party’s trainwreck of a plan. The National Review‘s political fellatio aside, public reaction to the GOP Pledge has been almost universally negative.