Mike Kueber's Blog

August 24, 2012

The national GOP’s 2012 platform

Filed under: Issues,Media,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 7:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

As a public-policy wonk and a political junkie, I love to read and write about political-party platforms.  Earlier this year, the Texas GOP produced a platform that, in addition to making a number of significant statements, created a bunch of controversy by taking a position arguably against critical thinking. 

The national GOP started working of its 2012 platform this week, and although a draft will not be released to the public until next week, the essence of several controversial provisions has leaked, and the mainstream media are using them as an opportunity to brand the party as extremist. 

An editorial by the NY Times yesterday is typical.  The editorial acknowledges that traditionally, “election-year platforms have been regarded as Kabuki theater scripts for convention week. The presidential candidates blithely ignored them or openly dismissed the most extreme planks with a knowing wink as merely a gesture to pacify the noisiest activists in the party.”  But then, without explaining why this platform is different, the Times asserts:

  • That cannot be said of the draft of the Republican platform circulating ahead of the convention in Tampa, Fla. The Republican Party has moved so far to the right that the extreme is now the mainstream. The mean-spirited and intolerant platform represents the face of Republican politics in 2012. And unless he makes changes, it is the current face of the shape-shifting Mitt Romney.  The draft document is more aggressive in its opposition to women’s reproductive rights and to gay rights than any in memory. It accuses President Obama and the federal judiciary of ‘an assault on the foundations of our society,’ and calls for constitutional amendments banning both same-sex marriage and abortion.”

Since when is opposing abortion and same-sex marriage shockingly extreme?  Even President Obama opposed same-sex marriage until earlier this year.  What would have been shocking would be for the GOP platform to condone these things.

When the GOP gives us a chance to read its entire draft-platform next week, I will be anxious to find out whether the inmates have taken over the asylum.


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