34 Most Demented Things in the Texas GOP Platform
The Texas GOP unveiled its platform recently, and it is one scary, feverish document. As Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker puts it:
The thing is, the Republican Party of Texas has a dream. Lots of dreams: its platform, unveiled last week, has sixteen thousand words’ worth. The road it maps is anything but royal; these good people, after all, are republicans, albeit with a capital “R.” But the document does lead to the G.O.P.’s unconscious, or part of it: its fearsome, rampaging id.
What is troubling is that, as much as we'd like to, this document can't just be dismissed as coming from some crazy outlier group. This is the official Republican party representing the state from which we got our last Republican president, is bound to run some more, and is one of the biggest states in the Union, with lots of electoral votes.
Here are 34 other highlights of the 40-page document:
1. On nullification:
• The Texas Legislature should nullify—indeed, “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify”—federal laws it doesn’t like. (Yes, you read that right, Texas Republicans want to be able to ignore or nullify federal laws it does not agree with. Note to Texas, the Supreme Court has shot down every state's attempt to 'nullify' federal laws since 1809. Then again, with today's court, you never know.)
2. On doing away with most federal agencies:
• When it comes to “unelected bureaucrats”—i.e., pretty much the entire federal work force above the janitorial level—Congress should “defund and abolish these positions.” (There is a long laundry list of federal agencies that the Texas GOP would like to see defunded and abolished, many more than Rick Perry could not remember. But it does start with the EPA, because the right to pollute, and also for the Koch Brothers and others to be able to store dangerous chemicals in secret places and wherever the hell they want to even close to schools and communities, is sacred.
3. On not electing Senators:
• The Seventeenth Amendment, which was adopted in 1913, be repealed, so that “the appointment of United States Senators” can again be made by state legislators, not by voters. (Senators should be appointed not elected. So, Texas should be able to repeal the parts of the Constitution that it does not agree with.)
4. On choice:
We strongly support a woman’s right to choose to devote her life to her family and children.
5. On being pro-life, except sometimes:
We revere the sanctity of human life and therefore oppose genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. Also, properly applied capital punishment is legitimate, is an effective deterrent, and should be swift and unencumbered.
6. On marriage:
We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.
7. And, just to be clear:
We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.
8. On homosexuality:
Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nation’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.
9. But we're willing to help gay people with this totally discredited approach:
We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.
10-26. Here is a partial list of what the Texas GOP would like to see abolished:
• Personal-income taxes
• Property taxes
• Estate taxes
• Capital-gains taxes
• Franchise and business-income taxes
• The gift tax
• Minimum-wage laws
• Social Security (“We support an immediate and orderly transition to a system of private pensions”)
• The Environmental Protection Agency
•The Department of Education and all its functions
• “Unelected bureaucrats”
• “Any and all federal agencies not based on an enumerated power granted by the United States Federal Constitution”
• Congressional pensions
• Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights
• The Federal Reserve
• “Foreign aid, except in cases of national defense or catastrophic disasters, with Congressional approval”
27.-30. And here are some things that Texas Republicans can get behind:
• Withdrawal from the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank
• “Traditional methods of discipline, including corporal punishment”
• “Reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.”
• Returning to “the time-tested precious metal standard for the United States dollar.”
More random crazy stuff:
Our policy is inspired by God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise.
32. Climate change:
While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, “climate change” is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or “climate justice” initiatives.
33. On immunizations:
All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines.
34. And finally, on guns, the most sacred right of all. Per Hertzberg:
In the opinion of the Republican Party of Texas, as set forth in its platform, the Second Amendment flatly decrees that “no level of government shall regulate either the ownership or possession of firearms.” No level, no regulation: the somewhat mentally ill, therefore, are not the only dubious characters whose right to assemble private arsenals the Amendment guarantees. Psychotics, sociopaths, the terroristically inclined, and violent criminals out on bail or parole are similarly privileged. (However, “disenfranchisement of convicted felons” is O.K.)
Perhaps the Texas Republicans don’t really mean what they say. Perhaps there’s just something about guns that overstimulates them. Consider this outburst:All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas.
There’s more—much more—where all this comes from. No doubt you will have your own favorites. I’ve only scratched the surface.
Huge h/t: NewYorker.com