Wednesday, August 29, 2012


 At every national convention, each party passes a platform document laying out their top policy priorities and expressing the true nature of what the party stands for philosophically.  The Republicans passed their platform telling all Americans what they will do with any power they are able to obtain in November.

     Despite Mitt Romney's attempts to distance himself from the comments about "legitimate" rape by Congressman Todd Akin, the reality is both Romney and his party march in lockstep with the Missouri senate candidate.  The platform endorses a "human life amendment" which calls for a total prohibition on abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother.  The committee also agreed to language, which would outlaw any contraceptive which acts after conception.  This would eliminate Plan B morning after pills.

     Both Romney and Ryan, who goes further and would outlaw all forms of contraception if his personhood amendment were passed, claim to be in favor of smaller government and a less intrusive government, yet they cede to the feds the right to tell a woman what she can do with her body and they impose the government between a woman and her doctor.  (What is the difference between a Chinese government which can force a woman to have an abortion and the Republican government which can force her "not" to have an abortion?)

     The platform "salutes" so-called "informed consent" laws.  Because women cannot be trusted to be informed...because women are emotional wrecks and don't make rational decisions...because pregnant women have no idea what an abortion does and take a cavalier approach to the procedure, the Republican platform supports the contention government needs to force them to wait and have an ultrasound and have the doctor explain what they are about to do.  This salute comes on the heels of a law in Virginia, proposed by the governor...McDonald...who leads the platform committee, which would require an ultrasound stick to be inserted in a woman's vagina.  I guess that would be an example of "legitimate" rape.

     Continuing the theme of a small, unobtrusive government, the platform calls on the government to decide who can get married and who can't.  Not only does the Republican platform denounce same sex marriage, it also opposes even civil unions calling them "counterfeit marriages".

     Romney's party calls for more laws like the ones passed in Arizona and Alabama giving the government the right to stop you and demand your papers proving you are an American citizen.  They also call for the creation of a "national" database (maintained by the government) which would contain data about all Americans so employers can check to see if an applicant is in the country legally.  (Gee, you think they might do other things with this information too?)  The same party which supports state and local rights without interference from Washington, would prohibit cities from voting to become sanctuary cities refusing to cooperate with the federal immigration service.  The Tea Party's avatar wants to force cities to knuckle under to the federal government.  (They also oppose any state which voted to legalize medicinal marijuana and Oregon's assisted suicide law)  Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

     As the Republicans pay lip service to championing the individual, the platform calls for an end to women in combat and a reinstatement of the prohibition on gays serving in the military.  The platform opposes statehood for Washington D.C. (apparently approving of taxation without representation...wasn't that the original reason for the first Tea Party?) and want Congress to force the D.C. city council to expand gun rights in the district.

     The same Republican party which refused to raise taxes to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ballooning the national debt and deficit by borrowing the money from China instead, now wants a plank in the platform which calls for a super majority in order to approve any tax increases.  (We know how well this worked in California...voters passed an initiative to eliminate a similar law and got the first on-time budget in over 20 years)  This again is designed to let a minority thwart the will of the majority, which runs contrary to everything they say they stand for in their party.

     It is impossible to read the Republican platform without seeing all the ways they contradict themselves and how they say one thing and do another.  They spout small government rhetoric, but in reality it is a party this wishes to use the government to intrude in your house, public library, computer, vagina, personal health care decisions, privacy and to tell you what is legal for you to conscientiously believe in.

     This is not a conservative document.  Conservatives preserve the best aspects of a nation and its culture.  This is a classic regressive manifesto designed to turn back the clock...roll back social progress...undo most of the good done in the 20th century and walk us back towards the Gilded Age of vast wealth, no income tax, awful poverty, no middle class, a castrated central government unable, or unwilling, to protect the most vulnerable and neediest of its citizens.

     For women the message could not be clearer.  By virtue of your gender we will tell you what you can or cannot do regarding your reproductive desires and outcomes.  We will deny you access to contraception.  We abolish your civil liberties once you are pregnant.  We will not fight for equal pay for equal work...affordable day care...comprehensive pre-natal care, nor will we fight for a safe environment which you can live and work within.

    Romney and Ryan are one on this platform, so when you talk about who the next president should be, imagine this platform implemented in full and imagine who the winners and losers would be.  My guess is the breakdown would come out 1% vs. 99%.  Do you disagree?

1 comment: