Two Choice Idiocies in the 2012 Texas GOP Platform

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The 2012 Texas Republican Platform has been released, and reading briefly through it there is an interesting mixture of solid conservative thought, some common sense points, and at least two of what appears to be a complete and utter disconnect from even manufactured reality. As Houston Press's resident anal-retentive poker of holes in claims and declarations, I thought I'd walk readers through the more ridiculous tenets.

1. Limited Federal Powers - We strongly support state sovereignty reserved under the Tenth Amendment and oppose mandates beyond the scope of federal authority, as defined in the U.S. Constitution. We further support abolition of federal agencies involved in activities not originally delegated to the federal government under a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

Presumably this would mean the ending of NASA, a constant source of pride to Texans and Houstonians in particular. It was founded in 1958 by President Eisenhower, and though it is an independent civilian agency it was created by Congress, who must also approve the head of NASA that the president selects. Perhaps if NASA had been founded as a direct branch of the US military it would be strictly constitutional, but it otherwise isn't.

Of course, later down in the platform you get this...

NASA - We strongly encourage the federal government and NASA to work with American citizens and American businesses to research and develop a new vehicle to continue human space flight and maintain American's leadership in space exploration.

This despite the fact that NASA pretty plainly falls under the heading of not a constitutional agency, and that in other parts of the platform they "decry the appointment of unelected bureaucrats," which obviously includes the head of NASA.

According to the first entry, the GOP wants a strictly literal interpretation of the 10th amendment, "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." So I guess that means they want Texas to control NASA, but for the federal government to pay for it?

2. If It's Good Enough For Us It's Good Enough for Them - The Government shall not, by rule or law, exempt any of its members from the provisions of such rule or law.

The idea that members of the government make themselves immune to their own laws has been so thoroughly debunked that it pains me to continue. Still here we go...

Article 1, Section 6, of the US Constitution, regarding members of Congress, reads, "They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place."

This was put in place because the founders were afraid the president would try arresting his political enemies like Charles I did in 1642 England, not so Congress would be immune to the law. In fact, if you read this carefully you see it only applies only during sessions, or for being arrested because of things they say. It's not in any way, shape, or form blanket protection.

That being said, in 1995 they passed the Congressional Accountability Act, which basically stated that members of Congress had to abide by the same rules and regulations of any other workplace, for instance sexual harassment guidelines.  And yes, they pay into social security -- have since 1984 -- and they have to follow the recently upheld Health Care Act just as everyone does. Their insurance is a pretty sweet deal, no doubt, but it's no different than most other federal employees.

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16 comments
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Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

 Yeah, well, apathy ain't much, but it'll last.

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

Anyone who is yet amused by Republicans saying stupid things?

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

Americans need to learn one thing: we made money up. It is a fiction.

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

     You realize that you make no sense whatsoever? As a recipient of SSN, I assure you that had I invested my money in Berkshire-Hathaway, I would be rich beyond measure. Had I invested in Polaroid or Kodak, however, I would have been SOL and put with my bowl to beg. Instead, I invested in America, and as an American, my Social Security trust fund includes Two Trillion dollars or more in investments I have made in America. These are bonds held by the Treasury Department of moneys I and others like me have paid into SSN above and beyond what has been paid out.     But you, you cheap sob, think you can just ignore the fact that you owe us our money back plus interest, and howl because we expect a return on our investment. Well, let me tell you--for most in my generation, our investment was our children, and if you are an example of your generation, we wasted our money. Should have taken that boat to Tahiti.

T.
T.

A real liberty oriented platform would be about one page long.  RPT's platform is a mishmash of pet peeves designed to make the rubes who craft the document think they have a say in steering political discourse and public policy. Of course the ever erudite Bob Dole is reputed to have opined: 'Platforms?  We don't read those things.' And the Dems platform probably sounds as nice as that of the former USSR, with equal observance.

Sam
Sam

As an independent voter I'm so tired of the divisive verbal rhetoric from both parties.  No party has every issue completely correct.  To think otherwise flies in the face of reason.  This article adds nothing to the solutions we need but further substantiates the sad fact that journalistic integrity and ability is a commodity to be bought, sold and packaged for the biased.

1311
1311

I'm a regular reader, but I missed the blog entry you did on the choice idiocies in the 2012 Texas Democratic platform.  I'll look forward to seeing that.

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan

There probably is more  Craige, but there is only so much space on this site. :)

Reeseman
Reeseman

Then there's return to the gold standard, abolish all sex education except total abstinence until marriage, abolish the capital gains tax, reduce education funding, trade property taxes for a  consumption tax... it's a parade of craziness. John T. Harvey, writing in Forbes, calls it "terrifying."

Jef With One F
Jef With One F

There's a difference between what I personally find offensive, and what I can concretely point at and say, "That flies in the face of all logic... which for the purposes of this sentence has a face."

Craige
Craige

I'm surprised you couldn't find more.

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan

It's cool!   The question I always wanted to ask the people who call themselves "strict Constutionalists" is which version of the Constitution they champion: As it was originally written or as it is now with all the additional amendments. Because, and this is the experience with the ones I know, they tend to be like cafeteria Christians. Picking and choosing what they agree with and conveniently forgetting everything else.  Especially amusing are the ones who insist that we go back to the original intent of the Founding Fathers, (as if THAT intent was uniform and without disagreements), not realizing that a pretty good majority of those who hold that belief would not be allowed to vote back in the day.

Jeff
Jeff

Sorry, this was not written by me. I edited it and did not correct the byline. This was a different Jeff, he of the "one f" variety, and much more agile at constitutional accuracy (and apparently editing bylines) than I. Thanks!

Nathan Miller
Nathan Miller

It's sad that conservative, which generally makes sense, is not the same as republican, which generally doesn't.

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