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The Texas GOP’s Extreme Platform

My friends at the Texas Freedom Network have a rundown of some of the more extreme provisions in the 2012 platform for the Texas Republican Party. They did finally drop their demand that homosexuality be criminalized, but they left plenty of crazy bigotry in there:

The attacks on religious liberty are among the most alarming parts of the 2012 platform. Republicans throughout the platform insist that government and public schools promote “Judeo-Christian” values despite constitutional prohibitions against government promotion of religion. One platform plank even dismisses one of the most important protections for religious freedom: “We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state.” (P-14)

Texas Republicans also used their platform to reinforce attacks on public education. Even though state lawmakers slashed billions of dollars from funding for public schools last year, the party platform demands even more cuts: “(W)e support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.” (P-17)

Moreover, the platform supports teaching creationist arguments about so-called “weaknesses” of evolution in science classrooms. And it opposes “any sex education other than abstinence until marriage” (P-17) even though Texas has one of the highest teen birthrates in the nation.

Texas Republicans also doubled down on the religious right’s war on women’s health and birth control. The platform doesn’t just call for a constitutional amendment banning a woman’s right to choose an abortion. It also supports legislation declaring that a person’s life begins at conception, a measure so radical that Mississippi voters strongly rejected it in 2011. Such legislation would effectively bar all abortions, including for reasons of rape or incest, complicate medical treatment for women with problem pregnancies, deter in vitro fertilization and ban embryonic stem cell research. The state GOP platform also supports draconian budget cuts for women’s health care providers like Planned Parenthood and seeks to ban “morning after” pills like Plan B and Ella for contraception as well as RU486.
The party would also roll back important protections for civil and voting rights. In fact, the platform expressly calls for the repeal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as well as of “motor voter” laws and the Help America Vote Act, which are designed to make it easier for citizens to register to vote and help ensure that their ballots are counted accurately. The party also demands that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution be “clarified” so that it reverses the long-established constitutional principle that a person has the right to U.S. citizenship if born in the United States.

Sounds normal for them.

Comments

  1. ArtK says

    Even Orac’s covered this one and he tries to be non-political. The one that got to me was this:

    We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

    Because being ignorant, uninformed and unable to reason is such an important American value. </sarcasm>

  2. d cwilson says

    A lot of state GOP committees have been completely taken over by Paultards and Teanderthals.

    This is the result.

  3. Gregory in Seattle says

    I remember the good old days, when Republicans were merely stark raving bonkers.

  4. RW Ahrens says

    These are NOT “American” values. This is a direct attack on what have been true American values for as long as I’ve been alive, certainly what I was taught in school – IN TEXAS.

    The people who have written these planks should be investigated for treason, for any attempt to enact these policies into law would be directly in contravention of current law, even to the Constitution, which is the very basis of our entire system of government.

    It is part, I believe of a movement to overturn our democratic system.

  5. Alverant says

    What would happen if a teacher or student pointed out the weaknesses in creationism? Or a teacher taught about the Gaia theory along side of creationism. Now their platform does state it can be done without fear of punishment, but let’s be practical. Would they insist their system works or go bat-shit crazy about the “anti-christian propaganda” happening in public schools?

  6. unbound says

    Well, to be fair, the Texas GOP vision of the future is to replace all the migrant workers with native, uneducated drones to work on ranches and in the fields for $2/hr. Or they can be sent as mindless troops overseas to secure oilfields…er, fight for freedom. So education really isn’t needed.

    And if idiots continue to vote for these yahoos, expect the platform in the next decade to cut public education down to 8th grade only…after that, the drones can already starting working the fields or kicking out babies…

  7. harold says

    It is part, I believe of a movement to overturn our democratic system.

    This is more or less true by definition.

    I’m not endorsing the “treason” argument – they have a First Amendment right to oppose the American democratic system.

    But yes, by definition, the platform is blatantly at odds with the US constitution and with representative democracy. That’s just an obvious feature of it.

  8. baal says

    “a person’s life begins at conception”

    I’m glad to see the cover here and popping up all over the place. This kind of messaging is vital.

    It’s also reactive. I don’t see the leftist think-tanks (do they still exist*) popping such easy to say but insane to implement language in support of liberal or progressive ideas. I’d love to see more sound bite ready propaganda from the left.

    *I’m sure they must exist but it seems like they are marginalized into oblivion in terms of their impact.

  9. oranje says

    It should be an embarrassment, in Texas and around the country, that this is a platform for one of our two main parties. Should be.

  10. D. C. Sessions says

    It’s an extreme platform, but not nearly so extreme in practice as we saw four Supreme Court justices declare this morning in their written opinion.

    All it will take is one more.

  11. eric says

    Didn’t read the actual platform, just the excerpts – do they have a bit in there opposing health care?

    If not, then I would bet money they’ll add something in response to SCOTUS’ latest ruling.

  12. says

    We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

    It sounds like they believe getting objective, measurable improvements in important mental skills (outcome-based) undermines their position. Rather than let the kids learn what they need to compete in the marketplace, they want them to be coddled and to feel warm and fuzzy about believing something in advance.

    “Parental authority.” Yeah, I’m going to say that’s code language for “my child, my property.” The horror that cold, objective fact might intrude on the parent’s sense of control or eventually produce an autonomous, willful adult that might disagree with him.

    “Fixed beliefs.” Right, because it’s wrong to change your mind and admit you might have been mistaken at one time. It must be oh so devastating to the child’s self-esteem to be told the truth and encouraged to think for himself and consider alternatives.

    Is it bad that I’m starting to think of Republicans as promoting stereotypical “there are no wrong answers” hippie esteemster teachers who give out stickers instead of grades?

  13. Doug Little says

    Art @1,

    Yeah that was the one that stood out for me too.

    Keep them ignorant and dumb, it’s easier to manipulate them that way.

  14. scienceavenger says

    @Bronze Dog: they don’t get that part of the purpose of a public education is to allow children to break free of the academic limitations of their home culture. Better to keep every child as ignorant as his parents.

  15. John Hinkle says

    All that Judo-Christian stuff and values things are going to create a shit load of jobs, right? Right?

  16. macallan says

    Did they hire the Taliban to write their police, or what?

    Cthulhu forbid, they’re too damn liberal!

  17. maethor says

    My mother attended the state convention as a local delegate and helped write that. I would apologize, but this apple rolled far from the tree. Minor dents and bruises on the way down, but the core remains resilient.

  18. besomyka says

    @13 You might find The Militia Act of 1792 interesting.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, … That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States; … That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder;

    It passed and was made law in May of 1792. It mandated, as you can see, that citizens purchase firearms among other things. Maybe we’ve changed our minds since then, but conservatives like to crow about original intent and the Founding Fathers. Well, our Founding Fathers thought that they could mandate that citizens purchase of goods. And if they failed to? A fine.

    Imagine that.

  19. meg says

    Over on Orac’s page, he quoted the line ‘protecting life from fertilization until natural death’.

    THere was debate over what that meant in regards to capital punishment.

  20. ospalh says

    The party also demands that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution be “clarified”.

    That is prove that the Texas Republicans are stuck in the 19th century. They obviously haven’t heard of United Staves v. Wong Kim Ark, decide in 1898. That did very much clarify that “born (…) in the United States” means “born in the United States”.

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