- - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pledges and promises are nothing new in politics. Perhaps the most famous pledge in politics today is the pledge that was authored by Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform, where candidates pledge they will not raise taxes.

It is time for Republicans to make a new pledge. This pledge needs to come from the top and every incumbent Republican in the Senate or the House needs to agree to this pledge.

What is the pledge?

The pledge is that the Republicans in Washington will not allow a lame duck session of Congress.

A lame duck session is a session that happens after the election. Those contested races are decided and many senators and congressmen know, that in January, they won’t be in Congress.

A lame duck session is simply an audition for a senator or congressman’s new employer.

A senator or congressman who is on his or her way out, owes their constituents nothing. This is one of the reasons our founding fathers did not include term limits in the Constitution.

If things go as expected, the gavel will be passed in the Senate in January 2015 from the Democrats to a Republican majority leader. So why would the GOP want to come back for a lame duck session?

What benefit could the GOP possibly get out of it?

The main issue that seems to be lurking under the surface for a lame duck session is amnesty. Harry Reid would love to pass amnesty. He might not ever get the majority leader’s seat back but he knows that if amnesty is passed, within a few years the Democrats will have a permanent super-majority.

The Democrats would gain something from a lame duck but what would the Republicans gain?

Conservatives are distrustful at best of the Republican Party. Conservatives listened as Tom Donohue, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday told the Republican Party to either pass amnesty this year or not bother running candidates in 2016.

Most conservatives sat back with the belief that the GOP was receiving their orders from the Chamber of Commerce.

The Republican Party is walking a tight rope right now. Many observers have called it a civil war.

That observation is pretty close. The GOP needs the conservative base. It will never win without the conservative base and the conservative base has huge trust issues with the Republican Party establishment.

If the Republican Party is serious about trying to reach out to conservatives, as opposed to the norm of telling them to sit down, shut up, send money and punch the right button, then it is going to have to do something significant to restore that trust.

A meaningful pledge from the Republican leadership would be a good start. The pledge does not have to be complicated. It is a pledge that should be supported by every Republican senator, congressman and candidate.

The pledge is this: There will be no lame duck session.

Senators will not return for a lame duck session and the House of Representatives will not be called back into session for a lame duck session.

If the Republican Party is serious about reaching out to its base, here is the starting point.

No lame duck session.

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