One way 2010 is different from 1994

The running theme for this year’s midterm elections will be about whether we’ll see a repeat of 1994, when voters wiped out Democrats’ congressional majorities after, among other things, the dud that was HillaryCare. One difference, however, is how voters are engaging with politicians.

Look no further than this Web site by the Tea Party Patriots, which puts an interesting twist on one of 1994’s dominant features. Rather than a “Contract With America” offered by a political party, this group wants to create a “Contract From America” and invite candidates to sign up to it.

Candidate pledges are nothing new. But the Contract From America is novel in its effort to construct a wide-ranging national political platform from the bottom-up. This is grassroots writ broad.

Visitors to the Web site can contribute ideas, vote on them and prioritize them: Voters use a scale of 1-10 to rank the importance of a specific issue, rather than just saying thumbs-up or -down. The resulting priority list (so far — the process is still under way) is intriguing.

Replacing the income tax and IRS with the FairTax is No. 1 by a healthy margin. But, contrary to the caricature of tea partiers, few of other most popular ideas relate to taxes. Far more are about spending, and changing the way government works.

Some relate to Congress: prohibit “unrelated amendments” from bills; institute term limits; bar members of Congress from exempting themselves from the bills they pass or granting themselves “lifetime salary or benefits.”

A few relate to energy policy: “Drill here, drill now”; expand nuclear energy; vote against cap-and-trade.

The project has still attracted relatively few participants, so it’s way too early to call it a phenomenon. But the recent history of tea-party activism suggests that it will pick up momentum and perhaps factor significantly in this year’s elections.

At the very least, it’s an experiment in turning politics upside-down.

28 comments Add your comment

jconservative

January 26th, 2010
4:48 pm

Interesting. While I am not a “tea partier” I have been an active wager of war on the practice of cutting taxes and increasing spending that has been going on since 1981.

My problem with the tea party leadership is their refusal to be honest with the American people. In the public interviews I have seen/heard all call for a stop of deficit spending. OK, that is wonderful. Where are you going to cut? If not cut, where are you going to stop the growth of spending? Will you reverse tax cuts to help reverse deficit
spending? Rhetoic is great, but it is difficult to vote for someone who will not give his position on concrete solutions.

You want to cut the deficit? OK. Cancel Obama’s tax cuts from last March and no more tax cuts or tax increases. Change the registration for Medicare from 65 years of age to a sliding scale that will in 2 years have the age raised to 67. Cut the defense budget, remember the base closings?, close some more including overseas bases. Pull everyone out of Iraq.

Now the budget is balanced and no more deficit!

But this will not happen will it? Why? Because no politician looking for re-election will support such a program. But it did happen once before under Clinton & a Republican congress. Remember?

Michael H. Smith

January 26th, 2010
5:25 pm

The Tea Party and Independents are turning election tides. I’m not part of the Tea Party presently but I’m watching them closely, applaud and support many of their efforts. Of course, The Tea Party is presently only a movement, who knows if they will actually become viable political Party? Nevertheless, this movement as it now stands – however slandered by the tea-bagger vulgarities of the insignificant progressively-socialist liberal label-meisters – cannot now be ignored and remains a growing force with which both major Parties must give heed.

However, if I were reading the political Tea Leaves the Tea Party could prove to be either the best or the worst thing ever happen to the Republican Party: For the Republican Party shall reform or it shall perish. That verdict will likely be read November 2010.

Intown Lib

January 26th, 2010
5:40 pm

Ignored or not, their ideas are poor public policy decisions. That’s not libel (or slander) because it’s true.

Michael H. Smith

January 26th, 2010
6:02 pm

…Begging to differ in reply to a reply: Not all their ideas are bad. Most all of what the socialist liberal Democrats have in the way of ideas is bad as well; and that too, is also true.

Smashsmeesha Bobeesha

January 26th, 2010
9:58 pm

“Ignored or not, their ideas are poor public policy decisions.”

All said while democrats lose election after election.

Intown Lib

January 26th, 2010
11:41 pm

The Dems lost a couple governorships and one Senate seat. The Republican circle jerk needs to be put into perspective. Alot can happen in 10 months.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 27th, 2010
12:07 am

How many of those people who went into office in 1994, claiming to support term limits, are still there?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 27th, 2010
7:45 am

Interesting note, thanks for info Kyle. I am a tea-party wannabe – unable to attend any of the tea parties due to business conflicts, but I like all of their ideas. I wish we had one running against Johnny.

Chris

January 27th, 2010
8:08 am

The Democrats in 2010 will now put the GOP as “Baggers, Birthers, and Blowhards”. That is their strategy and is part of their countroffensive after the losses suffered from the Presidential election.

Given their attacks on FOX News have renewed, it would not surprise me his minions expand their attacks to ALL of FOX, including FSN and FOX 5 in Atlanta.

Churchill's MOM

January 27th, 2010
8:21 am

Surprise both of our Socialist Senators voted for the plan to create a bipartisan commission to tackle the nation’s budget problems. One of the first targets of any debt reduction will be Saxby’s Farm Bill. Hopefully some type of budget freeze will come out of this mess.

I do not understand why Obama’s budget freeze plan does not include foreign aid, I think we should cut it in half today, we would have middle east peace with in a month.

Rag Man, you have my vote & check if you run against Johnny the Socialist.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012601270.html

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
8:34 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 27th, 2010
7:45 am

Agreed with one exception. Would rather see Saxboy go down first.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 27th, 2010
9:11 am

Dear Mom, thanks, but too many skeletons in my closet, plus if I ran it would be too easy for the gendarmes and process-servers to find me. Better stay here in the Florida swamp.

Dear Horace, while your sentiment is totally valid, fulfillment of your specific desire would require re-election of the currently-running RINO.

LA

January 27th, 2010
9:13 am

Well Kyle, I got myself banned from Bookmans blog. He never did say “why” I was banned. I guess liberals don’t like free speech after all.

He’s got a guy who calls himself AmVet who called me troll, reitch-winger, lame a$$, talibaptist etc……..

Yep, liberals love themselves some free speech.

LA

January 27th, 2010
9:14 am

Kyle, this is probably the best article I’ve read so far about the Republicans.

The New Republican

How to build the GOP’s next generation.

Their party was out of ideas and out of office. It had grown preposterously out of touch, a caricature of economic irresponsibility and elite, Washington-dinner-party values. Then along came Bill Clinton to return Democrats to the political center and teach them how to win.

For the party seared by McGovern, Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis, the birth of the “New Democrat” in 1991 was a renaissance. Clinton was not afraid to march over the traditionally Republican ground of tax cuts, deficit reduction, and welfare reform to advance the Democratic party from its Dark Ages. In its founding documents, the Clinton-inspired Democratic Leadership Council reaffirmed “Jefferson’s belief in individual liberty and capacity for self-government,” a credo with which no Republican could quarrel. He even “put people first,” taking on Washington “insiders” with his optimistic, good-ole-boy populism.

Unfortunately for his party, the 42nd president had not finished unpacking before he tilted left and fell off the New Democratic wagon, so a Republican majority was sent to Congress to supervise. Re-inspired to steer his party to the center, Clinton memorably declared that “the era of big government is over.” “Our job here,” he told a joint session of Congress, “is to expand opportunity, not bureaucracy, to empower people to make the most of their own lives, and to enhance our security here at home and abroad. We must not ask government to do what we should do for ourselves.”

Clinton won and re-won the center, but his theft brought howls from Republicans. David Broder of the Washington Post wrote, “Clinton pirouetted and placed himself at the head of the fiscal responsibility parade.” He called the man from Hope, Ark., “a master at such publicly justifiable thievery.” Bill Clinton changed the political dynamic, resuscitating his party and confronting Republicans with a new generation of opponent. Fiscally irresponsible limousine lefties, far removed from the working class, were no longer easy pickings at the poker table. Deal New Democrats in.

http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=MTQ4YzQzNzgyMjQ0ZjQ1NGIxNGE5YzM3MzE5MjA3ZTg=

dewstarpath

January 27th, 2010
9:15 am

Smashsmeesha –

“you ma’am (jefferson), should learn proper English
(for “theirselves”).”

Agreed.
And you, Ms. Axelfraud, should stick to your original
post “identity”.

Smashsmeesha Bobeesha who used to be David Axelfraud

January 27th, 2010
9:19 am

dewstarpath,

Is this better?

LA

January 27th, 2010
9:22 am

Here is some great news.

Poll: GOP primary for US Senate seat in Fla. a tie

Former Florida legislator Marco Rubio has closed the gap in the race for the state’s Republican U.S. Senate nomination and is in a virtual dead heat with Gov. Charlie Crist, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Rubio, a lawyer who served as Speaker of the House, was once considered a long shot against Crist, who has widespread name recognition and a significant fundraising lead. But with Florida’s primary seven months away, Rubio was favored by 47 percent compared with 44 percent who preferred Crist — statistically a tie in the Quinnipiac University poll that has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8

dewstarpath

January 27th, 2010
9:22 am

- One big way 2010 is different from 1994 is that
in ‘94, the war in Iraq was over actions (Saddam attempting
to turn Kuwait into Iraq’s 19th province) and not phantom
terrorists and WMD’s, and the participants in the “Contract
on America” duped their constituents into thinking they were
credible.

LA

January 27th, 2010
9:23 am

‘The Fix Was In’: Obama Donor Gets Sweetheart Real Estate Deal in Chicago

With much-publicized ties between President Barack Obama, the SEIU labor union and the ACORN volunteer organization, it would be a safe assumption that someone with a business relationship with not just one, but both of those groups would have an inside track on doing business with an Obama associate.

http://biggovernment.com/2010/01/26/the-fix-was-in-obama-donor-gets-sweetheart-real-estate-deal-in-chicago/

LA

January 27th, 2010
9:25 am

Another big way 2010 is different than 1994 is the fact that Bill Clinton was a lot smarter and had more experience than Obama does.

Bottom line: The country hates liberals.

Churchill's MOM

January 27th, 2010
9:27 am

Saxby the Socialist in POLITICO

Obama is expected to step in quickly with an executive order creating his own fiscal commission. But among Republicans themselves, there was a sense of regret and missed opportunity.

“If we’re going to do anything about spending, that’s the way you’re going to get it done,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) told POLITICO.

“To those who voted ‘no,’” Graham said, “you have an obligation to sit down and resolve this problem in a bipartisan manner.”

LA

January 27th, 2010
9:33 am

CNN POLL

George Bush laugh: Heh heh heh

Do you plan to watch President Obama’s first State of the Union address?

No 58% 47344

Yes 42% 34724

Total votes: 82068

LA

January 27th, 2010
9:35 am

Obama is destroying the democrat party. So sad…………:(

Democrats Must Hang Together
Vulnerable Lawmakers Likely Won’t Have The Option Of Running From The President

http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/ol_20100126_8953.php

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 27th, 2010
9:49 am

Dear LA, glad to see that you landed here. I enjoy your posts.

LA

January 27th, 2010
10:23 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

Be sure to inform the liberal goons over on Bookmans non-free speech blog that I’m over here.

Tell AmVet, Mrs. Gadzilla and the other liberal obamabots that I said hello.

Also, if you could do me a favor and ask Bookman just why he banned me. He never did say.

dewstarpath

January 27th, 2010
10:24 am

LA – Jan. 27 – 9:25 am

– If you are going to speak for the whole country,
you should use a handle that’s a little more descriptive,
don’t you think ? (And I don’t mean the name of a public
official).

Smashsmeesha – I have to say I’m genuinely impressed.
I mean that as a complement.

Jefferson

January 27th, 2010
11:04 am

Dearie Smith

I been contacting elected people for years about property and school taxes, so I am involved and I don’t need no union(politcal) to speak for me and I vote everytime. The problem I have with the tea group is where were you folks 10 years ago? You just pop up now makes it look suspect to me. This is not new but the President is. The congress is the problem. Prove yourself local otherwise it just looks like a bunch of yo yo s with no solutions just complaints.

I have no problem with their right to protest peacefully, just don’t cause me to be late to work.

LA

January 27th, 2010
12:29 pm

“If you are going to speak for the whole country,
you should use a handle that’s a little more descriptive,
don’t you think ? (And I don’t mean the name of a public
official). ”

I don’t have to. Obama has helped his party lose seats.