Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A shameless platform is today's Tea Party GOP

The shameless Republican Party platform has broken the mold on what we long believed:  Platforms are written to be shelved in a backyard shed to await the next windstorm.  After being an increasingly reluctant political writer at several  national conventions, I never  considered a party platform to be part of the fertile landscape for reporters to write home about.

That has changed this year after the GOP capitulated to the Tea Partiers and presented us with a manifesto drawn up by self-absorbed fringe groups who unblushingly insist on warning us  how we are entering  the bravest of new worlds under their command.  We've also been told by party establishment people like John Boehner to calm down because nobody reads  those documents anyway.  Oh?

In the past it was easy enough to dismiss platforms as meaningless treats  that kept them out of the way of important  business.    If they said they wanted to move the Nation's Capital to the Cayman Islands, it didn't  raise an eyebrow.  But times have changed.  The new political and religious culture bearing down on the country means business.  The people at the convention are the true believers who form the hearts and souls of the old Republican Party from Congress to the Statehouses to the courthouses and county organizations.  (Think: Summit County's Republican Party)

That's not  only my description.  It's Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell 's version of the hardest core planks. He happily called  the platform the "heart and soul of the Republican Party."  He should know .  He presided over its drafting.

The current party spirit is demanding, humorless, unthinking and restless to move the horror show to next level.  The French called it Grand Guignol theater, which based its narrative on fright scenes.  Today, what's left of moderate Republicans are certainly aware of strange noises in the attic, fluttering curtains and moon-lit silhouettes.

The national pundits have already called the weird handiwork the "most conservative" platform in history.  But there have always been conservative voices in the land back to the days of the Founding Fathers and their behavior could never fall to the mindless level of the Tampa convention.

Abortion, birth control, contraceptives, gays, anti-gun control, Medicare, ultrasound, ban on same-sex marriage --- on and on  with intrusions into  individual liberties that conservatives have long opposed are now in fashion. Even though his Etch-a-Sktech hasn't worked, look for Romney to back off a little of it here and there - confusing us even more on his positions.  But some of his people  were involved in creating the monstrous document. And he will learn to live with it while calling for self-deportation to solve the illegal immigrant problem.  Jeez.

At one the conventions I attended in New York, I had long sidewalk conversations with people passing out Jews for Jesus flyers. I enjoyed the interviews.   There were restaurants to visit , store windows to look at while a colleague and I tried (successfully!)  to  ignore the sidewalk whores on our way to Madison Square Garden.   It took some of the edge off having to write another dull column about the convention itself.

The political culture today won't allow any distractions.  Still, who were  the two people  at the convention who threw nuts at a black CNN camerawoman with the warning:  'This is how we feed animals."  Police reportedly expelled them.  But there was a message there somewhere.

A generation ago Republican officials were trying to convince me that they were deeply engaged in a plan to include  minorities in their tent  A recent NBC poll reported that African-Americans supported Obama 94-0.


JLM said...

Turned on the TV this evening and saw Paul Ryan addressing the Tampa crowd. He told them "Our rights come from nature and God, not the government".

The crowd roared.

I wonder how he would feel if the "Gubmint" suddenly decided, okay, you have no rights, and he had to rely on nature and God to provide them for him?

Grumpy Abe said...

How painful it must have been. I cherry-picked the convention at my computer switching away from the live transmission to check the baseball scores. I did see one of the speakers whose name I forget blame Obama for closing a plant that shut down under Bush. These guys aren't even good liars.

JLM said...

Bastards have no shame. The "Big Lie" technique has worked for them in the past so they continue to use it.

This is from an O.S.S. psychological profile of Mr. Hitler-

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

Works perfectly for today's GOP as well.

JLM said...

And why isn't this surprising-From Yahoo! News-

A black CNN camerawoman who had nuts thrown at her at the Republican National Convention said she's "not surprised" by the incident.
Patricia Carroll, 34, was doing her job inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Tuesday when two RNC attendees threw nuts at her and said: "This is how we feed animals."

Like I said, not surprising.

Mencken said...

I was wondering how well Anne Romney would have navigated her MS and breast cancer with only a couple of Paul Ryan's vouchers in her pocketbook.

David Hess said...

The GOP platform document is more than a reactionary manifesto for imposing on the private lives and choices of individuals. It is a grossly contorted exercise in hypocrisy coming from a party that insists it is the sole guardian of individual liberties. It doesn't just cross the line in intruding on the personal choices that people make; it erases the boundaries that shield us from the meddlesome, self-righteous, intolerant bullies who believe they know best and demand to impose their views -- by law -- on those who might think otherwise.These are the same conservatives who complain loudly about the "nanny state" that purportedly squanders money on programs to help the poor, sick, disabled and mentally ill. If there is a nanny state mentality at work here, it is the mindset that forged this manifesto.