Sunday, February 21, 2010

Parties to the Contract

An organization called the Tea Party Patriots, comprising a number of conservative grassroots groups, has unveiled a list of 20 possible items for inclusion in a new “Contract from America,” and is urging people to visit its web site and vote for their top ten. The list is distinct from another effort to define what conservatives should stand for going into the 2010 elections: the Mount Vernon Statement. Contract from America, like its namesake, 1994’s Contract with America, mentions specifics, whereas the Mount Vernon Statement limits itself to broad principles. Both of these efforts are distinct from an official GOP effort to draft a positive agenda statement for the 2010 races, an effort that Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California is heading up. The problem with specific policy proposals is getting sufficiently broad agreement within the Republican party while still actually standing for something. The Tea Party Patriots present a mixed bag — some proposals that shouldn’t have trouble attracting broad support, some that might be more divisive, and some that could attract all the theoretical support in the world and still not come to more

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