Tomorrow, House Republicans are set to release their “governing agenda” — a Contract with America that is more than just a campaign tool, drawing as it does on 30 years of history.
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This new generation watched Arlen Specter collapse in the polls in Pennsylvania, not because of his “moderate” views on social issues, but immediately following his vote for the Obama stimulus spending program. This was followed by longtime Senator Bob Bennett of Utah losing in the party convention and being denied the right to even run in the primary because of his bragging about bringing federal spending back to Utah.
Republicans running for re-election this November all went through the gauntlet of the August 2009 town hall meetings where the usual staid gatherings of 50 folks morphed into 500 person rallies that gave standing ovations to promises to oppose Obamacare and earmarks. That is a level of positive feedback for limited government usually reserved for speeches about tax cuts and gun rights. Sitting Republicans all know the fate of South Carolina’s Bob Inglis who, after supporting a carbon tax and the financial bailout, tried to speak before a Tea Party rally and was booed off stage before God and man and YouTube. He lost his primary in June.
Lastly, the history of the Contracts of 1980 and 1994 demonstrates that the contract is a powerful governing document, not just a campaign tool. Challenges stemmed from the failure of Reagan to present an agenda beyond “Morning in America” in 1984 and the refusal of Republicans to create and impose a new contract in 1996 on both Congress and their presidential candidate. The “failure” of the contract was the failure to impose its discipline each and every election year.
A political contract between a chastened Republican Party and the American people will lead to Republican wins in 2010, but more importantly will force those same Republicans to govern the same way they campaigned on the spending issue.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?