Monday, August 27, 2012

Platform Planks: Where Policy Goes to Die

From, for instance, American Renaissance

The Republican Party has officially endorsed its backing for Arizona-style state immigration laws, adding into its platform language that such laws should be “encouraged, not attacked” and calling for the federal government to drop its lawsuits against the laws.

Uh, huh. Like how the Republicans put a pro-life plank in the platform in 1980, secured the Evangelical vote, and then proceded to nominate and confirm three pro-choice supreme court justices in the next five tries.

On the positive note, it's the politest "go to hell" we were likely to get.


Anonymous said...

It was a surprise to me that they still bothered with party platforms when each candidate runs an independent campaign.

not one person in the whole country will be required to pledge to uphold the party platform.

Elusive Wapiti said...

A very astute observation, Dr. Phi.

A platform is about the cheapest form of electioneering that one can get. In the Republican's case, how to secure the pro-secure borders and pro-life crowds without actually having to do any real political spadework.

For all the reservations Evangelicals supposedly have about electing a Mormon to the presidency, they're sure quiet about having a SCOTUS made up of 5 Roman Catholics and 3 Reformed (i.e., liberal) Jews. Not an Evangelical--or any other Protestant--to be found. That's where the culture war is won and lost these days.

Strange that they are so silent about their lack of representation on this 9-man kritarctic body.

heresolong said...

To be fair, did anyone see Kennedy or Souter coming? They seemed like decent, if not inspiring, choices at the time, especially after the Bork affair made it quite clear that no real conservative had a chance at that time. Conservative lite seemed like the best we were going to get. Unfortunate that they both moved dramatically left after confirmation. (I don't know where they stood on abortion before nomination)

Dr. Φ said...

Heresolong: I will allow that Kennedy was something of a surprise. But Souter was nominated strictly on the basis of personal connections, with nary a thought to political commitments.

On a related note, and on a tip from Ace, I finally got around to comparing the immigration provisions to those from 1980. Here is what the 1980 platform said:

"We believe that to the fullest extent possible those immigrants should be admitted who will make a positive contribution to America and who are willing to accept the fundamental American values and way of life. At the same time, United States immigration and refugee policy must reflect the interests of our national security and economic well-being. Immigration into this country must not be determined solely by foreign governments or even by the millions of people around the world who wish to come to America. "

But in 2012:

"Just as immigrant labor helped build our country in the past, today’s legal immigrants are making vital contributions in every aspect of our national life. Their industry and commitment to American values strengthens our economy, enriches our culture, and enables us to better understand and more effectively compete with the rest of the world."

See the difference? Reagan's platform sought to screen immigrants for the qualities America wanted. Romney's platform simply assumes they all have those qualities.