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Help finalize the Contract From America

Posted by Richard on April 5, 2010

For almost a year, Tea Party Patriots, the umbrella organization for hundreds of local tea party groups, has been facilitating the creation of the Contract From America. Unlike the Republicans' 1994 Contract With America, the Contract From America has been a grassroots, bottom-up effort.

The planks were proposed by individuals from all walks of life throughout the country. Local tea party organizations discussed and debated them, helping to winnow the list down. And since January, over 360,000 people have voted for their top priorities. If you haven't, there's still time:

Right now, concerned citizens can visit the Contract FROM America website (www.contractfromamerica.org) and choose their top ten priorities from a list of 21 planks proposed by committed Americans from all walks of life. By asking website visitors to propose and vote on the agenda, the result will be not a list handed down from on high by old-bull politicians, but one handed up from the true grassroots in this country. Once voting is complete on Monday, April 5, 2010, the Contract will be finalized into a blueprint that will serve notice to public officials about what the people want for their future.

The top priority to date, chosen by over 80% of respondents:

Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. (Proposed by: Brooke Storrs, Midland, MI)

Numbers two and three (virtually tied):

Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation's global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (Proposed by: Jan Heinricks, Spring, TX)

Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. (Proposed by: Erik Carter, San Diego, CA)

As Dafydd observed (emphasis in original): 

what the winning plank tells us is that, contrary not only to charges by devious Democrats, ludicrous liberals, and lying lefties, but also by some confusticated conservatives, laughable libertarians, and even asinine anarchists, the Tea-Party popular front is neither "populist" nor "fascist" but simply constitutionalist.

But if you still believe the MSM narrative of tea partiers as racist, misogynist, and homophobic angry white male Christian fundamentalist militia members — well, you might want to look at some recent polling.

According to Politico, much of the leadership of the various tea party groups is female, and a recent Quinnipiac poll found that the majority of the membership may be female, too. A Gallup poll released today found that tea party supporters were in most respects "quite representative of the public at large." Quinnipiac and Gallup aren't exactly right-leaning pollsters. 

Rasmussen — generally considered a more right-leaning pollster (largely because he surveys likely voters instead of just registered voters or all adults, like many other pollsters) — reported today that, although only 16% of voters identify themselves as part of the tea party movement, 48% of them think the average tea party member is closer to their views, while only 44% think the President is closer to their views.

So here's my take: The tea party movement is all about the Constitution, limited government, fiscal conservatism, and individual liberty. And it's becoming the new mainstream.

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