Report from the Sausage Factory

In Irvine, Saturday, July 29, 2023, the Platform Drafting Committee of the California Republican Party (CRP or CAGOP) produced a new draft platform which represents a sea change in the official positions of the CRP.  It is a stripped down, dumbed down document barely four pages in length and so vague as to be meaningless at best.  It allows anyone and everyone, no matter how radical their positions, to claim compliance since there is virtually nothing of substance to comply with.  Though this abomination looks bad, hope remains that some principles may yet be salvaged.  September 14, 2023 is the deadline to submit amendments to the draft platform.  Then on September 30, 2023 the Platform Committee meets at the CRP Fall Convention to consider both the draft platform and any amendments to it.  Finally, the draft platform, including any amendments to it, will be presented to all CRP Delegates to either vote for or against it. If left in its present form, it is essential the draft platform be voted down.

The existing platform has been in place, more or less in its present form, for approximately twelve years.   Though not perfect, that fourteen-page document has fairly strong planks on family, marriage, pro-life, Second Amendment, and more.  Earlier this year, many proposals to amend the platform were submitted resulting in several hundred pages of suggested revisions both good and bad.  Posting suggested changes on the CAGOP website for all to review and consider well in advance of the in-person meeting is standard practice.  But if one’s goal is to completely gut the platform, stripping out all conservative and moral distinctions, then allowing advance review can be rather problematic.  After all, those pesky God-fearing conservatives might have time to organize and raise a stink, thereby ruining everything.  Instead, hold back the proposal until the drafting committee meets in person and thereby prevent any advance review.  That’s what happened July 29th.

RINOs sprung a new one-page platform out of nowhere; so minimal, vague and watered down as to not really be a platform at all.  The existing platform has long been a hindrance and embarrassment for Neo-Cons, RINOs, Feminists, Log Cabin Republicans, et al.  They desire a new platform that won’t contradict their positions.

Though most committee members agreed the platform should be dramatically minimized to “make it easier to elect more Republicans” in liberal California, the one-page proposal was a bridge too far even for this crowd.  The counter-proposal was to add a few things back in, thus quadrupling its size to a whole four pages.

All that remained was to decide which items to put back into the platform and how to soften them as much as possible so it wouldn’t matter whether they were there or not.  The most controversial plank was the family.  The one-page platform included no family plank at all.  Although a family plank was put back in, the one thing it could not, must not include was affirmation of one-man one-woman marriage.

One delegate from California’s central coast reminded everyone of his warning years ago when the Log Cabin group was first admitted that notwithstanding all their assurances to the contrary, they would seek to remove one-man one-woman marriage from the platform “and now, here we are.”

The Log Cabin Republicans retorted that they are good republicans, professing support for “traditional family values” (whatever that means in their world) and are not like those “other crazies out there.”

One particularly porcine political operative from Palm Springs pled passionately for the removal of one-man one-woman marriage from the platform, complaining that it nearly cost the election for freshman assemblyman Greg Wallis, who barely won the closest Assembly race in memory.  He said victory would have been impossible without the energetic and enthusiastic door knocking of the alphabet army in Palm Springs and adjoining cities of the plain.

(Quick to reward his supporters, Wallis is a “proud” co-author of ACA-5 to repeal 2008’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage and was later overturned by homosexual federal judge Vaughn Walker.  To Wallis, ACA-5 is “the preservation of our sacred American principles.”)

The proposed new family plank is pretty much what could be expected for something produced by Log Cabin Republicans.  No longer does it define “marriage as a union between one man and one woman” or assert that the “Supreme Court’s ruling cannot and must not be used to coerce a church or religious institution…”  Instead, marriage is completely undefined.  It can be whatever one wants it to be, with any type or number of partners.

There also was no pro-life plank until somebody mentioned it at the very end of the session.  Added back only after being gutted at the behest of pro-abortion feminists, it now has fuzzy feelgood meaningless language that abortion should be “reduced” and adoption encouraged; i.e. the “safe, legal and rare” sort of sentiments propounded by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.  And no longer is there any opposition to euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, etc.

Proponents of the one-page platform also fought to keep “God” from being added back into the preamble, claiming God to be an exclusively Christian concept offensive to atheists, Hindus, and Jews.  Certainly, many Jews (and even Hindus) would be surprised to learn that they don’t believe in any God!  Considering the patent foolishness of the argument, it was rejected and, for now at least, God remains in the platform.

One good thing that was proposed and accepted during the meeting, an anti-ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) plank, is now mysteriously missing from the released draft.  This indicates some backroom arm twisting to get it removed after the vote was taken and the meeting had adjourned.

The total number and nature of changes made to the platform are far too numerous to recount here, but a few of the more odious examples are listed:

  1. New homelessness plank added calling for a fresh round of government programs.
  2. Seniors plank calling for protection of retirement assets now completely gone.
  3. Crime and justice plank gutted.  Calls to repeal AB109, Prop47, and Prop57 (the three “get out of jail free” measures) are gone, as is support for the death penalty.
  4. Education plank stripped way back: nothing about freedom of speech for students or opposition to common core and union bosses.  Public schools now first in priority where previously they weren’t mentioned at all.
  5. Housing plank cut way back, no opposition to rent control or the onerous California Environmental Quality Act.
  6. Immigration plank gutted almost completely: it now advocates immigration to “meet domestic demands for labor” meaning unrestrained immigration and preference for low-wage foreigners over citizens.  English-only removed; nothing about the wall.
  7. Objection to Agenda 21 removed.

As the September Convention in Anaheim draws near, patriotically principled delegates must be prepared to beat back this travesty.  The future of the California Republican Party depends upon it.

Image: AH Poole

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