This is funny. The GOP has now published their much heralded Pledge to America. They named it a ‘Pledge’, see, to make it different from the Contract with America. Which worked out so well that Newt Gingrich had to flee ahead of the ethics cops, but not before being celebrated as the new James Madison.
(The full document draft is at the above link. I tried to link to the full PDF at the House Republican’s web site but it’s too slow and will crash your computer and your children will cry and blame you.)
Commentary is in full flower on both sides of course. I just stopped over to Red State, where uber-conservative rabble rouser and former trouble maker Eric Erickson (no doubt now reclassified as a RINO since he’s appeared on CNN) calls it Perhaps the Most Ridiculous Thing to Come Out of Washington Since George McClellan“. He goes on:
“It is dreck — dreck with some stuff I like, but like Brussels sprouts in butter. I like the butter, not the Brussels sprouts. Overall, this grand illusion of an agenda that will never happen is best spoken of today and then never again as if it did not happen. It is best forgotten.”
As for the original ‘contract’?
“A November 13, 2000 article by Edward H. Crane, president of the libertarian Cato Institute, stated, “… the combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate have increased by 13%.”  However, since the Contract only promised to “bring to the House Floor the following bills, each to be given full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote and each to be immediately available this day for public inspection and scrutiny” , the Contract did accomplish its promises, even if some bills failed in votes or fell to presidential vetoes.”
So they kept their promise sort of. But the result was pretty empty because trying to turn high blown rhetoric into legislation doesn’t work. It didn’t then and it won’t now. Co-operation and compromise work, that’s what works. Oh, and change is incremental, which is something Progressives would be advised to remember as well (me included).