The HyperTexts

S**t Republicans Say
The Republic Platform: Average Americans Walk the Plank

by Michael R. Burch, an editor and publisher of Holocaust and Nakba poetry, and a "recovering fundamentalist"

I was a Reagan Republican, but I dropped the party like a hot potato when it allowed religion-mad morons like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Bishop Willard Mitt Romney to start having their medieval way with the American public.

The Republican party has a very rigid, Tarzan-like ideology which is reflected in its current platform: “Federal government bad! Taxes very bad! Poor people very, very bad! States good! Private business very good! Rich people very, very good! Tarzan give all money rich people, let them piss golden showers on poor people. That warm them up, make them smell better too!”

In a book to be released later this year, political scientists Robert Erikson of Columbia University and Christopher Wlezian of Temple suggest that the more extreme the Republican platform becomes, the worse the party does at the polls: “We do not argue that voters actually read platforms. Rather, our expectation is that the platform ... provides a proxy for the positions of the presidential candidates as seen by the voters.” And it makes perfect sense that as arch-conservatives circle the wagons, protecting the rights of rich white Christian heterosexual men, they alienate the people who end up unprotected outside the defenses: women, gays, minorities, non-Christians and the 47% of Americans — roughly 150 million people — who according to Mitt Romney are not entitled to food, housing or healthcare ... the stuff of life.

S**t the 2012 Republican platform says:

The Republican hive mind reflects its strange fears and obsessions.

There is a prohibition against the use of “foreign law by U.S. courts in interpreting our Constitution and laws,” a reference to the Religious Right’s irrational fear of Sharia law.

The United Nations is treated as a sinister force encroaching on American sovereignty. The new platform incorporate nods to conspiracy theories, such as language that says the party rejects UN Agenda 21 as “erosive of American sovereignty, and we oppose any form of UN Global Tax.” But Agenda 21 is a harmless, toothless international commitment to sustainable development. And the UN lacks the authority to impose a Global Tax.

There’s a pledge to preserve the electoral college against the terrible prospect of a popular vote (?).

And the campaign for energy independence wouldn’t be complete without “reducing dependence on foreign imports of fertilizer.” Truly, the party seems to be foundering in deep s**t.

Republicans call marriage equality for gays “an assault on the foundations of our society.”

Republicans call on the federal government to drop its lawsuits challenging state laws adopted to combat illegal immigration.

The new platform salutes Republican governors and lawmakers who engaged in union bashing and union busting. Yay, team! Protect us from those dangerous teachers’ unions!

In a section entitled “Reining in the EPA,” the platform links “liberty” to scientific progress: “Liberty alone fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and information exchange. Liberty must remain the core energy behind America’s environmental improvement.” This seems to be code-speak for: “Give businesses more liberty to pollute by reining in the EPA.”

Climate change does a disappearing act. While the 2008 platform spent nearly two pages addressing “climate change responsibly” and “reducing demand for fossil fuels” in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, the topics are barely mentioned in the current platform. Also gone is the 2008 platform's proposal for a government-sponsored Climate Prize, which would award millions of dollars to “scientists who solve the challenges of climate change.” Instead, the new platform emphasizes “taking advantage of all our American God-given resources” and the need to encourage greater domestic oil, gas, and coal development. Basically, “Drill, baby, drill!” and “Bring on the fracking!” The party opposes “any and all cap and trade legislation” and it calls on Congress “to take quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations.” The new platform also criticizes the Obama Administration for issuing a National Security Strategy that “elevates climate change to the level of a ‘severe threat’ equivalent to foreign aggression. The word ‘climate,’ in fact, appears in the current President's strategy more often than Al Qaeda, nuclear proliferation, radical Islam, or weapons of mass destruction.” But in the wake of so many major natural disasters in recent years, one might postulate that climate change really is the greater danger, by far.

Republicans “oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.”

On the other hand, Republicans want to spend unspecified amounts of money for the United States to modernize its “nuclear stockpile.”

In large part, such language reflects shifts within the party and the national political landscape since 2008. Its presidential candidate then was Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who once supported aggressive government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mitt Romney, this year’s nominee, has shared some of McCain’s positions in the past, but has backed away from publicly calling for government action to reduce emissions.

Republicans side with serial killers, saying: “We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban.” In other words, even in the wake of recent mass murders the GOP supports the sale of high-capacity magazines that killers have used to such tragic effect, and which also endanger the lives of first responders.

David Keene, president of the NRA, said on the group’s Web site that “the 2008 platform of the Republican Party was perhaps the most gun-friendly platform that any party had ever adopted, and I’m happy to be able to report that this year’s Republican platform is even stronger ...”

On social issues, the GOP keeps growing more and more regressive, as if in a heated race back to the Dark Ages. The 2012 platform defines marriage as between one man and one woman, assails an “activist judiciary” for suggesting otherwise, and urges a crackdown on Internet pornography. It also calls for prayer in public schools and the pubic display of the Ten Commandments as “a reflection of our shared Judeo-Christian heritage” even though the first four commandments are incompatible with religious freedom. Republicans would ban all abortions, asserting that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”

Republicans oppose abortion in all cases, with no exceptions for rape, incest or the mother’s life being endangered. This is actually far more extreme that the mind-numbingly medieval positions of Republicans like Todd Aikin and Pat Ryan, who despite their Dark Age opinions about women, sex and reproduction, would at least allow abortion in cases of “legitimate” and/or “forcible” rape. If you agree with me that it seems insane to force women to prove that they were “legitimately” or “forcibly” raped, still it is even more insane to deny abortion in all instances. And the Republican party seems to have lost all empathy for teenage girls who have sex for the first time and get unlucky, victims of the “date rape” drug where there is no physical force employed, and working mothers who contraceptives malfunction.

Republicans say that abstinence education is “effective, science-based, and empowers teens to achieve optimal health outcomes and avoid risks of sexual activity.” Is abstinence education “effective” and “science-based"? Not unless you use the Republican definition of “science” meaning blind faith and refusing to consider actual science-based research, which says that abstinence education is less effective that more realistic sex education methods, such as being honest with young people.

Republicans support the traditional definition of marriage as the "union of one man and one woman." In other words, just say “No!” to fully equal rights for gays.

Republicans say: “We condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and vandalism by proponents of same-sex marriage against advocates of traditional marriage and call for a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious believers their civil rights.” Let me see if I can grok this correctly: after denying gays equal rights, the perps want to blame the victims, then have a federal investigation to verify that their religious beliefs grant then the “civil right” to violate other people’s civil rights? Will the federal investigation be able to prove conclusively that God is also a homophobe, or is that a matter of pure conjecture?

Republicans say: “As a matter of principle, we oppose the creation of any new race-based governments within the United States.” The word “new” is interesting. Does this mean that Republicans plan to keep the current white-based government, and only oppose any new governments that favor people with darker skin? As Jon Lovitz would say: “Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

Republicans say: “We call for a moratorium on the development of any new major and costly regulations until a Republican Administration reviews existing rules to ensure that they have a sound basis in science and will be cost-effective.” For most Republicans “a sound basis in science” means something like the world being flat and the center of the universe because “the Bible says so” and a council of religious patriarchs approved the zany message during a prayer meeting.

Republicans say: “The public must never again be left holding the bag for Wall Street giants, which is why we decry the current Administration’s record of over-regulation and selective intervention.” But the bailouts that left us “holding the bag” happened in 2008, when Bush Junior the Incoherent was in office. The real problem was under-regulation during the Bush era, so the GOP is blatantly lying and passing the buck.

Republicans say: “The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda.” Is it true that we are exporting abortion and “homosexual rights” to Africa? Or is this, as Joe Biden might put it, sheer “marlarkey”?

Republicans support a voucher-like system that provides future seniors with a fixed amount of money to spend on health insurance. If someone runs out of money, that presumably is just too bad and the patient ends up at the glue factory.

Republicans support federal legislation that would expand the "fundamental right to self-defense." This seems to suggest such things as guns in bars, guns in parks, guns in schools and “stand your ground, shoot first at the slightest suspicion of danger, ask questions later.”

Republicans support a constitutional amendment calling for a super-majority of 60 votes in the Senate for any tax increase, unless in cases of war or national tragedy. In other words, further protect the super-rich from paying their fair share of the nation’s taxes.

Republicans say: “By uniting our government and our citizens, our foreign policy will secure freedom, keep America safe, and ensure that we remain the ‘last best hope on Earth.’” Well, considering the two nation-bankrupting wars started by Republicans the last time they held the presidency — one on completely false premises without a shred of legitimate evidence — it’s hard to see how they will make anyone “safer.”

Republicans support "women's exemption from direct ground combat units and infantry battalions." Only men can be heroes, and women are not allowed to make decisions for themselves.

Republicans say: “The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. Its independence is its power … We support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet.” In other words, the GOP demands freedom from government interference and will not tolerate anyone’s efforts to regulate the Internet—unless they object to something non-harmful, like gambling. Then freedom flies out the window.”

Republicans say: “Conservation is a conservative value … Congress should reconsider whether parts of the federal government’s enormous landholdings and control of water in the West could be better used for ranching, mining, or forestry through private ownership.” Clearly, opening public land and parks to logging and mining is the opposite of conservation.

Republicans say: “While our relations with Vietnam have improved, and U.S. investment is welcomed, we need unceasing efforts to obtain an accounting for, and repatriation of the remains of, Americans who gave their lives in the cause of Vietnamese freedom.” Or how about something more realistic, like: “After we napalmed your villages to the ground and killed your women and children because we preferred our national interests to yours in a part of the world we didn’t understand, and where we never belonged, will you please pretend that it was all in the cause of freedom and help us find the remains of our missing soldiers?”

Republicans say: “We must likewise expect the Pakistan government to sever any connection between its security and intelligence forces and the insurgents.” Never mind our night raids, drone assassinations, illegal forays into your country, etc. Just do as we say, and not as we do ourselves.

Republicans say: “While the twentieth century was undeniably an American century—with strong leadership, adherence to the principles of freedom and democracy our Founders’ enshrined in our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and a continued reliance on Divine Providence—the twenty-first century will be one of American greatness as well.” Who else seeks God Almighty’s favor to justify its acts of aggression and war ... Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, perhaps?

Republicans say: “Congress—the Senate through its ratifying power and the House through its appropriating power—shall reject agreements whose long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear. These include the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child …” Some Republicans are obsessed with the UN taking over America, so they call documents that call for equal rights for women and children “ominous.”

In the interest of protecting the US military from imminent communist subversion, the new platform proclaims that “A Republican Commander in Chief will protect religious independence of military chaplains and will not tolerate attempts to ban Bibles or religious symbols from military facilities." This ominous language refers to an embarrassing mistake at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where hospital officials, in an attempt to prevent people from proselytizing to wounded service members, seemingly banned visitors from giving religious items to those receiving care at the facility. Though officials say the policy was never enforced, Republicans quickly pounced on this as proof the Obama administration was trying to purge Christianity from the armed services. Now it's part of the GOP platform.

Republicans say: “We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College.” Well, a party that is so paranoid and backward-looking should fear the results of a popular vote.

Republicans support the creation of a commission to explore whether the United States should return to the gold standard. It would be nice to establish the gold standard of a level playing field for all Americans across the board, rather than tilting the board in favor of the already advantaged 1%. But as for a return to a gold monetary standard, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman explains: “Under the gold standard America had no major financial panics other than in 1873, 1884, 1890, 1893, 1907, 1930, 1931, 1932, and 1933.”

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