03 September 2008

A Journey into the Heart of Darkness: The 2008 GOP Platform

The Horror...The Horror

The GOP has released their 2008 platform(pdf) in time for the convention. While there's a lot of reasons to blow off the Republican party this election cycle (dude, $9.6 Trillion national debt, WTF!), I figured it'd be good to at least hear them out and give it a quick analysis. Tomorrow we'll be looking at the Dems platform from my own warped perspective.

For the purposes of scientifically analyzing the major components of the platform, we'll be using the following scale:

Good Conservatism (on a scale of 1 to 4 Plisskens): Snake Plissken embodies all the best parts of conservatism. As a specops combat vet, he's certainly patriotic, but he's pissed off that the government has become an over-reaching tyrannical state, symbolized by Manhattan being walled off into a maximum security prison. His rugged individualism is enough to save the President from a group of Marxist hijackers, but his muddled morality questions the mission the entire way, because those in power should remember that they are being scrutinized.

Bad Conservatism (on a scale of 1 to 4 Smails): Judge Smails can't control the hijinx of his family, so he seeks to criticize everyone else having a good time to overcompensate for his failure to tame his own offspring. He also abuses his position of authority to maintain a society with an upper caste serviced by lowly peons like the hilarious Bill Murray.

The issues:
  • Immigration: The GOP platform rightly seeks to uphold the rule of law regarding immigrants illegally flocking into our mainland to commit crimes, but their incentives to naturalize the vast majority of productive, law-abiding immigrants is weak at best. The GOP platform suggests employers utilize some Gestapo crap called an "E-verify" system to track all these foreigners in a monstrous database, and deporting those who over-stay their visas. What about all the college students, educated in our schooling system, who then go back to India and China to boost their tech sector. These people create wealth and innovation and shouldn't be kicked to the curb. Also, the ag sector throughout America is largely dependent on migrant workers, and the platform fails to recognize the importance that immigrants have had to our country since the boat after the Mayflower showed up. Then they go on to say everyone must whiten up, adopt our cultural practices (what is the officially sanctioned U.S. cultural paradigm O wise Republicans?), and stop speaking in funny languages. Another example of the GOP's desire to put the lid on the melting pot that has been the American way for hundreds of years.
Immigration Rating: 2 Smails

  • Veterans: Holy shit! The GOP loves the bipartisan Webb GI Bill, talks about the need to help out vets suffering from TBI (traumatic brain injury), and wants to increase the size of our Armed Forces. What's not to like?
Veterans Rating: 4 Plisskens

  • Diplomacy: The GOP Platform does a country-by-country break down. They have had a good policy on Iraq with regards to not abandoning our Iraqi allies to genocide, and the platform states a continued partnership in diplomatic relations. With that monstrous embassy of ours, it'd be crazy not to have good relations. However, the GOP takes the tough-guy approach to Iran by stating they refuse to talk to the Islamic regime. We've adopted that policy for 28 years, and it hasn't done a lot of good. The blurb on Pakistan and Afghanistan is incredibly terse and shows that the GOP doesn't recognize that this is the most important part of the War on Terrorism (despite what the brass/State Dept. is saying). The bit on China is good though, as it encourages economic development and trade, but is leery of their human rights abuses. The platform talks a lot about setting the example for human rights in America, but doesn't mention that we should shitcan Capital Punishment or enhanced interrogation. I'm not very sympathetic towards the people that get waterboarded or put to death, but diplomacy isn't about what your average Joe in America thinks, it's about what your average Mohammed overseas thinks. This has been a strategic blunder with the Bush Administration that the platform fails to recognize.
Diplomacy Rating: One Plissken

  • Energy/Environment: Finally, a fucking party that recognizes nuclear power doesn't mean Godzilla is going to be popping out of the cooling tower to wreak havoc on middle America. The platform calls for more nuke plants and shows the embarrassment that an entire generation bought into anti-nuclear hysteria in the 70s and there hasn't been a plant built since. The platform also wants to improve on other technologies and stop shipping money off to Saudi Arabia so some sheikh can wipe his ass with Benjamins. The platform also addresses Global Warming and suggests a "market-based" approach to nipping the problem, but is unclear on specifics. Do they want cap-and-trade, giving Al Gore more money to make documentaries, or what? Overall though, it's a responsible platform that calls for balancing energy infrastructure improvement and environmental responsibility. I'm not big on this no-growth hippy crap that liberals often spout, because I guess we could all go back to living like savages in the woods, foraging for berries and shit, but it's cold outside where I'm at.
E/E Rating: Two Plisskens

  • Healthcare: It's pretty obvious that the geezers in the AARP are running the show here, since the GOP talks big about one of our biggest government expenditures: Medicare. The platform calls for more choice for Medicare and Medicaid recipients, which will ensure a plethora of corruption amongst shady "Dr Nick Riviera" insurance providers looking to charge two thousand bucks to Uncle Sugar for dishing out a couple of Advils. This is absolute bullshit and shows that there is no longer any personal responsibility in taking care of your own health. With free healthcare goodies, what's to stop consumers from calling pricey ambulances to drive them across town because they have an owie or opting for the most expensive drugs that are clearly beyond their means. I'm all about helping people out through charity, but expanding these monstrous programs will only create massive amounts of waste in the healthcare industry with the taxpayers footing the bill. We need to be honest with ourselves...we are a nation with a horrific debt that makes the dollar about as valuable as Mama's Family VHS tapes and we need to stop promising people shit we can't afford.
Healthcare Rating: 2 Smails

  • Culture War!/Values: Unsurprisingly, they saved the kickers for last. Continue the unsuccessful war on drugs, keep internet gambling illegal, and stop teh gheyz from being so publicly and flamboyantly gay. The war on drugs screed is funny (in a sad sort of way), because earlier in the platform they say that more needs to be done about gang violence...how about cutting off their funding source, you imbeciles! You don't see the Rollin' Sixties slinging Budweisers on the street corners of Los Angeles. The platform also shreds the first amendment in half, and says it's all hunky-dory that publicly funded institutions use religious-themed items and that America is founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Ugh. I have never understood why America can't be a secular nation in their eyes, because it's not like we should be inspired to achieve the glorious statedom of Saudi Arabia or Iran. And it's nothing against religion, just that it doesn't have a place in public fuckin' policy when a lot of folks have radically different religious beliefs in this country. They take a hard stance against abortion...which I'm ambivalent about and shant discuss further. The 2nd amendment stuff was a good shot in the arm, but everything else in the values portion of the platform is an attempt to impose values at the federal level to a society that only existed on 1950s television. America has always been a country of hookers, violence, and people getting hammered, and trying to erase this part of our history just isn't going to happen.
Culture War Ratings: 3 Smails

  • Overall: The diplomatic portion is somewhat reassuring, which is incredibly important during the complex international conflict we currently face, and I'll always have a place in my heart for the GOP on national security since they supported the Iraq mission during the Surge. But the Repubs are still pandering to the evangelical base to sucker in those easy votes. The only problem is that not everyone is a Ned Flanders, and laws on morality compel everyone to act a certain way. I can't support this ridiculous intrusion of government, when there's much more pressing issues ahead of us as a nation. Well, there's always the 2012 platform.
Overall rating of the GOP Platform: 1 Smails

And what are your thoughts?