September 04, 2003

No to the GOP

Why I am not now, and do not plan to become, a Republican.

(Link via War Liberal.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2003 08:57 PM
Comments

Somebody tell me that the phrase "sodomy tears at the fabric" was only unintentionally graphic...

Posted by: Christopher Luebcke at September 4, 2003 09:12 PM

Somebody tell me that the phrase "sodomy tears at the fabric" was only unintentionally graphic...

Consider the source.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2003 09:23 PM

Remember Kucinich's anti-mind control legislation? That's why I'm not a Democrat.

See how easy that is?

Posted by: Court at September 4, 2003 10:04 PM

Court,

One weirdo is less significant than a list of planks in a party platform. (I know, you can find more weirdos.)

Nevertheless, I'm disgruntled with the party, and am in no position to try to attract converts. Later, maybe. Now, no.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2003 10:08 PM

Court,

Also, my purpose in posting that link is not to play partisan games, but rather to point out why my current dilemma is between the Democratic Party and no party, rather than between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2003 10:12 PM

Thanks for the reality check, Michael. My socialist father thinks I've moved to the right because I've supported the last two wars, but it's helpful to be reminded of the fact that there is such a thing as right wing, and I'm no closer to it than I ever was.

The thing I find objectionable about that kind of hateful b.s. is the same thing I object to in Islamist b.s. And we've learned from the Islamists that you just can't laugh it off because fundamentalists do want to take over the world and will eventually give it a try.

But it also makes me appreciate the integrity, honesty and courage of people on the right who have spoken out against this kind of extremist crap themselves.

Posted by: Jeremy Brown at September 4, 2003 11:09 PM

The Texas Republican party's policy for abolishing the dollar and replacing it with the gold standard of all things. Has confirmed that Americians are no more economic literate than the rest of the western world.

Posted by: Tristan Jones at September 4, 2003 11:48 PM

Michael,

This is where I'm going to explain exactly why you are full of crap.
1. That was the Republican Party Platform of TEXAS, not OREGON, not NATIONAL.
2. Those planks in the party platform were put there to appease the nutbar wing of the Texas Republican Party.
3. The nutbar wing of the Texas Republican Party is getting appeased not because of their high intellectual standards, but because they donate money and time in an organized manner.
4. Intellectual purists like you (and to a lesser extent, me) do not get appeased or even listened to in the slightest because we do not generate money and time in an organized manner, or for that matter at all.
5. The Republican Party of Oregon also has a substantial...no, let us be honest...tremendous nutbar wing. I've met them. They scare me.
6. By refusing to involve yourself as a factor in the decision making process, you empower these nutbars to make policy decisions for the Republican Party of Oregon.
7. The Republican Party of Oregon controls the Oregon State Legislature.
8. For about $3,000, 500 hours of your time, an unmeasurable amount of your pride, and a willingness to show up at meetings and talk sense, you could "easily" put your planks on the Republican Party of Oregon's platform. Or prevent garbage like this from getting on it.
9. I can tell you exactly who to talk to to make this happen.
Q.E.D.: You are full of crap on this.

If you refuse to participate in the decision process when you have the opportunity to do so, you do not get to decry the decisions reached. You can prevent this kind of garbage where you live. You cannot prevent this kind of garbage where you do not live. Throwing your hands up and walking away is not responsible behavior, so do not throw stones at others for their irresponsible behavior. Didn't you learn anything from 9/11?

Incidentally, the various nutbar wings always get thrown this kind of bone, it is politics. We have nutbars in Oregon pressing for this kind of crap all the time. You are doing nothing to stop it.

Posted by: Patrick Lasswell at September 5, 2003 04:54 AM

Ha. Go Patrick!

I'm willing to bet that if one perused the various party platforms for the various states, you'd probably find just as much silly stuff to enable one to make statements like "Why I'll never become a Democrat, Green, Socialist Worker, Communist, whatever.

Changing such stuff means getting involved, and hey, its easier just to blather on a blog, isn't it?

Posted by: eric at September 5, 2003 06:40 AM

Oh I know Michael, I just wanted to point out how easy it is to find stuff like that on both sides. But Kucinich is running for president under the Dem flag.... and has some support. Look at his meetup numbers. It is quite scary that people like this guy.

Posted by: Court at September 5, 2003 07:04 AM

Michael,

I question your underlying assumption. Why do you need to belong to a party?

Posted by: Hovig John Heghinian at September 5, 2003 07:36 AM

>>Has confirmed that Americians are no more economic literate than the rest of the western world.<<

I bet you can't even make the rudimentary arguments of pro/con gold-standard other than "everyone sayyys that pro gold standard is dumb."

There are many legitimate economic agruments for it actually, but instead you resort to "hey look at them stupid hicks and their crazy wacko ideas, its the same wackiness as comparing Bush to Hilter."

Posted by: troll at September 5, 2003 08:05 AM

Well, there is some Religious Right and especially anti-gay stuff in there which I personally strongly disagree with. It's a shame though if respectable political opinion has become so monolithic that having a long term goal of withdrawing the US from the UN or of abolishing the personal income tax for some other system is qualification for looniness. I don't necessarily advocate these positions, but I have some kind of an open-mind towards a real re-evaluation of these two institutions, and plenty of smart, non-theocratic people do as well.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at September 5, 2003 08:59 AM

By refusing to involve yourself as a factor in the decision making process, you empower these nutbars to make policy decisions for the Republican Party of Oregon.

Wait a minute, Patrick. I'm a disgrunted Democrat, not a disgruntled Republican. I can't be responsible for the nutbars in both parties. Right-wing extremists do not care what I think of them. To them I'm just a socialist infidel.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 5, 2003 09:07 AM

The Texas GOP Platform?????

From 2000???????????

You guys do manage to reach a bit far.

How about a link to the real GOP platform?

Posted by: Mike at September 5, 2003 10:06 AM

One of my buddies moved to Texas as a Republican and came back a Democrat.

I assume that the reverse might be true of a Democrat moving to Aracadia CA, or parts of the East Coast.

I don't mean to imply that the criticism isn't valid, but it is just as simplistic to assume that all Republicans are of that ilk as it is that all Democrats belong to ANSWER.

Given your reflection about your political stance in the recent past, I feel quite confident that any possible rejection of the entire Republican Party will be as well thought out as your growing disaffection with the Democratic Party.

I assume that this post was intended to shed some light on the nutballs that the GOP is willing to entertain, rather than a reflection of the GOP as a whole. Not unlike similar Democratic behaviors.

I guess in closing, I just wanted to say that one ought not to throw the baby out with the bath water unless the baby actually needs thrown out.

With that, I would actually be quite interested to hear your take on the respective national platforms. Afterall, TX 2000 might (or might not) reflect on Bush, but Bush is not the Republican Pope.

Posted by: Anticipatory Retaliation at September 5, 2003 10:11 AM

I am a Texas Republican. I can tell you that just because those planks are in the platform does not mean that they reflect the majority of the party. However, the right wing nutjob group are more active, and angry, than the mainstream of the party. They attend the precinct conventions, which is where all party activity is started. The average Republican voter does not even know that there is such a thing as a precinct convention.I've been to the state convention and when a move is made to remove these asinine, undemocratic planks the person at the microphone is shouted down.

I am not for a second defending the Texas GOP platform. I find it ludicrous. That being said it's important to remember that neither the legislative nor executive branch of Texas government, both heavily Republican, has made any successful move to enact any of this weird bullshit.

Posted by: Jamie at September 5, 2003 10:32 AM

If the Texas GOP state platform seems so extreme to me, as a Republican, I just have to wonder how extreme some of the state Democratic platforms are?

Thank you Michael. You have given me a new place to look for Democratic silliness. I don't think that the Republicans on a state level are the only ones that lose sight of the bigger picture and i'm sure I can find some doozies in, say, the Washington State or California Democratic platforms that I can sling around.

But wouldn't trying to represent the state platforms as the basis for an objection to the national party be a little intellectually dishonest?

Posted by: Roark at September 5, 2003 10:41 AM

As a (non-Texas) Republican, I find it interesting that the Texas Democratic party platform (http://www.txdemocrats.org/tdpplatform2002.pdf) is a lot les wacky and shrill than the TXGOP platform, and frnakly easier to get behind (in a casual manner). Hmm.

Posted by: CS at September 5, 2003 10:54 AM

it is just as simplistic to assume that all Republicans are of that ilk as it is that all Democrats belong to ANSWER.

You don't have to tell me that.

Some people think I should switch parties, or that I am going to switch parties. Thing is, I don't want to swap one group of yahoo comrades for another.

As it is, I already feel like moderate liberals and moderate conservatives are the ones on my side. The center is good. I used to think it was wishy-washy, but I've changed my mind.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 5, 2003 11:01 AM

Michael,

If you went to the Democratic Party of Multnomah County and explained why you should be a candidate for State Representative or Senator, they would smile, shine you on as long as you were donating money and time to things they could use, and ignore you utterly. This would happen because Multnomah County is locked in as Democrat and they don't need you.

If you went to the Republican Party of Multnomah County you would discover that the local Science Fiction convention (www.orycon.org) has a larger budget and arguably more political leverage. If you were to offer money, time, effort, and pride to lose valiantly to the Democrat Candidate, they would treat you as a hero and let you put planks on the Party Platform. They would do this because you would present a vaguely electable candidate for the Near South East Portland district you live in where there are more registerd Independants than Republicans.

If you were to do the same things in the rural counties, the reverse situation might well be true. Since you live in Portland, the only way your voice is going to make a difference in the near term is for you to go against the grain of the existing politics, regardless of your former affiliation. If you choose to be a Democrat in the district you live in, you have chosen to be ignored. That is not a slam on the Democrats, that is just how politics works.

Posted by: Patrick Lasswell at September 5, 2003 11:18 AM

Patrick,

I'm definitely a Democrat locally. If I were to move to rural Eastern Oregon I would probably be left of 95 percent of the population there.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 5, 2003 11:28 AM

I have an idea. Lets just take two parts of the platform,get rid of the I.R.S.& repeal the 16th amendment (the income tax).Then all the non-yahoo's of the VAST RIGHTWING CONSPIRACY, like me, will run to the democrats and help you fight, the crazies.

Posted by: mason at September 5, 2003 02:42 PM

Michael,

My point is that locally you are just another body to the Democrats. You can blog until you win a Pullitzer for it and they will simply ignore you. After you win the Pullitzer, they will respectfully ignore you.

Don't get me wrong, I strongly disagree with a lot of the positions my friend the ex-junkie, Vietnam Vet, Reed dropout, Deadhead, Republican Central Committeeman has. (This is Portland, that is not an unexpected combination. Other places have uncomplicated persons.) But as long as he is fighting, the nutbar wing of the Oregon Republican Party is exposed to reason on a regular basis. When the Republican Party is left entirely to the nutbar wing, you get obnoxious party planks like that.

Posted by: Patrick Lasswell at September 5, 2003 04:13 PM

The center is not wishy-washy. I consider myself a Libertarian. (Pretty standard on the net, not so much in the real world). But I look at it as the best of both worlds.

The economic and foreign policies of the right and the civil liberties of the left. I don't think that is wishy washy at all. Just picking the things I believe are right. It just so happens to land me in the middle overall.

Be proud to be a moderate. I am. Extremes are generally bad. That's why I like the middle.

Posted by: Court at September 5, 2003 04:54 PM

As a registered Texas republican I have have to admit that I was totally unaware of this platform before you mentioned it. Now that I am aware of it I am not happy about it but I am not going to go back to being a democrat.
I think most people in the party are not aware of it and if some of these things came to a vote they would be rejected.
Some? Yes. I no problem with english being the official language. I am also not too trilled with some of what has happened in the military in order to include women.
This is typical of most party platforms though and most of the far out ideas go nowhere.
I guess this is part of the price be pay for being a big tent party.

Posted by: Starhawk at September 6, 2003 07:32 PM

I am a Texas Republican. I can tell you that just because those planks are in the platform does not mean that they reflect the majority of the party. However, the right wing nutjob group are more active, and angry, than the mainstream of the party.

This is usually the case. What is worrisome nowadays is that there are several different flavours and dimensions of "right wing nutjob", and while this particular Texan variety may be singularly unsuccessful, other varieties (such as Grover Norquist-style tax haters) are far more so.

Then again, the most dangerous nutjobs are probably the ones you don't know about.

Posted by: Demosthenes at September 7, 2003 01:00 AM

I guess this is part of the price be pay for being a big tent party.

Due respect, but this isn't a random resolution passed by the Atascosa County Republican Party in its October, 2001 County Committee Meeting. This is an official statement of policy and purpose for the State Party. At some point, the tent is big enough to let you in, but only as long as you put up with the racism, homophobia, and fiscal irresponsibility.

I've seen State Party Platforms put together, and yes, the meetings are generally dominated by the excited people. However, I went and looked at the Massachusetts Democratic Party platform (to pick randomly one of the two or three most Democratic-leaning states in the US) and there just are not any analogous statements. (I was going to link to Hawai'i (where I live) as my example, but their website is in a sad state of disarray.)

Posted by: Kimmitt at September 7, 2003 09:21 AM



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