Thursday, July 30, 2015

NVGOP Removed Abortion/Marriage from Platform. What About CAGOP?

There is a lot of talk among Republican partisans in blue states.

Should they start going soft on certain issues, like the marriage issue and the subject of life and abortion.

Some states have already done that.

The Massachusetts GOP recognizes exceptions in certain cases for abortion. The National platform does not.

The Nevada GOP platform has already removed mentions of life and marriage from its platform.

This move occurred in 2014, even though nearly half the state delegates were present, and a great deal of dissent broke out among the ranks of members there.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported:

Amid raucous debate, Nevada Republican Party conventioneers on Saturday stripped opposition to gay marriage and abortion from the party platform and endorsed Gov. Brian Sandoval for governor in the June 10 primary despite misgivings by conservatives, his criticism of the process and his absence from the meeting.

This language is immediately misleading. The current platforms do not announce that the party favors abortion on demand or the radical definition of marriage.

Click on this link to the see the statewide NVGOP platform. Click on this link to see the Clark County platform.

The Review-Journal continues, detailing reasons why the state party decided to remove key planks from the party platform:

“I think it was about inclusion, not exclusion,” McDonald said, referring to the platform. “This is where the party is going.”

Inclusion can become self-destructive and counter-productive if not focused on specific core issues. A big tent stretched too big covers nothing and protects no one.

Republicans who sat on the platform committee said they decided not to deal with social issues this year because the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts have weighed in and it doesn’t make sense for the party of “personal freedom” to have the government or the political party get involved in people’s personal lives.

Fair enough. A libertarian strain is essential for a conservative political party to advance. Ronald Reagan, himself the standard-bearer for conservative Republicanism stated: "The heart of conservatism is libertarianism."

One caveat emerges, however. Libertarians are still divided among themselves on abortion. Ron and Rand Paul, the leading political celebrities on this contentious issue, are unabashedly pro-life. Libertarian academics like Murray Rothbard (who taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas), were pro-choice as a matter of public policy. If the discussion starts on the matter of life within a mother's womb, to be pro-choice would violate the rights of that individual. If the discussion is a matter of personal determination for the mother, then the concerns about state encroachment can complicate the issue.

As for marriage, perhaps the winning argument for Republicans should stress on getting the government out of the institution entirely, and leave the issue of marriage contracts and parental guardianship to private agreement. In the United States, marriage was a private matter as voluntary agreement and religious ceremony for centuries. Besides, political parties do not affirm basic realities like "2 + 2 = 4" in their endorsing values.

“The issue was how can we back out of people’s personal lives,” said Dave Hockaday of Lyon County, who sat on the platform committee. “We need to focus on issues where we can have an impact.”

Lyon County is a conservative section of the state, and represented by one of the three Republican Congressmen in the House delegation.

Previously, the state party platform defined marriage as “between a man and a woman,” as does the Nevada Constitution. The past document also described the party as “pro-life,” or against abortion, a stance most Republicans still agree with.

So, just as most common-sense people recognize that higher spending leads to greater deficits and lost future funding, or something as basic as 2 + 2 = 4, perhaps there is no longer a need for political agendas which protect life as a matter of political discussion.

Or perhaps now more than ever the Republican Party must embrace its pro-life stance and fight against looming state intervention which subsidizes abortion on demand in clinics like Planned Parenthood.

Of course, let us not forget that the paper is a part of the Liberal Media, and interested in highlighting divisions among Republicans:

The party has been riven by divisions for several years — much like the national GOP — with establishment Republicans pitted against conservative Tea Party members and voters who backed former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, for president. Establishment Republicans led the movement to kill the endorsements, while conservatives backed the idea.

Democrats are worse than divided in Nevada. They have been pushed into minority status, despite the Harry Reid machine, which has blanketed the state since the late 1980s.

Nevada is now a GOP trifecta, controlling the Governorship along with both houses of the state legislature. Three of the four House reps are Republicans, along with one of the US Senators, and if current polling remains constant and consistent, a second Republican will be joining Dean Heller in 2016. Hopefully, Republicans will hold onto Congressman Joe Heck's seat, too.

Final Reflection

Republicans have taken over a large part of an otherwise swing state, and may be able to tilt it back into the GOP column for Presidential election 2016. Did removing the abortion and marriage planks assisted Republican outreach in the Silver State? Taking away Democratic talking points on divisive issues can assist Republicans wanting to focus on personal liberty, constitutional rule, and limited government.

However, would backing away from defending marriage hurt Republican outreach to African-American communities? What about Evangelical voters who prize the social conservatism of the Republican brand, the same Christian Coalition which helped elected Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984?

So far, California Republicans may be bracing for a fight on these "social issues" in the fall. Stephen Franks of Capitol Review reports:

How do you know a Republican? The way I try to discover if someone is truly a Republican is to ask them about their principles and values. When a smart attorney type tries to use words that look like one thing but mean another, I understand they are hiding something. When someone leaves out an important element of an issue, like amnesty makes illegal aliens “legal”—so they qualify for citizenship and to get to the head of the line, I am concerned.

Franks shares concerns that a number of issues are going to be watered down, with the removal of key words which can open up liberal positions into the Republican brand, including an end to defining life at conception, upending concealed carry for firearms, and allowing amnesty for illegal aliens.

Breitbart's Michelle Moon shared similar concerns following the Capitol Review article:

Frank detailed efforts to weaken the party platform, including proposed changes to the definition of marriage; on immigration policy and amnesty; on right-to-life and abortion positions; and on the right to keep and bear arms, to name a few. Each change serves to erode the spine of the party, he said, gradually transforming Republicans into milquetoast Democrats.

. . .

Jon Fleischman, Politics Editor at Breitbart California and publisher of, said, “Charles Munger Jr, who four years ago was supportive of efforts to water down the entire platform, has since invested significant financial resources to expand his influence over the California Republican Party. It’s quite possible he will succeed this go around.

As far as this writer is aware, a number of Republican delegates, whether as former or current candidates for office, or elected officials, have shared no interest in changing key elements in the platform.

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