Beltway Happenings  
July 28, 2010--The Democratic National Committee held a press conference to present what it called the "Republican Tea Party Contract on America."  According to the DNC, the ten-point list is "a compilation of GOP leaders' top priorities, providing Americans with a clear outline of just what the Republican Party will have to offer this fall."  DNC Vice Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) said, "You don't know where the Republican Party ends and the Tea Party begins and vice versa." DNC Chairman Tim Kaine stated, "The choice is clear.  Do we keep moving forward, or do we move backward."
In addition to Chairman Kaine, Reps. Frank Pallone (NJ), Charles A. Gonzalez (TX), Elijah Cummings (MD), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Mike Honda (CA) and Keith Ellison (MN) attended the event.  Coinciding with the press conference, the DNC launched a micro site and a web ad ("One and the Same"). 

The DNC's broad point about some GOP candidates and activists having extreme views is an issue  the Republican Party must face, but to say that this list of ten points represents "GOP leaders' top priorities" is clearly a stretch.  In response to a reporter's question, Kaine stated, "Each of these is sourced and each of these is represented and put out there by people who are standard bearers and marquee candidates or officials..."  As an example, Point 9 "Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency" is attributed to Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul and Kansas Congressional candidate Dave Kind.  Point 10 "Repeal the 17th Amendment" has four sources including the platform of the Idaho Republican Party.  One could equally likely find some extreme views if one sifted through the reporting on and writings of Democratic backbenchers and primary candidates. 

It should be noted that House Republicans are working to develop a 2010 version of the Contract with America; they have been soliciting input through the America Speaking Out website >. Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA) is leading the effort, which is expected to be completed this Fall. Further, there is an actual Tea Party contract, the Tea Party Patriots' "Contract from America."  

Copyright © 2010  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action. All rights reserved.
link to main page