The GOP Tea Party Platform

It’s about damn time.

All my voting life—some 22 years—I’ve grown downright disgusted with the national Republican Party’s propensity to throw conservatives under the bus heading into elections. Every four years, trying to win votes from independents and moderate Democrats, the GOP treats its base like red-headed step children and leaves the best red (state) meat out of its platform.

What’s worse is that when Republicans are in office we get presidents like George W. Bush crafting education bills with the likes of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and pushing monstrosities like the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act through Congress. Why should conservatives get excited about voting for a Republican who chooses to abandon “free market principles to save the free market?”

Too often, conservatives are left wondering when Republicans are going to “dance with the ones that brung ya.”

With the nomination of Mitt Romney—the guy that created the state-run healthcare system that served as a model for Obamacare—as the GOP standard bearer, it seemed like we were going to get more of the same.

But, not so fast fellow wallflowers.

Watching Romney focus his campaign exactly were it needs to be—on the economy—over the past couple of months has been encouraging. Romney grabbing a fiscal hawk like Paul Ryan for his veep was great news.

Could it be that the GOP is at long last getting serious about running on conservative principles and plans to govern as conservatives once in office? Could it be that the tea party driven 2010 midterm elections sweep is being taken seriously by a party that’s famous for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

Could we be getting our chance to dance?

Could be. This is from a new press release from FreedomWorks:

FreedomWorks, a grassroots service center serving more than 2 million members of the conservative movement, today announced that the Republican Platform Committee has adopted 11.5 of the 12 proposals outlined in the “Freedom Platform,” the grassroots conservative platform released earlier this month by FreedomWorks-supported activists.

“FreedomWorks applauds the GOP for demonstrating a commitment to conservative philosophy, accountability, and the kind of bold reforms our country needs,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks. “The 2012 GOP platform isn’t perfect, but the inclusion of 95 percent of the Freedom Platform is sure to create enthusiasm among the limited government conservative base come November.”

The innovative Freedom Platform was developed through crowd sourcing and face-to-face meetings with conservative activists around the United States. In June and July 2012, more than 1.2 million votes were cast at www.my2012platform.com, where voters were asked to choose between randomly selected pairings from an extensive list of policy proposals. The survey’s special technique, combined with input from on-the-ground activists across the country, produced an agenda truly reflective of grassroots opinion.

Most of the Freedom Platform’s 12 planks are being included in the 2012 GOP platform, which will guide the Republican Party for the campaign and the legislative years that follow. The original 12 proposals were:

1) Repeal Obamacare; Pursue Patient-Centered Care
2) Stop the Tax Hikes
3) Reverse Obama’s Spending Increases
4) Scrap the Code; Replace It with a Flat Tax
5) Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment
6) Reject Cap and Trade
7) Rein in the EPA
8 ) Unleash America’s Vast Energy Potential
9) Eliminate the Department of Education
10) Reduce the Bloated Federal Workforce
11) Curtail Excessive Federal Regulation
12) Audit the Fed

Do y’all get this? The Main-Stream-Media and the leftist blogosphere has spent the last two or three years defaming the tea party as a gaggle of crackpots, even going to far as the call the movement dead during the GOP primary elections.

Typically, this kind of relentless dribble from the progressive press would have the Republicans running scared and distancing the party from these “extremists.” But, things have changed and the GOP isn’t listening anymore. Or rather, the GOP is listening to the right people this time. The rise of the conservative blogosphere and rest of the new media has changed things.

It appears that the 2012 Republican Party Platform is being largely shaped by the tea party. FreedomWorks, a nonprofit created and supported by the tea party movement, has had practically every plank of its platform absorbed into the official GOP platform to be released at the Tampa convention next week.

The reason that FreedomWorks is saying that “11.5” of its proposals have been adopted is because the one thing they couldn’t get the Republican Platform Committee to go along with was eliminating the Department of Education—you know, the thing that extremist Ronald Reagan used to daydream about shedding?

FreedomWorks is claiming partial victory in its education proposals, however, with language that should make everyone involved in passing Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform here in Louisiana beam with delight.

As FreedomWorks Vice President Dean Clancy explains, “We did not secure approval for ‘Eliminate the Department of Education’ – which, to be honest, was always the plank we regarded as most difficult to achieve. But the document’s education section does contain good language on the need for local control and a very strong endorsement of school choice, including vouchers. So we rate this section as a partial victory.”

No. 8, “Unleash America’s Vast Energy Potential,” is one right-thinking Louisianians can also easily appreciate. It could also be known as the Palin “drill, baby, drill” plank or in Louisiana’s case, stop the federal government from doctoring reports to shut down energy production in the Gulf of Mexico costing us thousands of jobs and million of dollars in state revenue.

And you Paulites who have been making so much noise here in Louisiana, as well as around the rest of the country, please recognize No. 12 as a victory and get your delegates to respectfully pipe-down in Tampa.

From a Human Events piece:

For weeks there has been speculation in the press and among Republican leaders as to whether supporters of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign this year who are now on the Platform Committee may try to inject one or more of the libertarian Republican’s more controversial positions into the platform in Tampa.

Sources within the Republican National Chairman’s office told us that several Paul operatives held a meeting with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus last month to discuss several concerns they wanted to be included in the document.

(Indiana GOP National Committeeman James) Bopp (Delaware State Party Chairman John) Sigler, and others we spoke to said that some of Paul’s positions will be reflected in the platform. Almost sure to make it in the final document is an endorsement of auditing the Federal Reserve Board. Long a staple of Paul’s philosophy, the Fed audit recently received the blessings of the U.S. House.

Human Events is calling the new platform more conservative than the one from the 2008 convention—that seems to be an understatement, if reports are to be believed. More exact is the noise we are getting from leftist groups like Think Progress who are deriding it as the “Most Conservative Platform in Modern History.”

This is a pivotal election that’s going to determine whether the United States will careen into a European-style socialist abyss or start to right itself with American principles of limited government.

It’s a good thing that Republicans are drawing this line in the sand and…it’s about damn time.



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