Despite the Religious Right’s best efforts, they just cannot get Tea Party activists to adopt their social agenda as part of the Tea Party movement.
Just last week, the Family Research Council signed on to the National Tea Party Federation despite that fact that it consisted primarily of libertarian-leaning groups who openly refuse to consider FRC’s anti-gay, anti-abortion missions are part of the agenda.
Today, a collection of Tea Party groups released their “Contract From America” and there is not one issue among the ten listed that speaks to the central concerns of the social conservative movement:
1. Protect the Constitution
Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.
2. Reject Cap & Trade
Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.
3. Demand a Balanced Budget
Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.
4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution.
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington
Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning.
6. End Runaway Government Spending
Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.
7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries.
8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs.
9. Stop the Pork
Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.
10. Stop the Tax Hikes
Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011.
To be sure, most social conservative groups would support all of these issues, as would pretty much all conservatives. But these are not the social issues on which Religious Right groups have traditionally focused.
Dozens of Tea Party groups sponsored and endorsed this “Contract From America” which not only had zero issues of concern to social conservatives, but did not even include any such issues among the list of ideas from which to choose.
Which is making it even harder to understand a) why a group like FRC would join up with the Tea Party activists, and B) why its president, Tony Perkins, keeps trying to insist that these groups that don’t care about social issues are not representative of the “true tea parties.”