A New Contract with America; the Republican Opposition Needs to Offer a National Agenda

Article excerpt


Families around the country forced to cut back to make it through the tough economic times are right to be upset that politicians in Washington have no interest in exercising similar fiscal discipline. This disconnect between the public and elected leaders has manifested itself in a growing Tea Party movement that should leave many holding the reins of power today wondering what they might be holding after November.

According to a CNN survey released Wednesday, 63 percent of registered voters think most members of Congress deserve to lose their jobs. Such anti-Congress sentiment rarely touches a voter's own representative, who tends to be protected by the goodwill that comes from delivering earmarks and local goodies at general taxpayer expense. The poll holds troubling news even for those members, with 44 percent of the public saying their own congressman ought to experience the unemployment line. This figure is significantly higher than at any time since CNN's pollsters began asking the question in 1991.

The throw them all out trend is quite understandable. The public is tired of hearing the same bland generalities and empty promises from its elected leaders. Two Republican congressional primary challengers think they have a solution. Phil Troyer from Indiana and Liz Lauber of Missouri are former Capitol Hill staffers inspired to run for office after their representatives voted for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. They propose a Compact With America, not unlike the famous contract that brought the Republican Party a sweeping congressional victory in 1994.

The idea, Mr. Troyer and Mrs. Lauber told The Washington Times, is not just to stand against government, but to stand for something. …