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Republican Tea Party Contract on America

The Democrats seem to have decided that their strategy for this fall will be to conflate the Tea Party with the Republican Party. Toward this end, they've crafted a ten-point "Republican Tea Party [sic] Contract on America."

This "Contract on America" is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is that most of the bullet points sound pretty damn appealing, and the worst of the bunch -- "cap liabilities for the oil spill" -- is something that I've never heard "Tea Party" types advocate (and even the "evidence" the Democrats cite for that bullet point seem to have nothing to do with "capping liabilities," but rather consist of skepticism over the President's authority to dictate the terms of the liability). Taken as a whole, it's much better than what either the real Republican party or the Democrats themselves are offering to do, and a candidate who actually offered the "Contract on America" would -- even with its flaws -- be my preferred candidate.

The second reason it's interesting is that it departs from the usual narrative about how the Tea Party is just a bunch of racists whose primary motivation is hatred of Black people and Brown people. (Sometimes Red people too.) Curiously, none of the ten "Contract on America" items have the slightest to do with Black people or Brown people or Red people. Reading the list, you'd be tempted to conclude that Tea Partiers were motivated by beliefs about things like "the proper role of government" and "economics" and "political economy" and "tax policy." If you didn't already "know" that Tea-Partyism was an offshoot of racism, you might never figure it out from their list!

And, of course, the third reason it's interesting is that it somehow manages not once to use the juvenile slur "teabaggers." I bet someone gets fired for that.

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