Main Menu

Iowa: Republicans creep birtherward

It has been an article of faith that mainstream Republicans wish the birthers would go away. They don’t want the baggage of nut-case conspiracists making it harder to win elections.

There is an exception in Iowa. The current draft platform (retrieved 5/22/2012) of the Iowa Republican Party contains a birther provision; Section 1.16 of the platform draft, under Elections (page 7) states:

We believe candidates for President of the United States must show proof of being a ‘natural born citizen’ as required by Article II, Section I of the Constitution — beginning with the 2012 election.

Barack Obama is ahead of the game, having released his Hawaiian birth certificate to the Press over a year ago. Mitt Romney will have to get on the ball to satisfy Iowa Republicans.

I think the Iowa Republican birther provision should be placed in the larger context of Iowa Republicanism (just a few planks selected from a long document):

  1. No school activities on Sundays or Wednesday nights [when Baptists hold Prayer Meeting].
  2. No mandatory school attendance.
  3. No voting by non-tax-paying out-of-state college students.
  4. Mandatory ultrasound prior to abortion, which should be outlawed anyway.
  5. No stem cell research.
  6. Abolition of the Department of Agriculture.
  7. Abolish all farm subsidies
  8. Oppose UN Agenda 21 (a popular conspiracy theory related to the New World Order) on sustainable development. It is described as “diabolical.”
  9. No regulation of dust by the EPA.
  10. Ban foreign corporations from owning Iowa farm land.
  11. No money for bike trails until the federal deficit is eliminated.
  12. No government money to ACORN, AARP, ACLU and Planned Parenthood and anyone else who lobbies against the platform.
  13. No federal money for public broadcasting
  14. Support a landlord’s right to refuse to lease on “moral grounds.”
  15. No “hate crime” laws.
  16. No Sharia, or other foreign laws. [Note to self: there go the 10 Commandments]
  17. No smoking bans.
  18. No First Amendment protection for pornography.
  19. Eliminate the Federal Department of Education.
  20. No regulation of private schools or home schooling by the Iowa Department of Education.
  21. No teaching of “multiculturalism” in public school.
  22. Education “purely returned to a free market system.”
  23. No reporting requirements for home schooling families.
  24. Balanced presentation of evolution and creationism in public schools. “Darwinian evolution is only a theory and not a scientific fact.”
  25. Tax-funded libraries must include “intelligent design” and creationism books.
  26. Parents may opt-out their children from health screenings and surveys.
  27. No school clubs based on sexual orientation.
  28. Repeal the “No Child Left Behind Act.”
  29. Oppose anti-bullying laws. Students should stand up for themselves.
  30. Repeal the 17th Amendment (direct election of US Senators by popular vote)
  31. Abolition of the US Department of Energy
  32. No regulation of greenhouse gasses or carbon dioxide.
  33. Claims of human-based globing warming are “fraudulent.”
  34. More deer hunting licenses.
  35. Parents have a right to know what their children read at the library.
  36. The US should drop out of the United Nations.
  37. End foreign aid.
  38. Oppose any revision of the original intent of the US Constitution (except for a few Constitutional amendments called for in the platform)
  39. “We support Congressional action, including an Amendment to the United States Constitution if needed, to repeal the 1943 (sic) Wicker (sic) vs. Filburn ruling by a divided US Supreme Court cowed by Democrat FDR’s “court-packing attack” which set in motion ever-increasing misuse of the Commerce Clause in Article 1, Section 8.”
  40. Public display of the Ten Commandments.
  41. Return money to the gold and/or silver standard.
  42. Impeach judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage.
  43. Eliminate the Department of Homeland security
  44. Eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  45. Eliminate the Department of Labor
  46. Eliminate the Department of Commerce.
  47. Eliminate the Department of the Interior
  48. Eliminate the TSA, FDA, ATF, EPA, the National Endowment for the Arts, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  49. The US Census should only count citizens.
  50. Juries instructed that they may consider questions of law as well as fact.
  51. No federal regulation of guns manufactured in Iowa for use in the state.
  52. People with concealed carry permits may take their guns to school.
  53. Repeal the “allopathic medicine” monopoly. [“Allopathic medicine” is a pejorative term used by alternative medical practitioners to refer to conventional medicine.]
  54. “Philosophic exemption” for childhood vaccination requirements.
  55. End the “Patriot Act.”
  56. Oppose any military draft.
  57. Drug testing for all persons on public assistance.
  58. Opt-out of the Social Security system until it is privatized.
  59. Anchor babies are not citizens.
  60. The Supreme Court not have jurisdiction over cases related to marriage.
  61. No “no-fault divorce.”
  62. No minimum wage.
  63. No public employee unions.
  64. Repeal of various financial reforms: Davis-Bacon, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank.
  65. Abolish the IRS and repeal the 16th Amendment (Income Tax Amendment).
  66. Abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax [a tax on rich folks who through loopholes avoid paying much tax].
  67. Eliminate estate, gift and inheritance taxes, and let heirs avoid capital gains when they sell appreciated inherited property.
  68. No unmanned cameras allowed to enforce traffic regulations.

The items I selected where ones that I thought that even a lot of Republicans would find extreme (except the deer hunting license thing). The normal right-wing stuff, I didn’t mention (like abolish NAFTA, English only, school vouchers, no public benefits for undocumented aliens, etc.) There were a very few provisions that I even thought were good. My favorite:

We believe that the national “Do Not Call Registry” also should apply to political calls.

,

60 Responses to Iowa: Republicans creep birtherward

  1. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 23, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    The original is a Microsoft Word Document, that I fetched from:

    http://www.radioiowa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IAGOPPlatform20121.doc

  2. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 23, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The original is a Microsoft Word Document

    18 single spaced pages!! It might be more interesting and consume fewer trees if they just published a short list of the things they’re okay with.

  3. avatar
    red-diaper baby 1942 May 23, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    This is truly appalling, but we’ve seen it all before — if not perhaps in such concentratedly toxic form. (Though I actually liked # 55, Repealing the Patriot Act.)
    A country governed by such a platform would regress intellectually by centuries, and economically and politically would become a truly third-world country. The frightening thing is that the Republican base (tea-partiers, Evangelicals and what-have-you) will find this appealing.

  4. avatar
    JPotter May 23, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    …. and all that in Ron Paul’s first 24 hours in office ….. then on to Phase II !

  5. avatar
    Arthur May 23, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    The Taliban is alive and well, and hard at work drafting the Iowa Republican platform.

    red-diaper baby 1942: A country governed by such a platform would regress intellectually by centuries,

  6. avatar
    gorefan May 23, 2012 at 2:10 am #

    Anything about banning tattoo parlors?

    Leviticus 19:28

    “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”

  7. avatar
    Keith May 23, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    Wait, what?

    Iowa Republicans want to abolish the Department of Agriculture?

    Do they know that it was founded by the Grandest of the Grand Ol’ Party itself? (Abraham Lincoln) and that Iowa is nothing without agriculture? and that the DoAg is the only reason why Iowa farmers have about 85% of their productive methodology (the other 15% being prior to the DoAg)? and without the DoAg America would be a starving dust bowl today?

    Are they nuts?

    Don’t answer that question, its rhetorical.

  8. avatar
    GLaB May 23, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    Ron Paul supporters have taken over the Iowa GOP – also Maine, Minnesota, and Nevada, I think, with more states possibly on the way.

    Any liberal or “progressive” who was considering Ron Paul because of his anti-war views – Glenn Greenwald, this means you – should have this list stapled to their forehead.

  9. avatar
    US Citizen May 23, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    The inclusion of no money to ACORN, when ACORN has been dissolved is priceless.
    I’m surprised they didn’t include “no foreign sports cars allowed on roads.”

  10. avatar
    BillTheCat May 23, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    I’ll refrain from resorting to Godwin, but wow, that list…. Just sayin’.

  11. avatar
    misha May 23, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    I thought I was reading a blog. Turns out, it’s a couple of pages from a textbook on clinical insanity.

  12. avatar
    misha May 23, 2012 at 3:46 am #

    “48. Eliminate the…FDA…”

    100,000,000 Guinea Pigs: Dangers in Everyday Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics is a book written by Arthur Kallet and F.J. Schlink first released in 1933…Its central argument propounds that the American population is being used as guinea pigs in a giant experiment undertaken by the American producers of food stuffs and patent medicines and the like. Kallet and Schlink premise the book as being “written in the interest of the consumer, who does not yet realize that he is being used as a guinea pig…”

    Read on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100,000,000_Guinea_Pigs

  13. avatar
    misha May 23, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    “I think the Iowa Republican birther provision should be placed in the larger context of Iowa Republicanism (just a few planks selected from a long document):”

    I read the list. Are we in Kabul? I thought I was in Chinatown.

    Philly is 80% registered Democrats. Phew…

  14. avatar
    Lupin May 23, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    Isn’t that exactly what I was saying yesterday when I was expressing concern that the US was “devolving” towards third-world status (culturally speaking).

    Dismiss this is unrepresentative if you will, but it still emanates from one of your two major parties. And it’s not isolated. The Texas Republican platform is just as crazy.

  15. avatar
    Jim F May 23, 2012 at 5:41 am #

    It’s a joke, isn’t it? Please say it is!

  16. avatar
    Lupin May 23, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    From South Carolina:

    http://glossynews.com/entertainment/internet/201205221833/george-tierney-exclusive-interview-yes-george-tierney-from-greenville-sc/

    The race for the dumbest state continues in earnest.

  17. avatar
    John Reilly May 23, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    I think the provision that juries may determine the law as well as facts is the oddest. Juries have been limited to determining facts since the 13th century or so. The founders, in writing the Constitution, would have only though a jury could determine law. How can these folks be so determined to follow original intent but want, when someone is accused of a crime, to have a jury decide what the law ought to be after the fact?

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 23, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    I reduced the planks to pithy statements and I made sure not to mischaracterize anything or make it sound worse than it was. The jury item appears in 2 places. The original text is:

    We demand that jurors be informed of their Common Law Right and duty to consider both the facts and law in reaching just verdicts.

    Another area that concerned me was the rights of parents and children. While it didn’t actually say it in so many ways, it appears that biological parents are to have absolute control over their children (including punishment) and that the state has no business to inquire what they do. For example, parents can opt out of school health screening so that child abuse wouldn’t be detected. Parents have a right to know what kids read at the library. Children can be forced to work on family farms. No reporting requirements for home schooled kids, and basically no state supervision of home schooling. It would be scary being a child in that version of Iowa.

    Another troubling principle was the limitation of free speech of those who disagree with the platform. For example, no government funds for any organization that lobbies against any provision of the platform. Also religious expression is permitted more than usually allowed (10 Commandments displays, nativity scenes), but only for the Christian religion. Teachers can promote religion, but may not say that homosexuality is normal.

    John Reilly: I think the provision that juries may determine the law as well as facts is the oddest. Juries have been limited to determining facts since the 13th century or so.

  19. avatar
    Paper May 23, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    What I notice is that this kind of nonsense has always been with us. It’s not new. It was there, one way or another, in the 1700s, and even during our twentieth century run. So in that sense we are not *de*-volving. Revolving perhaps. Revolting, indeed. But I was born in a time when certain people were casually lynched and mixed races couple could not marry in most states. So, while this nonsense exists, such threatening, burgeoning crap as this platform is not retrograde per se, and we probably have to say we have been evolving, if anything.

    Lupin:
    Isn’t that exactly what I was saying yesterday when I was expressing concern that the US was “devolving” towards third-world status (culturally speaking).

    Dismiss this is unrepresentative if you will, but it still emanates from one of your two major parties. And it’s not isolated. The Texas Republican platform is just as crazy.

  20. avatar
    Paper May 23, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    What I guess I’m getting at is that this sideshow garbage has nothing to do with whether or not America is first-world or third-world, etc. Such platforms are not about us moving toward third-world status. That is to say, we were even worse in key ways in our most undeniably first-world peak during the twentieth century

  21. avatar
    Scientist May 23, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Paper: What I guess I’m getting at is that this sideshow garbage has nothing to do with whether or not America is first-world or third-world, etc. Such platforms are not about us moving toward third-world status. That is to say, we were even worse in key ways in our most undeniably first-world peak during the twentieth century

    As Einstein noted, everything is relative. It’s one thing to hold 19th century positions in the 19th century (and some of these would have been regressive even in the 19th century) and another to hold them in the 21st. In the 19th century our competitors were similarly positiioned. A horse and buggy has a fair shot in a race against other horse and buggies, but not if the other entrants are driving cars or flying airplanes.

    Make no mistake, if these plans were actually enacted (which they won’t be) it would make the US a 3rd world nation in a very short time.

  22. avatar
    Lupin May 23, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Paper: What I notice is that this kind of nonsense has always been with us. It’s not new. It was there, one way or another, in the 1700s, and even during our twentieth century run. So in that sense we are not *de*-volving. Revolving perhaps. Revolting, indeed. But I was born in a time when certain people were casually lynched and mixed races couple could not marry in most states. So, while this nonsense exists, such threatening, burgeoning crap as this platform is not retrograde per se, and we probably have to say we have been evolving, if anything.

    A good point. Is it worse today than in, say, the 50s or early 60s? I suppose not. But should you and I be having this discussion in 2012?

    I’m 58. The hot button issues of my childhood in France are really not relevant anymore.

    I lived in the US (California) during the 80s and 90s. I can’t help feel that there’s been a step backward here, especially vis vis science. I remember a time (as you do too I’m sure) when scientists and engineers were heroes; I don’t get the sense this is true anymore.

    There remains the fact that this is an official document by one of your two leading political parties and we’ve got to compare apples with apples. Compare it with, say, the Barry Goldwater platform of the 60s. I think it’s even more extreme and more backward, wouldn’t you say?

  23. avatar
    Lupin May 23, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Scientist: Make no mistake, if these plans were actually enacted (which they won’t be) it would make the US a 3rd world nation in a very short time.

    I understand they won’t be enacted — not a chance. Every election, our own trotskyistes (Lutte Ouvriere) also put forward similarly extreme platforms, and there is not a chance that (a) they’ll be elected (they poll 2%, 3%) and (b) such platforms would ever be enacted under any circumstances whatsoever.

    What’s disturbing here is the source of the document — an official GOP body; if 25% of the French public came out and put forward such a lunatic platform, the political earthquake in Europe would be resounding.

    I’m sorry but I don’t think you can minimize the importance of this with a “boys will be boys” attitude. The lunatic fringe of the GOP (and Goldwater was far more rational that these people) did not control Ike, Nixon, even Reagan, the way these people control it today.

    McGovern who by European standards wasn’t that extreme, but was at the time in the US, was never in a dead heat with Nixon. I find the polls indicating that Obama and Romney are in a dead heat baffling — and worrying.

  24. avatar
    Thrifty May 23, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    This list is basically a statement of opinions from a bunch of nutjobs. It doesn’t matter if it’s from one of the two major political parties. It’s the Republican party of 1 state out of 50. The Republican party has different platforms in 49 other states, plus the national level. The views expressed here are not gaining ground in the legislatures and they are not being instituted into law. You seem to have this odd view that if some political body expresses a policy, that policy is the law of the land.

    Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, Social Security, Pell Grants, Stafford loans, unemployment compensation. These things exist. Do they exist in 3rd world countries?

    What I’m saying is that you judge a society by the laws that actually exist, not the way the worst people wish they were.

    It’s like, if you stereotype Arabs as violent terrorists, that’s wrong. But if you characterize Americans as regressive neanderthals, that’s totally cool. And it pisses me off.

    It’s curious that the Iowa Republican party’s platform is used as evidence that the country is devolving, when Iowa is ALSO leading the country in gay rights. They are one of the few states that has full fledged marriage rights for same sex couples.

    Lupin:
    Isn’t that exactly what I was saying yesterday when I was expressing concern that the US was “devolving” towards third-world status (culturally speaking).

    Dismiss this is unrepresentative if you will, but it still emanates from one of your two major parties. And it’s not isolated. The Texas Republican platform is just as crazy.

  25. avatar
    James M May 23, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    I lost count but I think I agree with 6 and a half of those propositions. Does that mean I’m over nine percent rightard?

  26. avatar
    Thrifty May 23, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Except that Mitt Romney is running as president, on the national GOP platform. The points presented above are the state of Iowa’s platform. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

    Lupin: McGovern who by European standards wasn’t that extreme, but was at the time in the US, was never in a dead heat with Nixon. I find the polls indicating that Obama and Romney are in a dead heat baffling — and worrying.

  27. avatar
    Woodrowfan May 23, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    They also oppose the North American Union and the AMERO, neither of which actually exists. no word on if they oppose unicorns..

  28. avatar
    Paper May 23, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Well, that is my main point, that they won’t be enacted. Otherwise, I think I agree; they would make the US a third world nation, some planks more than others. It’s a grab bag potpourri, and I was mostly focusing on the sideshow aspect as being a non-starter in the bigger picture. The birther plank would not make us third-world, even though questionable constitutionally, even if it survived court. Many of the other planks would take us backward if enacted. I can’t argue that.

    My point is we have always had sideshow nonsense, and it has not overwhelmed us or made us a third-world country, relatively speaking or not. The things that have truly threatened us were key, non-sideshow moments such as the Civil War, and if the South had won that war I do not imagine we would have been a twentieth century first-world power. The threat is not from the sideshow; the sideshow can be co-opted, but it is the central power struggle that is the key.

    My main issue with Ron Paul, for instance, is that his ideas would indeed take us backwards and destroy our country (his underlying rationale along with his interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is deadly, even with regards to his best policies where one might actually agree on the surface), but I connect those dots to the key issues of governing that are off-topic here, not birther-related.

    So the underlying power struggle is of concern, and I am concerned about such things holding us back or worse. I just don’t think our country is *devolving* because we have our share of vocal cranks, who have always been with us, in and out of political circles, and which our democracy encourages to speak up, in part so that we can actually “immunize” ourselves, by letting them out in the open where we can see them for what they are.

    Scientist: Make no mistake, if these plans were actually enacted (which they won’t be) it would make the US a 3rd world nation in a very short time.

  29. avatar
    Paper May 23, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    But, exactly. Romney is not one of these wild extremists. He panders to them, but that is different (and his infamous Etch-a-Sketch moment makes precisely this point). He has knocked out his competition in the GOP precisely because he is the “normal” one. I do not think Romney would be good for the country, nor take it forward or even stabilize it, but I also do not think this GOP platform in Iowa is representative of a potential Romney presidency. I do not think Romney = third-world. This GOP platform in Iowa, if enacted, perhaps. In that regards, it’s much more Ron Paul than Mitt Romney. And you’ll notice that while Ron Paul has his enthusiastic supporters and impact, he is not winning.

    Lupin: McGovern who by European standards wasn’t that extreme, but was at the time in the US, was never in a dead heat with Nixon. I find the polls indicating that Obama and Romney are in a dead heat baffling — and worrying.

  30. avatar
    Lupin May 23, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    @ Paper & Thrifty

    Let me make one things perfectly clear: my strongest wish (and i think I speak for a lot of Europeans here) is to see a strong, sane, rational US of A leading the world in economics, science and technology.

    The reason I worry is because I don’t think it’s going that way, and while I agree the counter-tide (Ron Paul or Santorum, if you will) is not winning, it seems to be growing stronger.

    I hope you’re correct; the only thing I can say is today’s America seems more backward than the 1990 America which I remember. But when one looks at things from a distance and over the internet, one may be subject to distortions; the view from the ground may be different.

  31. avatar
    AnotherBird May 23, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Iowa my eyes hurt.

  32. avatar
    AnotherBird May 23, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    There is a lot that stick out. From Intelligent Design to “Woman’s Right to Know Law.” In other weird terms which doesn’t even represent the idea that is associated with it. I hope that Ron Paul supporters are crazy enough to believe in birtherism.

    However, in the Iowa it is right there under “Elections.”

  33. avatar
    Scientist May 23, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Paper: Well, that is my main point, that they won’t be enacted. Otherwise, I think I agree; they would make the US a third world nation, some planks more than others

    They probably won’t be enacted in 2012, at least not all of them, even if the Republicans won. But just look at some of the anti-science, anti-progress beliefs that the House and many Senate GOPers support, not just a few crazies in Iowa. Outlaw global climate change? Why not outlaw oxidation and reduction? Teach that evolution is “just a theory”? Why not the same for gravitation?

    Of course, these same folks would claim they revere the American Founding Fathers. But those very Founders were the great progressive radicals of their day and one of them, Benjamin Franklin, was among the leading scientists of his era. They must be spinning in their graves.

    Nations that were the leaders in science and progress can and have fallen into decline. China was for millenia and declined because of a rigid attachment to Confucian dogma. The Islamic countries were the leaders in their day, but fell into religious fundamentalism and declined. It can happen here too. Nations compete and those who are held back by dogmas from the past fall behind.

  34. avatar
    Paper May 23, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    I think perhaps this is one of the differences between the U.S. and Europe. I love much of Europe, but I also love this part of the U.S. We wear our idiots on our sleeves. That’s precisely why they are not earthquakes. I also am not sure if 25% of the American public as a whole would support such a platform as this.

    This particular platform is wild, but it’s not a national platform. State platforms are bound to be more off the mainstream. Here’s an interesting article about the difference between state platforms and national platforms during 1920s- 1960s, where the authors are looking at how state parties are more activist and not made of political professionals, as well as exploring how state party platforms relate to the Civil Rights era, in contrast to national platforms.

    http://harrisschool.uchicago.edu/programs/beyond/workshops/ampolpapers/fall07-schickler.pdf

    You can also review the 2008 GOP National Party platform to see how the philosophy gets mainstreamed, not as radicalized.

    In short state parties are not quite as representative of an “official GOP body.” They are more representative of local, activist, vocal concerns within the party (read: who is loudest). In Iowa today within the GOP, that is the Ron Paul supporters, so it is not all that surprising to see their influence here.

    Lupin: What’s disturbing here is the source of the document — an official GOP body; if 25% of the French public came out and put forward such a lunatic platform, the political earthquake in Europe would be resounding.

  35. avatar
    Paper May 23, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    On this point, I certainly agree. I am not really saying that we do not have challenges. I just think something like what you discuss here is the real challenge, and that while the sideshows may be co-opted by the real power factions behind the scenes, the sideshows themselves do not mean we are devolving. I do agree that we do face real challenges that can really set us back.

    Scientist: But just look at some of the anti-science, anti-progress beliefs

  36. avatar
    Paper May 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    All the birthers I personally know are huge Ron Paul supporters. We know that the reverse is not true (Ron Paul supporter does not equal birther), but I find it an intriguing phenomenon in my family circles.

    AnotherBird: I hope that Ron Paul supporters are crazy enough to believe in birtherism.

  37. avatar
    JPotter May 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The original is a Microsoft Word Document,

    that was linked to this story:
    http://www.radioiowa.com/2012/05/21/iowa-gop-platform-takes-a-shot-at-obamas-citizenship/

    So it’s a report from a committee, not yet adopted as the party’s platform. I …. think….

    I’d suggest they considering numbering the sections. They have 403 “policies” in numerous groups, all numbered “1.1 …. 1.2 …. 1.3….”

    I see confusion in their future.

  38. avatar
    MN-Skeptic May 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Growing up in Iowa, I do appreciate platform item #1 – “No school activities on Sundays or Wednesday nights [when Baptists hold Prayer Meeting]. ” That was in effect when I graduated from high school in 1971. I don’t know if it still applies. But a lot of kids were involved in both church activities and school activities. That rule meant that church activities would not keep kids from participating in school activities, and school activities would not keep kids from participating in church activities.

  39. avatar
    Paper May 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I do know what you are talking about, but given my family, I have seen the backward aspects of this country first-hand since the 1960s. I do think such aspects are not good for the country. But I am not worried about this backwardness overwhelming our progress as a country. I am worried about deeper fundamentals (such as the ones Scientist mentions), which can co-opt the extremes and carry them along for the ride.

    1990s were a unique time, post cold War, when the economy was on the upswing, but these wild elements were still there (I was constantly inundated with Clinton conspiracy crap at the time). Indeed, my personal circle of birthers are just the same people who have grafted the birther nonsense unto the same old New World Order conspiracy. I have watched the poison spread through the next generations.

    I think some of this is just amplification distortion, as you say. For personal reasons, I enter into this sideshow willingly, but if I didn’t, I would not readily find it part of American life. The deeper issues, yes. There are real political conflicts. And if Ron Paul (or his son), for example, were to become president, then I’d be worrying a lot more, true enough.

    I’m just saying, do not judge America by our idiots, however vocal they are.

    We do have other more serious limitations and challenges, however. Feel free to hold us accountable on those. I’ll do the same for some of Europe’s challenges (such as austerity measures in the EU). Those kind of challenges (here and there) are what I think really threaten us. Not an activist vocal state party platform that isn’t going to see fruition.

    Lupin: I hope you’re correct; the only thing I can say is today’s America seems more backward than the 1990 America which I remember. But when one looks at things from a distance and over the internet, one may be subject to distortions; the view from the ground may be different.

  40. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    It is the version that is being sent to the delegates for voting. My article used the word “draft.”

    JPotter: So it’s a report from a committee, not yet adopted as the party’s platform. I …. think….

  41. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    MN-Skeptic:
    Growing up in Iowa, I do appreciate platform item #1 – “No school activities on Sundays or Wednesday nights [when Baptists hold Prayer Meeting]. ” That was in effect when I graduated from high school in 1971. I don’t know if it still applies. But a lot of kids were involved in both church activities and school activities. That rule meant that church activities would not keep kids from participating in school activities, and school activities would not keep kids from participating in church activities.

    Would you also restrict school activities from Saturdays, to accommodate all of those who celebrate the sabbath on a Saturday? If not, wouldn’t this platform be making law regarding the free exercise, and putting one religion over another?

  42. avatar
    JPotter May 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: It is the version that is being sent to the delegates for voting. My article used the word “draft.”

    Yes, noted; some of the discussion here was over how representative this was of the GOP as a whole. When I first saw it was a draft, I thought, maybe it’s a draft from an extremist. But, comparing to what appears to be the Iowa GOP official platform ( http://iowagop.org/platform.php ) …. it doesn’t appear to be so draft-y anymore.
    I haven’t compared the two with a fine comb, but at first glance, lookin’ generally similar.

    The Radio Iowa article noted the same guy has chaired their committe 4 times. It would be interesting to see how this platform has ‘evolved’ over time. Is a GOP platform allowed to evolve?

    Also looks like once adopted, they do fix the numbering. Good for them.

  43. avatar
    MN-Skeptic May 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    “Would you also restrict school activities from Saturdays, to accommodate all of those who celebrate the sabbath on a Saturday? If not, wouldn’t this platform be making law regarding the free exercise, and putting one religion over another?”

    Stated in its most general form – no school activities on Sundays or Wednesdays – removes the religious aspect from the rule. You’re just saying that people (students, teachers, families) have lives outside of school and we want to make sure that some time is allocated to that. Personally, I don’t know any religions for which Wednesdays are sacred outside of evening Lenten services. This rule is more akin to a moment of silence than school sanctioned prayer.

  44. avatar
    Keith May 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    dunstvangeet: Would you also restrict school activities from Saturdays, to accommodate all of those who celebrate the sabbath on a Saturday?If not, wouldn’t this platform be making law regarding the free exercise, and putting one religion over another?

    Are there any Synagogues in Iowa? Temples? Perhaps they don’t think they need to allow for ‘cults’.

  45. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    MN-Skeptic: “Would you also restrict school activities from Saturdays, to accommodate all of those who celebrate the sabbath on a Saturday? If not, wouldn’t this platform be making law regarding the free exercise, and putting one religion over another?”Stated in its most general form – no school activities on Sundays or Wednesdays – removes the religious aspect from the rule. You’re just saying that people (students, teachers, families) have lives outside of school and we want to make sure that some time is allocated to that. Personally, I don’t know any religions for which Wednesdays are sacred outside of evening Lenten services. This rule is more akin to a moment of silence than school sanctioned prayer.

    Actually, just stating something in the general does not remove the religious aspect of this rule. Just because something is stated in the general does not remove the religious aspect. You have to get to the reason why this rule is passed in order to get that. I think that they’d have an easier time justifying Sunday (weekend), than they would a closet ban on activities for Wednesday Night, but that’s just me. They have to prove that it’s not being done for religious reawsons, whether or not they state it in the general or not. And you’d get into the legislative arguments on passing this, which is inherently about not conflicting with religious events (and not all religious events, but just the religious events of one paticular religion.) And Wednesday Nights is a very common night for youth groups to meet, because it’s half-way between the week, which is why they’re banning for banning it.

    Like I said, would you support a ban on school activities for Saturdays as well as Wednesdays and Sundays? And if not, then why not? And there are religions that have holy nights based upon the lunar calander, and not the weekly calader. Would you support the schools making sure that their events don’t conflict with any of those religious holidays? You have the same inherent conflict that people go through that you say the reason that you support this ban.

  46. avatar
    MN-Skeptic May 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    “Like I said, would you support a ban on school activities for Saturdays as well as Wednesdays and Sundays? And if not, then why not?”

    Actually, I never said I’d support a ban.

    I only said that, having lived in Iowa during my high school years, I appreciated the agreement the schools had with the churches. I don’t even know if it was a formal law back then or just the way things had developed. And I don’t remember that the ban, back then, specifically included Sundays. It’s just that schools never did things on Sundays. Do schools schedule events on Sundays now? (I don’t have children, so I have no idea.) I only remember it being an agreement for Wednesday nights.

    Shoot, for all I care, make it a rotating day of the week and change it every year.

  47. avatar
    linda May 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    I am surprised farm rich Iowa would be against farm subsidies. I read an article which quoted the chairman of the platform committee for the Iowa GOP in a radio interview. He says many republicans question whether Obama is an NBC and that the requirement for candidates to provide proof is a shot a Obama and that it will be in effect for the 2012 elections. What a charmer.

    “There are many Republicans who feel that Barack Obama is not a ‘natural born citizen’ because his father was not an American when he was born and, therefore, feel that according to the Constitution he’s not qualified to be president, should not have been allowed to be elected by the Electoral College or even nominated by the Democratic Party in 2008, so this is an election year,” Racheter told Henderson. “It’s a shot at him.”

    Section 1.16 of the part of the platform draft related to elections states: “We believe candidates for President of the United States must show proof of being a ‘natural born citizen’ as required by Article II, Section I of the Constitution — beginning with the 2012 election.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/iowa-gop-takes-shot-at-obama-with-natural-born-citizen-requirement/2012/05/21/gIQAJ6eKgU_blog.html

  48. avatar
    US Citizen May 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Thrifty: What I’m saying is that you judge a society by the laws that actually exist, not the way the worst people wish they were.

    Wishes can come true in a democracy.

    The numbers aren’t skewed enough in that direction to place those votes, but they’re enough to waste time and money. Had that same time and money been applied to education, those numbers might be diminished too.
    Homeschooling appears to be expanding.
    I know one mother “homeschools” and her kids are often not provided even an hour a day of anything resembling formal study.
    They have no TV and limited exposure to the internet.
    Often they’re punished because they can be found awake after midnite performing the sin of “reading.”
    Had their minds been more exercised earlier in the day, perhaps they wouldn’t be awake?
    So it’s the trend that’s of concern.

  49. avatar
    Keith May 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    linda: I am surprised farm rich Iowa would be against farm subsidies.

    I’m not. I understand that a lot of farmers don’t like subsidies. It mostly benefits the multinational agribusinesses, and ‘real’ farmers don’t like being paid to not farm.

  50. avatar
    linda May 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    I can see that, but my husband’s family had cotton farms in West Texas from way back. Because that is how they made their living, they did not like to let the alternating fields lay fallow or plant rotating crops. The subsidies helped, as they had the income regardless of the weather, etc. But, they were small time in the big scheme of things and maybe not indicative of the majority.

    Keith: I’m not. I understand that a lot of farmers don’t like subsidies. It mostly benefits the multinational agribusinesses, and ‘real’ farmers don’t like being paid to not farm.

  51. avatar
    James M May 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    MN-Skeptic:

    Stated in its most general form – no school activities on Sundays or Wednesdays – removes the religious aspect from the rule.

    Oh how rich would it be if a school has to forfeit a regional athletic championship because they cannot get special permission to play on Sunday?

  52. avatar
    James M May 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Paper:

    All the birthers I personally know are huge Ron Paul supporters.

    They’ve seen Dr. Paul’s original birth certificate, then?

  53. avatar
    James M May 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Lupin: I find the polls indicating that Obama and Romney are in a dead heat baffling — and worrying.

    It has taken Mr. Romney all of 2012 so far to reach that plateau, where he is about level with President Obama, whose campaign has been active for about a week. Think of it this way: The race is a “dead heat” today. Three months ago it was a slam dunk for any Republican nominee.

  54. avatar
    AlCum May 23, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    OMG, these are REAL platform planks! I thought you were writing satire until I clicked on your link to the document.

  55. avatar
    Paper May 24, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    You know, they consistently refuse to answer me on that one. Go figure.

    James M: They’ve seen Dr. Paul’s original birth certificate, then?

  56. avatar
    nbc May 24, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    AlCum: OMG, these are REAL platform planks! I thought you were writing satire until I clicked on your link to the document.

    Pretty sad isn’t it…

  57. avatar
    Lupin May 24, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    James M: It has taken Mr. Romney all of 2012 so far to reach that plateau, where he is about level with President Obama, whose campaign has been active for about a week.Think of it this way:The race is a “dead heat” today.Three months ago it was a slam dunk for any Republican nominee.

    That’s even more disturbing.

  58. avatar
    Thomas Brown May 24, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    AlCum:
    OMG, these are REAL platform planks! I thought you were writing satire until I clicked on your link to the document.

    That’s what happens to rightwingnuts who delude themselves into thinking they are part of a huge silent majority. That gives them free rein to fantasize about what laws they could pass if only, you know, the country contained no liberals, moderates, or sane conservatives.

  59. avatar
    Stanislaw May 24, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    James M: It has taken Mr. Romney all of 2012 so far to reach that plateau, where he is about level with President Obama, whose campaign has been active for about a week.Think of it this way:The race is a “dead heat” today.Three months ago it was a slam dunk for any Republican nominee.

    Was it? Every poll I saw had Obama ahead of everyone pretty comfortably. Romney came the closest but he was still behind. Gingrich and Paul fared the worst by far, trailing by double digits.

  60. avatar
    AnotherBird May 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Paper:
    All the birthers I personally know are huge Ron Paul supporters.We know that the reverse is not true (Ron Paul supporter does not equal birther), but I find it an intriguing phenomenon in my family circles.

    Sorry, I think I meant that – I hope that all of Ron Paul supporters are not birthers. That was my mistake. There is enough areas where I disagree with Ron Paul policies that I wouldn’t want any crazy ideas associated with him.