By now you’ve probably heard bits and pieces of the 2010 GOP platform, including some well-deserved ridicule for their American Taliban views on criminalizing homosexuality. (Read here, here, or here if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)
I want to examine the new TX GOP platform in more detail. Let’s look at the “Legislative Priorities” section at the end of the TX GOP platform (pp. 23-24):
Kill Public Education — Instead of fixing problem schools, the GOP would rather abandon them. They still want to use vouchers to put public money in private hands. And of course, they are still gloating about the State Board of Education’s rewriting of history and want to see more of it.
Criminal Justice — Mandatory minimum sentencing. Taking juries and elected judges out of the decision-making process as the GOP wants to do is unAmerican. They are so “tough on crime” that the mere thought of a judge making a downward departure or a jury deciding on reduced punishment makes them cringe. They also want to criminalize even the most minor drug offenses, and they want more prisons. The USA has the most prisons in the world, and Texas has the most prisons in the USA. We are already locking our people up at alarming rates, and those freedom-loving Republicans want to incarcerate more.
Free market water? — This one is bad, bad, bad. “Create a free market for water to help meet future demand.” “Use the relatively light-handed regulation of the oil and gas industry as a model for the state’s water market.” These are verbatim from their platform. I don’t understand this one at all. Do they want exploding water towers? $4.00 for a gallon of water? Unaccountable water table pollution? (Well, they fight for that one already.) The GOP wants a few large companies to get rich off of one of our most precious public resources: our water. Disgusting.
Privatize everything! — TX GOP wants to “expand the role of the private sector in delivering government services.” This is after at least a decade of scandals involving government contractors in Texas. Prisons (e.g. GEO Group), SCHIP, Medicaid (e.g. Evercare)… We might be able to solve our budget woes just by un-privatizing parts of our state government that have been handed over to crooked/incompetent private contractors, but the GOP is bankrolled by these contractors, so…
Tax hypocrisy! — As with mandatory sentancing, the TX GOP wants all kinds of controls and restrictions put in place about what taxes can be used for what, and how they can go up or down… except the gas tax, which they don’t ever want raised or indexed to anything. The GOP will bend over backwards for Big Oil.
Copy the bad Arizona law — TX GOP is ready to go whole hog on the “new Southern strategy” of demonizing immigrants. Nuff said already about this one.
The above points are not all of what’s in their legislative priorities, but these are enough for now. You can have a look yourself to see how bad it really is.
I’m getting pumped up about the TDP Convention this weekend down in Corpus Christi. My goal is to make it on to the Platform Committee this year and to produce another platform we can be proud of. Looking at the current and recent GOP Platforms has given me insight into what NOT to do, which is useful in itself.