Newt 2010: How I’d Create a New ‘Contract With America’Submitted by bobbyw24 on Sun, 01/31/2010 - 19:39
I) A Contract Has to Be Real
A contract is NOT a platform:
• A platform says we are for something and we may or may not get it done.
• A contract is an explicit commitment to act. (The original Contract with America was eight reforms of Congress we promised to pass our first day and 10 pieces of legislation we promised to vote on in the first 100 days.)
Thus, contracts are much harder to develop than platforms, most notably because a contract requires legislative language.
Every House Republican should get a copy of the book Contract with America: The Bold Plan by Rep. Newt Gingrich, Rep. Dick Armey, and the House Republicans to Change the Nation. Ed Gillespie and Bob Schellhas edited the surprise 11-week best-seller.
House Republicans should note first that the contract takes up only five pages of the book, but the actual legislation takes up 140 pages.
With Armey’s dedicated leadership (and the extraordinary support of his team, including Kerry Knott, Ed Gillespie, Ginni Thomas, and others), the key leaders of the House Republican Conference had drafted the actual legislative language and introduced it in Congress so it was available to the public.
We had an enormous advantage in 1993-1994 because no one believed we could be a majority. Therefore members were not as protective and territorial about writing the bills as they would have been if they thought the bills actually were going to be voted on.
If Leader John Boehner and Whip Eric Cantor decide to put forth a Contract with America for the 2010 elections, they will have a much bigger challenge than Armey and I had. Because of the memory of the 1994 success, members and their staffs will take the possibility of becoming a majority much more seriously, and they will argue over the details much more intensely.
After all, when we were designing the original Contract with America, the only Republican in Congress who had served in a Republican majority was Bill Emerson of Missouri. And he had served as a congressional page.
II) An Alternative Party — Not an Opposition Party
entire piece at