A week from the 2012 Republican National Convention, Republican committee members spent Tuesday articulating and affirming the principles they stand for in a draft of the official party platform. Led by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and featuring other Tea Party stars like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the committee approved a draft of the platform McDonnell said “will reflect the heart and soul of the Republican Party” and one committee member called “the most conservative platform in modern history.”
Here are some highlights:
NO ABORTION IN CASES OF RAPE OR INCEST. The proposal for a “human life amendment”passed without a hitch — and without any exceptions for rape or incest. The committee didn’t stop there; they also adopted language that would ban drugs that end pregnancy after conception, which could potentially include Plan B, the “morning after pill.”
SALUTE TO MANDATORY ULTRASOUNDS. The GOP officially praises states’ “informed consent” laws that force women to undergo unnecessary procedures, require waiting periods and endure other measures meant to discourage them from getting an abortion. One such law receiving a “salute” was crafted by committee head McDonnell, who passed a notorious mandatory ultrasound requirement after he signed an unsuccessful bill to require an even more invasive transvaginal probe ultrasound during an abortion consultation.
NO LEGAL RECOGNITION OF SAME-SEX COUPLES. The committee embraced extreme anti-gay language, even rejecting a proposal to endorse civil unions for gay couples after vehement objections from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Romney adviser Jim Bopp, who called it a “counterfeit marriage.” The rejection of civil unions, along with the refusal to include a line affirming the legal equality of same-sex couplesprompted the organization GOProud to declare, “Those who have engaged in this public platform fight have provided distraction from important issues and damaged Mitt Romney’s campaign.”
REPLICATE ARIZONA-STYLE IMMIGRATION LAWS. Kris Kobach, who wrote the now mostly invalidated immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama, pushed for language calling for a border fence, a national E-Verify system to make it harder for undocumented workers to find employment, the end of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and an end to sanctuary cities. The committee overwhelmingly approved the proposals, as well as a line chastising the Department of Justice to halt the lawsuits against draconian immigration laws in Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah: “State efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked.”
AUDIT THE FED. The pet project of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to audit the Federal Reserve has now been embraced as an official Republican goal. For the first time, the platform calls for an annual audit of the Federal Reserve.
NO WOMEN IN COMBAT. The platform condemns “social experimentation” in the military, which covers everything from the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to allowing officers to wear their uniforms in gay pride events to letting women serve on the front lines.
NO STATEHOOD, MORE GUNS FOR WASHINGTON DC. FRC’s Perkins, who recently blamed President Obama and the Southern Poverty Law Center for the shooting at FRC’s Washington headquarters, requested and received a section specifically urging the DC Council to expand gun rights. The same section also opposes DC statehood, which would allow the District to govern itself and put an end to Congressional attempts to impose abortion bans on DC.
NO NEW TAXES, EXCEPT FOR WAR. The platform calls for a Constitutional amendment requiring a super-majority to approve any tax increase, “with exceptions for only war and national emergencies.” It would also deliberately hobble future Congresses through a cap limiting all government spending to historical average percentage of GDP — “so that future Congresses cannot balance the budget by raising taxes.”