New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has created a 13-point plan full of “robust progressive policies” in what he is trying to champion as a model of the 1994 Contract with America. Well – former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, lead architect of the Contract, has something to say about de Blasio’s attempt at using his own well-thought-out legislation to push liberal extremism.
The Liberal Contract with America that de Blasio is pushing is not in the spirit of Gingrich’s contract. It is divisive and risky and will lead de Blasio to “practice the self-destruction and self-delusion of the British Labour Party” that led to its own collapse last week.
De Blasio’s Liberal Contract with America “is the exact opposite of the Contract with America model” according to Gingrich. The former Speaker explained “the purpose of the Contract was not to pick a fight within the Republican Party. It was to define a center-right majority with a platform that commanded the broad support of the American people”. However, de Blasio has both picked a fight within his own party – and completely ignored what the American people want in “trying to pressure the Democrats to move to the left”.
Inter-party division has already begun, with Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf asserting de Blasio “wants to be the gatekeeper and definer of who is progressive and who is not around the country”.
De Blasio is committed to forcing his extreme, left-wing agenda onto citizens – an attempt we saw fail miserably last week in the UK. Gingrich advised de Blasio “call Ed Miliband, who resigned as leader of the British Labour Party after the party was wiped out in elections last week”. Prior to Miliband’s leadership, the Labour Party in the UK “was amazingly popular” because it was “governed from the center” by Tony Blair. However, as soon as Miliband took over and “moved Labour toward its militant left, redistributionist, big-government base” – the support for and the party itself collapsed.
The point? Extreme, left-wing policies do not work – and people don’t want them. “The historic collapse of the Labour Party and its dramatic underperformance is a warning for those who believe a “true” left-wing agenda is the key to electoral victory”.
Miliband met his political demise by advocating for “higher taxes and bigger governments”. De Blasio has clearly not learned anything from the British, as he “wants government to take more from some Americans to give it to others”, ignoring please from Americans to “join in creating wealth, not in redistributing it”.
Ultimately, Gingrich slams the idea that de Blasio’s Liberal Contract with America is anything like his 1994 Contract with America. “It’s impossible for Mayor de Blasio to create a document in the mold of the Contract with America – ideas supported by large majorities of Americans – if it is based on far-left ideas”. He added that “the 1994 Contract with America was a very specific document committing to specific steps we promised to take. House Republicans had already written implementing legislation for every pledge… the Left can’t write its bills out in the open because the American people would repudiate them as soon as they understand them”.
De Blasio appears to be on the same path as Miliband. Without heeding the warnings – he will surely fail. Gingrich, who has done his time serving our people, finished his open note to de Blasio with a bit of sarcastic humor.
“Perhaps we could charge admission for the debate [over the Liberal Contract with America] and give the money to our favorite charity or nonprofit. My charity would be the American Museum of Natural History in New York – so Mayor de Blasio could help raise money for his own city by accepting the challenge”.