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October 09, 2003

THE NEW MODEL REPUBLICAN PARTY....Earlier this week I had lunch with my mother. We got to talking about politics and she asked, "What's happened to the Republican party? They used to just be the party of rich people."

That's actually a penetrating question, and I want to try and answer it. In fact, I mainly want to try and answer it for conservatives who wonder why liberals treat them like lepers.

The Republican party, of course, still is the party of rich people, but if that's all it was then liberals like me would simply treat it as an ordinary opposition party to be fought civilly and compromised with when necessary. But it's become much more than that over the past couple of decades. It has become completely unhinged. Try this on for size:

Republicans won't rest until abortion is completely outlawed, Social Security is abolished, the welfare state is completely rolled back, the book of Genesis is taught in science classes, and the federal income tax is abolished.

When I occasionally repeat (milder) versions of this here, my conservative commenters think I'm nuts. "Every party has a few wingnuts," they say. "These guys don't have any real influence."

And the thing is, I think they're telling the truth. With a couple of exceptions, I think the kind of conservatives who visit here don't believe this. It's absurd. It's a caricature.

But the problem is that I'm not sure they realize what their party is becoming. The heart and soul of Republican grass roots activism can be found pretty easily: it's in Texas. The New Model radical right took over the Texas Republican party a decade ago and elected George Bush governor. They have since taken over the entire state and propelled one of their own to the presidency and another to leadership of the House of Representatives. They bring a messianic fervor to their task, and after successfully taking over the second biggest state in the union their sights are now set on the entire country. This is not a fringe group. It is the biggest, most active, most energetic, and most determined segment of the Republican party today.

So it's fair to ask, what do they really want? Not what their public face is, and not what's politically feasible at the moment, but what are their goals? What kind of America do they want?

The answer is easy to come by if you really want to know, because the Texas Republican party regularly publishes a party platform. And like all true believers, they are very clear about what they want. So here it is: selected excerpts from the Texas Republican Party Platform of 2000. At the end of six years with George W. Bush at their helm, this was — and largely remains — their vision for America.

The Texas Republican Party Platform for 2000

Texas GOP Platform

Short Translation

The Party calls for the United States monetary system to be returned to the gold standard. Since the Federal Reserve System is a private corporation, has no reserves, and is not subject to taxation or audit, we call on Congress to abolish this institution and reassume its authority, enumerated by Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, for the coinage of money.

The United States should return to the gold standard and abolish the Federal Reserve.

Congress should be urged to exercise its authority under Article III, Sections 1 and 2 of the United States Constitution, and should withhold appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in such cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and all rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court should not be allowed to decide the constitutionality of laws regarding abortion, religion, or anything else related to the Bill of Rights. In these areas, Congress should be allowed to pass any laws it wishes.

Our Party pledges to do everything within its power to restore the original intent of the First Amendment of the United States and the concept of the separation of Church and State and dispel the myth of the separation of Church and State.

We should completely do away with separation of church and state.

The party opposes the decriminalization of sodomy....We publicly rebuke judges Chief Justice Murphy and John Anderson, who ruled that the 100 year-old Texas sodomy law is unconstitutional, and ask that all members of the Republican Party of Texas oppose their re-election.

Gay sex should be a criminal offense.

The Party affirms its support for a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse making clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection applies to unborn children.

All abortion of all kinds should be permanently outlawed by constitutional amendment.

No homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be limited to supervised periods.

Gays should be treated like child molesters and should not be allowed to visit children unsupervised.

The Party believes that scientific topics, such as the question of universe and life origins and environmental theories, should not be constrained to one opinion or viewpoint. We support the teaching equally of scientific strengths and weaknesses of all scientific theories--as Texas now requires (but has yet to enforce) in public school science course standards. We urge revising all environmental education standards to require this also. We support individual teachers’ right to teach creation science in Texas public schools.

The Biblical story of creation should be taught in science classes.

The Party supports an orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax.

Social Security should be abolished.

We urge that the IRS be abolished and the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution be repealed. A constitutional tax, collected and controlled by the States, must generate sufficient revenue for the legitimate tasks of the national government.

The federal income tax should be abolished.

The Party believes the minimum wage law should be repealed.

The federal minimum wage should be abolished.

We further support the abolition of federal agencies involved in activities not delegated to the federal government under the original intent of the Constitution including, but not limited to, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the position of Surgeon General, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Commerce and Labor.

The EPA, HUD, HHS, the Department of Education, and several other federal agencies should be eliminated. Since these departments supervise all federal welfare programs for the poor and sick, they are presumably advocating the complete abolishment of the federal welfare state.

The Party believes it is in the best interest of the citizens of the United States that we immediately rescind our membership in, as well as all financial and military contributions to, the United Nations.

Get the United States out of the UN.

The Party urges Congress to support HJR 77, the Panama and America Security Act, which declare the Carter-Torrijos Treaty null and void. We support re-establishing United States control over the Canal in order to retain our military bases in Panama, to preserve our right to transit through the Canal, and to prevent the establishment of Chinese missile bases in Panama.

Take back the Panama Canal.

This plank remains in the 2002 platform. Since Panama presumably would object to this, they appear to be endorsing military action to retake the canal zone.

Any person filing as a Republican candidate for a public or Party office shall be provided a current copy of the Party platform at the time of filing. The candidate shall be asked to read and initial each page of the platform and sign a statement affirming he/she has read the entire platform.

We are dead serious about all this.


These are not the words of sane people. This is not "reform," this is not "common sense," and this is not "restraining government growth." This is plain and simple madness and the people behind it have real influence.

California is probably the most liberal state in the country, so for comparison you can take a look at the California Democratic Party Platform for 2000 to see what the other end of the spectrum looks like. By comparison it's pretty feeble liberal fare: affirmative action, commitment to education, opposition to global warming, etc. etc. You may find many things you disagree with strongly and a few that you think are just goofy, but nothing remotely close to the Texas GOP. Nothing to compare with the obsessive militant lunacy of abolishing Social Security or seizing the Panama Canal.

If this were just a lunatic fringe we could all have a good laugh over their manifesto and then go out for a beer. But you can't dismiss it so easily. Texas-style conservatism has already put George Bush, Tom DeLay, and Karl Rove in charge of the country, and it is very much the future of the Republican party. And for all the conservatives reading this: I know this doesn't necessarily represent what you believe. But whether you like it or not, this kind of thinking does represent a very strong, very fast growing segment of the leadership of your party, and this is why liberals think the Republican party is just plain scary these days. We know that this is their agenda, we know that they really truly want to do this stuff, and we know that they are steadily gaining influence.

And to liberals: this is what we're fighting. Republicans may be smart enough to make soothing noises and put friendly faces like George Bush's in front of their agenda, but behind the facade this is what they want and they won't rest until they get it. It's our job to make sure everyone knows this.

UPDATE: More here.

Posted by Kevin Drum at October 9, 2003 01:00 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Ack! whats goin' on around here

Posted by: Carpbasman at October 9, 2003 05:47 PM | PERMALINK

The gold standard?!?!?!?

SNORT!

Nixon took us off the gold standard.

Back in the mid-70's I met some guys who could only be described as the proto-militia. They had most of these views. The local and state GOP refused to be seen with them. Long story for another time.

Posted by: pops at October 9, 2003 05:58 PM | PERMALINK

Gray Davis was KNOWN to go after special interest money with zeal. It was said nothing passed his desk that wasn't bought and paid for.

He got recalled on his levels of incompetence.

That California ordinarily sits in the pockets of democrats is true? We've also been paying too high a price for this collusion.

And, angry voters found a man they preferred.

Out went Gray Davis.

In comes the TERMINATOR.

Let's see what happens in the future.

Heck, LINCOLN was a REPUBLICAN. And, I could'a voted for him!

There aren't enough people with money to have their own party.

ANd, to get elected you need to draw a majority of voters to your points of view.

Posted by: Carol in California at October 9, 2003 06:02 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Kevin. In my opinion, this is one of the best posts you've ever written. You should touch it up, provide excerpts from the platform, and mail it in as a guest editorial to the New York Times.

Posted by: Nick Morgan at October 9, 2003 06:07 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, there's nothing particularly wrong with that docuement for a purely rural state.

Of course it ignores the history of the 1890's with violent strikes for workers rights &c. Minimum wage did not come easily in the first place, after all.

The trouble, of course, is not that this is the platform. It's that they believe it's so important, and revolutionary, that they believe that they can rationalize any political strategy whatsoever by claiming it brings them closer to their goal. And the most important such strategy, of course, is to accumulate more power to the republican party so they are more able to actualize their goals.

It is this pursuit of power that was so distinctive of Vladimir Lenin's political strategy.

Posted by: p mac at October 9, 2003 06:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: The Republican Party Platform that you have outlined is meant to create a pervasive feeling of financial insecurity in the populace.Such a feeling of insecurity plays into the hands of the moneyed class ( which, of course, is Republican) by causing dependency.

The events of 9/11 have caused insecurity based on physical dangers.This again causes dependency because the Republican Party wants to be perceievd as tough on defense compared to the Democrats.

Lastly, one other item that the Republican Party is promoting must not be forgotten. This is their active promotion of globalism which means export of even high tech jobs overseas.This has the effect of depressing wage demands in the professional sector or outright loss of jobs.Combined with the loss of blue collar jobs, a pervaisve feeling of fear is being caused even among educated Americans.Such a fearful population is very susceptible to constant threat evocations such as Affirmative Action, Immigration, terrorism etc.

In a nutshell what would have caused problems for a party responsive to citizen concerns is actually being caused by the radicals in the Republican Party in order to promote the fellings insecurity I mentioned. These radicals believe that such a feeling of insecurity is necessary for them to retain power.Unfortunately, an American population that has been fed the pablum of the uniqueness of Americans ( just as the Israelis consider themselves the light unto nations),the propaganda emanating from the Karl Rove machine
is just the ticket for reestqablishing American Supremacy which has been destroyed by liberals,
Arabs, terrorists, immigrants, the IRS, the abortionists, the blacks etc. etc. etc.There are so many enemies of America and we are going to get them all.

Goebbels couldn't have said it better.

Posted by: Bodhisattava at October 9, 2003 06:22 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I necessarily agree with the platform, but for some perspective:

Didn't Tony Blair have to fight a not inconsiderable battle withing the UK Labour Party to remove the clause in the party constitution/platform demanding nationalization of industry?

And this was with an overwhelming legislative majority.

Posted by: J.M. Varty at October 9, 2003 06:34 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Blair did that in 94 or 95, well before coming to power/any size labour majority.

It was a major battle, and it heralded a significant transition in the history of the Labour party.

In other words, the content of that platform was serious.

As is this one.

These people are going to be the Nazis of the 21st century.

Posted by: Re Blair at October 9, 2003 06:38 PM | PERMALINK

It was in 1995, and it was the infamous Clause IV:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/21/newsid_2515000/2515825.stm

Posted by: More on Blair at October 9, 2003 06:40 PM | PERMALINK

Well, there it is in black and white. This is what we have to look forward to. Is this what we want our country to be? Good post Kevin.

Posted by: alias at October 9, 2003 06:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'll just say what I usually say on this issue: the moderates in the Republican party won't stand for it. At some point they will say enough is enough and stand upto the hard right. At that point in time there will be one highly visible and ugly bitch-fight within the Republican Party - it may even split - and the Democrats will be the big winners out of it all.

I'd expect it to happen sometime in the next ten years.

Posted by: Stewart Kelly at October 9, 2003 06:51 PM | PERMALINK

hmm, the "right" republicans policing their own "republican right" ...?

I think, as Americans (dedicated to that Great Task--a gov't for, by, and of the people), it's up to us moderates to "police our own" and put a leash on the profiteering, evangelical, vigilante right that's gotten control of their party, the nation, and the world.

Faith is the assurance of things unseen; belief is the result of quantifiable, observable, repeatable results.

It's the enlightenment against the dark-ages, folks.

--ventura county, ca

Posted by: Darryl Pearce at October 9, 2003 07:04 PM | PERMALINK

Dang! How are we expected to recreate all the screaming of 215+ posts that were here before the site crashed.

Lemme condense: Somebody said Kevin's post was garbage. Actually, s/he said "this" is garbage, which some of us took to mean the Texas GOP platform. The national Republicans would never go so far, it was alleged.

That's heartening to know for those of us who think this platform is scarier than a Klan rally. So, a question for you if you're a Republican: how many of these items would the Party have to push at the national level before you would switch parties or drop out of politics?

Posted by: Meteor Blades at October 9, 2003 07:07 PM | PERMALINK

Lemme condense: Somebody said Kevin's post was garbage. Actually, s/he said "this" is garbage, which some of us took to mean the Texas GOP platform. The national Republicans would never go so far, it was alleged.

Come on MB, give credit where it's due! I made the garbage crack.

Posted by: spc67 at October 9, 2003 07:12 PM | PERMALINK

a great article on talk radio as a messaging platform for those fair and balanced right-wingers.

http://www.registerguard.com/news/2002/06/30/1f.ed.col.monks.0630.html

it's more than the platform, it is also about how the republican party manages to get people to vote against their own self-interests (healthcare, tax cuts for the middle class, environment controls in the US, strong corporate governance so your pension/ 401K doesn't do an Enron, etc.)

Posted by: jjj at October 9, 2003 07:13 PM | PERMALINK

The moderate Republicans cannot possibly ever take back the party. There are too many of the hard right, and they're too determined. Oregon here was a big center of moderate Republicanism (Dorchester conference, Packwood, Hatfield), and at the moment the moderates are being frozen out of the party, which is dominated by Texas-like crazies.

There's no good reason whatever for that whole wing not to do a Jeffords. The Democratic party is mostly moderate by now already, and with a significant switchover it would become more moderate. As a left-liberal I would lose by becoming even more marginal among the Dems than I am already, but I would win since I would no longer be ruled by people who think that Armageddon is a goal to be worked for.

Posted by: Zizka at October 9, 2003 07:20 PM | PERMALINK

The Democratic party is mostly moderate by now already

That was a good one! OK, back to the sox!

Posted by: spc67 at October 9, 2003 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

Now that all the previous comments got deleted, the "dude" guy who was here before - calling Kevin a fraud and saying it was just the Montgomery County platform and not the state platform - will probably think the comments were wiped out in an attempt to silence his truth.

To prevent any recurrence of such foolishness, let me recap: the dude was a nitwit. Kevin linked to the Montgomery County RP site, but that was indeed the state platform, reproduced in full on many Texas RP sites as a cursory Google search will reveal. Interestingly, on the statewide Republican site, the platform page shows only the relatively innocuous preamble (which gives no specific policy positions at all); a teensy link off to one side invites you to download the entire crackpot document as a PDF, which casual viewers are unlikely to do. Hmm, might they be just a little self-conscious about this?

Kudos to Kevin for bringing this to a wider audience.


(One interesting bit you didn't mention: "A perpetual state of national emergency allows unrestricted growth of government." Well, I can't argue with that. However, the next sentence says the solution is to repeal the War Powers Act... huh?? I mean, when it comes to abuses of power under cover of endless war, I'm just as paranoid as the militia crowd. But their solution seems to be to hand over unchecked power to some bad-ass guy who they think is on their side.)

Posted by: Eli Bishop at October 9, 2003 07:24 PM | PERMALINK

Is the 2002 platform much different? My wife was dismissive b/c this was the 2000 platform. The stuff about teaching creationism really burns me.

Tony

Posted by: Tony at October 9, 2003 07:32 PM | PERMALINK

(Tony- the creationism language in the 2002 platform is exactly the same as what Kevin quoted. You can read the whole thing at the link in my previous post.)


Well, reading further, they've actually got quite a bit of strong rhetoric against exactly the kind of fearmongering power-grabbing militarizing Homeland Security State nonsense that's personified in John Ashcroft. They oppose the collection of profiling data on law-abiding citizens, and they "believe the current greatest threat to our individual liberties is overreaching government controls established under the guise of preventing terrorism."

Of course, that doesn't make the platform a moderate document. It makes it a radical document with strains of the several different kinds of radicalism that make up the modern right wing, some of which happen to be shared by left-wing radicals. The militia/black-helicopter crowd (which I think a lot of that language is specifically tailored to) happens to be, in my opinion, absolutely right about the dangers of Ashcroftism... even though they may personally agree with Ashcroft on everything else. I also agree with their stance on NAFTA and GATT, though it may in their case be tied up with some funny ideas about foreign devils. Yet these guys seem happy to be courted by the mainstream right, which demonizes any similar beliefs on the part of leftists.

Alexander Cockburn thinks this means rural self-styled Patriots are natural allies of the left. I think that's a nice idea but very naive, along the lines of Louis Farrakhan thinking his natural allies are white supremacists. But I think leftists should acknowledge these commonalities if only because they're a sticking point for the typical apolitical voter. In other words, if a middle-of-the-road guy sees some clearly crazed right-wingers ranting about the impending police state in the same breath as they rant about the Panama Canal, he can easily write off left-wing warnings about Ashcroft as equally paranoid... unless they're phrased in a way that acknowledges "you may have already heard this from some crazy people, but it deserves more attention and here's why."

Posted by: Eli Bishop at October 9, 2003 07:46 PM | PERMALINK


The only thing sadder and more self-deluded than a democrat is a moderate republican.

Why don't republican moderates stand up to the lunatic right? Why doesn't the democratic party get a spine at least, if not balls?

These are the great mysteries.

Posted by: jive at October 9, 2003 07:56 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of newer platform statements --

Kevin, I skimmed the California Democratic platform you linked to -- and, I do agree, it's nowhere near as radical. However, I did notice it refers to "President Clinton and Vice-President Gore." Have you got a link to a more recent version?

Posted by: Baxil at October 9, 2003 07:57 PM | PERMALINK

One ignorant question: why is dumping the Fed and going to the gold standard bad? I've forgotten everything I learned about the gold standard from high school (I think I replaced that section with Pearl Jam lyrics during college).

The rest of it, I get. And it scares the bejeezus out of me.

Posted by: Adam Rakunas at October 9, 2003 08:01 PM | PERMALINK

All but the most Nader-allergic readers are advised to read Ralph's short article on the same subject, which takes a slightly different tack. Nader seems to be trying to undermine Bush's support from the right as much as from the left, pointing out the paradox that (a) it's scary if Bush really believes any of that shit, but (b) he obviously believes that shit very selectively and opportunistically, and is in no way a small-government libertarian. (I think this kind of argument is probably the most productive use for Nader's voice at this point, since so many leftists now think he's the devil.)

That article also points out the significance of the "candidate must read and initial each page of the platform" rule. Several literal-minded readers have insisted "that just means he's read it, not that he believes it." That may be literally true, but the party's reason for such a stipulation is of course to force candidates to associate themselves publicly and specifically with the platform - so candidates can't take advantage of the party's support and then screw them later by saying "I didn't know anything about those crazy policies." "I read it, I signed it, I took their money, they got me elected and I did them favors, but I disagreed with them all along" is not much of a defense, which is why Bush and DeLay will hold their breath till they turn blue rather than answer any questions about this on a national level.

Posted by: Eli Bishop at October 9, 2003 08:03 PM | PERMALINK

Why is dumping the Fed and going to the gold standard bad?

A notable Princeton economist touched on this subject a few years ago and does a good job stating why it would be a bad idea.

http://slate.msn.com/id/1912/

Posted by: Craig at October 9, 2003 08:37 PM | PERMALINK

Alright, I'm just gonna remake the now-deleted point that GEORGE BUSH SIGNED THIS THING. Someone please do something about this. Thank you.

Posted by: Andrew Edwards at October 9, 2003 08:40 PM | PERMALINK

Fantastic post, Kevin. One of your very best.

Posted by: Jeffrey Gordon at October 9, 2003 08:47 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, the Texas GOP Platform. There's actually some quite remarkable stuff that Kevin left out:

Aside from the obligatory nods to states rights (wink, wink), opposition to the surrender of US troop sovereignty under UN or NATO, elimination of the ATF (Waco, anyone?), a reference to the ERA amendment(!?!), voter registration restrictions (nudge, nudge), English-only legislation, and an exhortation of "LET'S ROLL!" in the WoT (yes, it actually says that).

Pretty standard fare. But creepy stuff too. Like Eli Bishop noted above, as you read into the Platform, if you know the code-words, you get the sense that parts of it truly are expressing the views of the paranoid militia, black-helicopter crowd.

That's what all that stuff about the gold standard is - this crowd doesn't trust "fiat" money (paper money given value by government fiat). Presumably because they don't trust the Jewish bankers or tri-lats running the finances of our government to not trick them. I assume their stocks of guns and vienna sausages are in the dug-out shelter, underneath their mobile homes.

There's also many statements opposing the use of the American military against its own population. Until recently, I lived in TX, and there was a cable access show that chronicled the preparation of US military bases (under control of the tri-lats, the UN?) for an assault on the population.

That's what all references to FEMA in the Platform are about: the feds will declare martial law under an emergency, and the UN tanks will roll into our subdivisions using the maps embedded on the back of stop signs (I made that last sentence up, but I've heard it down there. I've even looked at stop signs myself).

Posted by: andrew at October 9, 2003 08:47 PM | PERMALINK

More choice bits:

"The Party opposes any foreign military base on American soil. We urge Congress to prohibit all foreign military bases from the United States"(!?)

"students should be led in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas pledge, the national anthem and patriotic songs on a daily basis"...

"We support a [education] program based upon biblical principles upon which our nation and state law system were founded."

"The Republican Party of Texas reaffirms the United States of America is a Christian nation, which was founded on fundamental Judeo-Christian principles based on the Holy Bible"...

Posted by: andrew at October 9, 2003 08:48 PM | PERMALINK

All that said, I really don't know how representative it is - a pretty nuanced argument would have to be made to conclude just how representative that Platform document is of republicans nationwide, or even in Texas.

When I read it, I took it as mainly pandering to a certain radical sect of the Party. Because it is just so nutsy. Surely no majority of politicians (Repubs or otherwise) believe that our own military is preparing an assault on the US population. Maybe they figured not many people would read the darn thing. (I bet it disappears soon, too).

But, the document does require that any politician running as a Repub in Texas, must read and sign the thing. It would be interesting if a journalist would dig out the copy that Bush II signed.

And, the Repubs have shown that when they have an agenda (say, invading Iraq) and knowing that their real views are unpalatable in a democratic system, will willfully misrepresent the pretenses and justification for their actions. If they'll do it to start a war, in what situation would they not?

I think the real value of the document is just to see who they are willing to pander to: I mean, they think they can get away with putting this ridiculous thing out, and on the Web. Some of them are proud of this.

There is a dangerous element in the Republican Party, and the moderates at least don't reject it's views, and are happy to pay them lip service.

The alternative, that a majority of them believe this stuff, is altogether too frightening. I actually have family members who do believe this stuff (had over 50 guns in the house growing up), but it's not widespread. Is it?

Posted by: andrew at October 9, 2003 09:15 PM | PERMALINK

In fairness, the Texas Democratic Party, on its web site, regularly links to the Texas Republican platform and to its own, and invites people to compare. Not all Republicans here are nutcases, but the nutcases are in control, and as long as they are, they'll have that platform.

BTW, the state is a lot closer to evenly divided between the major parties than conventional wisdom has it. And according to several demographers, the traditional base of the Dems is growing rapidly in Texas, and will be in the majority at the latest a decade from now. That's if Texas Dems tend to their base, instead of attempting to be "Republican lite."

Posted by: Steve Bates at October 9, 2003 09:15 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican Party has become the American version of the Taliban.

Different scripture, same mind set.

Posted by: E. Avedisian at October 9, 2003 09:18 PM | PERMALINK

Godd*mn, Kevin, you're good.

D

Posted by: Dano at October 9, 2003 09:25 PM | PERMALINK

Gold /currency issues are complex and fascinating. The relevent distinction is that a currency "backed" by gold(or any other material, say conch shells or llama dung) arguably has different properties than an "unbacked" currency(actually, even these "floating" currencies are backed more or less on the wealth, reputation and expectations of of the issuing government).

Supporters of gold believe that a finite material anchoring a currency is a guarantee/barrier against the temptation governments may feel to run up massive debt, cause inflation, and then pay off the debt with now-less-valuable currency. They believe it's a way to keep economies stable and governments honest. The fear of inflation and the terror of losing accumulated value due to manipulations of "fiat" currency is at the heart of the gold supporters motives and arguments. They also just believe that unbacked dollars encourages deception and overspending by the govenment, in general, regardless of inflationary stuff.

Supporters of "floating" or unbacked currencies point out that gold is just a yellow mineral and has no intrinsic value or superiority to any other substance as a unit of exchange. Why not use shells? Or pigknuckles? Furthermore, they argue that reducing units of value to an inelastic, finite substance that is unevenly distributed around the world is pretty stupid. Limits tools for managing a currency and economy when problems arise. They also point to the inflation of Spain after the gold influx from the New World--gold (or any other substance) is not automatically a currency stabilizer.

The point is moot anyways, because there is no way in hell that the US, at least in any form now recognizable, is EVER going to go back to a gold standard. The salient point insofar as the Texan GOP Platform is concerned, is that it is another triumph of appealing to fears with simplistic solutions that won't work anyways.

What is ironically interesting is that what Bush seems to be doing is exactly what the Goldbugs are afraid of: unleashing massive debt and simultaneously letting the dollar slide. This dynamic is one of the reasons why the value of gold (and perhaps other real assets) are rising in prices. But going back to a gold standard for the dollar isn't going to happen, regardless, and wouldn't really alleviate the problem of spending and honest accounting, at least IMO.

Posted by: Tim B. at October 9, 2003 09:25 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew,
Consider how much of this platform is being realized through the Bush presidency and then ask yourself whether or not it even matters how representative the policies are.

They are becoming reality and that is what counts.

Posted by: E. Avedisian at October 9, 2003 09:25 PM | PERMALINK

Tim, good post regarding the "gold standard"; a silly concept that makes no economic sense.

That such a concept is included in the TX GOP platform (no doubt for the reason you suggest) highlights what I, personally, find most disturbing about said platform. It cators to the most base elements of ignorance and fear in our society.

I have to believe that this is by deliberate design -Carl Rove, et al - and represents a most cynical and foul attempt to undermine our system of government.

Again, it's Talibanesque

Posted by: E. Avedisian at October 9, 2003 09:39 PM | PERMALINK

Dang! How are we expected to recreate all the screaming of 215+ posts that were here before the site crashed.

As it happens I left a browser window open showing that thread shortly before movable type had a fit so I can save it and ensure that (191 of) those screaming posts are not lost to mankind forever.

I've put it up at here (minus only the comments box and associated javascript). I'll have to take it down again if it generates too much traffic, but I doubt that will happen.

Posted by: Andrew Kanaber at October 9, 2003 09:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with you guys on the anti-gay, pro-religion stuff. It's stupid and dangerous.

But transitioning away from Social Security, the minimum-wage, and the income tax only sound like lunacy to people who have internalized the lunacy of socialism.

You guys are wrong about these things and apparently incapable of considering that possibility. If you're looking for the nearest irrational zealots, I suggest the nearest mirror.

Posted by: Gil at October 9, 2003 09:42 PM | PERMALINK

And in 2000, Bush skipped the Texas Republican Convention because the Texas party was an embarrassment.

As far as I know, they still don't allow Log Cabin Republicans to have a booth.

Posted by: Eva Young at October 9, 2003 09:50 PM | PERMALINK

Log Cabin Confronts Far Right at Texas GOP Convention
Governor, Party Chairwoman Distance Themselves from Attacks on Gay GOP Organization; Supporters Rally in Ft. Worth

June 15, 1998

Georgia LCR at 1999 State GOP Convention
• Georgia GOP Leadership Chooses Inclusiveness Over Intolerance
• Gay GOP Leaders Welcomed
• Log Cabin Republicans Take Their Place at Georgia GOP Convention

Texas LCR at 1998 State GOP Convention
• GOP Official Nixes 2000 Booth
• Log Cabin Confronts Far Right at Texas GOP Convention
• Bush Criticizes Texas GOP
• Log Cabin to Governor Bush: Do the Right Thing
• Texas GOP Bans Log Cabin Republicans
(FT. WORTH, TEXAS) Over 50 openly gay Republican delegates and alternates to the Texas Republican Convention rallied with their supporters next to the convention hall in Ft. Worth on Saturday, capping an extraordinary week of confrontation between Log Cabin Republicans of Texas and far-right, anti-gay extremists within the state GOP.

Log Cabin delegates and their supporters were met at the "Rally for Liberty" by aggressive and hostile counter-demonstrators who held anti-gay placards too obscene for television broadcast, and sought to drown out the speakers onstage who read statements of support from leading Republicans around the country and called for an inclusive Republican Party.

Rally speakers also challenged Republicans who pander to the far right to gain support, and promised to confront them in Texas and across the country in the coming election cycle.

The controversy began when Log Cabin elected over 50 delegates and alternates to the state convention, and applied for an exhibit booth along side other Republican and conservative organizations. Log Cabin was the only Republican organization denied a booth. State party spokesman Robert Black escalated the situation by comparing Log Cabin to the Ku Klux Klan and pedophiles, and labeled the organization a "hate group."

LCR Texas President Steve Labinski held a press conference at the state capitol in Austin, calling on Governor George W. Bush (R-TX) to speak out against Black's comments. The governor issued a statement through spokeswoman Karen Hughes later that day, criticizing the party's attack comments: "Governor Bush believes all individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. While he differs with the Log Cabin Republicans on issues such as gay marriage, he does not condone name calling. Governor Bush urges all Republicans to focus on our common goal of electing Republicans based on our conservative philosophy."

LCR Texas bought over $50,000 in major newspaper print ads last week throughout Texas responding to Black's comments, while the Log Cabin delegates leafleted the convention floor as the convention opened. On Saturday, June 13, over 100 supporters joined the delegates at the rally next to the convention center, where the far right counter-demonstrators confronted them before television cameras and reporters from local, state and national media.

One counter-demonstrator jumped onto the stage repeatedly with a sign reading "Faggots Go Back to San Francisco," to which Dallas lesbian Republican activist Lory Masters, who was speaking before the rally, said: "We are not from San Francisco -- we are from Texas and we're here to stay! This is our party and I'm not going away!"

"The faction that runs the Texas party has a narrow social agenda," said Labinski from the stage. "We have to stand up for what we believe and set an example for other good Republicans to follow."

"Don't back down until we take back this party from the extremists," said openly gay Dallas Councilman John Loza (R), from the stage. "Don't back down! Don't back down!"

At one point, 74 year-old Martha Theilhorn, former chairwoman of the Refugio County Republican Party, was speaking onstage about her longtime GOP activism and her support for her openly gay grandson, GOP delegate Dale Carpenter from Houston, when a counter-demonstrator shouted over her: "Your grandson is a sodomite and you're both going to burn in hell!"

"We are not afraid," Richard Tafel, executive director of the national Log Cabin Republicans said from the stage over the jeers of counter-demonstrators. "They may have greater numbers and more delegates. They may have people here to shout us down, but we will win because our cause is just, because a movement founded on honesty and love and a movement for the voiceless cannot be defeated. We must never forget that moral force will beat the numeric forces every time."

"No properly elected Republican should be denied access or exhibit space at any gathering of our big-tent party," said Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD) in a statement read at the rally. "As an inclusive big-tent party, we can move America forward. A party that looks to divide and exclude fails all of us."


Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ)

"Log Cabin Republicans has been, and continues to be, a contributing mainstream Republican organization that has supported Republican candidates of all ideological stripes," wrote openly gay Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) in a letter to Robert Black, read at the rally. "The politics of exclusion and intolerance should have no place in our Republican Party. Period."

"Republicans should not be turned away from a state party convention because of their sexual orientation. I find it particularly disturbing for a party official to compare the Log Cabin Republicans to a hate group such as the Ku Klux Klan," said Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) in a statement read at the rally.


Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA)

"The Republican Party is the Party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, and it must remain the party of the big tent, where all Americans who share our core Republican principles, including gay and lesbian Americans, stand shoulder to shoulder equally with everyone else," said Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA). "Don't give up, don't stop fighting for a better America and don't stop advancing the cause of equality and liberty that so many Americans from all walks of life share with you and me."

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), in a statement read at the rally: "The strength of the Republican Party and our democratic system of government lies in our diversity of opinion, and our tolerance for those with experiences and views different from our own."

Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-PA), the chairman of Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-GA) Planning Advisory Team, a senior House leadership post, said in a statement: "We must welcome every citizen -- regardless of age, race, creed or sexual orientation -- who wants to join the Republican fight for a better America. Gay men and women awake each day, go to work, volunteer in their community, pay their taxes, and contribute to worthwhile charities in every American neighborhood. Increasingly the Republican message appeals to all segments of American society and we should encourage the participation of the Log Cabin Republicans as we would any other group."

"As a Republican I am horrified to learn that a state Republican Party would resort to the divisionary politics of hatred and bigotry," said Susan Cullman, president of the Republican Coalition for Choice, in a statement read at the rally. "With actions such as these, we are left with one question -- who's next?"

"As a Republican member of the Council of District of Columbia, I am extremely disappointed in the recent statements released by the Texas GOP Leadership. Efforts to exclude Texas Log Cabin Republicans from the State GOP Convention are both inappropriate and short-sighted," said openly gay DC City Councilman David Catania (R).

As the counter-demonstrators, many of whom were GOP delegates themselves, grew louder and more aggressive and began jostling Log Cabin supporters, jeering loudly on and off the stage and blocking cameras with their signs, the state GOP sent spokesman Craig Murphy into the crowd to claim for reporters that a number of the anti-gay demonstrators were not delegates.

Then, news came from inside the convention hall that Texas GOP Chairwoman Susan Weddington stood up to comment on the events unfolding outside. Referring to the anti-Log Cabin demonstrators, Weddington denounced "in any public forum and debate attacking people in such a mean-spirited and derogatory way."

"In Forth Worth, we drew a line in the sand against the radical right, and it was a major turning point for our movement," Tafel said after the demonstration. "We played by the rules, our people got elected as delegates, and the party went on the attack, but the brave and well-organized response was overwhelming, and the statements of support for Log Cabin from Republicans all over the country was a wake up call to the Governor and the senior leadership in the party, and they backed off. This is only the beginning for Log Cabin in Texas, and it's a warning to Republicans everywhere that those who pander to the far right will pay a price from inside the Republican Party."

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay and lesbian Republican organization, with 50+ chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee. In addition to the Texas state chapter, there are local chapters in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.


###

Posted by: Eva Young at October 9, 2003 09:52 PM | PERMALINK

When I first visited here late last year, Kevin was writing that he favored the war in Iraq and racists were a tiny fraction of the Republican party.

It's been fun to watch Kevin's thought evolution in the intervening months.


Posted by: Z at October 9, 2003 09:54 PM | PERMALINK

The problem in any moderate vs.radicals situation is that moderates far too often let things happen, assuming that things really can't get as bad as the radicals want them to get. At the point where enough moderates wake up, it may well be too late to repair the damage. This is how the Nazis came to power - and I don't make the comparison lightly. Arguably, we are already in an awful mess with respect to US foreign policy, which will need a lot of repairing. I sincerily hope it does not happen with domestic US policy, but it will require active opposition, not just a visit to the voting booth every 2 years.

As to links between right wings nutters and so-called "mainstream" politics, I recommend David Neiwert's "Orcinus" website:
http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/
He has made soemthing of career tracing right-wingers. Some of them are positively frightening, not just nutty.
Especially recommended: his article on "Rush, Newspeak and Fascism"
http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/Rush%20Newspeak%20%20Fascism.pdf
The first chapter is a bit heavy on rhethoric for my liking, but the paper is worth reading.

Greetings
Karl Heinz

Posted by: khr at October 9, 2003 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Nixon took us off the gold standard.

Nope. FDR took us off the gold standard. Until then you could go turn in currency for gold. That is the kind of gold standard the current gold bugs want us to go back to. The idea it that each dollar has to have a dollar in gold to exchange it for. That prevents inflation, you know. Except that the banks create the real money supply, of whcih currency is only a small part. The idiots get overwhelmed by more than two facts in a row, so they will never learn that.

What Nixon stopped was the international settling of debts between central banks using gold.

Posted by: Rick B at October 9, 2003 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

What really interests me about Kevin's post is this: The trend of the Republican party to the hard right over the past few years is exactly like the trend to fundamentalism displayed by the Southern Baptist Convention during the period 1980 to about 1995. Same sort of adherence to a radical right ideology(theology), same sort of demonization of opponents both within and without the convention, same sort of ideological purity tests, same sort of partisan political games to acquire power at any cost by a formerly marginalized group, same sort of marginalization of those who are more moderate, same sort of disrespect to both reason and tradition...in other words the parallel works very well. Even the politicians dress the same.

It was so strange to observe this process, as an entire denomination moved away from where I stood at the time, changing a very conservative denomination into one dominated by true fundamentalists. Heck, come to think of it, a seminary prof I knew once called the folks driving the change the "East Texas Mafia", and even the locale of the main perpetrators is another parallel.
So I think we've got the same thing going on in a larger, more secular sphere. A lot of folks in the SBC didn't believe this kind of change would actually happen, and that the radicals wouldn't acquire or abuse power. But it did, as any news story about recent meetings of the SBC will demonstrate. For me, this is deja vu all over again, albeit from the outside this time.

Posted by: Bruce at October 9, 2003 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Gil, so do you care to share with us your plan to provide for your basic needs when you have achieved an age when you have left the work force, yet modern medicine, nutrition, and public health (all beneficiares of tax dollars, BTW) have allowed you to exist on the eartly plane for another decade or more?

Many currently rely on Social Security to, at least in part, make this stage of life materialy tolerable.

I'm sure you believe that the private markets are superior for average folks with little or no knowledge of business or investment concepts.

Care to share with us your long term stock market picks?

Posted by: E. Avedisian at October 9, 2003 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Fantastic post Kevin. Thank you.

Posted by: Binky at October 9, 2003 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Incredible post. The person who said you should submit this to the New York Times was right. As many people as possible have to read this and realize what we're up against. As Krugman says in his new book, these people are NOT in the mainstream of American political thought: they want to destroy America as we know it.

Posted by: Frederick at October 9, 2003 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

"students should be led in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas pledge, the national anthem and patriotic songs on a daily basis"...

The state legislature passed a law this Spring requiring that students be led in the pledge of allegiance and the Texas pledge. I haven't heard that the music is similarly required.

As a Democrat in Texas, when I first read that platform I was glad that my life membership in the NRA is still active.

If you want to see what they view as the future, read "The Handmaid's Tale." Paige Patterson, the biblical inerrantist Baptist who, with retired state judge Paul Pressler of Houston orchestrated the conservative takeover ot the Southern Baptist Convention, has just returned to Fort Worth to take control to the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary.

Posted by: Rick B at October 9, 2003 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Substance aside, the link labeled "party platform" is not an actual link to the Texas GOP's platform. Instead, Kevin is actually linking to a proposed platform of the Republican Leadership Council. There are notable differences between the actual adopted platform and the proposed one that Kevin cites:

(1) Gold Standard issue- not in offical platform.
(2) Admonishment of Anti--Anti-Sodomy Law Judges, is not in the adopted platform.
(3) Language on homosexual adoption is completely different in adopted platform.

With that being said, I freely admit there is a significant number of things that Kevin cites that ACTUALLY are in the GOP's platform in Texas, but again, the link is to a document that is NOT the adopted platform.

So if you want credibility, change the name of the link or change the target and eliminate the first row in your table, at least.

More here.

Posted by: Adam Groves at October 9, 2003 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't just Texas. I gathered selected data from several state Republican Party platforms in 2000 and posted it here. I was most interested at the time in the Republican Party stance on homosexuality, so that's mostly what I posted, but there's some other stuff that's just as scary as Texas. Iowa was particularly entertaining, as was Oregon.

The interesting thing was that there was all this data out there and no news organization even mentioned it, much less covered it in any kind of detail. I've found that most Republicans have never read their party's official platform (in all fairness, neither have most Democrats, although I think you'd be hard-pressed to find platforms as extreme there).

Just imagine if the Texas GOP platform had actually been broadcast nationally. We'd have had one hell of an interesting debate.

Posted by: PaulB at October 9, 2003 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

E. Avidisian,

My plan is to save my money and invest it prudently in broad index funds, reducing the risk level as I age. It's a simple strategy, well known, and requires very little knowledge of business or investment concepts.

High taxes make this increasingly difficult, but I'm determined to try to avoid relying the robbery of others for my financial security.

I think modern medicine's potential to lengthen our lives is a good thing, not a problem, and will help extend our productive period to help us provide for our retirements.

I'm concerned, as you are, about people who are now, and will soon be, relying on Social Security for their retirements. Social Security does not invest the bulk of its funds; it is a Ponzi scheme that relies on future victims to finance its payouts. It can't go on forever the way it's currently structured, and the longer we avoid phasing it out, the crueler it is to the growing number of people who are becoming dependent on it.

Posted by: Gil at October 9, 2003 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Haha yes the moderate repubs wil surely reign in this nonsense.

The solid right wing Nationalists of the National Front who supported Hiter had no truck with the craziness of Mein Kampf, he was a mere drummer boy who would clear the way for the longned-for National Renewal. They naturally delighted when the Nazis conttrived to smash the Social Democratic Party and independent Unions. By then of course...as a Protestant Pastor put it...'first they came for the Communists but I said nothing, I wasn't a Communist, then they came for the Jews...and by the time they came for me, there was no-one left to speak out for me'.

The dynamics of the unleashed witch-hunt makes all but the strongest bow down. The strongest then become examples not of honor or courage, but suicidal resistance.

GOP Moderates and Libertarians will join us treasonous LIE-bruls in the American Gulag. The Kadets and SR's and Mensheviks who joined the Bolshies in the Soviets to overthrow the Czar then the democratic Duma learned the iron logic of fanatics in pursuit of The Dream. They compared rueful notes on underestimating the Revolution while breaking rocks.

Such a delicous irony that former disciples of Trotsky, aka neo-cons, have justified the defacto War Against Muslims that Osama bin Laden's dreams are/were made of. The war that will eat our democracy. The French 'surrender monkeys' merely offered us hard-won lessons of near Civil War drawn from their war in Algeria: we follow former disciples of the man who tutored Lenin and Stalin in the 'objective' nature of truth. Let's transform the Middle East! Bomb them to the delights of peace and freedom. To prevent them from bombing us into submission to Allah! Its kinda hilarious.

Remember Jefferson said the tree of Liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots. Discussion and votes and argument are merely tools to those who are sick and tired of the Hell On Earth they discern when looking at our prosperous Republic. Dissent is proof of the tenacity of Evil.

The demoralization of realizing one morining that you really are thinking Treason towards what your country has become will be shattering.

Its interesting to read of what went on in Texas in the run-up to the Civil War and the vote for sucession. Reports of traitors and Northern spies, hysteria over widespread acts of "arson" and agents formenting slave revolts. With a few honorable exceptions, the press and politicians pitched right in to magnifying the tumult. In the interest of a wealthy few.

Posted by: Agnew baby at October 9, 2003 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Adam, you're simply wrong about item 2. The adopted platform stated:

"We publicly rebuke judges Chief Justice Murphy and John Anderson, who ruled that the 100 year-old Texas sodomy law is unconstitutional, and ask that all members of the Republican Party of Texas oppose their re-election, and activist judges like them, and support non-activist judges as their opponents."

Moreover, the link on your site points to the 2002 party platform. Kevin is referencing the 2000 party platform.

As for the language on gay adoption, I think you're correct. What the platform actually said was:

""We oppose adoption of children by homosexuals.""

The platform also opposed "custody of children by homosexuals."

For more on what the Texas platform said regarding homosexuality and religion, see the link I provide above.

Posted by: PaulB at October 9, 2003 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I have to admit that Adam is right about one key fact: the document you're quoting was not the official 2000 Texas Republican Party platform. The quotes on my party platform page do not exactly match the quotes you cite. And I'm absolutely certain that I was working from the real party platform back in 2000 when I first assembled that page.

Unfortunately, I didn't preserve the entire document and I was only looking at attitudes toward homosexuality, so I don't know whether the other quotes you cite are there. Neither does Adam, of course, since he's looking at the wrong document, too.

I've checked Google and it looks like the 2000 platform is no longer available online.

Posted by: PaulB at October 9, 2003 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

At a minimum, you have to wonder how any gay or lesbian (I mean you Andy!) can support Tom Delay and his Grand Plan for the 21st Century.

Posted by: James E. Powell at October 10, 2003 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

Quick thanks to Mr. Kanaber for having the incredible foresight to save those comments; I bailed after about the fifteenth one last night.

Posted by: Linkmeister at October 10, 2003 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I'm surprised you haven't looked more at Rep. Ron Paul, who was the pro-life Libertarian pres. candidate in 1988. He's one of them thar gold bugs -- and gold was $35/oz for a long time. At $350+/oz, there's a reasonable argument that the USD has just devalued (inflated) by 90% over 70+years. And wouldn't a gold standard avoid the very financial disaster that Krugman is nearly hysterical about? (But gold has so many other relative disadvantages that, w/o a huge crash, we ain't never goin' back).

Look at Chile's pensions: everybody is required to save 10% of their income into their own retirement fund. Then they can retire whenever (after 50? some very low min), but live on what they have. Survivors inherit. If FDR had put in that kind of system, SS wouldn't be broken, like it is. The US, like Slovakia & Europe, needs to have a pension system where one's benefits are not based on taking Other People's Money.

That Tx. Platform is a radical doc., but is it really that BAD? If Black kids learned to read, even anti-scientific creationism, that would be a heck of a lot better than some 50%+ graduating w/o most basic skills. The Dems opposition to vouchers keeps black kids uneducated -- when a popular black leader points this out, and blacks get angry, the Dems could be in big trouble.

Sodomy was criminal for a hundred years, it was decriminalized and legalized more by the courts than legislature. A. Sullivan has lots of good arguments against sodomy laws, and I oppose such laws -- but I'm not happy with promiscuous irresponsible sex. Or no-fault divorce laws (for those adulterous heteros). Nor of abortion, nor of lying. Nor of discrimination based on sex, race, religion. But not all bad things should be against the law.

Whether something is good or bad is one argument. Whether a bad thing should be against the law is another. And how bad society is when a bad thing is against the law when it shouldn't be (eg drugs), is yet another issue.

As a libber, I'm mostly of the opinion society needs to avoid passing laws against many of these "bad" things -- because enforcement of any laws requires gov't force & power. Gov't already has too much; esp. at the Fed level.

There's a lot of church going believers who think sodomy's wrong, and should be illegal. What party should they be in? Even more on the anti-abortion issue. Moderate Reps can prolly slide by with being "against abortion", w/o advocating recriminalizing it. Dems are already trying this line. The radicals, on both sides, want the gov't to impose their beliefs on the other.

There are lots of planks on this platform. It's reasonable to be concerned over them. Being scared has to be pre-mature; even Reps in control will have to take steps one at a time. Which one will be first?

Prolly vouchers, including to creationist schools -- because they work at educating poor black kids better than the current system. When that happens, and the parents see kids taught both creationism (say) and evolution, I doubt that there will be much cause for real fear.

My own fear is that the idiotarian anti-Bush Dems so radicalize the Left, that all moderates are pushed to support Reps -- who do the single most important Good Thing of booting Saddam, and tons of less (but not un-) important bad things.

But I live in Slovakia, and prolly will stay.

Posted by: Tom Grey at October 10, 2003 01:15 AM | PERMALINK

I'm always annoyed that biblical literalists no longer require a flat earth. The geocentric universe is more thoroughly sourced in ancient texts than the creation story, but the former dropped off the platform some centuries ago.

When we invade a poor Muslim nation like Afghanistan around the time of Ramadan we're reminded that in some countries the sacred month doesn't start until someone actually sights the new moon - just in case God decides to do it tomorrow.

At least the Texas Republicans aren't ready to go that far. Take your comfort where you find it.

Posted by: bad Jim at October 10, 2003 01:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just glad that they made clear that they were opposed to Chinese missile bases in Panama. I was worried about that.

Posted by: Ray Radlein at October 10, 2003 01:21 AM | PERMALINK

I probably shouldn't be here, I think I clicked on the wrong link, but anyway.... While I strongly disagree with a number of the points in the above platform, I think I'd take the whole thing in preference to the current situation. What's so bad about getting rid of Social Security? Gets rid of a stupid regressive tax and an even stupider Ponzi scheme. Also, you mock the idea of dismantling a bunch of the agencies of the federal government, but I think that that idea makes the most sense. Individual states could still implement those agencies if they wanted. Let Texans feel superior and mock California for its huge unnecessary welfare state, and let Californians look down on backwards Texas whose government doesn't provide basic services of a modern government. That way everyone's happy.

Posted by: Adam at October 10, 2003 01:29 AM | PERMALINK

Care to share with us your long term stock market picks?

I'll butt in here. Buy an index fund from Vanguard. Tie it to the S&P 500 or the Wilshire 2000 and let it ride.

Posted by: spc67 at October 10, 2003 01:59 AM | PERMALINK

and don't think about retiring during a Republican presidency

Posted by: bad Jim at October 10, 2003 02:11 AM | PERMALINK

How many seniors eating catfood will you countenance?
How many starving?
Would any outcome make you ashamed to be an American?
How far back in our history do you have to look to find such a condition, or ,alternatively, can you cite a time in our past whose conditions you'd prefer?

Posted by: bad Jim at October 10, 2003 02:27 AM | PERMALINK

It amazes me how this thread has come to be dominated by reactionary rightists who suppose they are not wingnuts because they don't think the Earth is flat (as it does clearly indicate it must be in Scripture after all) the Sun revolves around the Earth, Darwin was an agent of Satan, and gays will necessarily all burn in Hell for eternity. Therefore we are to suppose that your nutty views on the income tax, Federal social services, Social Security, and other positive steps forward taken in the bloody and spiritually devastating 20th century are sweet reason since you see the Bible-thumping brigade on one side and the California Democratic party on the other as spanning the range of extremes!

Personally I think it is a damn shame the British Labour Party dropped nationalization from its platform. If there is one lesson to draw from the Gilded Age and the Twentieth Century in America, it is that concentrated capitalism is most effective at delivering a decent life for the ordinary people under it when the "malfactors of great wealth," as a Republican President once called them, tremble in fear of what the mob just might do if they really get pissed off. Think of it as being like the right to bear arms; when working people accept the "rights" of private property as sacred and untouchable by democracy, they surrender all their power to ruthless masters. In real life the Labour Party never nationalized any industry unless it was on its last legs--they basically socialized losses, which is why the British economy is so uninispriing. But with that threat on the table, the British propertied classes had either to call the bluff and outlaw the political participation of the workers except on their own terms, or settle down and do real business. When there was a real possibilty the working class just might take over--they did business.

Here in the USA we never even had that much of political power for working people. Our ruling classes have been willing to go farther--up to the point of massacre from time to time--to keep all the marbles. But in the early part of the century so-called "Progressives" in both parties, basically "enlightenend" rich people and professionals, did endorse and carry out some reforms in the hope these would suffice to defuse the huge social bomb untrammeled capitalism was creating. WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution gave them both tools to repress rebellion (the FBI, the Red Scare, Palmer raids; jailing Eugene Debs, destroying the Socialist Party) and real fear up their spines--but then 1920's "prosperity" for the rich and urban middle classes, collapsing farms, and a general revulsion for all crusades after the war, made the decade complacent if still vicious (for organized labor for instance--and this was the very depth of the oppressions of African-Americans called "Jim Crow"; in Tulsa for instance a band of white supremacists used an airplane to bomb the African community there, as part of a white pogrom that destroyed a prosperous and exemplary black community, probably because it was that.)

But have you anti-income tax nuts forgotten the Great Depression? That was what it took to overcome the fatuous conservatism you want to restore. Take away the moderate and ramshackle reforms that decade bequeathed us as the sole foundation of social peace in this country and you can be sure there will be a blowup. The capitalist economy desperately needs flywheels and regulators or it will deliver such massive fluctuations that the first unregulated downturn will discredit private property in the means of production forever. Unless you back some Hitler who will guarantee your property rights no matter how many people he has to kill to do it.

Guess what. Your Republicans have already been moving to do that. This is why the party is falling into the hands of crazed extremists. These are the kind of people you need to get stuff like income tax repeal and abolish Social Security and still go on breathing.

If they are defending your objective interests their craziness is something you own. This is why I laugh at the notion that moderate Republicans will ever check the radical ones. You need them and as things get tougher, need to submit to them.

Posted by: Mark at October 10, 2003 02:51 AM | PERMALINK

and don't think about retiring during a Republican presidency

If you invest for the "long term" as the question was asked, it won't matter who's in the white house when you retire. Plus, check out the 80's for a time with a Rep. President when the market was busy tripling.

How many seniors eating catfood will you countenance?
How many starving?

Good, now we can agree to limit SS to those who need it to sustain their life. Not those who need the extra dough so they can go to Florida on vacation. How many seniors' trips to Florida are you willing to have another generation pay for?

Would any outcome make you ashamed to be an American?

Sure, having us go further down the road to a nanny state.

How far back in our history do you have to look to find such a condition, or ,alternatively, can you cite a time in our past whose conditions you'd prefer?

Conditions? None. The ingenuity and work habits of Americans continue to make up for bad policy. Policies I'd prefer? Just to stay on topic? Sure. Means test social security so only those who require it to maintain a dignified standard of living (no vacations, second homes, dining out etc. accounted for, a true catastrophe insurance plan.) That's all. My Grandparents needed SS. My parents don't and shouldn't be etting it. Neither will I, and I don't want it.

Posted by: spc67 at October 10, 2003 03:55 AM | PERMALINK

spc

You've been very vocal about telling us what you don't like. If you had the power, how would you make America?

Posted by: pessimist at October 10, 2003 05:30 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum
I have never thanked you for providing such a wonderful place for me to get into arguments. Thank you. I enjoy your site and it affected my whole day after you went down yesterday.

bad Jim

I was right in the middle of defending parts of this proposed platform, but I'm a glutton for punishment; I'll argue in favor of a flat earth.

See, if the Earth was truly round, then the continental drift would have grouped all land masses around the equator, simple physics.


If there is anybody left that I was arguing with yesterday before the dreaded crash. I will summarize where I think we were.
- I was defending large portions of this platform
- The main arguments I was getting were on the subject of separation of church and state.
This leads me to believe that you do not find most of this platform to be too awful (just the internally inconsistent portions and a lack of separation of church and state).

Now since this platform is just a proposed platform by an ultra-conservative fringe, I gather that you feel that Republican's in general have a reasonable platform?

Posted by: Ron at October 10, 2003 06:38 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a libertarian--I support the Libertarian Party, but when I came to Iowa I registered Republican in part because Iowa wouldn't let me register Libertarian, but mostly so I could oppose Pat Robertson in the Iowa Republican caucus.

I continue to go to the caucuses and dutifully stay until the bitter end so I can vote against the religious nutcases. I have yet to try to introduce a platform plank advocating the teaching of the phlogiston theory to parody the creationist plank in the Republican platform, alas. (OTOH, that's unfair to the phlogiston theory, which is scientific, unlike creationism.)

That said, aside from the theocratic elements, there's a lot to be said for the Texas Republican platform. By all means, let's kill off the entitlement programs and the income tax and the vast overgrowth of government agencies that far exceed the legitimate purpose of government.

Posted by: ApesMa at October 10, 2003 06:45 AM | PERMALINK

ApesMa
Phlogiston theory. Do me a favor, when you are ready to advance that as a party platform, let me know, I'll travel to Iowa to watch that :)

I have a question for you, there are a couple of points about big bang theory that get a little weird. One is: where did the "stuff" come from to get it started. Currently it looks like we have an open universe, which demands a beginning. An closed universe does not, but I have a hard time getting my mind around that. Second: we seem to have the exact carbon ratio needed. Random chance does not support this.

So my question: would you support the raising of these questions in a science class?

Posted by: Ron at October 10, 2003 07:11 AM | PERMALINK

I find it hilarious when Democrats try and portray Republicans as extremist when it comes to abortion. The fact of the matter is that it is Democrats that are extremist on this issue. For a Democratic candidiate there is only one acceptable position: full unrestricted access to abortion in all circumstances. There is no debate in the party. Debate over abortion only takes place within the Republican party. There are those who are against abortion under all circumstances. There are others who are decidedly pro-choice...Colin Powell and Christie Whitman, to name two. No Democratic president would ever nominate pro-life individuals to his candidate...much less the secretary of state. To portray Republicans as the extreme party in regard to abortion is ludicrous.

Posted by: Robert at October 10, 2003 07:21 AM | PERMALINK

I'm scratching my head here. Kevin has linked to a 2000 document that may or may not be the official party platform, yet all the while the official 2002 TX Republican platform is available... as noted by this quote from his post:

"This plank remains in the 2002 platform...."

As opposed to all the other planks cited? Enquiring minds want to know.

It would have been much better to simply use the official 2002 platform for this post. More credible, and more honest. Kevin might still have an argument if he did. But as things stand, it's hard to tell.

At the very least, I'd say a follow-up post that covers the official 2002 party platform is in order.

Posted by: Joe Katzman at October 10, 2003 07:45 AM | PERMALINK

"Of course, there's nothing particularly wrong with that document for a purely rural state"

Texas has more urban areas with a population greater than 1 million than any other state.

Posted by: dzman at October 10, 2003 07:50 AM | PERMALINK

So, Gil, if incorporating the Evil of Socialism into a God Given Capitalist society is so bad, why has it worked so well in Europe and Canada? Why is it that the wealthiest nation in the history of the world feels that providing health care and education for all of its citizens is a bad thing?

Posted by: Jorge at October 10, 2003 08:38 AM | PERMALINK

Jee, I am sure that if Bush could read it he would ammend it. He is not that extreme.

Posted by: GBB at October 10, 2003 08:42 AM | PERMALINK

Jorge
You identify the US as "the wealthiest nation in the history of the world" and also claim that partial socialism is working better elsewhere?

Posted by: Ron at October 10, 2003 08:44 AM | PERMALINK

Question more than a comment:

This clause..."A constitutional tax, collected and controlled by the States, must generate sufficient revenue for the legitimate tasks of the national government."

Huh?

I understand the part about doing away with the 16th Amendment, blah, blah, blah -- but what the hell is a "constitutional tax"?

Posted by: Collin at October 10, 2003 09:02 AM | PERMALINK

With the exception of the plank proposing the return to the gold standard and the language rebuking Judges Murphy and Anderson, every item cited by Kevin in his post remains in the 2002 platform.

Posted by: John at October 10, 2003 09:15 AM | PERMALINK

As a Democrat in Texas, I knew it was bad, but I didn't realize the Republicans were this insane. It's a pity they've forgotten that this country is supposed to be free and democratic.

I now feel ridiculous for hiding my political affiliation in front of Republican family friends. I see no need to pretend that I'm a Republican once I've read that piece of trash.

Posted by: Sara at October 10, 2003 09:52 AM | PERMALINK

Jorge,

You're just mistaken about socialism working "so well" in Europe and Canada; and without major reforms, things there are likely to get much worse.

As for your second question, I think your anthropomorphizing the nation as a single entity that feels, and provides, is interfering with your ability to understand what you're talking about.

Posted by: Gil at October 10, 2003 09:58 AM | PERMALINK

GBB:
Jee, I am sure that if Bush could read it he would ammend it. He is not that extreme.

Do you mean Bush can't read ?
Or that he won't read it ? We known he doesn't read newspapers ;-)
But from the platform's requirements he should have read it and signed off on it.

Anyway "If Stalin/the Führer/the King knew, this wouldn't happen" is the flimsiest of excuses brought forward by downtrodden masses suffering government brutality. They desperately want to believe they are living under a good ruler.

Greetings
Karl Heinz

Posted by: khr at October 10, 2003 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

To Ron:

you said:
"Second: we seem to have the exact carbon ratio needed. Random chance does not support this.
So my question: would you support the raising of these questions in a science class?"

I would say that any scientist worth their salt would say yes, indeed we do support raising such questions. in fact, such questions are exactly the seed that start the process of scientific inquiry. if students are not pushed to question everything, and ask the hard questions, then they will never be good scientists (or humans, but that's my own oponion). The problem with pushing these kind of questions on to students AS A MEANS to undermine the scientific process, is that one is then claiming as a reason that which one is trying to undo (cake:meal or property?). What i mean is that, if you are suggesting that these 'hard questions' need to be taught to childern SIMPLY so that the teacher can then, with a magical flourish of his bibilical wand, prounounce an answer, then no, they are not good questions to ask (in that situation). A question that predicates the end of questioning is even more astoundingly impossible than a universe which explodes from a promoridal mote.

As for your carbon question, check out a book called 'rare earth'. it's an excellent example of how asking just such questions can open up entirely new avenues of inquiry.

Sorry if this is completley off topic!
n.

Posted by: nathan at October 10, 2003 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

An America with underfunded schools which teach theological shite is an America that will be unable to sustain a modern high-tech economy, or a modern high-tech military -- so this is effectively a recipe for an end to US economic and military hegemony. So I say -- bring it on! Let Europe and China rule, and let the US sink back into well deserved global obscurity.

Posted by: Arnold Bocklin at October 10, 2003 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

"How many seniors eating catfood will you countenance?
How many starving?
Would any outcome make you ashamed to be an American?
How far back in our history do you have to look to find such a condition, or ,alternatively, can you cite a time in our past whose conditions you'd prefer?"

I cannot cite a time on our past whose conditions I'd prefer. I can cite a time in our past whose policies I prefer.

Had the pre-Progressive policies remained in place, the conditions that obtained then would not continue for all time. Economic growth and technological advancement would have continued apace, as it had been all throughout the bad old days of pre-Progressive America, and delivered to us here in present-day Americans a standard of living superior to that which we enjoy now.

"This clause..."A constitutional tax, collected and controlled by the States, must generate sufficient revenue for the legitimate tasks of the national government."

Huh?

I understand the part about doing away with the 16th Amendment, blah, blah, blah -- but what the hell is a "constitutional tax"?"

I guess it means a tax authorized by the Constitution as it was before the 16th Amendment was passed, such as tariffs and excise taxes.

As I recall, though, those taxes were collected by the Feds. It was the Articles of Confederation which called for Federal taxes to be collected by the states and turned over to the central government.

Posted by: Ken at October 10, 2003 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Quick observation: It's amazing to me how differently people within both major parties view themselves and the opposition.

I admit I don't even really know what people mean when they say "moderate" anymore. I'm as moderately Republican as they come but because I speak "conservative" at all, I'm labeled as a Nazi (fittingly anti-intellectual use of the term, but nevertheless) by "moderate" Democrats and the "hard left"-ists I meet alike. The reason? People like to argue but don't like to debate. Plain and simple.

How do Republicans get voters to "vote against their interests"? Because it's not against their interests. Healthcare, the environment, savings funds, etc., all have different ways of being handled -- and frankly, a free market / personal responsibility / "Republican" approach is the one I buy into. Instead of being told I'm "anti-" this or that, it'd be nice if we could instead debate the actual merits of each claim. That rarely happens.

I want people to have medicine, I like trees, clean water and breathable air, and I'd like to have some money saved for retirement -- do I think the government can provide any of these? Maybe, but not well, and certainly not as well as they could be provided for without government involvement.

Do I buy into this platform? Surely not all of it. But your "selected excerpts" don't show a lot of the things most Republicans buy into -- just the stuff that when given a "short translation"gets everyone hating GOPers.

If it makes people feel better to refer to this as a "piece of trash," a "recipe for...." whatever, that's fine. But it does nothing for actual, substantive political discourse.

Posted by: DPS at October 10, 2003 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Mad props to Andrew for preserving the original thread.

I'll just chime in here with a reiteration of the point I made there, which has (again!) gone largely unspoken here.

When you get right down to it, this document is a collection of statements of policiy beliefs. As the thread indicates, some agree with some, all, or none of them to varying degrees.

It ought to be a simple matter to get George W. Bush on the record as to what in this platform he supports, and let the chips fall where they may.

Posted by: Gregory at October 10, 2003 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you've performed a public service. Keep this article around so that people can access it easily long after it's dropped off the end of the list of current articles.

Posted by: Chloe at October 10, 2003 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Healthcare...., all have different ways of being handled -- and frankly, a free market / personal responsibility / "Republican" approach is the one I buy into.

Fine let's try to enter into the issues a bit. A market implies that somebody who doesn't have money won't get the goods, right ?

How do you apply this to health care ? Do you support to let some poor person die who needs expensive treatment?

A middle-class person might afford insurance for the same treatment or pay it at considerable sacrifice. For a rich person the same treeatment might be pocket money.

This is the most basic question that has to be answered when discussing a market-based health-care approach. Everything else is details.

Greetings
Karl Heinz

Posted by: KHR at October 10, 2003 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

No Governor repub or dem wants to do away with the federal government. FDR had a good idea with Social Security but it wasn't perfectly implemented I'll grant you that but the idea of senior citizens having to go into a jungle to survive doesn't appeal to me.

Abolishing the federal gov't en masse will lead us back to the Gilded Age. Tax cuts for rich good,give the working class a break bad. The Populist revolt took place due to the unfair practices of Eastern bankers using the guess what? Gold standard. Corporations were all powerful and reached deep into the average citizens daily life. The political cartoons of that era bare that out.

If the Rove plan is completed it will be a re-emergence of that ruling (ruthless) class i.e. the Rockerfellers,Carnegie, Morgan(ouch) and the rest. While they accomplished an incredible amount they're behavior toward the working class was to be kind brutal to the extreme. They like this bunch didn't care if you were left,right,middle; if you were the working class you were there to be ruled.

Modern conservatism is supposed to be Buckley, Goldwater,Reagan and Bush. They and Rove know it's out of the Robber Baron Handbook first published 1870. Revised every year until another Roosevelt decided to do something about it. Right wingers disparge FDR but he called it right.Economic royalists.

Posted by: Daryl at October 10, 2003 01:21 PM | PERMALINK

I am confused. Admittedly, platforms change. But, if you go to the Party website now, it is, to quote a friend, just God, Mom, and Apple Pie. Nothing this specific or crazy. Has the Texas GOP changed their platform THAT much? Or is this document a fake/exageration?

Posted by: Brian Miller at October 10, 2003 01:39 PM | PERMALINK

Karl -- what kind of expensive treatment are you referring to? Has it been government involvement or the free market that has advanced healthcare to where we are today?

I would like to also point out that this platform is of the MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas Republican Party, not the Texas Republicans or the national party.

Posted by: DPS at October 10, 2003 01:42 PM | PERMALINK

Brian Miller: what you see on the platform page at the Texas GOP web site is just the preamble to the platform. The full platform is only available in PDF format; there's a link to it on that page, or you can just click here.

DPS, the link Kevin provides is to a copy of the Texas GOP platform hosted by the Republican Leadership Council of Montgomery County, but if you compare it to the 2002 platform hosted at texasgop.org (link above), you'll see the two are virtually identical.

Posted by: John at October 10, 2003 02:00 PM | PERMALINK

Let me see if I understand DPS and his brethren correctly: the fact that technological progress has enormously improved the overall quality of medical care since the 19th century means that NO ONE right now needs any assistance in getting however much of it he needs and morally deserves? And the fact that technological progress has enormously increased overall human prosperity since the 19th century means that NO ONE needs or morally deserves any economic assistance now? Riiight...

As for the belief of such economic rightists that the abolition of the income tax (presumably to be replaced by some less progressive tax) and of all government income redistribution programs would lead to a massive increase in prosperity: that's exactly the line large numbers of Reaganites sang when Clinton upped taxes on the wealthy. They virtually universally predicted a downturn in the country's total economic productivity, which did not happen in the slightest. Obviously, when you raise tax progressivity and income redistribution above a certain level, it DOES harm productivity enough to do more net harm than good to society as a whole -- but there is no sign that we are anywhere near that level at the moment.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at October 10, 2003 02:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about anyone else, Kevin but I couldn't agree more.

I was born and raised in Texas but left in 1962. After living in northern California for 30 years I returned to Texas in '92. What I found was just what you describe here. A state where Grover Norquist (advisor to Bush) said they would make it know that it was not "acceptable" to be a Democrat in Texas. I might add they intend to make it dangerous as well.

What you have posted is no exageration. It is the truth even if it is stranger than fiction.

The people who control Texas and the country today are fanatics of the worst kind and they have fooled the public for too long.

It is my personal belief that if the Democrats do not win in '04 there will not be another election for them to win. These people will change the Constitution, do away with the Bill of Rights, take away all civil liberties, and, if necessary kill anyone who defies them. They are actually in the majority in Texas already because they have convinced the largely Christian population they are right.

If you think I'm exaggerating then you can ignore me but it will be at your own peril.

Posted by: Fran at October 10, 2003 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

It is perfectly clear that a whole lot of Republicans and others who speak up against the most lunatic elements of the detailed Texas GOP platform are perfectly comfortable with the social-economic core of it. Since one of you recently said

"Had the pre-Progressive policies remained in place, the conditions that obtained then would not continue for all time. Economic growth and technological advancement would have continued apace, as it had been all throughout the bad old days of pre-Progressive America, and delivered to us here in present-day Americans a standard of living superior to that which we enjoy now."

and generally you all want abolition of progressive income tax, abolition of Social Security, abolition of federal social services, elimination of regulations, the whole privatization agenda--it is perfectly fair to characterize American conservatism as demanding to go backward over 100 years.

To my mind there is only a small difference in degree between this and flat-earth fundamentalism or the doctrines of the Taliban (which I suspect are rather more sophisticated and able to deal with modernity than yours are!)

This is ahistorical madness. There are solid reasons why the doctrines and policies of the Gilded Age were modified into the mid-Twentieth century Welfare State.

Indeed the poor economy of the late 19th and early 20th century would not have continued as it was without Progressive intervention. (in fact the real intervention was World War I!) No, if somehow the almost certain alternatives of mass social revolution (definitely on the agenda in all developed capitalist countries at the end of what the reactionary Herman Kahn called the "Belle Epoque" in 1914) or the global war that was started largely to sidestep this had been held off, there is every reason to think the boom-bust cycle would have gotten worse and worse. But this could not happen because it was already socially intolerable without visible progress toward reform, hence the agitations and amendments you deplore--and then the war.

And after another generation of crisis which the old conservative order had no solutions for at all, after another global war, the era of the Welfare State, when only certifiable lunatics held the positions you are now defending as common sense, from the New Deal until the economic crises of the early 1970s, was without a doubt the real Golden Age of humanity in general and of the USA and other Western democracies thus far. In that time, the USA was the undoubted world power; there was on the whole global peace (by the paradoxical means of a tense Cold War--this was a real and terrifying threat, but not because the USSR had any intention of conquering the world, but because both sides needed a regime of terror to keep the populace on board with their program--the real danger was war by accident) though to be sure there were many civil wars and one-sided political massacres going on. But the 20th century was by far the bloodiest in world history yet; in the postwar period it was least bloody. Both Eastern and Western blocs enjoyed economic growth and prosperity each by their own standards. And on both sides of the lines there was visible, real social progress being made toward a more just and humane order--in both cases because both sides started from a very low moral ebb of course! Western Europe and Japan had Naziism and related miliarism to disown; here in the USA we had Jim Crow and McCarthyism; the Soviet Union and its captive satellites began a slow, fitful evolution toward a civil society with basic human rights.

We didn't control the East; here in the West progress and stabilty was a function of the mild social interventions in unchecked market mechanisms that you modern wingnuts would turn loose on the world again--and already have to a great extent. With terrible results.

Someone asked rhetorically whether private initiative or government intervention was more responsible for the quality of modern health care (for those who can pay for it). Actually that is a mighty poor example for fans of Ayn Randian unfettered capitalism! Since the 1930's the public sector has underwritten a whole lot of the medical system and largely given it away freely to private hands, who now claim credit for it! Hospitals for instance were generally built by governments at various levels and then given over to private doctors who controlled them though they had not paid for them; later the very ownership was raffled off to private corporations. The government funds most research but allows the private companies that get the grants to own the product. And without the huge sector of the "market" that is funded via the state the magnitude of the enterprise would be much reduced! In these three ways the right answer to the question is, "the state!" And yet the state gives it all away to the private minority which is already rich. It is a perfect example of Michael Harrington's obeservation (made during the very peak of the prestige of the Welfare State) that the American way is "socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor." You modern wingnuts claim you'll abolish the socialism for the rich part but you never get around to that when in power, but only very small savings can be realized by cutting all the programs for the poor--but you do that first no matter how much misery it causes.

Because what you won't admit when looking back at a Norman Rockwell view of the glories of 1900 is that the "policies" you favor _require_ mass social misery and _produce_ that misery. To take a rosy view of those good old days you have to ignore such massive and violent institutions as Jim Crow legally mandated bigotry, the freedom of corporations to hire private mercenary armies to massacre striking workers, the twisting of the first populist measures against monopoly to ban labor unions while upholding the concentrations of private power they were aimed against; the refusal of the state to regulate the most outrageous violations of worker or public safety. You have to be blind to how much American society was regulated by vigilante mobs (under the direction of the most respectable classes.) You have to ignore the drive to militarism as a way of keeping the lid on a restless populace that led to the Spaninsh-American War and US entry into formal colonialism, with associated atrocities against people overseas--not to mention the informal colonialism called "gunboat diplomacy." And you have to ignore the massive and volatile movements of rebellion from below that threatened to sweep the whole rotten gilded structure away and replace it with some kind of radical democracy that would have no respect at all for your precious principles of the supremacy of private property over public good.

It was movements like the Populist Party, and later the Socialist Party, that persuaded a clique of leaders of both the Democrats and Republicans (mostly the latter in this age that still remembered that once it was the Republicans who stood for mass democracy against the slaveholder-dominated Democrats) to propose and implement the prophylactic reforms we call "Progressive." But these were almost dead letters--the Federal Reserve, income tax, changes in election procedures, regulations, etc--were only fitfully and tokenly in force. World War I gave the state both the power to seriously enact some centralizing measures and to repress instead of concilate the masses. The art of manipulating public opinion was developed then, the FBI created to selectively ferret out radical leaders so the masses could be better herded with propaganda.

It took the Great Depression to give real life to the Progressive principles. These were a far cry from nationalizing the means of production and seizing control on behalf of workers. All they did was stabilize a dangerously unstable system and alleviate just enough misery for the system to survive. Over the following decades the danger that the people might take more radical measures helped keep capitalists and their crony politicians middling honest and helpful. But I think the later history, when the threat of a revolt from below seemed to recede, shows that only this fear and not any inherant good tendencies in the system guaranteed this result. Nowadays there is no thought given at all to the worst off, nor even to the average welfare of the majority--only the propertied few are considered.

Dream on, libertarian wingnuts. It is possible with police state tactics to prevent populist movements from forming openly, but this only builds up the pressure. If the state got out of the business of policing the public mind it would get attacked from below; the way you prevent that is with an authoritarian government/corporate order. It is easy to channel a lot of resentment into supporting rather than tearing down your system--by means of lies and scapegoating and cultivated fear and hatred. In short by fascism. This is what fascism is for, to guarantee the supremacy of your private property in a world that doesn't give you that naturally as you fondly choose to believe.

If you want a debate, look to your historical facts first! In the 20th century the most rapid sustained economic growth was that of the USSR! Nobody in the history of capitalism has matched the economic achievements of the Communists under Stalin! Then too, the most glorious periods of growth under capitalism have also involved much human misery--dislocation, terror, mass sacrifices by the many so the few can become incredibly rich and powerful. Perhaps then there are other criteria than mere growth to consider--like freedom and justice perhaps? But a social order that considered _everyone's_ rights would be very different from the liberal capitalist societies you idealize--"The laws of France with magnificent impartiality prohibit rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges!"

There is no easy road to Utopia. The road you favor is not easy either, as you guys should learn from the rocky experiments with it since Thatcher and Reagan, and it leads straight to world revolution against private wealth, or to a fascist hell.

Posted by: Mark at October 10, 2003 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

Outrageous as that platform document certainly is, it's worth remembering
that, in the United States, party "platforms" are not equivalent to party
*programs* in parliamentary governments. One contributing factor to George
McGovern's crushing defeat in the 1972 Presidential election was the effective
use the Republicans made of language in that year's Democratic platform,
though--even with a majority in both houses of Congress--the likelihood of
President McGovern's actually realizing the platform's positions was nil.
In line with this, recall that Reagan was a vocal supporter of the
anti-abortion constitutional amendment, but made no serious effort to get it
passed during his eight years in the White House.

In short, party platforms are written by and for the most ideologically
committed members of a party; as such they're a good barometer of what those
members believe and want, but not necessarily a good predictor of what the
party's candidates will do if elected.

Posted by: john burke at October 10, 2003 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

1) High tech advances in medical technology are useless if you can't get access to them. You can't get access to them if you aren't helping line the pockets of the shareholders and CEO's of the so-called insurance companies or don't have very deep pockets of your own. I know these things--I have worked in healthcare for over 35 years, both in clinical medicine and on the billing side. I am in a "technical" area of medicine, not "professional", as defined by the US Labor Dept, so I haven't made myself any fortunes in my career. I don't work enough hours to qualify for my employers' healthcare plan; 35 years on my feet have contributed to killer osteoarthritis in my knees, so working more hours on my feet is not a viable option. I guess I can quit and apply for *GASP* (dare I say the dirty word?)"disability" and then mooch off the system, if it still exists by the time I get through the determination process. But I don't believe that I am disabled, I just need a knee replacement so I can continue to work, so the disability route is unacceptable to me. OK, call me a socialist, but I believe that in a just society, someone who has given her entire adult life to the betterment of the health and welfare of others, should be able to get decent medical care when she needs it. Go ahead, you knee-jerk neo-conservatives, kick me in the knee when I'm already down.

2) What did I miss? When did this become the Fascist States of America?

Posted by: Deb at October 10, 2003 04:49 PM | PERMALINK

The "MARK", who posted here today, Oct. 10, said it well,[the insane road to]"a fascist hell." Don't confide in such sick people, and help to remove their influence for a sane, compassionate, unified people, who are for all people, no matter what country they are from. Conflicts are somthing to acknowledge, but not be obsessed by. People need to realize that these fearful, ignorant attitudes toward opposing sides NEVER help the situation. They cost many lives, and much money, causes more and more paranoia, death, destruction, and confuseion about what to do next. No wonder people are so insane in this Rep. party.

Posted by: Alan G. Carter at October 10, 2003 05:00 PM | PERMALINK

This is from the Party Platform Kevin linked to:

Preservation of Republican Form of Government – The Party reaffirms our support for the provisions for a Republican (Representative) form of government as set forth in the Texas Constitution and Texas Bill of
Rights [Art. I, Sec. 2; Art. I, Sec 29; Art II, Sec. 1; and Art. XVII, Sec. 2(g)] and we oppose any attempt to introduce direct democracy (I & R) into our state constitution thereby bypassing the legislative process and
the checks and balances between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. We hereby reaffirm the principles espoused in the United States Declaration of Independence and United States
Constitution.

Ho ho ho.

Posted by: nota bene at October 10, 2003 09:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Fine let's try to enter into the issues a bit. A market implies that somebody who doesn't have money won't get the goods, right?

"How do you apply this to health care? Do you support to let some poor person die who needs expensive treatment?"

Resources are finite, as is our knowledge of medicine. Eventually, EVERY system of health care lets people die. Unless we figure out how to stop aging, or start putting the old folks out on the ice floes, we will continue to spend more and more on medical treatment for people as they age, to less and less effect.

The converse question is, do you think there is ANY limit to the "right" to seize the resources of others for whatever purpose? ("There are children starving, and you have _two_ radios, and a much fancier house, car, computer, etc. than you really need! Until everybody can have something, nobody can be allowed to have it!")

Posted by: ApesMa at October 11, 2003 05:32 AM | PERMALINK

To Ron:

Nathan pegged it; any question is worth asking in a science class, if it's dealt with scientifically. With respect to the strong anthropic principle, though, a story from Rosten's _The Joys of Yiddish_ comes to mind:

Some members of the Russian army were looking for people to "volunteer," when they came upon a barn where someone had clearly been practicing his marksmanship. The side was covered with targets--every one a bullseye!

The soldiers headed for the nearby _shtetl_ and inquired about what they had seen.

"That's Shepsl's barn," a man told them, "but Shepsl's a little meshugge..."

"We don't care--anyone who can shoot like that, we MUST have!"

"You don't understand. Most people draw the targets first and _then_ fire. Shepsl, on the other hand..."

i.e. life fits the universe however it is, and the anthropic principle says "the universe is precisely the way it must be in order to be the way it is," which is at best a tautology of no predictive value. No matter how the universe is, we'd be marveling at the "anthropic principle" or the "annelid principle" or the "arthropod principle"--fill in the blank with an adjective that describes whatever intelligent life shows up in however the universe is.

Posted by: ApesMa at October 11, 2003 05:51 AM | PERMALINK

INteresting article. Whether one agrees or disagrees, two things appear pretty clear to me: (i) assuming the table accurately portrays the Texas Republican platform, that's some pretty scary business, and (ii) the Democratic and Republican parties have become the defacto 'wermachts' of class warfare in this country.

Posted by: Bill at October 11, 2003 08:44 AM | PERMALINK

Brian - How much do people "morally" deserve? And who makes such decisions?

Nota - Is that a "slam" on the Republican party? The United States is not a direct democracy, and we should all be thankful for it. No system better protects the rights of the minority while allowing for majority rule than a democratic republic. So, your point is...?

Posted by: DPS at October 11, 2003 08:45 AM | PERMALINK

My mother is a long-time watcher of the political process in Texas.

I sent her a link to this post, and inquired if the Texas Republican Party really this radically conservative?

Her answer:

NO!! It is a long story. Back when I was active in the party, Jerry Falwells bunch trained people to go to the precinct caucuses and take control. This is the meeting held after the polls are closed. At this meeting, they elect delegates to the county convention and they all want on the list.
Then at the county convention, these delegates make sure that things for the county platform are listed. They clamor to be delegates to the state convention. A lot get nominated and elected because of their number (evangelicals) is persistent.

Then at the state convention they clamor to be on the platform committee and go early to voice (loudly) their views. This is voted on by the convention. So many of them are one-issue (abortion)Republicans. I think that it is disgusting!

Most of the regular delegates ignore the platform and just want their candidates elected.

Does this make sense?

Love , Mom

Posted by: Pixelshim at October 11, 2003 01:50 PM | PERMALINK

in regards to the posting at the top (about the texas GOP)... while i would like to say i am neither a republican nor a fan of gw bush or his admin., i am a libertarian and i find it appaling that most of these 'planks' are really nothing more than what our founding fathers intended for us. we shouldnt pay federal income tax, we should end welfare, we should get rid of the atf and other ninja-clad gestapo agencies in america.
i dont agree with all of these, but i know for sure that i definitly dont agree with the majority of the left, although i do believe they mean well and i appreciate them for that.
i find it hard to believe that a group holding such beliefs and weilding so much power put bush and rove in office, simply for the fact that they are in no way actually implementing these policies (actually quite the opposite).
i always thought the main beleifs of the republican party were limited governement and fiscal responsibility, neither of wich is remotely practiced by this admin. ...their spending is out of control, they have ended any semblance of constitutional rights we previously enjoyed with the 'patriot act', they have lied and cajoled a nation into warring with another to further a personal agenda....etc.
ok, im rambling and i apologise for that, thanks for taking a moment to read my opinion, although i think i got far away from the point i intended to make, which is that people who want america to actually be free are now seen as radicals.

Posted by: thewizardofid at October 11, 2003 04:38 PM | PERMALINK

i only have one question: why bother to be the 'united states of america' if you consider central federal government a nuisance/interference? i'm not being snarky here, i really DO want to know. i'm not an american and i don't understand this concept. if the big gripe is that it's considered better to run things at the state level (legislation, taxation et al), then why bother having central government?

Posted by: silver at October 12, 2003 01:46 PM | PERMALINK

To silver:

To us federalist types, the federal government is supposed to provide a centralized national defense which is more effective than a separate state run defense mechanism, provide a consistent judiciary to mediate the claims of people from different states, and prevent individual states from adopting some policies that hurt themselves collectively but might be seen to help themselves individually (I'm thinking specifically of the interstate commerce clause).

For the most part, things like, say, schools, local policing, and local roads just don't fit into that framework, and are, thus, better handled by state and local people who are closer to the actual situation.

This isn't supposed to be exhaustive, and I'm not trying to start a spitting war over someone's favorite federal program. It's just supposed to answer the question.

Posted by: Scott Wood at October 12, 2003 04:44 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB writes: "Kevin, I have to admit that Adam is right about one key fact: the document you're quoting was not the official 2000 Texas Republican Party platform."

Actually, it is indeed the official platform document. The 2000 platform is no longer available from the www.texasgop.org website, but you can use the Wayback Machine to retrieve it here. It's the same as the document that Kevin links to.

Posted by: Russil Wvong at October 12, 2003 05:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, that document is a nasty piece of work, alright.

But a more interesting question: Mark - agent provocateur or moonbat? Someone with an extremely dry sense of humour, or just apallingly ignorant of history?

Neatest correct entry wins a prize.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 12, 2003 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

A serious analysis of everything republican shows that they are trying to undo the American revolution, returning our society to that of Europe before 1789 where the entire work force was slaves to the rich aristocracy, ruled over by the dictatorship of the christian church and it's king.

Posted by: arthur kin g at October 12, 2003 07:00 PM | PERMALINK

So, I take it that if a teacher taught both creation science and evolution, that students would always be convinced by creation science?

I take it that if money was not made up out of nothing, that the responsibility it enforced on the government would be a bad thing?

I take it that you believe that abortion is a positive good thing, and that the mounds of small corpses do not lead you to even a twinge of sorrow.

I take it that a coercive retirement system that provides a 1 percent total rate of return to people that pay into it is a fair deal, in fact, so fair that people should not be allowed to chose alternatives?

I take it that the molestation of children is not seen by you as a tragedy, and that the overwhelming number of homosexuals who engage in child molestation must be permitted to do so, lest their rights and perversions be in some way trammeled?

I see that you would enthusiastically support the establishment of Communist Chinese missile bases in Panama, and that you can not conceive of any other alternative to war. You can image the US negotiating with Saddam Husayne, but not with Panama?

You support continued high tax rates for people like me who work, and are in debt up to the eye brows, while retired people with millions in the bank are essentially tax free, because they have enough money that they need not even bother to show up at work?

You support continued high unemployment rates simply because the value of their work does not meet an arbitrary standard? If a fellow is worth less than the minimum wage, you think he would be better off unemployed if he can not find an employer willing to pay him more than he is worth?

You think the US should stay in the UN, despite that organizations noted waste and inefficiency, its affection for tyrants, its support of terrorism, and its inability to account for the trillions that have alread been paid to it? You would be opposed to starting an alternative international organization that only permitted republics to join, that supported human rights, required fair elections, supported local governments with limited powers, enhanced personal freedom, and encouraged productive work in its member countries?

Does that about sum up your strongly held beliefs?

Posted by: Don Meaker at October 12, 2003 08:32 PM | PERMALINK

This Drum guy so spot on its amazing!

Imagine if we adopted the gold standard once more. That means that the federal government couldn't just hand out dollar bills to special interest groups in order to get votes flowing back in the right direction.

Think what would happen if minimum wage laws were repealed. Unemployment would drop, and less people would be on the government dole, less people would depend on government transfers, and less people would depend on us, the Democrats, to push selfish businessmen around.

What would happen if people - just once - opened up their constitutions and saw that there was not a single mention of a "separation of church and state." We all know that the results would be disasterous. People would start to distrust deceitful eggheads, would feel impulses toward self-government, would not be astonished by freely associating teenagers getting together for bible study class in public schools after school hours. People must see that the state is the only god.

One thing is for sure. The republican future is ugly.
Instead we need a state in which we can have more gun-control, more welfare benefits, price controls, no gold standard, less selfish living, more animal rights, more euthanasia, in short, everything the Nazi party enacted in Germany!

Posted by: Zeke at October 12, 2003 08:34 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew writes: I assume their stocks of guns and vienna sausages are in the dug-out shelter, underneath their mobile homes.

Yes, that's right. I bet George W.'s mobile is huge!!! Only Texas Republicans could stand being led by rich trailer trash.

By the way, I'm glad to see you're still alive after having to deal with family members who had 50+(!!!) guns.

Posted by: Chuck T. at October 12, 2003 08:59 PM | PERMALINK

More than half of the points that you cited in the TX Republican Platform cannot reasonably be considered "madness" (specifically 1, 5, half of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12), except from the perspective of a partisan from a left-wing party, who defines madness as policies and positions which are not his own. I may not agree with them all, but they're certainly not "obsessive militant lunacy."

I keep hearing all of this talk about the open-mindedness of the left-wing, but I'm always disappointed when I find myself in a situation where it could be displayed.

Posted by: Jefe at October 12, 2003 09:00 PM | PERMALINK

Thank the good professors Reynolds and Volokh for bringing your own delusional rantings to my attention. Have you noticed that platforms have very little to do with what a candidate says during the race, or how a politician governs? Bush has been at best a centrist president - he could have pushed for a much larger tax cut and he could have said "fuck the UN" and just invaded six weeks after 9/11. Don't get me started on the farm subsidies, steel tariffs and defense of limited racial discrimination at the university level. And you have given misleading summaries of some of the above platform too - like construing this statement ("We support individual teachers’ right to teach creation science in Texas public schools") to mean that creation science *must* be taught in public schools. I wouldn't agree with it either but you have clearly put your own misleading spin on it. Now you wonder why conservatives think liberals are dishonest?

Posted by: Greg at October 12, 2003 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

As far as teaching evolution in schools, only the true nuts want to stop that. However, evolution is a scientific theory. Why is it crazy to believe a religion religiously, but not crazy to believe religiously in an unproven theory that has known flaws? That's all that statement says. It says there are other ideas out there besides yours, now open up your mind for once and listen.

Posted by: Jeb at October 13, 2003 01:40 AM | PERMALINK

Erm, not to be too dismissive of the "Texas litmus test" or anything, but how come the Texan in the white house, with a Republican congressional majority to boot, have implemented excactly zero (0) of these demands? (Seeing how they are the absolute *essence* of the Republican party, isn't that somewhat surprising?)

Regards, Döbeln

-Stabil som fan!

Posted by: Döbeln at October 13, 2003 04:32 AM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't it be great if they adopted a platform more like this?

1) All citizens must possess equal rights and duties.

2) The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.

3) All unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

4) Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from war must be regarded as treason to the people and the state must enact total confiscation of all war profits.

5) There must be nationalization of all large corporations that supply basic services i.e. Energy, Phone, Rail, Transportation, Health, and any other sector deemed vital.

6) There must be profit sharing in large industries.

7) There must be a generous increase in Social Security and payroll tax abatement for the working poor.

8) As big business is eliminating the local grocer and driving living wage manufacturing jobs over seas, it is necessary to immediately communalize large stores which will be rented cheaply to small trades people, with the strongest consideration given to ensure that small traders deliver the supplies needed by the State, counties, and municipalities in order to expand and maintain a sound middle-class.

9) In order to end the agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose and the abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

10) There must be a ruthless war be waged against those who work to the injury of the common welfare. Usurers, profiteers, exploiters, etc., are to be punished regardless of creed or race.

11) Roman law or The Representative Republic, which serves a materialist ordering of the world, must be replaced by international common law and direct democracy.

12) In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious person to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people and expanding affirmative action to create equal access to leadership positions. The curricula of all educational establishments should be adapted to practical life with outcome based educational methods. The conception of the State Idea (science of citizenship) must be taught in the schools from the very beginning that all Americans are instilled with a sense of global citizenship. Higher education must be provided to all at state expense.

13) The State has the duty to address national health concerns by; expanding welfare, by prohibiting all juvenile labor, elimination of Big tobacco, regulation of fast food, elimination of genetically modified foods, by increasing physical fitness through national funding and oversight of health (including reproductive health) and physical education in all schools, and by the greatest possible encouragement of associations concerned with the physical education of children.

14) The regular army must be abolished in favour the creation of mandatory national service that all classes and races are equally represented in our military and that the burdens of war not fall disproportionately on the poor and minorities.

15) There must be a legal and legislative campaign against those who propagate deliberate political lies and disseminate them through the press. In order to return to a free and open press not dominated by media conglomerates, we must have a return to the fairness doctrine, and all advertising and corporate financial interests in media, or corporate influence on media must be forbidden by law, and we demand that the punishment for transgressing this law be the immediate suppression of that media outlet.

16) We demand freedom for all religious faiths in the state, insofar as they do not espouse intolerance and preach hatred.

17) The party as such represents the point of view of a positive spirituality without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of human kind can only come about from within on the principle: COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

18) In order to uniformly institute needed reforms and to guarantee state cooperation there must be a strong central Federal authority. As such, all judges must be vetted based on the meaning of “general welfare” in article I sect. 8 and on other important constitutional issues including privacy. If need be the 10th amendment itself should be amended.

The formation of professional committees and of committees representing the several states, to ensure that the laws promulgated by the central authority shall be carried out by the federal states.

Our leaders must undertake to promote the execution of the foregoing points at all costs, if necessary at the sacrifice of their own lives, and as such should be represented on the front lines of any military action taken.

Posted by: progressive guy at October 13, 2003 05:34 AM | PERMALINK

But, you might ask yourselves why the Republicans are so popular with so many people who are nowhere near rich. A lot of people believe that it is just the policies championed by the modern Democratic Party that have impoverished so many in the big cities, creating a dependant class of now reliable voters for that party. Some people just don't want to be wage slaves for big government. It is illuminating to look at donor lists for the two parties. Somehow it is the Republicans who have captured the loyalty of the small donor, and Democrats who have to depend on the vast wealth of a few sugar daddies. Something to think about anyway.

The Democrats have managed to alienate a huge section of the public, who feel like outsiders in their own country, to the point where the Democrats have even lost their position as the largest party. The Democratic party is in the strange position of being the party of the privileged rich while the Republicans by default have become the party of the little guy. Politics is strange all around.

Posted by: Tom Bridgeland at October 13, 2003 06:16 AM | PERMALINK

hey progressive guy, I think your platform sucks and blows.

Go study the Federalist papers, go learn some history, find out why following the Constitution AS INTENDED by the founders (and as stated in the Republican platform discussed) might be a good idea.

You hate the Bush administration? What happens when we've ceeded all powers to the fed rather than holding it to article I section 8, and we've given the state the power over every last dime of our earnings and every piece of land "FOR THE COMMON GOOD," and THEN those rascally Republicans gain power? That'd suck for you, right?

Why not just install an omnipotent "benevolent dictator" and hope he, or the next guy in line doesn't turn on you? Gee, you think that avoiding such a situation as this was why the Constitution says what it says? You think that protecting individual liberty against populist
nonsense and forfeiture of freedom for the promise of goodies MAY have been the goal. SHOCK it was! Or at least it was meant to keep bad governments isolated from the whole.

But I guess everyone here wants an all powerful Fed to impose not so well intentioned California style public employee pandering policies on the whole nation so a few bureacrats can loot to fee their union minions, and so people can't simply flee the state to get away from the power mongers that whip up class envy to get elected.

Federalist Papers, Constitution, etc...read them, understand them - don't force me into a unvesal health care system which has been a miserable failure everywhere it has been tried because it sounds "fair".

I can't see your plan leading to anything but death.

Posted by: fnyser at October 13, 2003 06:35 AM | PERMALINK

Tom; Isn't it odd that the R's got over 60% of their contributions from individual (less than $1000) donors while the D's got over 60% from corporate/union/trial lawer (the few the chosen the protected) sponsorship?

Maybe the little guy doesn't want to cough up 50 to 70% of his income to pay some washington goon to study the effects of grounding children for years then send the PC squads to nationalize his child when he's outed as being an insensitive parent.

Posted by: fnyser at October 13, 2003 06:44 AM | PERMALINK

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Posted by: Bob at October 13, 2003 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.rlctx.org/RLCTX/Texas%20Republican%20Party%20Platform%202000.htm

I just looked. Everything you quoted is libel.

Posted by: Rick at October 13, 2003 01:00 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

absolutely brilliant posting: congratulations!

Thanks,
Helga from "down under"

Posted by: Helga Fremlin at October 13, 2003 07:12 PM | PERMALINK

i agree...i've been bitching about this for year! in 1996, the Dole-led Repub. platform had 13 (13!) constitutional ammendments in it. A "normal" national platform maybe has 1, 2, or 3. Many of those changes were echoed above, and Liberals and Democrats (they're not one and the same) had better get their act together. The writing was on the wall a decade ago and we're still failing. Sadley, things will get worse before they get better.

But I'm a cynic...what do i know.

Posted by: booradley at October 14, 2003 08:36 AM | PERMALINK

What can I add to this?
Yikes!

Posted by: Matt at October 14, 2003 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

MARK writes: "Nobody in the history of capitalism has matched the economic achievements of the Communists under Stalin!"

Tell me another one, Comrade Stakahnov. This remark is a true and fitting cap to all the unsupported socialist assertions that proceed it.

MARK (n): ... "a victim or prospective victim of a swindle."

Posted by: Jay Random at October 14, 2003 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

You should take a sedative. I live in Texas, I'm a registered Republican, I've never read the Republican party platform and cannot foresee the day when I will be bored enough to do so. The nuts and flakes who spend their time writing party platforms have next to no influence on the actual conduct of public affairs. I vote for elected Republican officials, not squirrels who write party platforms, and I have yet to hear any of the former advocate abolishing the income tax, abolishing the separation of church and state, dismissing the Surgeon General, etc. (I regret to say that you probably could find some advocating the teaching of "creation science.") If you hunt deep enough in the East Texas woods, you probably can find an example or two of someone advocating such positions, but do you really consider such persons to be further from the mainstream than one of your party's current presidential candidates, the representative from the Eagle Nebula, Dennis Kucinich.

That being said, however, it is noteworthy that you are so far in left field that you consider the following ideas beyond the pale:

--gradually transitioning to a solvent private pension plan from the greatest pyramid scheme in recorded history

--withdrawing from a international organization, dominated by thugs and kleptocrats, which exists primarily to employ high-living international bureaucrats and demonstrates less moral authority than the Snack Food Council.

As far as George Bush epitomizing Texas Republicans, he's done a pretty sorry job of it on the domestic front, signing off on vast wastes of the taxpayers' money on education and farm subsidies and currently advocating a major corrupting middle class entitlement for drug benefits. He does, however, faithfully represent the Texas view that the proper way to deal with foreigners trying to kill you is a bullet, not an apology.

As irrelevant as state party platforms may be, I compliment you for striking a chord with your dyspeptic left readers. The comments are laced with the familiar Angry Left liturgy of "Nazi," "Klan," "Goebbels," etc. I'll enjoy your apoplexy even more after the next election.

Posted by: Vidkun Quisling at October 14, 2003 02:20 PM | PERMALINK

P.S.

I forgot to give you the answer to your mother's question. Answer: Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

I'm sure it was easier to be civil to country club Republicans who had no ideas, only economic interests, and who presented no serious challenge to liberal ideas. There wouldn't have been any serious reason for incivility by Dems on foreign policy grounds anyway. Until the late 60's, the Democrats (with the occasional exception of a Stalinist bootlicker like Henry Wallace) were led by unapologetic patriots. Lots of the Dems with brains and ethics eventually joined the Republicans as Neocons, and we're enriched by having them. How did a party once led by Roosevelt, Truman, and JFK degenerate to apologists for anti-Americanism and third world tyranny and corruption. Answer: George McGovern and Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: Vidkun Quisling at October 14, 2003 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friendman
wrote extensively on the subject of why the gold
standard better serves the needs of both the economy
and the cause of political liberty.

Posted by: Tony Kimball at October 14, 2003 04:31 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Texas, I'm a registered Republican, I've never read the Republican party platform and cannot foresee the day when I will be bored enough to do so.

Translation: "I'm ignorant, and I want to stay that way."

I live in Texas, and I find myself surrounded by the exact same kind of ultra-right-wing lunacy that you say I'd have to "hunt deep enough in the East Texas woods" to find.

Your parroting of the "pyramid scheme" lie about Social Security is amusing enough, but your conflation of legal and moral authority is just sad. You would do well to read some of Lawrence Kohlberg's ideas on levels of moral development. You're stuck in level 4.

Posted by: Cerebus at October 14, 2003 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

Cerebus -- why are you so filled with hate?

Posted by: DPS at October 15, 2003 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

And for all the conservatives reading this: I know this doesn't necessarily represent what you believe. But whether you like it or not, this kind of thinking does represent a very strong, very fast growing segment of the leadership of your party, and this is why liberals think the Republican party is just plain scary these days.

That's why I'm not a Republican. I would probably consider myself slightly right of center, but voting GOP ends up giving power to the radical Christian right. The costs of solidifying the Tom DeLay majority far outweigh the benefits of voting my conscience.

Posted by: saranwarp at October 15, 2003 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Although I haven't seen it yet, I fully expect them to attempt to roll back all of the Amendments, including the suffrage Amendments. And I do not except the IInd Amendment either, as by the time they get that far, their treason will be so apparent that they will need keep personal arms ownership restricted for their own protection.

Posted by: leroy at October 15, 2003 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Although I haven't seen it yet, I fully expect them to attempt to roll back all of the Amendments, including the suffrage Amendments.

Roll back women's suffrage? No way.

Posted by: saranwarp at October 15, 2003 01:20 PM | PERMALINK

This commentary on the Texas Republican party platform is unfair. This is mainly because it ignroes the fact that the Texas Republican party institutionally is largely irrelevent to the Texas Republican party in an elected sense. In other words the people who fill the majority of the state committee and Convention are much more right-wing and radical than the likeso of Rick Perry or David Dewhurst who actually command power int he state of Texas. It is quite possible in the US for a group to have enormous power on a state committee but to be negligable among elected officials. For example Jesse Jackson won the Michagen 88 cacus-ie thep arty activists , but this did no mean state officials could fiarly be said to be Jesee Jackson Democrats .

The state Republcina party in Texas (finstituionall) has generally been ignred , in fact it clashed a great deal with George Bush when he was governor to the extent that he increasingly raised money around rather than through it and that several key figures denoucned him when he ran for President this contrasts with the unity of State Republicans behind Bush more generally.

For an analysis which shows the essential irrelvnce of the State Republican platfrm in tTexas see the following mocking account by an reporter whose journal is probablly singificnatly to the right of Texas Republican officeholders and certianly of George Bush

at actihttp://www.lonestarreport.org/newsletters/pdf/020614.pdf if that does not work look at the Lone Start Report Volume 6 Issue 39 "Republicans no longer bleieve in the Gold Standard". at Lone Start report.org

Posted by: Ytom at October 15, 2003 06:46 PM | PERMALINK

Further to previous post I would also say a great deal of the commentary about this is somewhat unfair to the Texas Republican State Platform. Yes it is well to the right of my politics but I woudln't say it is theocratic , neo-Confederate or anti-women, the pervaisive tone is asuspcion of centralized authority of all forms ,national or international or even state. This is tinged with a belief in certia soical pricples which leaving aside evolution (remember though they want government intervention in educaiton per se to be minimal) would be unremarkable among Republican or indeed Democrats of the 1950's. They even praise Linconln. Oh and their latest platform abandons the Gold Standard.

Posted by: tom at October 15, 2003 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

This commentary on the Texas Republican party platform is unfair. This is mainly because it ignroes the fact that the Texas Republican party institutionally is largely irrelevent to the Texas Republican party in an elected sense. In other words the people who fill the majority of the state committee and Convention are much more right-wing and radical than the likeso of Rick Perry or David Dewhurst who actually command power int he state of Texas. It is quite possible in the US for a group to have enormous power on a state committee but to be negligable among elected officials. For example Jesse Jackson won the Michagen 88 cacus-ie thep arty activists , but this did no mean state officials could fiarly be said to be Jesee Jackson Democrats .

The state Republcina party in Texas (finstituionall) has generally been ignred , in fact it clashed a great deal with George Bush when he was governor to the extent that he increasingly raised money around rather than through it and that several key figures denoucned him when he ran for President this contrasts with the unity of State Republicans behind Bush more generally.

For an analysis which shows the essential irrelvnce of the State Republican platfrm in tTexas see the following mocking account by an reporter whose journal is probablly singificnatly to the right of Texas Republican officeholders and certianly of George Bush

at actihttp://www.lonestarreport.org/newsletters/pdf/020614.pdf if that does not work look at the Lone Start Report Volume 6 Issue 39 "Republicans no longer bleieve in the Gold Standard". at Lone Start report.org

Posted by: tom at October 15, 2003 06:51 PM | PERMALINK

I find this page very interesting, and the posts in someways scarier than Texas platform, and in other ways healthy. I will cite the fore knowledge of George Washington, who urged the people of America not to form political parties at all, and in the course of time the parties have devolved to point of name calling. The issues themselves have taken somewhat of a back seat. Both political parties are guilty of radicalism, for instance the Georgia court house and its statue with the ten commandments. How does that violate the seperation of church and state? When our money and national motto is "In God we Trust". There is no harm in posting biblical citations. I have no love of religious zelousy but they have the right to post what they will.
The positive things I see is that this page presents people voicing their opinions and beliefs in public without fera of retribution. Morality cannot be legislated and any party who tries to do so will eventually collapse the government should not be in that business, it should be in the business of protecting people from disasters, and from people who want power. As for the Califonia recall, Hooray! Not for Arnold winning but for the people of Califonia saying enough. People are too complacent and do not protect their freedoms enough.
I would like to cite an example of things that are wrong with the way radicals behave. I just happened to walk through a protest brandishing large signs saying "Bush Lies" and on the same hand handing out "The Socialist Worker", Bush may have lied yes but do you honestly believe someone passing out "The Socialist Worker"?

Posted by: Zero_x at October 16, 2003 08:18 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, thanks for bringing this to light. This analysis helps provide insight into the messianic leanings of the current administration. One has to wonder what happened to the "other" Republicans. This had to make them nervous. It certainly makes me nervous (and I'm not a Republican).

Posted by: rowan at October 17, 2003 06:00 PM | PERMALINK

Thought you migth be interested in the new site. It deals mainly with reforming the california recall process, and has an online petition to show yoru support.
-Alex

Posted by: Frank at October 20, 2003 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Thought you might be interested in the new site. It deals mainly with reforming the California recall process, and has an online petition to show your support for recall reform.
-Alex

Posted by: Frank at October 20, 2003 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

This has been an illuminating read. Not the platform stuff--everyone with half a brain realizes that Drum selectively cited and intentionally misinterpreted enough of the platform to render his analysis meaningless. No, the illuminating part is the reaction to it by the readers here. By my unofficial count, you folks have called the GOP the following names:

Nazis, 3 times
Taliban, 2 times
Fascist, 2 times
Klan, 1 time
Communists, 1 time

Interestingly, the person who called the GOP "Communists" also called them Nazis. That person needs to bone up on their history--in Germany, the Nazis and Communists vied for power. Though the believe many of the same statist things (which would put them at odds with the more libertarian GOP), one cannot be both a Nazi and a Communist at the same time.

And it is ironic that the party most responsible for destroying the Taliban is compared to it here. Additionally, Democrats founded the Klan. The only former member of the Klan currently sitting in any position of power in the US government is a Democrat--Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virgina (there are no current members of the Klan serving in the US government, and the GOP long ago repudiated David Duke, a former Klan member who sought office as a Republican). If your angle is to tie the GOP to the Klan via some Southern states' rights code, the Confederate flag was raised over South Carolina by a Democrat--Fritz Hollings, governor at the time.

There were also a number of calls in this thread to nationalize American industry, by the same people criticizing the GOP for being Nazis, Fascists and Communistst--all of whom believe in nationalizing industry. The GOP does not believe in nationalizing industry. Incoherence seems to be the rule here.

Many posters referred to the GOP as "lunatics" or some variant of that, without actually engaging in the substance of debate on the party platform or understanding that party platforms usually have little to do with how elected officials actually govern.

In short, this has been illuminating as a window into the mind of the left. You are, as a group, ignorant of history, ignorant of the distinction between political forces whose names you throw around, and ignorant of the Constitution. Some of you are exceptions to this, but the majority are not.

That's why the Democrats are the minority party today. It will remain the minority party until it rediscovers its great roots in championing liberty and devoting itself to truth.

Posted by: Bryan at October 20, 2003 08:45 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Reagan was right?
The end is at hand and the Second Coming of the Messiah is near?

Armageddon Theology and Presidential Decision-Making

The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

Posted by: OldManners at November 2, 2003 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

No cause is so right that one cannot find a fool following it.

Posted by: Mendelson Joel at December 10, 2003 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

People are exponentially funnier when they're in rant mode.

Posted by: Johnson Andrea at December 20, 2003 05:51 PM | PERMALINK

Keep the good work.

Posted by: Jeon Aeli at January 9, 2004 08:36 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, the oldest debating trick ... take something out of context and declare that a central principle. Here's the real deal, the core principles:

PRINCIPLES OF THE 2000 TEXAS REPUBLICAN PLATFORM

We respect the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and our founders’ intent to restrict the power of the federal government over the States and the people.
We believe that the least government is the best government, that the proper function of government is to do for the people those things that cannot be achieved individually, and that the most effective government is government closest to the people.
We believe that human life is sacred because each person was created in the image of God; that life begins at the moment of conception and ends at the point of natural death; and that all innocent human life must be protected.
We believe that good government is based on the individual and that each person’s ability, dignity, freedom and responsibility must be honored and recognized. We believe that while equal opportunity is a right and privilege, equal outcome is not. We insist that no one’s rights are negotiable and that individual freedom demands personal responsibility. We believe that taxes and government spending are out of control, and therefore we support fundamental, immediate tax reform that is simple, fair and visible.
We believe that traditional marriage is a legal and moral commitment between a man and a woman. We recognize that the family is the foundational unit of a healthy society and consists of those related by blood, marriage, or adoption. The family is responsible for it’s own welfare, education, moral training, conduct and property.
We believe that a well educated population is fundamental to the continued success of our Republic and that parents have the right to direct their children’s education and to have the choice among public, private and religious schools. Competition improves education.
We believe that the future of our country depends upon a strong and vibrant private sector unencumbered by excessive government regulation.
We believe that a strong American ensures a free America. While we recognize that American is an active participant in the global community, we must vigilantly protect the sovereignty of the United States. Freedom is never free, and we honor all those who have served our nation to protect our liberty.
Because all Americans have the right to be safe in their homes, on their streets, and in their communities, we believe in tough law enforcement with stiff penalties, no loopholes and judges who respect the rights of law abiding Americans.
We believe that personal and public integrity is the cornerstone of a stable and lasting society and it is the key to preserving the freedoms for which our founders pledged their “Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor.”

These are the principles of the Texas Republican Party. I can live with that.

Posted by: Texas Friend at January 12, 2004 04:28 PM | PERMALINK

I dont have time to correct all the distortions made by Liberals here but let me mae 2 brief points.
First, consider the extremism of the actions, not the platform. For me, the extremism of giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens, as the Cali Democrats did in a pandering move that is was a danger to our homeland security by thoroughly corrupting the validity of those licenses as IDs (thanks Aronold for overturning it), is more extreme than say, the Texas 'pro-life' legislation that now requires women to be *informed* about the medical reality of abortion. As for all the complaints about redistricting, understand that the Democrats did exactly the same thing 10 years prior - including the suspension of the 2/3rds rule so the Dems could pass their partisan gerrymander that restricted Republican representation heavily in the 1990s. that's merely the pot calling the kettle black.

Now, let me add context in at least one case - teaching 'creationism'. The issue is not whether creationism only will be taught, but whether it will be even mentioned alongside evolution. "should not be constrained to one viewpoint" is the position of the 200 platform ... Some may not even want that or like that, but giving children different viewpoints is hardly as dangerous as implied by the Liberals here. This is the full text:

"The Party believes that scientific topics, such as the question of universe and life origins and environmental theories, should not be constrained to one opinion or viewpoint. We support the teaching equally of scientific strengths and weaknesses of all scientific theories--as Texas now requires (but has yet to enforce) in public school science course standards. We urge revising all environmental education standards to require this also. We support individual teachers’ right to teach creation science in Texas public schools. "


I understand wanting to make the Texas GOP a boogeyman - it's easier than debating the issues.
But that doesnt make it a realistic portrait.

Posted by: Texas Friend at January 12, 2004 04:44 PM | PERMALINK

I just read the platform and it is incredibly scary. If we do not defeat these people in this years election America is screwed

Posted by: Ben Goldberg at January 24, 2004 03:35 PM | PERMALINK

I just read the platform and it is incredibly scary. If we do not defeat these people in this year's election America is screwed

Posted by: Ben Goldberg at January 24, 2004 03:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm from Oklahoma. I was a Republican from 1970 until 1993. I became involved in Tulsa local politics and was elected precint secretary/treasurer in 1993. I did this in hopes of changing what, I had been seeing, the religious right/fundaMENTALists were doing to the Republican party.

After attending the Tulsa County Republican convention of 1993, I observed 1st hand the vitriolic behavior of these fundaMENTAList.These Pharisees had taken over the Oklahoma Republican party identically as has been decribed of the Texas Republican party. These fascists refused to allow us mainstream Republican's planks on their platform. After observing such "Christian" behavior in politics, I jumped ship and became an enlightened Democrat.

Everyone needs to read Harper's Magazine's March 2003 article: "Nothing but Jesus". Talk about an eye opener! It explains how religious leaders and politicians in Washington are attempting to establish theocracies world wide.

Posted by: Brent at February 10, 2004 07:15 PM | PERMALINK

Just a comment regarding the evo/cre part of the platform.

I am from Texas and I was involved in the textbook adoption process last fall. At that time, biology textbooks were up for adoption. Also at that time, activists (essentially, the Greater Houston Creation Society, but under a different name, Texans for Better Science Education) in conjunction with Discovery Institute a "think-tank" out of Seattle that advances the 'Intelligent Design' flavor of anti-evolutionism, demanded that "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution be incorporated into the textbooks or the textbooks should be rejected as non-conforming.

The "weaknesses" were essentially the "Icons" in Jonathan Wells' book _Icons of Evolution_, a truly awful book that seriously misrepresents science, evolutionary biology, and the contents of the books that it purports to review. This book is so bad that there are a number of detailed reviews available on the web which amazingly do not duplicate one another. At any rate, this is what TBSE wanted incorporated, with a few choice extra bits like (paraphrased) "atheist Marxist Stephen Jay Gould invented punctuated equilibrium, which requires no evidence, to compensate for the lack of evidence for evolution". In the textbooks. No joke.

TBSE's website is available at www.strengthsandweaknesses.com

What relevance to your blog? Well, many of the Texas SBOE members are Republican. In fact I think the majority. I was particularly interested to note that TBSE's submissions to the SBOE included copies of relevant portions of the republican platform, including the comment that Texas republicans must initial each page. In short, when you state "We are serious" you are dead on. They are serious, and they *will* use the platform as a club.

At this time, the Republicans running in contested races for SBOE (and know that the districts are so gerrymandered that the races are won at the primary level) include two anti-evolutionist incumbents and one incumbent who voted against incorporating the "strengths and weaknesses". She hails from Montgomery County (I believe someone has already commented about the RLC there) and her challenger also hails from Montgomery County. In an amazing coincidence, her challenger testified for the TBSE at the textbook hearings. I await with interest the 2006 election cycle: what will happen to the other Republicans who held the line against incorporating this nonsense into the textbooks?

Anonymous "Texas Friend" is disingenous at best, when he states that the issue is whether or not to teach evolution alongside creationism. Whose creationism? Raelian? ID? YEC? OEC? Hindu? And, why not go whole hog? Let's teach the alternate viewpoint that humans have XX chromosomes (exact number to be determined by vote of the class), that females have more ribs than males, and that there is something to that phlogiston thing after all.

Great job, and I would really like to see the Republican party platform become a campaign issue, as presumably George Bush has initialled all the pages.

Posted by: Sarah Berel-Harrop at February 13, 2004 07:09 AM | PERMALINK

whats wrong with being a republican? i for one am a rep. and i strongly agree with doing away with abortion... being young... in this day and age i am faced with that choice almost everyday. i go to school with some girls who don't know what a condom is... not to mention they don't ever think to keep their legs closed. but thinking about the number of girls in my school alone that have had abortions... some girls, more than one abortion... i can't help but believe that it's becomming a new form of birth control. people don't take the consiquenses of abortion seriously. for one, what do you think you would feel like in 30 years when you finaly realize that you have murdered a human being... it would be heart breaking... and second... why should a person be able to make the decision on if you live or die? just because a person isn't quite big enough to fight for their rights, doesn't mean they don't posses the same rights as anyone else... i personaly am thankful that my mother never resulted in killing me because she wasn't ready for a baby to ruin her life... she took responcibility for her actions and took care of me. not to mention the toll it takes on the mother's body.... research has proven that infections, diseases and even death can occur from this procedure. i'm not sure about you guys, but being a girl i know that i would feel really stupid walking in to an abortion clinic asking them to undo my mistakes because i'm not mature enough to take responcibility for my actions! if abortion is the way to get rid of unwanted people...then murder should be legal. it would just be a way of getting rid of everyone else who's not wanted. oh wait thats why you democraps have the death penalty... because if they are no good for the court system, just kill them off... don't find ways around taking other people's lives, just do away with them... and if your kids ever come to you with the problem of being pregnant, are you going to tell your little girl to go get her baby sucked out of her with a big vacuum? are you going to be the one to kill that unborn child? if any of you can actually say that you could be the ones to take life from someone else, then i don't know waht to say about that... it really scares me that some one could do that. i mean really... i could never deny some one of life. i have been given so much.. so many chances of happiness. the chance to smell a rose, and the chance to have my first kiss and so on and so on... why would anyone want to take that from some one else? some one who has done nothing wrong. who hasn't even had the chance to do anything wrong. the only thing i think that an unborn child has done wrong in a person who is willing to get an abortion is winning the race. oh and how about the fact that the only reason sex is availible to anyone is so we can reproduce. that is why it is called the reproductive system. not the "oh my god i got drunk and had a mistake let me kill it" system. you never put dough in an oven and not expect bread to come out do you? no, because ovens were made to bake breads. kind of like the uterus was made to make babies. when the right ingredients are put in to the uterus, a baby comes out... just like it was made to do! and another thing.... there are so many people out there looking for children to adopt because they were not blessed with the same things as other people.... some people are not fortunate enough to have their own children. so why kill off other people's happiness? and why not just teach your kids to keep their pants on? i think that if the parents would teach their children more morals then just "hey if you get pregnant, it's ok we can just have it killed," then we wouldn't have abortion. but again. i guess some people don't really care about others... it's all about me me me!

Posted by: sara at February 13, 2004 02:25 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans have been kidnapped by the asshole wing of their party, it should become obvious by now that it used to be that moderates would fake conservatizm in order to motivate the wingnuts, now it has become such that the wingnuts may sometimes fake moderation in order to placate the moderates, yet wink at their fellow wingnuts while they jerrymander the democrats into political siberia forever.

Posted by: me at February 22, 2004 04:49 PM | PERMALINK

If we don't like the Republican Party platform, the only way to change it is for everyone to join the party and do it. Then ALL of us Republicans can say in a very LOUD voice, "My Party Right or Wrong. When Right, to be KEPT RIGHT, when Wrong to be PUT RIGHT."
This is not unlike the bright road to victory outlined in the old Pogo strip, "We have met the enemy and they is us."

Posted by: O.T. Horatii at February 23, 2004 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

Lies are only a problem when you believe them.

Posted by: Olsky Charles at March 17, 2004 01:04 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican Party in the state of Texas is a grassroots party. The platform is developed from resolutions submitted by individuals and by precinct and senatorial district conventions. If people don't like one year's platform, they are free to help in creation of the next one.

How different from the practices of the Democratic Party, which shuts out any voice that doesn't echo the NARAL mission statement!!

Posted by: Bill Cork at April 10, 2004 03:28 PM | PERMALINK

The Democratic Party in the State of Texas is a grassroots party. The platform is developed from resolutions submitted by individuals and by precinct and senatorial district conventions. If people don't like one year's platform, they are free to help in creation of the next one.

How different from the practices of the Republican Party, which shuts out any voice that doesn't echo the fundamentalist religious-right mission statement!!

Posted by: Montie Guthrie at April 19, 2004 05:41 PM | PERMALINK

I criticize by creation -- not by finding fault.

Posted by: Hartka Rebecca at April 28, 2004 07:22 AM | PERMALINK

This isn't the 2000 platform or the 2002 platform, get your years stright. Orwell's 1984 is the year and platform.

Enjoy the irony, Jefferson and Franklin would be appalled. This country was secular for a reason, take America back to the dark ages the Mideast is rolling back as well, it will be a nice match.

The EU will be light years ahead of us soon...

Posted by: Mr.Murder at April 30, 2004 08:40 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes.

Posted by: Benton John at May 19, 2004 10:46 AM | PERMALINK
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