Let Us Now Pledge to Sign Ever More Pledges

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The problem with Twitter is that it’s so full of snark and jocular banter that it’s often hard to tell when something is serious. Then again, maybe this is actually a problem with real life, not with Twitter. Maybe real life has gotten so Onion-esque that it’s hard to tell it apart from a Steven Wright standup routine.

To wit: Yesterday I saw a tweet roll across my screen about the Koch brothers insisting that conservatives fight any climate legislation unless it contained an equivalent tax cut. Hah hah. That’s a laff riot.

But no. It’s real. Of course it is. But here’s what I don’t get: what’s the point? The pledge binds signers to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” But every Republican in Congress has already signed Grover Norquist’s pledge that binds them to oppose any legislation at all that includes a net increase in government revenue. So does this mean we’re going to get a flood of sub-pledges from every wingnut group out there? Republicans must now pledge to oppose any legislation relating to abortion that includes a net increase in government revenue. Ditto for gun control legislation. And healthcare legislation. And environmental legislation. And mass transit legislation. And homeland security legislation. And food stamp legislation. Etc.

Well, why not? They don’t have much else to do, do they?


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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