WASHINGTON — A high ranking official from within the Democratic party on Wednesday labeled the nearly finished 50-page platform document of the Republican National Committee as a “foot on the necks of American citizens.”
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the GOP’s platform policies take specific aim at women’s rights and gay rights, and noted that all efforts in Tampa so far have been orchestrated by far right organizations and lobbyists, leaving moderates within the party no where to turn.
“We oppose the Administration’s open defiance of this constitutional principle — in its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base, and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts — makes a mockery of the President’s inaugural oath,” reads the proposed platform.
The New York Times on Tuesday called the platform “mean-spirited and intolerant.”
Over the years, the major parties’ election-year platforms have been regarded as Kabuki theater scripts for convention week. The presidential candidates blithely ignored them or openly dismissed the most extreme planks with a knowing wink as merely a gesture to pacify the noisiest activists in the party.
That cannot be said of the draft of the Republican platform circulating ahead of the convention in Tampa, Fla. The Republican Party has moved so far to the right that the extreme is now the mainstream. The mean-spirited and intolerant platform represents the face of Republican politics in 2012. And unless he makes changes, it is the current face of the shape-shifting Mitt Romney.
One pundit went further, saying that “if you’ve been raped and are trying to terminate your resulting unwanted pregnancy, you aren’t going to find any support or sympathy in the Republican Party platform of 2012.”
Likewise, if you are a woman and want to serve our nation in the military, or if you want to visit your same-sex partner in the hospital, or if you feel our government shouldn’t build an 800-mile-long border fence that independent experts say would “waste money,” the GOP 2012 platform “is not pleasing.”
“We’re pushing back. This is pretty big,” said Elaine Donnelly, director of the self-labeled Center for Military Readiness, in an interview Wednesday with the Washington Examiner.
Donnelly was referring to language that included rejecting “the use of military as a platform for social experimentation,” and a demand that the military provide “objective and open-minded” recommendations to the president on personnel policies.
Donnelly and other conservatives routinely have criticized military leadership and senior officials “for bowing to Obama’s move to expand gay rights in the military.” The platform language codifies that critique.
Other language included affirming “cultural values…team cohesion, including intra-military special interest demonstrations” that Donnelly told the Examiner was meant to stop same-sex marriages and wearing uniforms in gay pride events.
Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper, a military reservist himself, expressed dismay over the 112 Republican convention delegates work:
“The obsessive exclusion of gay couples, including military families, from the rights and responsibilities of marriage, combined with bizarre rhetoric about ‘hate campaigns’ and ‘the homosexual rights agenda’ are clear signs of desperation among social conservatives who know that public opinion is rapidly turning in favor of equality.”
GOP delegates also approved language blocking attempts to remove bibles from military facilities; would exempt women from ground combat units and infantry battalions; and support for the Defense of Marriage Act.
The Democratic official noted that the GOP has shifted so far right that it completely has lost touch with the reality of everyday existence for most Americans.
“The harshness of the GOP positions on women’s health issues and basic fairness and equality for LGBT persons seems to not matter to them at all,” the official said. “One need look no further than Adkins comments about rape which some in the far right of the GOP are trying to spin as a gaffe even while most in the party, including Mitt Romney, would wish him to resign.”