The New Republican Contract on America Released

Dick-ArmeyThe final stroke in the Republican master plan to retake congress has just been released. It involves a purity list of 10 resolutions that candidates pledge to fulfill, in a mirror of the Contract on America in 1994.

According to the New York Times, “The battle among Republicans over what the party should stand for — and how much it should accommodate dissenting views on important issues — is probably going to move from the states to the Republican National Committee when it holds its winter meeting this January in Honolulu.”

This is the final piece of the puzzle from a playbook that has been identical to the one the Republicans used in 1993-94. This playbook was instrumental in convincing voters in 1994 to give the GOP a chance to pass some major pieces of legislation. The pattern leading up to this announcement was identical at that time to today, and includes the following steps:

*Avoid responsibility for failures of previous Republican administration(s)
*Increase the negativity to create apathy with everyone except an energized base
*Start a whisper campaign to ‘throw the bums out’ and call for term limits
*Make a grandiose list of pledges to supposedly fulfill if they are elected
*Retake congress and hamstring reformer president

The original Contract on America hatched by Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation had a different style and structure, although the principles listed in each are very similar. It was released much later in the campaign cycle as well, 6 weeks before the election to be precise, although certainly contributed to electoral gains by the GOP, and likely allowed them to take both houses of congress for the first time since 1953. This 1994 Contract contained the following provisions:

1. The Fiscal Responsibility Act
2. The Taking Back Our Streets Act
2. The Personal Responsibility Act
4. The Family Reinforcement Act
5. The American Dream Restoration Act
6. The National Security Restoration Act
7. The Senior Citizens Fairness Act
8. The Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act
9. The Common Sense Legal Reform Act
10. The Citizen Legislature Act

Although the list below for today’s version of this is supposed to be a purity test for the Republican funding of candidates, it promises to evolve into a new list of promises meant to entice conservative voters to the polls in the 2010 midterms. There are already dozens of GOP politicians who fail the purity test, including Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. The pledge would also have banished the idol of the right wing in America, and a man who they tried to model this after: Ronald Reagan.

The Republican’s ability to get candidates elected with this extreme of a pledge might prove more problematic this time around, as there has been a generational shift in the country away from the conservative paradigm. The resolution, which needs to be ratified during next month’s GOP winter meeting in Honolulu could still have some modifications, but currently reads:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;
(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run health care;
(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;
(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;
(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and
(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership.

RESOLVED, that a candidate who disagrees with three or more of the above stated public policy positions of the Republican National Committee, as identified by the voting record, public statements and/or signed questionnaire of the candidate, shall not be eligible for financial support and endorsement by the Republican National Committee.

This document has been endorsed by 10 major national Republican players, including former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who now runs FreedomWorks, the well funded group primarily responsible for organizing the 2009 Tea Parties.  This pledge is also likely to cause even greater friction in already strained relations between Republican conservatives and the Libertarians who originally started the Tea Parties during Ron Paul’s grassroots campaign in 2007-2008.

This new list of 10 purity objectives by the Republican Party carries overtones of a more harsh language, and is reminiscent of a resolution last spring to try and rename the Democratic Party as the “Democrat Socialist Party” (ignoring the fact that there is already a DSP in the United States).  Whether this new rhetoric will backfire and energize reform advocates or fire up the GOP’s conservative base is yet to be determined, but it certainly has parallels to the events of 1994.


28 Responses to The New Republican Contract on America Released

  1. Darryl Schmitz November 27, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I don’t know how any MORE “friction” can be generated between the Ron Paul traditional libertarina/Constitutionalist conservatives and the right-wing neo-conservatives that have repeatedly crapped on them (and continue to do so). As a former listener of Limbaugh, Hannity and Liddy, let me warn all of my patriotic fellow Americans of the dangers of some of the smooth-talking anti-Constitutionalists on both the Right and the Left. They are both leading us down the road to national ruin by using the Constitution as their Captiol doormat.

  2. SJD November 27, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Increasingly, the GOP has been spinning themselves into a “hermenutically-sealed” cocoon–in other words, the GOP has been ideologically fleecing themselves from the facts of reality, to such a degree that they increasingly cannot identify reality from their own socio-political delusions. It’s beyond troubling, this state of affairs…. Equally troubling is that very few people see this grim social implosion occuring.

    As a result of all this, to quote philosopher Hannah Arendt, America is drowning in it’s own “breakdown of relations”, which has given way to all kinds of mass delusions…. And a society that cannot separate reality from delusions is one on the cusp of barbarism.

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    • Ole Ole Olson November 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm

      Cool beans. Thx for keeping NJP in the loop on this.

  4. John November 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Yeah, but you actually need to show that you can do that stuff, and not just talk about it. The GOP congress and administration blew the bank during GWB’s term, presided over the largest attack in your country’s history, and is notorious for it’s member’s sexual scandals.

    Will Americans believe them? All past evidence unfortunately points to yes. It’s like watching a crooked Bible salesman having just ripped of a family of hayseeds go out to his car, put on a false mustache, and return to burn them again.

    • Kevitivity November 27, 2009 at 5:47 pm

      If you compare spending now to that was going on during the Bush administration it’s very clear that it’s the Obama administration thats blowing the bank – increasing spending and debt more than two fold.

      • WM November 27, 2009 at 5:59 pm


        • Doren November 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm

          BS, Bush took the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars off the books, Obama put them back on. We will be recovering from GWBs stupidy for many years.

      • pastafarian November 27, 2009 at 6:04 pm

        This is like blaming the firefighter who breaks down the front door of a burning building to try and save those inside of damaging the house. Spend more time studying history and economics and less time attending tee-bag parties! Oh, and reading Palins book doesn’t even count as reading.

  5. Kevitivity November 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I don’t appreciate the moronic bias of these blog posts. Originally it was called the contract “with” America. Was it partisanship or ignorance that misinformed your title?

    • Ole Ole Olson November 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm

      It was commentary on the effects of these policies coupled with a sense of humor.

    • SJD November 28, 2009 at 6:56 pm

      At leat there’s no question that it was “ignorance”, as opposed to “partisanship”, that led you to post your totally pointless comment– which added nothing to the discussion.

  6. Matt Garrett November 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    And when was the last time a pro life Democrat got to speak at the DNC convention? ideological purity my ass.

    • Alec November 27, 2009 at 7:53 pm

      The chairman of the DNC is anti-choice you asshat

  7. Martin November 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    One seems to conflict with six and seven. I will have to know more about five, but they want have my vote until I see something about reforming schools. How many people here can contest to the failing of the education system when they went through it?

    • Alec November 27, 2009 at 7:54 pm

      you can probably “contest” to the failing schools, because the word is attest, as in give testimony, not contest.

      • Martin November 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm

        Thank you.

  8. Christoff November 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Perhaps it should be called the “Contract to Further Destroy America” because that is all they did for the past 8 years while bush 42 was in office.

    They let america get attacked by terrorists.
    Started two wars that have eroded America’s strategic interests and its ability to respond to threats.
    They deregulated to financial sector to the point that it almost collapsed.
    They shredded the constitution, while simultaneously saying they where doing so in protection of our liberty. Im sure the founding fathers are turning in their graves

    can anyone think of anything positive they did?

    • pastafarian November 27, 2009 at 5:56 pm

      I believe they did shower regularly

  9. Ole Ole Olson November 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    OT: note that marketing spam will not be tolerated on this site. I’ve had to delete 2 comments so far. The rest of the comments are great, keep them coming.

  10. David Waters November 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Notice the use of ambiguous words like “smaller” “lower” “less” and “support.” Notice they say NOTHING about restoring the Republic or re-affirming the sanctity of citizenship and the 100% right of each person to first dibs on their earnings.

    They are simply peddling government control with a conservative veneer, nothing more..

    As we libertarians have said for years, “Republicans campaign like Libertarians but they govern like Democrats.”

    • Elisevil November 28, 2009 at 5:42 am

      I guess they campaign like libertarians but they spend way more than Democrats and won’t raise a dime to pay for anything so when the Democrats get the presidency they can’t afford to fix anything because of the insane debt and effed up economy.

  11. JS November 27, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Including a link to the source of wherever you found this would be nice, especially given it hasn’t appeared anywhere else.

  12. robert chapman November 28, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    The ten points of the GOP purity test will be easy for the Dems to refute.

    Nine and ten are topical and easy to refute.

    (9) Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion;

    Current law denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, setting ceilings on annual and life-time health care benefits, restricting drug prescriptions to company formularies are all medical rationing. These measures and the pricing of 43 million Americans out of health care coverage would be stopped under President Obama’s reforms of American Health Insurance. The House of Representatives, the more liberal chamber passed Health Care Reform with a well-publicized provision forbidding federally funded abortions. Only one Republican supported the amendment when it came for a vote.

    (10) The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership

    Cars are potentially lethal, therefore they are registered and operators must be licensed. Sensible people support the same for guns.

    By running on this purity test the GOP will drive away independents.

    2010 is beginning to shape well for the Dems.

    • Revo November 29, 2009 at 10:07 pm

      You notice the word ‘Right’ to keep and bear arms is not substituted to say the ‘Privilege’ to keep and bear arms? A license is a privilege and as well all know privileges can be taken away, rights cannot, rights can only be infringe upon.

      Scissors, microwaves, ovens, kitchen knives, bats, golf clubs etc… Can be potentially lethal therefore should we also register them? By sensible people, do you mean ignoramuses who can’t distinguish a Right from a Privilege?

      DRIVING is a privilege in commercial use, TRAVELING on your property for pleasure or transporting your property in a non-commercial way is a Right!

      Case # 1 – “Even the legislature has no power to deny to a citizen the right to travel upon the highway and transport his property in the ordinary course of his business or pleasure, though this right may be regulated in accordance with the public interest and convenience. – Chicago Motor Coach v Chicago 169 NE 22
      (“Regulated” here means traffic safety enforcement, stop lights, signs, etc. NOT a privilege that requires permission i.e.- licensing, mandatory insurance, vehicle registration, etc.)

      Case # 2 – “The right of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by CAR(riage) or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit or permit at will, but a common right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”- Thompson v Smith 154 SE 579.

      It could not be stated more conclusively that Citizens of the states have a right to travel, without approval or restriction, (license,) and that this right is protected under the U.S. Constitution. Here are other court
      decisions that expound the same facts:

      Case # 3 – “The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the 5th Amendment.” – Kent v Dulles, 357 U.S. 116, 125.

      Case # 4 – “Undoubtedly the right of locomotion, the right to remove from one place to another according to inclination, is an attribute of personal Liberty, and the right, ordinarily, of free transit from or through the
      territory of any State is a right secured by the l4th Amendment and by other provisions of the Constitution.” – Schactman v Dulles, 96 App D.C. 287, 293.

  13. Eric Nordstrom November 30, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Without a doubt, the single party system (republicrats) have gutted what was once a strong nation. It’s the Constitution Stupid! I recommend funding

    TSgt Eric Nordstrom
    McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas

  14. Sam December 2, 2009 at 1:42 am

    (11) Wee wil knot misunderestimate the economony thing

    (12) Wee wil restor cowuption too the Wor street

    (13) Wee wil encorige lobbing off Re-publstican semators

    (14) Wee wil yous FAUX noows too bwain clean the publsic

    (15) Wee wil blaim Bawack Osama fore or oww probleems

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