When Republican Newt Gingrich took his place as Speaker of the House in 1995, he made a “Contract With America.” It was supposed to save our country from the future onslaught of liberal policies and return our country to the former constitutional republic it had been.
According to Wikipedia:
Proponents say the Contract was revolutionary in its commitment to offering specific legislation for a vote, describing in detail the precise plan of the Congressional Representatives, and marked the first time since 1918 that a Congressional election had been run broadly on a national level. Furthermore, its provisions represented the view of many conservative Republicans on the issues of shrinking the size of government, promoting lower taxes and greater entrepreneurial activity, and both tort reform and welfare reform.
The “Contract With America” was seen as a tremendous victory for the conservative movement. However, even with such an surge of political activism and a burgeoning political movement-it failed. It failed not because the Contract itself was defective but because we rested on our laurels. The Republicans had reclaimed Congress after forty years of a Democratic majority. However, instead of using that victory to make permanent and lasting changes to our government we simply gave up. We thought we had won the fight and that nothing else was needed.
We are pretty much at the same point 15 years later. In 1995, the Republicans gained their victory because the Clinton Administration was falling apart and Clinton was constantly under attack for charges of misconduct. With Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Whitewater, the Foster suicide among other events, the Clinton Administration was seen as “corrupt.” Even the impeachment of the President was a mere three years away. It was a troubling time. Had the Republicans not won the majority in such conditions-that would’ve been the shocker.
So here we are again with the Obama administration and his flagrant disregard for the Constitution itself, let alone the America people. His approval rating is slipping. Obamacare has turned out to be his biggest mistake which he still refuses to recognize. He has taken over private industry like with GM and he has put the most rabid, radical people in his cabinet, going so far as to create “czar” positions that are accountable only to him. The bailouts, the debt, the birth certificate no one has seen, all these things have made Obama-the worst president ever. With Obama, Pelosi and Harry Reid all under attack, the Democratic party is falling apart. So it is only logical that the conservative movement via the Tea Party is growing exponentially again.
Will we have learned our lesson from 1995 though? Will we take the momentum that we have built over the last decade and waste it? Or will we blow it like we did in 1995? The biggest problem is that everyone wants to be on the winning side, so when they see it is profitable for them to be conservative-they all jump on the bandwagon. When it stops becoming convenient they will abandon it in a minute. This is most especially true of our politicians. It is time we find those who are committed to the conservative cause and place them in the power of leadership. Not just at the federal level, but the local level as well–which has a bigger impact on our day to day lives anyway. It is time to stop falling for the “Contracts with America” and start concentrating on the only “contract” that matters and that is the Constitution. I hope we have learned from our mistakes in 1995 so when we regain the House again, we will peter our chance to make real changes in this country all away.
- Newt Gingrich makes GOP closing argument: No more food stamps (thegrio.com)
- NYT’s Blow: Republicans Better Informed Than Blacks and Hispanics (newsbusters.org)
- ‘Contract With America’: House GOP To Unveil Election-Year Agenda This Week (huffingtonpost.com)
- Return of the ‘Contract With America’ (observer.com)