Every time I hear Republicans talk about Democrats, it sounds like Superman’s Bizarro World, where Mafia wise guys are upstanding citizens and only the cops make money off extortion, theft, drugs and gambling.
Thus, the Texas Republican Party held a convention last week. To say the least, it wasn’t pretty. From the Texas Tribune:
At their first in-person convention since 2018, Texas Republicans on Saturday acted on a raft of resolutions and proposed platform changes to move their party even further to the right. They approved measures declaring that President Joe Biden “was not legitimately elected” and rebuking Sen. John Cornyn for taking part in bipartisan gun talks. They also voted on a platform that declares homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice” and calls for Texas schoolchildren “to learn about the humanity of the preborn child.”
The actions capped a convention that highlighted how adamantly opposed the party’s most active and vocal members are to compromising with Democrats or moderating on social positions, even as the state has grown more diverse and Republicans’ margins in statewide elections have shrunk slightly in recent years.
Votes on the platform were collected at the end of the party’s three-day convention in which party activists moved to add multiple items to the official Texas GOP platform….Those will now need to be tallied and certified in Austin, but it is rare for a plank to be rejected, according to party spokesperson James Wesolek.
The convention reinforced the extent to which [you know who’s] unfounded claims of a stolen election continue to resound among the party faithful…
The hall … in Houston filled with boos on Friday as [Sen. Cornyn] tried to explain the legislation, which would allow juvenile records to be incorporated into background checks for gun buyers younger than 21 and encourage “red flag” laws that would make it easier to remove guns from potentially dangerous people, along with more funding for school safety and mental health.
Meanwhile, the party platform vote on Saturday by roughly 5,100 convention delegates would argue that those under 21 are “most likely to need to defend themselves” and may need to quickly buy guns “in emergencies such as riots”….
- Requiring Texas students “to learn about the humanity of the preborn child,” including teaching that life begins at fertilization and requiring students to listen to live ultrasounds of gestating fetuses.
- Amending the Texas Constitution to remove the Legislature’s power “to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”
- Treating homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice,” language that was not included in the 2018 or 2020 party platforms.
- Deeming gender identity disorder “a genuine and extremely rare mental health condition,” requiring official documents to adhere to “biological gender,” and allowing civil penalties and monetary compensation to “de-transitioners” who have received gender-affirming surgery, which the platform calls a form of medical malpractice.
- Changing the U.S. Constitution to cement the number of Supreme Court justices at nine and repeal the 16th Amendment of 1913, which created the federal income tax.
- Ensuring “freedom to travel” by opposing Biden’s Clean Energy Plan and “California-style, anti-driver policies,” including efforts to turn traffic lanes over for use by pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit.
- Declaring “all businesses and jobs as essential and a fundamental right,” a response to COVID-19 mandates by Texas cities that required customers to wear masks and limited business hours.
- Abolishing the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank, and guaranteeing the right to use alternatives to cash, including cryptocurrencies.
Not every far-right proposal was advanced. The party chair … ruled that a motion to defend the due process rights of those who rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and to “reject the narrative” that the riot was an insurrection was out of order and could not be voted on….
Republicans have controlled every statewide elected office in Texas since 1999 and both houses of the Legislature since 2003, so the wishes of the party’s populist, pro-Trump base inevitably affect actions taken in Austin….
Before delegates voted on the platform, party activists delivered fiery speeches attacking Democrats.
“They want to destroy the racial progress we have made by saying that we are a racist nation,” said Robin Armstrong, a Black doctor in Texas City who treated COVID patients with unapproved drug therapies touted by T____, including hydroxychloroquine. “The Democratic Party are now a party of chaos. They benefit from causing us to question the foundations that this country was built upon. The misery, the crime, the drug abuse, the high gas prices are all by design, so that the Democratic Party can permanently transform society….”
The Republican-dominated Legislature last year passed new voting restrictions that prompted Democratic lawmakers to flee to Washington to break quorum in an ultimately futile protest. However, Republican leaders said repeatedly on Saturday that it was the other side that was a threat to fair elections.
“The Democrats wants three things: Their goals are to steal elections, suppress Republican votes and federalize elections,” said Cindy Siegel, the chairperson of the Harris County GOP…. U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington, of Lubbock, described an “unprecedented, unmitigated, self-inflicted disaster that is creating the worst humanitarian and national security threat to the American people in the history of our southern border,” adding, “this is an invasion, folks.”
“President Biden has ceded control of our borders to paramilitary, narco-terrorist cartels,” Arrington told delegates.
The mood of this convention was not hopeful. The themes ran dark, and activists spoke in apocalyptic, even cataclysmic, terms about the state of the country.
“Everything is topsy-turvy. What’s right is wrong and what’s wrong is right,” said state Sen. Donna Campbell, an emergency room doctor in New Braunfels…. “Our country is on a trajectory to self-destruct, unless we change the direction”….
“I believe that in the sovereignty of God, you and I were purposely born into this moment, into this confusing time that we face,“ Campbell said. “We’re meant to be alive, at this time, right now, and here in this state.”
The Tribune article didn’t mention that convention attendees also want a vote on leaving the union and a constitutional amendment that would create their own version of the Electoral College (that would allow a minority of voters spread around the state to overcome urban votes from Democrats). From the Houston Chronicle:
We urge the Texas Legislature to pass a bill in its next session requiring a referendum in the 2023 general election for the people of Texas to determine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.
The State Legislature shall cause to be enacted a State Constitutional Amendment creating an electoral college consisting of electors selected by the popular votes cast within each individual state senatorial district, who shall then elect all statewide office holders.