The Real GOP
Kevin Drum has provided a “translation” of the Texas GOP platform. It doesn’t look good.
We should completely do away with separation of church and state.
Gays should be treated like child molesters and should not be allowed to visit children unsupervised.
The Biblical story of creation should be taught in science classes.
This looks like a more-or-less fair interpretation of the passages quoted.
Kevin then concludes,
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.
I think this overstates the situation more than a little. For one thing, I suspect that the Democratic platform in, say, Massachussetts, would be similarly outside the national mainstream. Party platforms tend to be for internal consumption, are written by extremists, and have virtually no practical effect.
Further, the fact that the parties “make soothing noises and put friendly faces” on their agendas is a very good thing. We live in a land of single member districts and thus catch-all parties. At the national level, neither party can afford to be very far from the mainstream. Individual party members may be “out there,” but they seldom gain substantial power within the party, have most of whatever impact they do have taken out via the compromise nature of legislative politics, get diluted further by the conference committee, and the filibuster threat. Then they have to survive inter-branch checks and balances, including passing constitutional muster with the courts.
Certainly, the two parties have different agendas. Few of us are thrilled with all of the aspects of the platform of the party that we’re forced to align with in a de facto two party system. But it’s hard to argue that, if the Republicans get elected to national office, they’re going to enact the Texas GOP platform. As Exhibit A, I’d point to the fact that the Republicans did get elected to national office and haven’t. George W. Bush, a Texas Republican no less, has been president for three and a half years. Republicans have controlled the House since 1995 and, except for a brief period caused by a post-election defection, have had a majority (if not “control”) of the Senate since 1995 as well. If anything, gay rights have expanded and the public practice of Christianity has diminished over that period.