The Tea Party Patriots have been polling fellow partriotic members asking them to rate various policy positions they’d like the party to emphasize in a "Contract from America," not to be confused with an outright secessionist movement. So far, the leading ideas are to repeal the 20th Century and get back to the good old days of the robber barons:

Promoted Ideas – These popular ideas from each topic have been selected by the Contract From America panel.

Implement the Fair Tax 8468 rating
Legislation shall contain no unrelated ammendments 4256 rating
Congressional Term Limits 3843 rating
Abolish the Department of Education 3269 rating
Pass Nationwide Medical Malpractice Tort Reform 2989 rating
Congress shall not exempt themselves 2803 rating
An Official Language of the United States 2711 rating
No lifetime salary or benefits for Congress 2685 rating
Drill Here, Drill Now 2675 rating
Interstate Health Insurance Competition 2639 rating
cite Constitutional authority for creating laws 2132 rating
Nuclear Energy, reduce our dependance on foreign oil 1593 rating
More Drilling for Natural Gas and Oil, Increase Nuclear Energy, and eliminate federal regulation and give power back to the states 995 rating

. . . and so on, including repeal the Federal Reserve Act, repeal CAFE standards and establish "free markets."

So just to summarize, the participants want to:

Shield health providers from malpractice accountability/claims
Shield insurance companies from state regulation
Unleash oil/gas companies from environmental restrictions
Provide federal subsidies for the nukular and coal industries
Deregulate banks
Stifle local community efforts to fight back
Unleash the corporations to pursue "free markets"

Now there’s a populist agenda you can believe in.

It’s a good thing the tea bag movement hasn’t been cynically co-opted by some extreme corporate agenda fanatics.



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley