Civil Liberties

Confused? Stop Reading the Republican Platform!


In my column last week, I noted that the Texas GOP urges voters to "Vote Republican" if they've "Had Enough." This message is especially problematic as a reason for sending Republicans to Austin, since they already control the state legislature and the executive branch. The state party's 2010 platform (PDF) does not enhance their case. It declares that Americans have "the right to be safe in their homes"—but not from police enforcing anti-sodomy laws, which the Texas GOP supports (a position that also conflicts with "Limiting the expanse of Government Power"). It advocates "a free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference" yet demands "legislation to prohibit all pornography." It urges "Strict adherence to the Declaration of Independence and U.S. and Texas Constitutions" but condemns judicial review to enforce said adherence. "We urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights," the platform says.

There is some good stuff in there too, including support for gun rights, opposition to eminent domain abuse, concern about the impact of the PATRIOT Act on civil liberties, a demand for the abolition of constitutionally unauthorized federal agencies, and criticism of federal laws that run afoul of the 10th Amendment. But the party's opposition to judicial review means it would have to condemn any Supreme Court decision that advanced these causes. It seems like an ideological muddle to me. Maybe you'll have more luck discerning the thread of consistency.

[Thanks to Sam Rosenstein for the link.]

NEXT: Obama's Mad Message

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  1. The thread of consistency – they want it their way, with no persnickety details like constitutionality to bother them.

  2. Maybe you’ll have more luck discerning the thread of consistency.

    The consistency seems to be “we’re all for liberty and freedom until we’re not because it’s icky or offensive”. Just like TEAM BLUE.

    1. Yup. Or “we’re all for liberty and freedom until we’re not because it interferes with our ability to tell little people what to do.”

      1. To answer your earlier question, I voted for Rubio. I can’t abide the Anti-Crist. Snitker would’ve gotten my vote most years, though.

        1. I can understand – I almost voted for Webster (R), the guy running against Alan Grayson. In the end, I just couldn’t, though.

  3. I can’t help but think that a big government GOP Congress is going to do the party little good. People want some limits–they aren’t sure what on, but that’s American politics–and the GOP coming back with compromise on stuff we want destroyed and mass spending and power-grabbing everywhere else is going to impress no one.

    The parties are getting an unusual warning in the quick switches in favor that seem to be the new trend. I think it’s possible that one of the major parties may die or at least morph into something different if business as usual remains their philosophy. Not that I expect a rise of anything substantially libertarian.

  4. Rand Paul Projected Winner CNN

  5. As a Texan, I found too many conflicting policy positions to name during this round. Even Kathie Glass (L) came out LINO, since she took the anti-immigration stance to curry favor (otherwise, I thought she represented the party well). I voted ‘no incumbent’ and should be able to sleep tonight.

  6. Maybe you’ll have more luck discerning the thread of consistency.

    It’s a compromise platform for two culturally warring but economically allied blocs: male crackaz (half libertarian, half populist?each) and married women (no porn or buttfucking). That’s the GOP coalition, for now.

    The D homunculus is even more seam-y, if their rhetoric is to be believed, but it isn’t, so it isn’t. In real life, they’re for everything the state does that doesn’t violate their self-image?and they’ll let that all slide if the f?hrer presents the right face?because the state is their avatar, and they’re its.

    Politics isn’t ideological, much.TEAM RED! is self-interested in a strangely unpragmatic way, and TEAM BLUE! is criminally insane.

  7. Maybe you’ll have more luck discerning the thread of consistency.

    I didn’t – which is why I’ve never voted Republican (except once in a primary.) I voted straight Libertarian Party…for all the good it will do in a Republican state like Texas.

    1. I’m with you smartass. I was amazed at the number of republican judges running unopposed!

  8. The Republican platform is easy to understand. Bush signed off on six major items in his term:

    Tax Cut #1 (not paid for)
    Tax Cut #2 (not paid for)
    Medicare D (not paid for)
    Iraq War (not paid for)
    Afghanistan War (not paid for)
    TARP (paid for, but renounced by Republicans)

    Ergo, the Republican platform is clearly bigger deficits forever and ever. This is clearly affirmed by their Pledge to America, which would make deficits far, far worse.

    In contrast,
    Obama has three major items so far:

    Obamacare (more than paid for)
    Stimulus (not paid for)
    Financial reform (paid for)

    Ergo, Democrats are adults.


    2. TARP (paid for, but renounced by Republicans)

      Giving them extra money to “pay us back” with doesn’t count.

      Obamacare (more than paid for)

      Wow, I didn’t even think people were bothering to lie about that now that it’s passed. Isn’t that kind of embarrassing?

      Financial reform (paid for)

      Wow, he “paid for” something that wasn’t a spending item. Good for him. I mean it enshrines “too big to fail” into law and guarantees future bailouts, but whatever.

      Ergo, Democrats are adults.

      Even if I were to take your claims at face value, paying 2/3 of yours bills (and far less that that in terms of dollars) doesn’t strike me as being very adult. But I guess you didn’t say “responsible adult.”

      1. Two outta three ain’t bad

      2. If you are going to accuse me of lying about the costs of the health care bill, please have the balls to cite some evidence.

        TARP has turned a profit so far, and will likely end up costing us little or nothing (or even generating a profit) when it is all unwound. The little spending associated with financial reform was paid for.

        1. Clearly you’re not a Reason reader. Against my better instincts against feeding trolls, I’d refer you to a couple articles on the items already covered on this website:

          TARP’s “profits”:…..tall-tales

          Obamacare being “paid for”:…..sponsibili

          As for financial reform, I guess I can’t quibble. But since the spending parts of the bill are vanishingly small in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t prove that Democrats are adults. It just proves that you’re a bit of a sophist.

  9. I guess I am a party of one. The TARP program amounted to the biggest theft of all time. 15 billion to AIG.The Execs partied down in Vegas and continued the bonus extravagance.
    We have no business in Afghan.
    The HAMP program is a Fraud. Not one in 300 applicants get a Loan Mod, but the CEO gets million dollar bonus money, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They should all be jailed. I have sent in my docs 3 times and all they do is ask you for more or claim they lost the docs or you are past the deadline which they make sure you miss by sending your notifications 3 weeks after they write the letter. The letter for the deadline arrives AFTER you receive it. I know. Personal experience

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