In this case, we hate being right. Some time back, we posted about efforts in the NCGOP platform drafting commitee to remove a lot of the issues important to Tea Party activists. The copy of the platform leaked to us turned out to be pretty close to what got passed at the state convention in Cherokee.
Some Mecklenburg County activists got a plank inserted in the 2013 platform — over the vehement objections of House speaker Thom Tillis and other establishment figures — opposing the installation of toll roads. The 2014 version of the platform has NO MENTION of toll roads. In the drafting committee, the argument for removing it was that it was merely a Mecklenburg issue. Not so. Gov. Pat’s NCDOT board has publicly mentioned toll roads as an option for funding new road construction. Tillis and Skip Stam have lobbied for toll roads within the General Assembly.
ObamaCare is a huge issue that tops everyone’s lists. It was the driving force that gave the GOP control in Raleigh and DC in 2010. Here’s what the party platform has to say in 2014:
[…] Threats to our economic strength such as
budget deficits, the national debt, and
burdensome social welfare programs
including Obamacare should be met with
sound market-based policies designed to
enhance individual rights to life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness.[…]
Yeah. *Just “fix” it.* With the exception of congressmen Mark Meadows and Walter Jones, our delegation to DC was AWOL in the fight against the ObamaCare travesty. Tillis and McCrory had to be dragged kicking and screaming toward the concept of refusing medicaid money to set up health care exchanges. In fact, Tillis tried in 2011 to get state healthcare exchanges established.
The 2014 platform also watered down the 2013 language against gambling. Given the fact that the 2013 convention was held at a casino, it was a bit of a necessity.
To their credit, the platform committee strengthened the language about amnesty between the time the draft leaked to me and the platform’s approval at the convention. Here’s what made the 2014 platform:
We oppose any form of amnesty for
those who, by intentionally violating the
immigration law, disadvantage those who
have obeyed it. Granting amnesty only
rewards and encourages more law
What about pushing the feds to enforce the laws and protect our borders? What about allowing states to step in and protect their sovereignty when the feds fall down on the job? This was an improvement over the initial draft, but it is still weak. Hiding behind weasel words like “pathway to citizenship” still looks like an option.
A lot of people dismiss party platforms. Robert Pittenger and Renee Ellmers openly dismiss concerns about amnesty. Most of the GOP delegation to DC fell down on the job in the ObamaCare fight. Tillis left the 2013 convention and went right back to Raleigh to ram through toll road legislation.
Platforms are not binding. But they are meant to give the organization a sense of purpose and meaning. If you turn it into a buffet — where people can pick and choose — what is the value in joining the GOP? WHAT is the point?