This week, finally, after all those nerd-hours expended on wondering just what precious metal and fancy rhetorical jewels would gild the GOP's terrible turd ideas, the official Republican party platform will be revealed to a chorus of gasps, eye rolls, and delighted shrieks from Rick Santorum. According to people who have seen the thing in its entirety, it's the most conservative platform in modern history. Critics call it "angry," "fringe," and "extreme," as it calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortion in the case of rape, bars female soldiers from combat roles, blames sick people for requiring medical care, and officially declares gay marriage to be an abomination. In addition to being a policy compass — an indicator of what sort of laws we can expect from elected Republican officials over the next four years — the new platform is a giddy romp through all the reasons the grand ol' party might hate you.
With the platform committee replete with Tea Party all stars and chaired by Virginia Governor Bob "Mandatory Transvaginal Ultrasounds" McDonnell, it's no wonder the whole thing feels marinated in haterade. Let's dive in.
"Even expensive prevention is preferable to more costly treatment later on," says one part of the leaked platform that doesn't have to do with women's bodies. The part that does directly have to do with women's bodies is decidedly less concerned with cost (or, uh, using the word "mother" or "woman" in reference to pregnancy) and more concerned with outlawing abortion in all circumstances, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
THE SANCTITY AND DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFE Faithful to the "self-evident" truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.
To be fair (and to borrow from Paul Ryan), rape is a "method of conception," and so if a person truly believes that a bundle of cells is more important than the woman carrying it, the way the bundle of cells came to be should be of no consequence. You have to admire the new GOP platform for its consistency.
Here's a jaunty little salute to states that require women who want to terminate their pregnancies to undergo medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds,
We also salute the many states that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy.
Again, no rape exception. But rape is only "a detail" in the abortion debate, says horrible person Governor Bob McDonnell.
For real though: do Republicans seriously think pregnancy is easy? Every single pregnant women I've known has had a rough time of it, even women who have experienced "easy" pregnancies. It's nine months of hosting a tiny parasite that robs the female body of nutrients followed by the notoriously less-than-enjoyable process of childbirth. Wouldn't it just be healthier for everyone involved to just allow women who don't want to be pregnant to end their pregnancies as they chose? The government can claim they'll "support" (which, LOL, coming from the GOP) pregnant women, but all the support in the world can't erase the physical burden of pregnancy. No one should be forced to endure that.
Fixing the health care system is very, very important to the Republican platform committee, but the key to fixing it isn't by allowing more people to use a more efficient, government-run program or by regulating the private sector; according to the platform, all of our problems will be solved if only we relied nearly exclusively on profit-driven private sector businesses to fix everything — Atlas drugged, if you will. But before you say "Isn't that exactly like how things are now?" take a second to shut your mouth and open your mind. We all know that the corporations always act like compassionate entities, and that all health care industry shenanigans can be blamed on too much regulation. Plus, you know what they say about problems — the best way to fix them is to do what you were doing before, but harder. Works for joint repair therapy, works for public health!
Further, the platform states, sick people need to take a moment and examine if their health problems are their own fault. From a draft of the platform leaked Friday,
When approximately 80% of healthcare costs are related to lifestyle — smoking, obesity, substance abuse — far greater emphasis has to be put on personal responsibility for health maintenance.
Translation: This country has devolved into a nation of fat drug addicts who smoke like chimneys. If you worked on the wait staff of a bar or restaurant that allowed smoking, it's your fault when you get lung cancer. And if you develop Type II diabetes as an adult, it's because you're weak. You shouldn't have grown up in that town next to a coal mine and gotten cancer when you were 7, you bad lifestyle choice maker.
They say that this will introduce competition, and drive prices down. Except health care isn't like an iPad or velour pants; it's something that people literally need to stay alive. Really, the sky's the limit for how expensive this shit can get.
Part of the GOP plan is to replace Medicare with that
coupon voucher program all the Elderlies will hate. But if you were worrying that the GOP was going to alienate an important part of its voting base, relax — cuts won't apply to current senior citizens; just future senior citizens. People who weren't going to vote Republican anyway.
Despite the fact that foreign aid is an itty bitty, Ryan Seacrest-sized part of our national budget, the GOP platform committee seems to think that cutting it back will lower taxes for everyone. They're also concerned with the current administration's promotion of what it calls "legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda." Enough of that. Let's give that money to churches who hate gays and agree about forced pregnancy. Churches never fuck up.
So what will you do with the $7, $8 you save by not having to contribute to secular aid organizations that provide birth control and abortion services to women in developing countries? I'm going to but like 3 Chick-fil-A sandwiches and eat 'em all myself.
The new GOP platform loves states' except when it suspects that if left to their druthers, states would choose to do things that the GOP would not like. Take immigration. The platform enthusiastically embraces Arizona's "show me your papers" laws, encourages an e-verify system to make it more difficult for undocumented immigrants to find employment, and encourages the completion of a double-layered fence between the US and Mexico. Thanks to suggestions by famous xenophobe Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the platform committee also added a plank giving the Department of Homeland Security the authority to detain undocumented immigrants for, like, a really fucking long time.
And at this point it could almost go without saying, but they'd like to declare English the official language of Amurrica.
Have you ever spent time around Southerners? God love 'em, but if they're not the most venomous group of sweet-as-pie vipers I've ever met. Down south of the Mason Dixon line, "bless your heart" means roughly the same thing as "fuck you," but it's said with a smile, often under the guise of faux concern and condescension. It is the Southern woman's A-bomb. There is no Northern rebuttal.
Anyway, that's basically the official line of the GOP on female soldiers. No women in combat, says a draft of the platform, although they truly appreciate the various lady-help women in the military have provided Uncle Sam.
We support the advancement of women in the military, which as not only opened doors of opportunity for individuals but has also made possible the devoted, and often heroic, services of additional members of every branch of the armed forces. We support military women's exemption from direct ground combat units and infantry battalions. We affirm the cultural values that encourage selfless service and superiority in battle, and we oppose anything that might divide or weaken team cohesion, including intra-military special interest demonstrations.
The GOP hasn't forgotten about you, homos. They still think what you're doing isn't natural. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and you can't argue with elementary school logic that rhymes. The GOP of 2012 would like to add an amendment to the US Constitution barring same-sex marriage, because they still feel personally threatened by Neil Patrick Harris's obnoxiously perfect gay life. They also want to keep homos out of the military and, according to Think Progress, they think Obama is pooping all over traditional marriage.
The draft attacks President Obama for not defending in court the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages. It calls that decision a "mockery of the President's inaugural oath," when in fact Mr. Obama would have been wrong to ignore lawyers who concluded that the law is unconstitutional.
Unsurprisingly, the platform contains several allusions to sharia law, at one point explicitly barring American judges from taking foreign law into consideration when ruling on cases. The GOP also calls for the US to defend "religious freedom" in places like the Middle East and East Africa, where certain Christ-worshippers are being displaced by certain followers of Mohammad. No mention of places like Western Europe, where one could make the argument that laws barring headscarves interfere with Muslim women's religious freedom. "Religious freedom" is always code for "enforced Christian dominance," which doesn't sound as good in sound bytes.
"We oppose statehood for the District of Colombia."
The GOP does not, however, oppose making very restrictive abortion laws governing the bodies of DC's women.
The GOP of 2012 is a big tent. Especially if you're a white, wealthy, currently elderly, heterosexual, Christian, non-DC resident who plans on living forever. Otherwise, fuck you.