conservative

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: The Limited-Government Big Tent

By Michael G. Franc

In February an impressive cross-section of national conservative leaders, including one Kathryn Lopez of NRO fame, released the Mount Vernon Statement. This succinct document eloquently sets forth the tenets of constitutional conservatism. To me, its most significant passage is the one that summarizes how the “natural fusion” provided by America’s founding principles unites the various traditions of modern American conservatism:

[Constitutional conservatism] reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.

The Contract From America sets forth a similar case for limited government, arguing: “When our government ventures beyond [those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people] and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.”

Its policy platform calls on lawmakers to first, do no harm: repeal Obamacare, jettison the regulatory nightmare of cap-and-trade, and reject tax increases of any kind. On the proactive side, the Contract calls on Congress to approve a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, a “simple and fair single-rate tax system,” an “all of the above” energy policy that would revive domestic energy production, an end to earmarks, and a hard cap on overall federal spending.

Continue reading at National Review Online

Grassroots Activists Help Launch Historic “Contract from America”

Download a hardcopy of the official press release here.

On April 15th, hundreds of local Tea Party and limited government groups around the country will join together to announce the launch of the “Contract from America,” a grassroots legislative blueprint for 2010 and beyond. Originally proposed by Ryan Hecker, a Houston Tea Party activist and National Coordinator for the initiative’s chief organizing group Tea Party Patriots, this project is intended to present a different kind of agenda for our federal lawmakers: unlike the Contract with America introduced in the 1990s, everyday citizens proposed and voted on every plank of the Contract from America.

Grassroots activists from across the country visited the website to choose their top ten priorities from a list of 21 action items that committed Americans from all walks of life proposed. The top ten issues comprise the final Contract. By asking website visitors to propose and vote on the agenda, the result is not a list handed down from on high by old-bull politicians, but one handed up from the true grassroots in this country. After garnering nearly half a million votes in less than two months, the Contract from America has now been finalized into a blueprint that will serve notice to public officials about what the people want for their future.

And the top ten are…

1. Protect the Constitution
2. Reject Cap & Trade
3. Demand a Balanced Budget
4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington
6. End Runaway Government Spending
7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
9. Stop the Pork
10. Stop the Tax Hikes

We are proud to join with millions of Tea Party activists across the country to announce the arrival of the Contract from America and the exit of elected officials who continue to ignore calls for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally-limited government, and free markets.

NATIONAL POST: U.S. Tea Party to Focus on the Economy

While spending the weekend in Ottawa getting up to speed on the Canadian conservative movement, I was heartened to read this article today about the evolution of the conservative movement south of the border.

Apparently Tea Partiers have decided to focus on economic issues and eschew social conservatism as the basis of their movement. They are crafting a “Contract from America”, modeled on the Republican Contract With America, which successfully advanced a number of conservative reforms, including welfare reform, when the GOP controlled Congress in the 1990’s.

“We should be creating the biggest tent possible around the economic conservative issue,” said Ryan Hecker, the organizer behind the Contract From America. “I think social issues may matter to particular individuals, but at the end of the day, the movement should be agnostic about it. This is a movement that rose largely because of the Republican Party failing to deliver on being representative of the economic conservative ideology. To include social issues would be beside the point.”

Don’t know what this will mean for Sarah Palin, but it is heartening to those who feel that fiscal prudence, not hot button moral issues, should be at the core of rebuilding the American right.

Some of the Contract’s planks include:

  • Doing away with earmarks
  • Limiting the growth of federal spending to inflation plus the percentage of population growth
  • Requiring a two-thirds majority for any tax increase
  • Scrapping the tax code and replacing it with one no longer than 4,543 words (a number chosen to match the length of the Constitution, unamended. I wish them luck on that one.)

While social conservative issues are still being discussed, they are not dominating the agenda as they have been in the Republican Party. A survey of 50 leaders of the movement revealed that none of them put social issues as the Party’s number one priority. Most named the “budget” or “economy/jobs”.

Continue reading at the National Post

CBN: ‘New Guard’ Conservatives Pack CPAC Event

By David Brody

The Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., has a new feel this year, primarily because of the Tea Party movement spreading across the U.S.

The annual event, which kicked off Feb. 18, gives conservatives a chance to come together and discuss ideas on how to win future elections.

It didn’t take long for this year’s CPAC to get humming. Marco Rubio, an up-and-coming conservative prominent in the Tea Party movement, was the event’s first speaker.

Rubio is running for the Florida Senate, taking on the more moderate and popular Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

Rubio was 30 points down in the polls, but has now pulled ahead. And despite Crist’s attempt to question Rubio’s conservative credentials, Tea Partiers see him as the genuine conservative real deal.

Rubio is part of the “new guard” at CPAC — younger, grassroots-type conservatives trying to make their mark on the Republican party. The “old guard” is still around, but the players are changing.

“Rock stars” at the conservative concert are people like South Carolina Sen. Jim Demint, who’s been extremely influential. His Senate Conservatives Fund is contributing money to conservative Republican candidates across the country who are taking on moderate Republican challengers.

Continue reading on the Christian Broadcast Network…