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"And You Don't Seem to Understand..."

So, from the Blog De Kerry, we learn that John Kerry has issued a "Contract with America's Middle Class":

Unlike the Republican �Contract with America� of 10 years ago that divided America and worked against our values, Kerry said his contract will bring us back together by honoring our values, expanding the middle class, making our economy stronger and our nation more secure.

Well, you can go to his website and read his speech, but really, the important thing to note is that Kerry is trying to steal the thunder of the Contract with America in the most vapid way possible. The real significance of the Contract wasn't what it said, but how it said it. It was "a written contract with no fine print." Whatever you felt about the agenda itself, the Contract dedicated its members to a particular set of legislation, to be enacted within a set timeframe. Kerry's 'contract'?

I will reform out of control spending by putting in place budget caps that assure Washington has to live within its means. I will cut waste and abuse out of our health care system by giving incentives for smarter more efficient systems.

I will reform corporate America by requiring corporations to report to their shareholders and what they report to the IRS. And I will reform our tax code by ending incentives for companies to send jobs overseas.

Government should take less money from the middle class, and do more to make sure their hard-earned tax dollars go to solve their real problems.

For example, we have to invest more on health care if we're going to keep businesses from cutting jobs and going under. But putting more money into the health care system won't do any good if we don't reform it to get health costs under control-which is exactly what my plan does.

Erm... yes. Well, the devil's in the details. At time of writing, the "Contract with America's Middle Class" doesn't appear as a document on Kerry's website, nor is there a promise that it will. It's a verbal contract, and not much of one at that. Besides a host of platitudes and "I won't be Bush" statements, there's nothing concrete. Missing is the Contract with America's timeline. Gone is its promise for particular pieces of legislation. There's nothing by which a President Kerry could be judged to be in default.

A pity. The original Contract worked as a piece of political theater because whatever its positions, it was a measurable roadmap by which leaders who were elected could later be judged. (Well, 'measurable' in Washington terms, which I'll admit isn't much.) Newt Gingrich took that risk, and should be credited for its success. Kerry seems to have taken a page from Newt's book, but not read it carefully at all.


Hang on a sec - Kerry is supposed to be the Democrat candidate isn't he ? At least half the stuff you quote there is right wing policy ! Anyway, if Kerry wants to expand the middle class he should try what Blair did here in the UK: Just declare without proof that there is no working class anymore and everyone is middle class. (On the subject of which, there is no left wing anymore...)
Isn't Kerry already a Senator? Senators are supposed to look out for the Republic as a whole, so why hasn't he already introduced this into legislation? If it was a wonderful plan, he would be tremendously popular, and would then probably win the election. Since he hasn't drafted this legislation, I doubt he even seriously considers it possible.

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