Wednesday, September 12, 2012

GOP 2012 Party Platform Translated.

You can read the full (and very long) GOP platform here.

1.  The economy.  (aka lower taxes)

Job Creation, Small Business, Tax Relief, American Competition, and Balancing the Budget are all translated as  Lower Taxes on the wealthy, cut social programs like medicare, medicaid and social security.

Inflation,Housing crisis, Infrastructure means regulation is bad, we need to cut it.  Oh, and they also want to create these other things that regulate the market - but only for the 'good things'.  In other words, they want to let Republicans regulate, not Democrats.

Re-education - close all 47 federal retraining programs and give the money to the states.  Because we all know that government is bad.  Too bad that small government (aka states) is always more suspectible to fraud and waste than large government.

"Freedom in the Workplace" means controlling labor unions.  Here they have some points, I see no reason why Labor Unions can't work with secret ballots.   But on the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable for the government to continue to insist on Union Labor to get things done.  You may get higher costs, but you also get higher quality.

2.   Constitutional Government (aka gays are evil)

They admit that discrimination is evil - bat least if it is based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability or national origin.   They conspicuously leave out sexual orientation - as in, they are quite happy discriminating against gays.  They also oppose the creation of any NEW race-based governments within the United States.  They are apparently fine with existing (presumably white) ones.

Restoration of Constitution - another insult that claims the constitution has been abandoned.  Note they are fine with amending the Constitution (specifically they are quite happy replacing the national Income Tax - 16th Amendment with a National Sales Tax.)

While the are for the restoration of the US Constitution, they are unhappy when US courts declare that under the US Constitution, marriage can include gays.    (See anti-gay discrimination above.)  They are frankly unhappy with what the US Courts says the Constition is.  In other words, they are all for the Constition, but only if they get to say what it means.  Note that they consistently object to the rulings of judges appointed by conservative presidents as well as those made by Democrats.  They don't trust their own people.

What's really going on here is that they personally want to re-write the Constitution to satisfy their particular political beliefs, and failing that, replace all the Judges with GOP die hards.  Specifically, they want to re-write it as a very strict Jeffersonian tradition, ignoring Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, George Washington and all the other Hamiltonian founders.

Their favorite amendment is the 10th:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

They also like the 2nd (bear arms).

But they really, truly HATE the following:  The 9th (the rights given are examples, not the limits, i.e. no strict interpretation), 14th ( equal protection clause), 15th (voting rights for race/color),  the 16th (taxes), the 19th (without female suffrage, the GOP would win the election),  the 24th (no poll taxes).  In general, they often seem to dislike parts of the 1st amendment (freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press).  Among other examples they dislike the freedom to disrespect our flag.

They like Voter ID but do not not want to disenfranchise military men.  This of course implies (and the courts later ruled that it is unconstitutional) that they do want to disenfranchise non-military voters. 

They are fine with having the government protect religious freedom of the churches, but not in favor of protecting the religious freedom of the lay people and non-religious people..  I quote:   'We condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and vandalism by proponents of same-sex marriage against advocates of traditional marriage and call for a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious believers their civil rights"

But they make no mention at all of actual violence and vandalism against gays by the advocates of traditional marriage.  Again see the 'gays are evil' line for this section.

They also brought abortion into this section, trying to apply the constitutional protections to them. This is despite the fact that they are not yet American citizens (no birth certificate).

3.  Energy, and the Environment

They want more coal, the single most polluting, most expensive if it's cleaned up, cheapest if you leave it dirty energy source.  They want to ease the EPA's regulations on coal, despite the fact that the rules for coal are EASIER than any other energy source  Coal can dump their radioactive waste - uranium and thorium - anywhere (which they do) while nuclear power plants must expensively store it.

They want to build pipelines to let Canada ship natural gas through US ports and sell it to foreign countries as opposed to selling it to northern US states.  (Keystone).  They want to cut research and investment money on 'risky' renewable energy - despite the fact that money spent there has in general been a huge windfall for this country and the environment.

They want to save 'family farms', and to do so are quite willing to spend huge amounts of money.  Most of which goes to farm corporations.  They have the resources to investigate and participate in the bureaucratic process.  (Source).   They do want to end direct payments and increase crop insurance - a good idea.   They also want take our national forests and destroy them.  (ignore environmental rules and steal their water).     They want to turn food stamps into block grants to states 'to stop fraud and abuse', despite the fact that the states are FAR more likely to engage in fraud and abuse. 

Most importantly, they want to 'reign in the EPA'.   Aka let corporations try new things, and then clean up their mistakes instead of preventing them in the first place.

4. Reform Government.

When they say "Save Medicare and Medicaid" they mean replace their defined benefit with a defined contribution.  Translation:  stop saying what health issues the government will treat and instead say "here's x amount of money, once you hit it, you die."  But they don't want the blame for such an evil plan, so they want to hand it off to the states.   Such plans are fiscally sound, but ethically evil.   Defined contribution works great if you are talking about a supplemental or luxury, such as a personal retirement plan.  It sucks as your minimum government protection or last ditch backstop, such as social security.  

The also want to change regulations.  Specifically no new ones until the existing ones have passed muster.  But we have seen how the GOP works - they delay and filibuster and refuse to make progress (which is why Obama has to redo the EPA regulations that Bush refused to redo after the courts ordered him to do it.  This is just shorthand for "no new regulations, no matter how badly we need them."   If you want to review the old regulations, fine.  But there is no good reason to stop new ones.  If we can't be trusted to make new regulations, then we can't be trusted to review the old ones.

They want to declare that no business is too big to fail.   Well, I'm OK with that.  But that is actually code for "No INDUSTRY is too big to fail."  Which is an entirely different thing.  If an entire industry is failing, then we have bigger problems than just a single corporation going bankrupt.  We need to protect our key industries and not allow foreign corporations to take over our finances the way they took over our clothing manufacturing.

They want private industry to take over from the TSA.  This is a good idea.   The TSA, as I have discussed in the past, are the single least cost effective agency in the US government.

Immigration.  Not sure why this came under 'reform'.   Again they are in favor of a 'state' led approach, despite the obvious problems with that.   They are against amnesty, even for kids illegally brought in by their parents, who never knew they were not citizens.  They then bring up American Indians, because of course, every single person that is not an American Indian is in fact an illegal immigrant that invaded their lands.  They gave a bunch of platitudes and little facts.

DC.  They give several paragraphs about DC - all talking about how they have pushed republican programs on the state.  Then one sentence stating "We oppose statehood for the District of Columbia."  They give no explanation for this.  In truth they know that Washington DC as a state would give the Democrats two new Senators and one new Congressman.  It is just partisan politics, without any attempt to disguise it.  Surprisingly, later on they do support Puerto Rico becoming a state.  They do this based on the fact that Hispanics tend to be conservative.  But they don't realize that Hispanics, while conservative, vote Democrat.   This is because the GOP is no longer a conservative party, but is a far right reactionary party.

Civil Service.  They talk about the the civil service growing by 140,000, without discussing the fact that it has about 2 million people before this growth. (Source).  Seven percent growth during a recession is not unusual.  Then they complain that the number making $150,000 or more has doubled - without mentioning what it is.  If it were 20 people and now 40 people, that is not important.  By saying it next to 140,000 it implies that it is thousands.  But more importantly, the reason why the pay is that high is because we have outsource the cheap jobs and ONLY hire people directly for important jobs.

5. American  Values.
Pro- family is code for anti-gay.  They want to protect traditional marriage, while the DNC wants to protect marriage.  They like adoption and foster care, but have no plan for it (aside from ill defined tax claims).  Internet family friendly  means no gambling and to eliminate pornography.  They applaud effort to stop predators from seeking children - by private corporations, but don't want to spend have the government do more (aside from enforcing current laws).

Another big thing is anti-abortion.  They want the federal government to ban it, and failing that, to ban funding for it and for plans that cover it.

Repeal Obamacare.  Not sure why this is in American Values.    They want to replace it with  by 'fostering personal responsibility'.  Translation let them die, the smart ones will get healthcare.  Don't believe me?  They also say "To achieve a free market in healthcare..."  Free markets have winners and losers.  In healthcare, the losers are kept in a morgue.  They want Health Savings Accounts and similar financial services.   These in effect make health care tax free, but do not give you protection from the big-ticket stuff.  In other words, they are band aids for the booboos, but don't do anything at all for the nasty deadly stuff.

They are all for research, as long as it is not stem cell research.   They  are desperately in favor of protecting the political views of the health care providers, but not the lives of the patients.   Patients should come first.

They are all for parental rights, but not child rights.  They also like Embryo rights.  So if you are 17 and 2 months, they want the right to prevent you from getting an abortion.

They want to destroy the public school system by switching to a voucher program giving government money to religious schools. Schools that because they are religious, can object to teaching important scientific facts  (evolution, climate change, etc.) that are necessary for college.

In crime, they make unfounded statements such as "Liberals do not understand this simple axiom: criminals behind bars cannot harm the general public."  We do recognize that.  But we also recognize that most criminals do NOT repeat offend and that prison costs are skyrocketing out of control.  We simply can not afford to incarcerate so many people, particularly for minor offenses.  They talk about gang members, drug dealers, rapists, armed robbers and murders, not the drug users, petty thieves, joy riders, and public disorder (second biggest type of offense in federal prison).  They also want to prevent federal agencies from defining things as criminals.  As in, no more arrests for dumping uranium into your water supply, because that's an EPA thing, not a 'criminal thing'.

6.  American Exceptionalism.

This entire category is just plain strange.  Most of the earlier stuff talks about reducing the roll of American government, this is all about increasing it.    Strong military in particular.

They think to lead means to be arrogant and are mad that Obama has been polite as opposed to pissing off all of our allies, the way George Bush did.  They are all for reducing our budget - except when Obama reduced our military budget by less than $50 billion a year.  Now they are claim they are trying to avoid $500 billion from the sequestration process the GOP insisted on during the budget talks, as opposed to a fair balance of tax increases and budget reductions.  They refuse to take any responsibility for it, despite it clearly being the only compromise they were willing to do. 

They blame President Obama for leaks leaks in security,not even acknowledging that a high Bush official (Libby) gave out the name of top secret CIA agent for political purposes.  At the same time, they continue to lie about the President, claiming he is weak, despite the leaks they say were done to prove him strong.  You can't have it both ways.

They talk about the reductions Obama has advocated, ignoring the fact that the US has more than 40% of the entire world's military budget and spends more than four times as much as China does - and they are number 2, Russia is #3 and spends about 1/10th as much as we do. (source) It is the obvious place to cut, yet for all their demands to reduce spending, they refuse to cut it.

The military section is very long with lots of vague complaints - no evidence, just slander.  Among other things they repeat wild stories of attempts to ban bibles from the military, ignoring official complaints of soldiers forced to pray.  They talk about honoring veterans, while at the same time cutting entitlements to veterans.

When they mention Human Rights all they talk about is religious freedom.  They object to efforts to legalize abortion in foreign countries. When it comes to homosexual rights in Africa, they object that we spend money on it - despite the fact that in some countries they kill you for being gay.


Net net, they have four main themes:
  1. Lower taxes - even if we can't afford to do this and it makes the deficit go up.
  2. Balance the Budget by cutting spending on things Democrat wants (but not GOP programs), and call the Democrat ideas 'over-regulation', while the GOP programs get labelled 'necessary and effective' (even when they are proven in-effective - see creationism)
  3. They hate homosexuals.
  4. Abortion is evil and should be treated like murder.

If you agree with these four themes, I suggest you vote Republican.

But most Americans do not believe them.  We recognize that you have to pay more taxes to keep the deficit under control, that most programs are demanded by the people, not wasteful, the homosexuals are good people and abortion is not murder.  If you agree with me, then:

Vote for Democrats.

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