I am on my way out the door so I may have to come back later and elucidate further, but I think everyone should go and give this article by noted SF Author, physicist, and free-thinker, David Brin a read also. He makes a strong case for a Democractic version of the Contract With America as:
a valuable symbolic tool;
a hammer to beat the Republicans with, i.e. they failed to keep most of the promises in that document;
abandoned intellectual property in the sense that the facts of GOP leadership on the ensuing 12 years have shown that the GOP doesn't really believe in any of the ideas in the document, some of which are very good, common-sense reform ideas which resonate strongly with the electorate, i.e. independent audits.