We do not need another “Contract with America”

We really don’t. The previous one was OK I guess, but as a conservative, I figured the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the following Amendments make a pretty good contract. Heck, the congress-critters even swear an oath to support and defend it.

Derek Hunter over at Big Government does not really think it’s a good idea either, but has a different perspective.

A large group of Republican nominees this year are as much about anti-Washington sentiment as they are anti-Democrat. Washington insiders drafting a campaign platform in an attempt to obtain relevance in races where they are not involved or needed can only cause problems for candidates running well.

The oath. The only thing even mentioned is the Constitution.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

If they swear an oath to supporting and defending the Constitution, and elect to ignore what I believe to be the most important sections including Article 1, Section 8 and the 10th Amendment, what good will a new “Contract with America” – certainly to be re-branded – be, especially if the Republicans don’t even have to sign the document?

Prediction: Does anyone remember the name of that contract or manifesto that was launched earlier this year at Monticello in Virginia (I think)? I’m serious …

It was/is called the Mount Vernon Statement (I had to hunt for it online), and gosh knows Mark Levin is one of my heroes, but the concept really never went to far. (It was Mount Vernon, not Monticello…) What about the Contract For America? What about the many “TEA Party Manifestos” I’ve seen out there?

I’m not saying these documents are worthless, I’m just noting they seem to come and go.

This founding document – the Constitution of the United States – covers every imaginable scenario specifically because it leaves most governing powers to the states and the people. It does not come and go. It is not a living document.

Sept. 17 was Constitution Day. We must encourage a resurgence of understanding about this wonderful document … not just individual sentences, rather the document as a whole and as it was presented to us. Don’t be afraid of it … it’s totally awesome and the answers are within.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. PatRiot on September 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    AMEN !  And thank you Steve 

    Time to get back in touch with the original documents.  http://www.nccs.net/   $33 for 100 pocket size.

    We know the pattern  "It's broken.  But instead of fixing it, or enforcing it, ignore it.  We will wholesale replace it.

    Proof?  Health care,  Arizona law on illegal immigration,  etc…

    It is Washington's agenda to make sweeping changes. 

    It is up to the American people to bring the focus back to the principles and documents that made us great.  Press Washington to abide by their oaths and live up to the high standards of the Constitution.             

  2. Dimsdale on September 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I second that!

  3. chris-os on September 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Look what happened with the last "Contract with America"-we took a huge hit and went down the tubes.

    How about naming this one correctly…"Contract on America"

  4. Steve M on September 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Come now Chris. Tell me what part of the 1994 Contract with America – from 16 years ago – resulted in the US taking a "huge hit and went down the tubes?"

    Here were the eight reforms Republicans promised to pass the first day…

    – require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply to Congress;

    – select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;

    – cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;

    – limit the terms of all committee chairs;

    – ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;

    – require committee meetings to be open to the public;

    – require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;

    – guarantee an honest accounting of the Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.

    Then we have the 10 pieces of legislation they wanted to pass in the first 100 days. Some did not pass, some were watered down.

    Personally, I do not think it did much to help Republicans take the House and Senate in 1994, yet to say it destroyed us is a very far reach … way out there.

  5. chris-os on September 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    And all those clauses of that contract were implemented-don't remember…,

    I DO remember corporate welfare for exxon mobil, no bid contracts, Enron…..

    Oh and cheating on his wife while attacking clinton…

    umm, was he thrown out of congress with  $300k FINE??

  6. Anne-EH on September 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    The new docuement in question is called: "Pledge To America".

  7. Lynn on September 23, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Steve, As always you are right! Sixteen pages to make a contract? of course, the oath is perfect! Today, AP has printed the White House propaganda and the spin makes Republicans look petty and dodging the questions of Social Security while balancing the budget. Why can't they just tell everyone to read Paul Ryan's book? This will do nothing to help the GOP and right now, that is our only HOPE.

  8. Odonna on September 23, 2010 at 5:38 am

    This is one of the rare times that I have to disagree.  Since the media is so committed to repeating the mantra that the Republicans have no ideas, I think the Repubs have to get their message (s) out any and every way they can.  I like hearing specifics, that at least can be a start.  The Pledge does begin with a reaffirmation of adherance to the Constitution, including the Tenth Amendment, as well as to the philosophical underpinnings of the Declaration of Independence.  All officials take the Oath, but it obviously means different things to them philosophically, or they don't take it seriously.  It's too easy for candidates to parrot trendy slogans that we read into what we hope it means.  Give me specifics.  What does that translate into for you?  And what are your priorities for implementation?

    The tough part will be for the public to pay attention and to hold them to it over many years, and reducing over time the blocking "progressives" in both parties who will still be there.

  9. April Lynn on September 23, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Many mixed feelings.  I still think that the Republicans, do not get it either, although they are not so much off base as Democrats.  There is no mention of specifics or Paul Ryan.   We've already clearly seen what "rhetoric" can do and doesn't do.  I think it gives a boost and good to see a commitment, however, what is said and what is done, will be the true telling.

  10. sammy22 on September 23, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Implementation is key. Neither side is good at it.


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