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Jun 09 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Texas Republican Party

Even in today’s GOP, the Texas Republican Party is particularly extreme. The state party that once had David Barton as its vice-chairman has been revamping its platform and, predictably, they’ve added some seriously absurd planks. Like wanting to elect judges but not senators.

Not only does the draft platform advocate for the abolition of the Federal Reserve, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Transportation Security Administration and the Departments of Education and Energy, but it also calls for an end to the direct election of U.S. Senators:

Full Repeal of the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: Return the appointment of U.S. Senators by the State Legislatures.

While the state GOP wants Texas voters to lose their right to elect their U.S. senators, the party does on the other hand “support our right to select our judges by direct vote.”

Because that makes perfect sense.

The draft platform also targets schools, calling evolution a “controversial theory” that should be challenged in the classroom, demanding that schools restrict access to “community organizers” and encouraging schools to embrace “subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems.”

The platform also includes climate change denial: “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.”

The draft describes Agenda 21, a nonbinding United Nations agreement on sustainable development, as a threat to America and calls for “the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from United States soil.”

I think I just hit a wingnut bingo. Did they skip any of the standard paranoid bugaboos?

Along with supporting “reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle,” the state party also wants to repeal Texas’ hate-crimes statute (or at least its “sexual orientation category”), block non-discrimination laws and seeks a “prohibition of the manufacturing and sale of abortifacients (e.g. morning after pill).”

Nope, apparently not. They actually want to ban emergency contraception. Because Texas doesn’t have a high enough teen pregnancy rate, apparently.

29 comments

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  1. 1
    =8)-DX

    It really has almost everything, it’s that terrible. It’s as if a group of socially liberal lefties sat down together and tried to come up with a laundry list of all the worst things the GOP has been promoting in the last few decades.

  2. 2
    alanb

    Actually, repeal of the 17th Amendment does make a kind of sense: gerrymandered state legislatures are more likely to elect Republicans than are direct elections. Of course that could quickly change, but long-range thinking is not a Republican strong point.

  3. 3
    Jared Ragland

    Electing judges is stupid, and it’s not how to go about the constitutional process, Bob Vanderplaats, but doing away with the Seventeenth is pointless elitist hackery and I have no particular feelings about it. If they really want state leges to control the Senate again, fine; we’ll have a slight Republican majority again, until Virginia and Florida realize what’s happened and elect Democratic state legislatures. (and Republican governors)

  4. 4
    jba55

    “‘climate change’ is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives.”

    And then their agenda won’t be controlling every aspect of our lives!

  5. 5
    eric

    We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change…

    Heh, I agree.
    I think someone forgot a word, like “prevention.” :)

  6. 6
    zenlike

    If you read this text and don’t know the background, you would think you have stumbled upon the ramblings of an idiotic Alex Jones keyboard warrior. But no. It’s the actual party platform of the most powerful political party in one of the largest states of the most powerful country in the world. If that doesn’t give you nightmares, I don’t know what will.

  7. 7
    John Pieret

    We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.

    Because we all know that every great challenge to prevailing scientific theories have come from grade and high school kids and teachers.

  8. 8
    cptdoom

    This is my favorite part:

    Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative
    lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples.

    Talk about closing the barn door when the horse is in the next county. Pretty sure Windsor enshrined exactly the opposite into law.

  9. 9
    Synfandel

    On the matter of climate change, this puts the threat in alarming perspective.

    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/4_5_degrees.png

  10. 10
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Did they skip any of the standard paranoid bugaboos?

    I dunno – I didn’t see anything about FEMA camps, black helicopters, or HAARP.

  11. 11
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @9. Synfandel : Great graphic, cheers.

    There’s also this youtube clip :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UatUDnFmNTY

    Giving us thousands of years worth of perspective and scientific knowledge.

    Which informs us that in an ice age Co2 levels were at 185 ppm, in pre-industrial times they were at 278 ppm – and today, well we’ve just had two months in a row averaging over 400 ppm.

    Western Antartica’s glaciers are past their tipping point and things are looking pretty horrific if we take a long term view of the future.

    Dunno bout anyone else but that scares the shit outta me.

  12. 12
    vargostatten

    The platform also contains this plank, “We support eliminating bureaucratic prohibitions on corporal discipline and home schooling in foster homes.” So foster parents can beat their kids and keep them at home so no one knows.

  13. 13
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    ^ PS. Of course the “long term” here is the rest of our liftetimes – geologically about a trillionth of an eyeblink.

    Hell, I’m dreading what this El Nino summer is likely to bring.

  14. 14
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @8. cptdoom : It makes me almost laugh because its like saying the exact same thing about interracial marriage.

    Although I fear sadly, that they’re not even caught up to the present on that issue too, too many of them anyhow – even if few will admit that publicly.

    They just don’t seem to know they’ve lost even when its blatantly obvious to everyone else.

    Mind you, I betina few years, well maybe a decade, they’ll be saying they never had a problem with equal marriage and supported it all along! Bastards will prolly even try to credit it getting though at least a few of them in some places!

  15. 15
    Jared Ragland

    CptDoom @8

    …not to mention Lawrence versus, oh, what was the state again? I forget.

  16. 16
    Michael Heath

    Texas GOP states:

    . . . ‘climate change’ is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives.

    Consider how incoherently idiotic this assertion is.

    Texas GOP states:

    We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or ‘climate justice’ initiatives.”

    Nor is this much better.

    It’s one thing to be skeptical regarding the threat asserted by scientists in regards to global warming and then responding accordingly. But this is a level of incoherency at the level of an extemporaneous Sarah Palin quip. Where these statements are indicative of far worse thinking than even Ms. Palin since these statements were written in advance, scrutinized through a committee, and voted upon.

    Just like the bigots in the gay marriage debate, there are zero observable opponents of mitigating the threat from climate change that can provide a coherent defense for their position, let alone a credible argument.

  17. 17
    Alverant

    We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.

    And by “all sides” what they really mean is just the christian side. I doubt they really want equal treatment to Hindu creation myths.

  18. 18
    scienceavenger

    Haven’t they also protected our sacred right to buy the inefficient light bulb of our choice?

  19. 19
    busterggi

    Santa Anna was a visionary – he saw this coming and threw the war so Mexico wouldn’t be stuck with Texas.

  20. 20
    Synfandel

    What would be an effective way to educate the people of Texas about the definitions of the word “theory”?

  21. 21
    DonDueed

    What would be an effective way to educate the people of Texas about the definitions of the word “theory”?

    A Hitch slap? Or is it too late for that…?

  22. 22
    colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #16

    there are zero observable opponents of mitigating the threat from climate change that can provide a coherent defense for their position, let alone a credible argument.

    Sure there are, The blogs resident denialist, Sir Lancelot does it all the time by citing cherry picked articles by quacks like Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Pat Michaels, et al. They’re perfectly coherent, just full of shit.

  23. 23
    parasiteboy

    With rising CO2 levels, most of the focus has been on temperature increases and rising sea levels.

    Just as worrisome is ocean acidification (”http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/What+is+Ocean+Acidification%3F) which could permanently change the oceans food webs. Although the above link does not mention fish as being directly affected, I know of at least one study that has shown reduced larval fish survival and growth.

  24. 24
    Area Man

    “While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth…”

    Not all of us, obviously.

  25. 25
    Pierce R. Butler

    Did they skip any of the standard paranoid bugaboos?

    Nothing about Benghazi, Vince Foster, or GUNZ!!1!?

  26. 26
    magistramarla

    This! This is why I simply can’t wait to move out of this horrible place.

  27. 27
    colnago80

    Incidentally, here’s a blog post by Donald Prothero who has been studying climate for 30 years where he debunks the claim by the blogs resident denier, Sir Lancelot, that global warming has slowed down for the last 16 years. Notice how he responds to the Sir Lancelot clones that appear in his comment section.

    http://www.skepticblog.org/2014/04/22/global-warming-has-paused-not/

  28. 28
    Michael Heath

    colnago80 @ 22 misrepresents what I wrote @ 16; that’s par of the course.

  29. 29
    inquisitiveraven

    Pierce R. Butler@25: But Obama had nothing to do with Vince Foster. I don’t expect the rethugs to bring him up again until Hilary runs for pres again.

    Now I can get behind the abolition of the TSA. Have they really made us any safer since 9/11? Actually, I’d think they’d be in favor of keeping the TSA around which has me wondering if maybe they meant the National Transportation Safety Board.

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