Good news: GOP, conservative leaders, tea partiers all planning separate right-wing manifestos

posted at 8:55 pm on February 16, 2010 by Allahpundit

Actually, the GOP’s manifesto is a list of policies they plan to enact if they take back Congress, but close enough.

Senate Republicans will lay out a 10-point election year agenda this spring, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested on Tuesday morning.

McCain said Republicans would craft a list of 10 legislative pledges which they would seek to enact within the first 60 days of taking back control of Congress, if they were to do so in this fall’s elections.

“We Republicans have to provide — and we will later this spring — a positive vision with what we want to do for the country,” McCain said during an interview on KFYI radio in Arizona.

The Arizona senator said that those 10 promises could include things such as a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and absolute cuts in federal spending.

Let’s count up the documents in the works: (1) The GOP’s policy list; (2) tea partiers’ “Contract from America”; (3) the “Mount Vernon manifesto” being drafted by conservative leaders; (4) Boehner’s “Contract with America” redux; and (5) whatever it is that Michael Steele and the RNC are reportedly drafting. On top of that you’ve got (6) the 2008 Republican Party platform, which the RNC recently reaffirmed as an informal litmus test for prospective Republican candidates, and of course (7) influential freelance statements of principles like Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project.

I understand the impetus behind all this — grassroots conservatives don’t trust the GOP and want to try to bind congressional leaders as best they can to core concerns — but you’re guaranteeing yourself the sort of disappointment that the left is now struggling with vis-a-vis the Blue Dogs. Progressives thought that 60 Democrats meant 60 liberals, or at least 50 liberals plus 10 weak-tea centrists who could be bullied, but of course it hasn’t played out that way. The balance of power is in the center, which is why people like Lieberman continue to be able to dictate terms to Harry Reid. When the GOP regains power (and even in 2012 or 2014, it’s unlikely to be with a 60-seat majority), they’ll face the same problem with Snowe and Collins and Scotty B. Point being, you’re going to have to water down conservative programs to keep moderates like them in the fold or draw off people like Ben Nelson, and watering down programs necessarily means compromising on core principles sometimes. Unless you think you can elect 60 hardcore Reagan Republicans — which, I hasten to add, even Reagan couldn’t do while the Reagan revolution was in full swing — you’re bound to see those principles betrayed. Which isn’t the end of the world: It helps to stick a firm stake in solid conservative ground so that the Republican chieftains who are leashed to it don’t stray too far. But they will stray, because they have to in order to pass legislation. We’re all on the same page about that, yes?

Exit question: What do you guys think about the proposed planks for the “Contract from America”? I like the term limits and sunset provisions, not so crazy about the kooky line that the tax code can’t be longer the Constitution.


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To pass laws for the sake of passing laws, at this point, is to guarantee an ever-expanding pile of legislative garbage.

[cthulhu on February 16, 2010 at 10:01 PM]

Too true.

Dusty on February 16, 2010 at 10:06 PM

I will personally strangle any conservative that splits up the GOP vote. For free.

Coronagold on February 16, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Then you are ignorant. Getting back to our constitution will not be achieved on the backs of the GOP. We WILL have to go through a great deal more pain to get there and the sacrifice is well worth it. It may very well mean several more years of demonrat control to wake the sheep.

melachiro on February 16, 2010 at 10:10 PM

No. They’ve been passing laws for 225+ years — all the best ones were taken long ago. To pass laws for the sake of passing laws, at this point, is to guarantee an ever-expanding pile of legislative garbage.

cthulhu on February 16, 2010 at 10:01 PM

In my vastly underestimated opinion, this is good stuff.

Well worth repeating, (and copy & pasting, and e-mailing, and twittering and tweeting, and bellowing and bleating, and facepaging and mybooking… if you’re into that mess.)

hillbillyjim on February 16, 2010 at 10:22 PM

I agree with Rove, Palin, and even Joe the Plumber. The teaparties are really about getting involved locally. And that’s a great spirit.

Nobody cares about these national manifestos.

AnninCA on February 16, 2010 at 10:24 PM

God forbid that we have a lot of good ideas on the table.

Why oh why can’t we think in lockstep?

disa on February 16, 2010 at 10:54 PM

but you’re guaranteeing yourself the sort of disappointment that the left is now struggling with vis-a-vis the Blue Dogs.

Actually, quite the opposite. The intent is to guarantee that we will NOT suffer that same disappointment, by ensuring that our candidates are actually conservatives. Without coming up with some sort of standard, there’s absolutely no way to know who we’re voting for.

I’d go a step further, asking candidates to sign a binding legal document that pledges that they WILL NOT vote for anything that goes against specific principles. For example, any bill that includes pork not related to the bill’s actual intent, any bill that raises taxes or fees, any bill that raises the budget, or any pay raise for Congress.

Refuse to sign the pledge, and you don’t get elected. Violate the binding contract, you immediately step down, or we drag you out of office and hang you in a public square.

That ought to do it.

Gregor on February 16, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Right, the immediate mission is opposition to the President. “Compromising core values in order to get legislation passed” under a socialist President can only be bad news.

Chris_Balsz on February 16, 2010 at 11:22 PM

For the record, any agreement that McCain signs off on, I’m against. With the exception of him initializing a gift shop copy of the Declaration of Independence. And even then, I might have to check it’s authenticity…..

JeffinOrlando on February 16, 2010 at 11:22 PM

I have an idea, how about all salary and benefits for Representatives, Senators, and their staffs are paid for by their home states? Let’s see how nice their bennies look and how big their staffs are after that….and let’s see how beholding they will be to their States instead of some lobbyist. Just a thought.

saltyrover on February 17, 2010 at 12:10 AM

. Unless you think you can elect 60 hardcore Reagan Republicans — which, I hasten to add, even Reagan couldn’t do while the Reagan revolution was in full swing — you’re bound to see those principles betrayed.

Politics is not the basic problem.

The ultimate solution to the country’s problems is not to change the ratio of Rs to Ds in D.C., no matter what the character or philosophy of those individuals might be. Politics is an effect of much deeper causes. It will be necessary to change the culture; much harder, but absolutely essential for any long-term change.

That means – among other things – changing the content of the educational system in radical ways, and thus neutralizing the Progressive virus that continues to re-infect the body politic year in, year out.

To do that requires showing moderate American parents how their children are being indoctrinated daily. That, in turn, means more idea-communicators with a clearer view of the history and ideas that have brought us where we are, able to get their ears.

It does absolutely no good whatever to feed a few antibiotics to the patient if he lives in filthy, disease-ridden conditions 24/7.

I know it’s all very exciting to sit around and gab about this candidate’s views and that politician’s actions. It creates the (false) hope that we can somehow make big changes very fast. Sometimes you can – look what’s happened in the past year – but those fast changes are almost always negative (or ephemeral at best).

The wrong philosophy got us in this mess. Only the right one can get us out.

JDPerren on February 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

JDPerren on February 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

Yep, the true debate is no longer between Republicans and Democrats…

Or even Conservatives and Liberals…

But between Constitutional Conservatives (ie, those who liked the origional Cons, and its interpretation), and Progresives.

The Left understands this… and they talk about being Progresive all the time… the Repubs however, have no answer.

Romeo13 on February 17, 2010 at 12:21 AM

The Left understands this… and they talk about being Progresive all the time… the Repubs however, have no answer.

Romeo13 on February 17, 2010 at 12:21 AM

sure we do. We cling to our guns and bibles in response

unseen on February 17, 2010 at 12:50 AM

Let’s start a “Hot Air Manifesto”. I’ll start it off:

1. End all poverty immigration, legal and illegal

2. End dual citizenship and force those who have it to choose one and swear off all other allegiances.

3. The federal government will usurp no more powers of the states and will reverse those programs which it has already usurped in defiance of the Tenth Amendment, and it will do so in a timely matter.

Buddahpundit on February 16, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Romeo, you are spot on, it is about the constitutionalists vs the progressives.

Buddah, I would add “end the anchor baby phenomenon”. In other words, if a baby is born to illegal parents here on our soil, they are not granted automatic citizenship. Make the home country of the illegals recognize that baby and give it citizenship. The anchor baby sets up a huge, never ending chain migration and opens up a huge entitlement program for the family because of the anchor baby citizen. It has to stop.

karenhasfreedom on February 17, 2010 at 12:51 AM

Exit question: What do you guys think about the proposed planks for the “Contract from America”? I like the term limits and sunset provisions, not so crazy about the kooky line that the tax code can’t be longer the Constitution.

i love it. There are some things that might be a little too strong, such as the word limit on the tax code, but the reasoning for this is sound. The tax Code should be written for the average to citizen to understand, not some IRS accountant. A streamlined, simplified tax code is a must.

All of the other “contracts” out there basically echo what the Tea Party movement already set forth. I don’t see all the different lists and manifestos as some sort of clusterfrak, they all fall in line with one another, even on many of the smaller details.

The Contract From America would go a long way in limiting Government and forcing it to contract, this is what we want.

Daemonocracy on February 17, 2010 at 12:54 AM

Buddah, I would add “end the anchor baby phenomenon”. In other words, if a baby is born to illegal parents here on our soil, they are not granted automatic citizenship. Make the home country of the illegals recognize that baby and give it citizenship. The anchor baby sets up a huge, never ending chain migration and opens up a huge entitlement program for the family because of the anchor baby citizen. It has to stop.

karenhasfreedom on February 17, 2010 at 12:51 AM

That would require a Constitutional amendment to prevent a baby born on American soil from being a United States citizen. The only way to get around an amendment is to ban all pregnant women from entering the country.

Daemonocracy on February 17, 2010 at 12:56 AM

The only way to get around an amendment is to ban all pregnant women from entering the country.

Daemonocracy on February 17, 2010 at 12:56 AM

Do you see the flaw in this? You would have to ban all pregnant men, women and all others in between from entering the country. Gotta have the PC, doncha know.

hillbillyjim on February 17, 2010 at 1:54 AM

I would pay all of them to go home and not enact any legislation. It will save all of us money and will be better for the Republic.

flytier on February 17, 2010 at 6:24 AM

Here’s my conservative manifesto: kick John McCain and Lindsay Graham OUT of the party. Excommunicate both of these jerks. Who cares what their conservative rating is. They are both so nauseating they diminish our side and neither can be trusted.

I can dream can’t I?

JimP on February 17, 2010 at 6:33 AM

Now is not the time to be talking about compromising our principles to “get things done”. That’s how we ended up with McCain as our nominee. It isn’t ideologically persuasive.

Now is the time to boldly present and fight for our core ideals. And to persuade as many people as possible that our way is the right way, and why.

We can worry about the human fallibility of our candidates who have yet to be elected after they’re in office.

Cylor on February 17, 2010 at 6:37 AM

One law is necessary: a 10 year sunset on all government laws, rules, regulations and any part of the federal government that is not directly mentioned in the US Constitution.

Justify this garbage that has been added on to the federal government.

That means you start to see major portions of the federal government that require people to stand up for them and explain why they are so good when they are so poorly managed, so poorly run, and extremely bloated with pork that you have problems finding the ‘original’ reason for creating it.

The House can agree to go back to Constitutional, proportional representation and NOT a fixed size. I suggest the Constitutional Maximum House at 1:30,000 which would have made our Founders quiver in their seats as THEY didn’t have such a representative government.

Put those two together and in two years you get a huge House of over 9,000 individuals facing major portions of the federal government that need justification and the only people they CAN turn to are the public in their home districts.

You do not need one Amendment to do this: it is legal.

You need will, trust and faith in the American People to quickly comprehend and change their attitude towards government when they are presented with people who are in their neighborhoods asking for help on how to figure this damned thing out. Look at the Tea Party a year ago – it didn’t exist. Do NOT try to tell me that the American People CANNOT pull together and do this for if you do then you are saying you have lost faith in your fellow citizens and the Nation and that we deserve to be ruled, not governed. And that includes the person looking back in the mirror at you every morning.

Two simple laws.

One to get the stuff in the toilet.

The other to pull the handle.

Works for me.

ajacksonian on February 17, 2010 at 7:26 AM

Your cheerful optimism is a refreshing breeze of no-confidence, Allah.

The Other McCain on February 17, 2010 at 7:46 AM

I have an idea! How about the GOP follow just seven simple principles? They’re called Articles. If they would read the Constitution, they would learn of them.

Special K on February 17, 2010 at 8:49 AM

The problem with Allah’s point of view is that he is starting from teh position of compromise and wants the GOP to start there. That is foolish.

You start from a solid conservative position with solid conservative ideas and values, and then, if necessary, compromise from there.

That is what various “manifestos” are all about. Laying out where we want to go, what our ideals are, what our values are.

Then, once there is a GOP majority, hopefully they work toward that end. Yes, along the way compromises will have to be made, some things watered down, etc. Thus, you start to the right and compromise a little to end up center-right.

But, if you follow Allah’s lead, you start from some “moderate” place and then compromise further to the left. Following that lead you always end up center-left. that is not how to pursue and further a conservative agenda. You don’t negotiate from fear and weakness, or you have already lost. And that is what Allah appears to be advocating for.

Monkeytoe on February 17, 2010 at 9:05 AM

AP, why is a tax code that is no longer than the Constitution kooky? The sheer number of taxes, fees, and regulations that we as citizens pay and are required to know is what’s kooky. And so is your attitude about this extortion money our gubmint mafia steals from us so they can redistribute it to sixth generation welfare dregs.

hogfat on February 17, 2010 at 9:13 AM

I have seen only a couple of phrases from any of these manifestos…

Perhaps we need a constitutional convention to join the ideas all into one document.

We do seem to have dueling documents.

What do they have in common? Where do they differ.

I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.

At least our side is trying to base the future on shared values and ideas and writing it down so we can hold politicians responsible.

There is a struggle for who will lead. Right now the documents are leading. And I think that’s a good thing.

We have the makings of a plan forward. And from what I can see a lot of shared values and agreement on where the country went astray.

If we could really make these changes maybe that number of people who say the country is headed in the wrong direction could be lifted.

petunia on February 17, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Article 1 Section 8:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Amendment 10:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

~~~

This is all we need to get back to. We don’t need new initiatives with PO boxes and spokesmen.

Akzed on February 17, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Thank you Allahpundit for making the complexities of the Tea Party Movement simple. I would, also take some of the policy initiatives and simplify them further.

Such as making Civics a requirement from High School, then reviewing and updating all existing laws, when enacting a new law/rule there cannot be any “riders”. Foremost, remind politicians their position it is not a career. When elected to office they must represent us and not do anything unless their constituents requested action on a specific topic.

Then consult with fellow representatives to determine the extent of the problem and if shared by a majority of U.S. take the necessary action to eliminate the obstacles or create innovative means to correct the problems. They are not representing U.S. when they get into office and start putting their names on laws or creating laws that solve a personal problem or crusade.

MSGTAS on February 17, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I have an idea, how about all salary and benefits for Representatives, Senators, and their staffs are paid for by their home states? Let’s see how nice their bennies look and how big their staffs are after that….and let’s see how beholding they will be to their States instead of some lobbyist. Just a thought.

saltyrover on February 17, 2010 at 12:10 AM

That’s good. You know the poorer states will of course be disadvantaged and the richer states will be required to make up the difference. The ‘Won’ likes it when we spread the wealth around.
 
The fun will be watching Montana and Oklahoma* reps argue over who spent less on their staff and offices last year.
* I really wanted to say Texas. I really wanted to. But, honestly if I had, with Cornyn and Hutchison, y’all would have spewed on your screens and it would start a flame war.

Blacksmith8 on February 17, 2010 at 10:05 AM

There is one problem with term limits that we have seen here in California. There are no limits for lobbyists and interest groups, so you have a bunch of smart, dedicated, life-long statists leading newbie politicians around by the nose.

motionview on February 17, 2010 at 10:43 AM

But, if you follow Allah’s lead, you start from some “moderate” place and then compromise further to the left. Following that lead you always end up center-left. that is not how to pursue and further a conservative agenda. You don’t negotiate from fear and weakness, or you have already lost. And that is what Allah appears to be advocating for.

Monkeytoe on February 17, 2010 at 9:05 AM

AP is socially liberal. He would like the Right to stop shoving on social issues, especially, and flex more on spending. This supposed hardship that we must bear to govern is, for him, a jack pot.

Chris_Balsz on February 17, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Want to bet the Dems begin electing less progressives, and take back their own party? Many of them are tired of all this BS, too.

We still need to elect conservatives, because we WILL have to compromise, and always ending up center left will destroy the republic.

jodetoad on February 17, 2010 at 1:55 PM

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