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Tilting at Windmills

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June 25, 2010

SOMEONE SHOULD PROBABLY MESS WITH TEXAS.... Over the years, thanks to Kevin Drum's keen eye, Political Animal has brought readers several reports on the truly hysterical -- in more ways than one -- platform created by the Texas Republican Party. It's one of the more astounding documents one will find in 21st century American politics.

I feel a certain responsibility to keep our coverage going, and noticed this week that the Texas GOP has released a 25-page proposal (pdf) intended to guide state Republicans for the next two years. It's not pretty.

The Texas Republican Party's new 25-page platform is chock-full of absurd policy prescriptions, many of which are based on the most absurd of conspiracy theories. While not particularly surprising for Texas, the platform does remind us just how outside the mainstream Republicans in Texas truly are. Political Correction sifted through the haphazardly written document and highlighted several sections that best symbolize the sort of conservatives who have political control in Texas.

It's hard to know where to start. I suppose, right off the bat, it's worth noting that Texas Republicans have a few problems with gay people -- the platform wants to make gay sex illegal, wants Congress to prevent federal courts from even hearing litigation on the issue, and wants it to be a felony for any judge to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Why? Because, as the platform argued, the "practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society" and "leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases."

But, really, that's really just the tip of a deranged iceberg. The Texas Republican Party wants the 16th Amendment to be repealed, along with the federal minimum-wage. It wants Social Security to be eliminated, along with early-childhood-development programs. It's worked up about the Fairness Doctrine, the formation of a "North American Union," and "the implementation of one world currency" -- none of which is seriously being pursued by anyone. American foreign policy towards Israel should, the platform argues, be based on the Republican Party's interpretation of the Bible.

The good news? The Texas Republican Party used to demand a return to the gold standard, and now it doesn't.

Clearly, the Texas Republican Party is moving to the left. What a bunch of sellouts.

Steve Benen 3:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (39)

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Please tell me they still support a return of the Spanish Inquisition and oppose bar codes being stamped on people's necks for tracking purposes.

Posted by: Gridlock on June 25, 2010 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I demand they include the Gold Standard!

Posted by: Ron Paul on June 25, 2010 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

...which is ironic, because those early-childhood-development programs ensured that those very same Texas Republicans can wread and rite.

Posted by: puravida on June 25, 2010 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Texans have looong memories. Before that damn Eli Whitney invented his infernal cotton gin, Texas led the nation in acres of cotton planted.

-Hence their desire to abolish both the minimum wage, AND childhood edumacation. . .

Posted by: DAY on June 25, 2010 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for that link -- I've moved to TX recently and look forward to going door-to-door in the less-afluent neighborhoods in the fall, hoping to get out the vote. I hope that recent immigration debate, coupled with documents such as this, will spur some to get out and vote.

Posted by: SMR on June 25, 2010 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

I like this one: Use the relatively light-handed regulation of the oil and gas industry as a model for the states water market. doh!

Posted by: Alex on June 25, 2010 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

The Texas Republican Party is a dick.

Posted by: David Bailey on June 25, 2010 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

OK, humor me. What's a "CHL holder" and who is trying to regulate them?

Posted by: CT on June 25, 2010 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Jeez that .pdf read like the Unibomber Manifesto! Man has this country gone backwards or what?

Posted by: citizen_pain on June 25, 2010 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

My personal favorite was the call to all branches of the Federal Government to "clarify the 14th amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States: with no exceptions."

"Clarify?!!!!!" I had a few sarcastic remarks about their clear intent to legislate out a piece of the 14th Amendment, but I don't want be rude and I can't write any more about this without profanity.

Posted by: David Hunt on June 25, 2010 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

It occurs to me that a bunch of republican trophy housewives are gonna be pissed if the TX GOP gets their way and makes homosexuality a crime - coz all their gay designers will leave the state.

SMR, you have my sympathies. What ever were you thinking? I'm plotting my escape from this lunatic factory.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on June 25, 2010 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

The irony is that Gov. Goodhair Perry is gay. I live in Texas and it is a very poorly kept secret indeed.

What is it with Republican self loathing and hypocricy?

Posted by: riller on June 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's been a while, but I once lived in Texas. Back in 2002, someone gave a speech before the Texas Republican convention in favor of English-only laws. His argument was that English was the language of Jesus so it should be the language of Texas. Really. He was serious. Set aside the obvious point that Jesus did not speak English. The real point is that English wasn't even a language in the time of Jesus. There's a line where people are so stupid that there is no point in talking to them. The Texas Republican Party crossed that line about a hundred years ago and have built a fortress of stupidity on the wrong side of that line. Want to know who that person was? It was Tom DeLay. Not your run of the mill whacko, that guy was a real player in national politics. And he seriously thinks Jesus spoke English. Texas claims it has the right to secede, we should let them do it.

Posted by: fostert on June 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The Texas GOBP is bankrupt fiscally and mentally.

The Democrats that have any access to any forms of media should be screaming about the Texas GOBP being broke and deep in debt just like Bush did to the country and the Texas GOBP.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/7062223.html

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on June 25, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

...the "practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society" and "leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases."

By their logic NBA finals and public restrooms should also be illegal.

Thanks, Texas, for beating that "no big gubbamint" drum with the stupid stick.

Posted by: chrenson on June 25, 2010 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Don't leave the lunatic factory! We need all the sensible people we can hold on to to hold back the tide of bat shit crazy that's here. SMR, when you go door to door, do it in the rural areas, that's where the true republican voters are. The poor ones who believe everything glenn beck says. Sometimes I think about leaving too but we need people to continue to fight the good fight. If enough of us stick around and get busy we could, hopefully, elect a democratic governor. Stick around and help. In fact, it would be awesome if a few of you new england libs could move down here en masse and help out. Come on guys!

Posted by: walt on June 25, 2010 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

The irony is that Gov. Goodhair Perry is gay. I live in Texas and it is a very poorly kept secret indeed.

What is it with Republican self loathing and hypocricy?

I'd call it a habit.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on June 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

The rest of the developed world has moved into the 21st century, modern transport, roads and bridges, the use of science, green technology etc & yes good health care. The republican party wants this country to go back to the stone age, also, as a Brit I have to chuckle when I hear one of those good old southern boys say 'we speak English here', it would bring smiles in England!

Posted by: Joan S on June 25, 2010 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry walt, Texas is a lost cause and I ain't movin' back. But your point brings up an interesting theory my brother had. His theory was that every town had an equal amount of coolness. In the cool towns, it is spread fairly evenly. In the sucky towns, there are only a handful of cool people, but they are REALLY cool. It seems to hold up in Texas. In Austin, everyone's pretty cool. In Houston, you really have to poke around. But when you find a cool person, he's always REALLY cool.

Posted by: fostert on June 25, 2010 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

The irony is that Gov. Goodhair Perry is gay. I live in Texas and it is a very poorly kept secret indeed.

What is it with Republican self loathing and hypocricy?

I'd call it a habit.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on June 25, 2010 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Ever have one of those days when a correctly spelled word just looks wrong? I'm having one of those days, and the word 'theory' just isn't looking right today. I know I spelled it right because I checked. Twice. And it still doesn't look right.

Posted by: fostert on June 25, 2010 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

>OK, humor me. What's a "CHL holder" and who is trying to regulate them?

CHL = Concealed Handgun License

Who is trying to regulate them? I suppose that would be the libruls.

Posted by: Old School on June 25, 2010 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect the TX BPublicans dropped the gold standard when financiers told them it would make it harder for banks and speculators to manipulate the financial system. So even that wasn't a move to the left (note that some of what we consider "right-wing", like suspicion of the Federal Reserve, is really populist public interest.)

Posted by: neil b on June 25, 2010 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

"CHL = Concealed Handgun License

Who is trying to regulate them? I suppose that would be the libruls."

I don't get the concealed gun issue, but I live in Colorado. Our constitution gives us the right to carry any weapon openly. You need a license to conceal a weapon, but the right to openly carry is already guaranteed. I can walk down a street in Boulder with an AK-47 and it's perfectly legal as long as it's visible. And I've done it. I was walking to the gun store with my gun to have it appraised. Granted, I did get stopped by a cop, but he just wanted to see the gun. I showed it to him and he was impressed. It is a Romanian Army issue AK-47 and is very well made. Much better than the Chinese versions. And it has a cleaning kit built into the stock. And the cleaning kit has a special tool to field-modify the gun to full-auto. The cop was very much impressed and wanted one.

But the issue is still weird. If you're packin' heat, why wouldn't you show it? Trust me, if you're holding an AK-47, ain't nobody messin' with you. So why hide it? If you feel the need to carry a gun, carry it openly.

Posted by: fostert on June 25, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Guys, note that Mayor White is even with Goodhair in the most recent polls. And note that McLeroy isn't the only right wing member of the state board of education to have been voted out in the last election.

For those who are ready to write off Texas, remember Molly and Rep. Yarborough. Texas was one of the original birth places of progressivism. While the rest of you were agonizing about making MLK's birthday a holiday, we had been celebrating Juneteenth for years.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on June 25, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone ever explained to Texas GOPers(in English, that language of Jesus) what sodomy actually is and how it would mean that the blowjobs they all want from UT cheerleaders would be illegal, maybe they'd be motivated to find new ways to criminalize Teh Gay.

Posted by: Daddy Love on June 25, 2010 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm really not clear on whether they realize that their plan to save Umareikah from the horrors of oral and anal sex would also include straights, and, regardless of whether they do or don't, I'm not sure which way would be funnier/more horrific.

Posted by: Steve (Not That One) on June 25, 2010 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

What? They have no planks about repealing child labor laws and the 13th-15th amendments? Well, for the Texas GOP that's positively moderate.

Posted by: Anonny on June 25, 2010 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

"For those who are ready to write off Texas, remember Molly and Rep. Yarborough"

Hey, don't forget Jim Hightower and Lloyd Doggett. But they pretty much confirm my brother's theory. In a vast wasteland of stupidity, they are the oases of coolness. The Barton Springs, you might say. Molly (MSRIP) was as cool as it gets. The problem with Texas is that their allotment of sanity is concentrated among so few people that they become powerless against the vast hordes of stupidity.

Posted by: fostert on June 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

The Texas Republican Party is definitely an outlier (i.e. totally insane).

However, the state party platforms for both parties are frequently quite a bit further from the center than the national party platforms.

And the Republican Party has had some only-slightly-less-crazy-than-the-Texas-GOP platforms in a number of states since at least the Reagan Era (probably longer).

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 25, 2010 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

@ tanstaafl

The Texas Republican Party is definitely an outlier (i.e. totally insane).

Partly right. Totally insane, for sure. An outlier? Not so much, these days. Checked recent legislative initiatives in OK? AZ?

Posted by: efgoldman on June 25, 2010 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I would say by comparison, that the Republican state parties in AZ and OK are only 99% insane. And the California Republican party maybe 80% insane.

Btw, to any trolls out there. When I say insane, I don't just mean, "positions I disagree with". I mean, "positions that deny reality" and/or "positions on social issues that the rest of the country moved beyond 50-150 years ago".

By that standard, the Texas Republican Party's position on gays is definitely reactionary and disgustingly bigoted, but I would say only borderline crazy since a lot of the country would have agreed with them relatively recently.

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 25, 2010 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Checked recent legislative initiatives in OK? AZ?"

Oklahoma is consistently crazier than Texas. Why do the winds blow so hard in Texas? Because Oklahoma sucks. But Oklahoma still has my favorite law. They banned whaling in Oklahoma. Why? Apparently to protect the mythical Red River Whale. Reality has never been able to penetrate the Okie mind. Texans at least have a lick of sense. No more than that, for sure. But at least they have that. And go into the panhandle area of both states, and a rare concept emerges. It has been theorized that there is a possibility of negative sensibility. And it has been confirmed in the panhandles of both states. Being there makes Bangkok look normal.

Posted by: fostert on June 25, 2010 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Here in TX begrudgingly -- job issues. However, much to appreciate about our area, and plenty to see & do that I look forward to.

Our last post in the US was in AK. That was as discouraging as TX. Door to door for Obama was the work of a masochist. This year, in TX, I will approach the issue quite differently, and hope to effect some positive change.

I'm not sure that I'll bother going up against the rural Fox/Beck/Limbaugh types -- they will need to be hit upside the head with the adverse effect of the GOP before being open to options. I'm hoping that door-to-door in primarily non-white areas can bring out some voters & enthusiasm in the voters that actually have the numbers to sway elections if they are energized.

I understand from my time in AK how it can feel like an exercise in futility. However, AK, as in TX, actually has a huge group of voters adversely impacted by GOP policy, at the state and federal levels, who could make a HUGE difference if motivated. Turn-out in the last elections in AK? 18%.

Posted by: SMR on June 25, 2010 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Me and my better half have been tossing the idea of moving from our Texas for a few years now. We get discouraged and embarrassed often at what passes for governing here. But the truth is, we have family obligations (elderly folks) and jobs we like...and really good friends. It's not easy to move when your roots are in one place. We love Texas, with all it's many faults, and will stay here to fight the good fight. Like Bill White said, we want Texas to succeed, not secede! (This guy has a good chance of succeeding himself and I wish him all the luck in the world...I'll volunteer to help oust Guv Scheisskoph gladly!!)

Posted by: whichwitch on June 25, 2010 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, they're right on the crucial questions - would that their partisan enemies had the balls to say this:

Patriot Act - We urge review and revision of those portions of the USA Patriot Act, and related executive and military orders and directives that erode constitutional rights and essential liberties of citizens.
Emergency War Powers - We charge the President to cancel the state of national emergency and charge Congress to repeal the War Powers Act and end our declared state of emergency.

Posted by: lesser of 2 loonies on June 25, 2010 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Multiculturalism - We support teaching the principles articulated by REPUBLICAN Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,that we be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character"

My jaw dropped on that one. As if the post-Southern Strategy GOP is the same one that King registered with back in the 1950s.

And I've dealt with a number of Republican/conservatives who also throw out King's quote as an attack on affirmative action.

Because if there's one group that can't get anywhere here in Nebraska, it's white, college-educated, middle-to-upper middle class males.

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 26, 2010 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Retards.

Posted by: Mark Pilkanis on June 26, 2010 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

the platform argued, the "practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society" and "leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases."

Conservatives say there's no evidence for global warming, but THIS we are expected to believe... WHY?

Do they have computer models?

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on July 1, 2010 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK
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