Monday, February 22, 2010

It Worked Once

As a rule, I am in favor of recycling. I even separate my trash, and I bring my own grocery bags (made from recycled plastic bags) to the store each week. It just seems like the right thing to do. Recycling ideas, however, rarely is such a good deal, yet that is apparently just what Republicans are going to do this election cycle. They are bringing back the "Contract For America." In fact, right now, they are bringing back several versions, each claiming to be the new and improved form.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Conservative strategists centered the 1994 Republican campaign on a "Contract with America." This year, GOP leaders in the House have pledged to issue their own, updated version of that agenda, which is widely credited with having helped Republicans focus their message and win a historic victory.

But this time, the declaration of principles that House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio has promised will have to play in a crowded field.

A version of the tea party-backed "Contract From America" was unveiled last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual showcase of leaders and activists on the right. The unveiling came a day after another group -- including many of the elders of conservatism -- announced their own manifesto, dubbed the Mount Vernon statement after its signing at a library near George Washington's estate.

I get the impression that the Republicans are still having problems unifying the party. I mean, how many contracts does one need during? And whatever happened to the idea of a party platform?

Reflecting that lack of unity, former Republican House leader Dick Armey, now a leading voice of the limited-government, anti-tax tea party movement, said the tea party contract wouldn't be necessary "if Republicans had the credibility to do it themselves. They don't." [Emphasis added]

Ah, Mr. Armey has noticed that his party still has a few moderates. Well, this should root them out. Mr. Armey also has expressed a preference. He likes the "Contract From America." Catchy name, no?

Armey's Washington-based advocacy group, FreedomWorks, has endorsed the "Contract From America," which bills itself as culled from the collective wisdom of Internet activists. Its organizer, Houston attorney Ryan Hecker, has been soliciting policy ideas through a website for months and has selected 22 that will be narrowed to 10 through an online vote. [Emphasis added]

Even though Mr. Hecker didn't invite me to express my opinion (I am, after all, an Internet activist--I'm a blogger), I did go over to his website. The general titles of each entry are pretty innocuous, the details are a bit more revealing. Go visit. It's enlightening, after a fashion.

Although I suspect this is mere gimmickry on the part of an energized ultra-conservative wing of the party, I also admit that it worked in 1994. The question now is whether Americans can be sold this bill of goods in November. Stranger things have happened, after all. We "elected" George W. Bush twice.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

... formerly known as the Contract On America.

7:08 AM  

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