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gailcalled's avatar

How do we reconcile the language in the GOP's party platform with what Mitt and Paul say?

Asked by gailcalled (54577points) August 21st, 2012

There is absolute language the new GOP platform, http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2012/08/abortion-republican-platform-todd-akin-mitt-romney/1#.UDPPJkLHM-Y about women’s reproductive rights.

It is apparently different from Mitt’s and Ryans avowed platform. How can this be?

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29 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Some things to ponder.

“The Republican Party is poised to adopt a platform next week that calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

“Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, appearing on MSNBC today, said the GOP platform may not fully reflect all of Romney’s views, including on abortion.”

“This is the platform of the Republican Party,” Priebus told MSNBC. ”It’s not the platform of Mitt Romney.

CNN reported today that the so-called “human life amendment” was adopted ”after a few minutes of discussion”” by a 110-member committee chaired by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Edit.HIs first name is Paul. Sorry. That’s the problem with a reversible name.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This article claims that the election this year is more about getting out your party’s base than about undecideds. In that case, going with extremists like Paul Ryan for vice-president is not out of line and neither is having extremist views in the platform.

I can’t find the link at the moment, but Paul Ryan and Todd Akin co-sponsored a bill outlawing abortion in all cases. If Romney and Ryan are saying something different now, then it’s another case of flip-flopping.

Can it be reconciled? Not in my books, but I’m hardly likely to vote for any Repuglican.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The Bobbsey Twins (R&R) are the nominal heads of the party – they ARE the party in 2012. Therefore you hold them to the positions of their party (which are written) as opposed to what they say (which they can try to deny).

In essence, there can not be an iota of difference between the two, because the nominees represent the party line.

LostInParadise's avatar

The Obama campaign should call them on it, by asking Romney and Ryan if the support the party’s platform. I wonder what Romney would say during a debate if he were directly asked that question.

CWOTUS's avatar

With all due respect to @gailcalled and her question, the question is being asked (and responded to) as if “principles” and “platforms” or “promises” really mean a damn when written, spoken or proclaimed by any politician of any stripe.

To address the particular concern raised: Although I am in favor of abortion rights within wide latitudes for practical reasons, I think that if you maintain a philosophical belief that “life begins at conception”, then it is then logically consistent to oppose abortion at all times (meaning the “abortion is murder” slogan is technically correct) and regardless of the manner of conception. So I can appreciate the Republican platform even if I don’t personally agree with it. After all, we no longer treat “bastard” children as second-class (at least not officially), and a fetus doesn’t care whether its conception resulted from rape or incest, so why should its life be second-class?

My “practical” consideration regarding abortion is that forcing women to be mothers against their will won’t be good for society at large and certainly not for their children in particular and in a very crude sense abortion is a sort of self-selected genocide (as long as it is not imposed by fiat, which would be another danger).

But I digress. I don’t attempt to reconcile party platforms, politicians’ stated principles or their promises with reality in any way. I would like to be able to reconcile any them with the Constitution, but that’s also a dead letter.

Qingu's avatar

The fact that life begins at conception is utterly irrelevant in terms of morality and law. Life for plants begins with seed germination and yet fertilized plant seeds don’t have any legal rights.

It takes a special kind of stupidity, cultishness, or intellectual dishonesty to believe that a brainless clump of cells is morally or legally equivalent to a human being. There is nothing “philosophical” about this belief—it’s just dogma. So, I have no “appreciation” for a platform based on this idiotic presumption.

LostInParadise's avatar

I just came across this article that says that the answer to your question is that nobody takes party platforms seriously anymore.

CWOTUS's avatar

Do growing plants have rights that I don’t know about?

The rest of your comments are undeserving of polite rejoinder, @Qingu.

Qingu's avatar

Why would a growing plant have less rights than a brainless clump of cells? They’re both alive. Both multicellular even. Isn’t the argument that if something is “alive” then it deserves all the rights of a US citizen?

gailcalled's avatar

^^^Does that include Akin?

Facade's avatar

@Qingu I’m sure anti-abortionists are going off of the thoughts of possibilities each unborn life has in the world. What they are missing is that they should not be making personal choices regulated by law; they should just be personal choices (abortion, marriage, etc.). Yes, any unborn person has a possibility to be something great, but the person carrying should be the only one who says whether they allow a birth to take place or not.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@gailcalled One might try to reconcile it the same way one reconciles the fact that the US Constitution does not precisely reflect the individual views of any given Founder. The Constitution and the Republican Party platform are both the results of group efforts in which compromises were inevitably made. In endorsing either document, one declares only that it is sufficient with regard to the purposes for which it was designed (and perhaps also that further discussion is unlikely to yield anything much better). Mitt Romney is a Republican because he agrees with enough of his party’s goals, not because he agrees with all of them.

@Qingu I don’t think that’s the argument. What people claim is that there is something about human life (not just any kind of life) that makes it deserving of certain fundamental rights (which are a subset of the rights granted to US citizens). I do not find this claim or the arguments for it persuasive, but it is at least somewhat more defensible than the obviously false claim that all living things deserve the full rights of US citizens.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I don’t think you reconcile it nor do I believe that’s the purpose. I’d suggest the goal to be generating rallying points for Republican voters and encouraging them to get out and vote for their party. Many people won’t worry about whether Romney is the embodiment of Republican ideals it will be enough that he is the Republican candidate. You’re not trying to sway voters so much as encourage your base to get out and support you in the polls and encourage others (with these talking points) to do the same. For those who look at Romney and see a Democrat wearing a red shirt, you simply remind them that this election is more about getting Obama out than the “perfect Republican” in.

Calling Romney/Paul on the discrepancies isn’t necessarily a good idea for the Democrats either as doing so allows Romney/Paul to walk the line of we are real Republicans but recognize the need to reconcile the country on the issues holding back the country – a message that conceivably makes them more appealing to the undecided/moderate/independent vote which, of course, is in lock-step with rallying their base, and their goal of winning the election.

Same thing goes for congressional and senate elections, let the platform speak to the core voters and the contenders tailor the messages to their audiences as needed.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m with @CWOTUS I never understood those exceptions, the only exception that makes sense to me if someone believes life begins at conception is saving the life of the mother if the pregnancy puts her in great jeopardy. I would say even then some people don’t necessarily support abortion,; I find that extremely upsetting.

I also agree with @Qingu people should not be equating a clump of cells to a human being. Especially literally when it is a clump of identical cells that are not yet differentiated. Like people who are against morning after pills, which can be given to women after rape to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, unless of course that is against your religion. If you wind up at a Catholic ER, you are probably SOL.

I say the Republicans talk the talk either because they believe the extreme idiocy, or because they need to save face among their group. I know pro-lifers who have had abortions, and I am not talking about a 16 year old girl who is freaked her mom might find out (but I know girls like that to). I mean couples who get pregnant and something is very wrong with the fetus. I say, liberals keep their abortions safe, by keeping up the fight to have abortion legal. We do it for them, just like the woman who does not believe in medical intervention is secretly grateful a hospital took measures to save her child when sick or in an accident.

I really hoped if Romney became President he would not do anything to change abortion legislation, just leave it as is and ignore those issues. Now, who knows. The party is all wound up. I do think if Romney does not agree with his party there is a reasonable chance he will go against the party. I don’t think he is a total puppet.

Linda_Owl's avatar

What I think is, what you see is what you get. The right-wing Republicans are so intent on making a pregnant woman give birth – that it has become a power trip for them. However, after a child is born….. they offer no avenue of assistance for the parents who cannot afford to raise the child. And the very thought of making a woman who has become pregnant as the result of being raped, or of incest, just blows my mind.

cheebdragon's avatar

Everyone has a different opinion on abortion, even republicans. It’s not a power trip, it’s more of a “not my problem, so I shouldn’t have to help pay for it” kind of thing. Personally I dont care if a woman wants to get an abortion, but I wouldn’t be against setting a limit for the number of abortions a woman can have, just because I’ve seen too many women use abortion as an alternative to making men use a condom.

Qingu's avatar

@cheebdragon, who are these women who use abortion as a form of birth control?

I’ve heard of such mythical creatures, but I never actually met someone who met one.

JLeslie's avatar

@cheebdragon The reason the “not my problem I shouldn’t have to pay for it” sounds rather idiotic, is the baby/child costs a fortune more for society.

augustlan's avatar

Plus, they’re not talking about outlawing your paying for someone else’s abortion. They’re talking about outlawing the abortion in the first place.

cheebdragon's avatar

@Qingu Because you often bring up abortion at social events….? If you would like to meet one of these non-mythical ladies, just go down to your local planned parenthood and Hang out for a few hours, you will most definitely find at least 1 or 2 while you are there. Or if that’s not your scene, you can read this

@JLeslie How do you figure these kids would end up costing more money if they were born? Worst case scenario they grow up to be criminals, but even criminals help keep the economy going. I’m willing to bet good money that the day you agree with anything I say no matter if I’m right or wrong, will probably signal the apocalypse…it would be annoying if it werent so damn funny.

augustlan's avatar

@Qingu @cheebdragon I do actually know one person who had five abortions between her teens and her late twenties, which does seem a tad excessive.

JLeslie's avatar

@cheebdragon Even if they are not on government assistance, there is a good chance they will go to school. Public school costs the tax payer. If they are on any sort of public assistance, well, abortion is what? $300—$700? I’m guessing, competely guessing. That’s probably a few months of food stamps. Most states have health care assistance or programs for children if the parent does not have insurance for their children. So, even if the kid is healthy he still needs shots and check ups. Oh, and the birth itself if the mother is not insured. Right there that is way more expensive than an abortion. I don’t want to make it sound like only poor people get abortions, that is obviously not true, but probably we are mainly talking about poor people for the purpose of this conversation since we are talking about tax money going to pay for it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Isn’t the empirical question of whether or not there are women who have had an excessive number of abortions beside the point? The more pressing issue seems to be simply this: assuming you are not categorically opposed to abortion, do you really think it would be better for such women to become mothers (forcibly or otherwise)? I have no objection to calling those who use abortion as their primary method of abortion irresponsible. But it would also be irresponsible to institute any policy that encouraged them to become parents.

Qingu's avatar

A rate of one abortion per year is hardly replacing safe sex with abortion. Unless the person in question rarely gets laid.

What I find silly is the idea that something like this actually goes through someone’s mind: “Oh, don’t worry about using protection; I can always just run by Planned Parenthood for a quick abortion.” My understanding is that having abortion is actually not similar to picking up a chicken sandwich from Wendy’s. The procedure is often painful and the cost is hardly trivial. (Being a guy, I’ve never had one personally, so I guess I could be wrong.)

I’m sure there are lots of women who are irresponsible, or else just stupid and don’t realize that the rhythm method or peanut butter are actually not practical contraception methods. But to pretend that there are no negative consequences for women who choose to have an abortion is, I think, pretty thick.

Ron_C's avatar

R and R are a pretty frightening combination especially because they have a good chance to win. After all there are a lot of people in the U.S. that object to the president being anything but a Protestant white male. Of course neither of the R & R guys are protestant but they are as white as can be; and that may be just enough to win.

cheebdragon's avatar

@qingu actually you can just stop by a planned parenthood and pick up an abortion pill, its pretty much the same stuff they use to induce labor. Women can have their abortions at home sitting on the toilet, then about a week later you head back to planned parenthood for a quick exam just make sure there isn’t anything left inside. Simple.

Qingu's avatar

@cheebdragon, doesn’t seem all that simple to me.

But judging from your picture you’re a woman, so you’re certainly welcome to try out that contraception method yourself and see if it compares to more conventional ones in terms of cost and discomfort.

That said, I frankly wouldn’t care if someone did use an abortion pill instead of contraception. The pill only works for the first 9 weeks. Why should I attach moral consideration to a brainless clump of cells in someone else’s uterus?

Ron_C's avatar

@cheebdragon and @Qingu you’re both correct. However even this minimal abortion plus I.U.D. devices and most birth control pills should and will be outlawed according to the GOP platform.

I think the main reason is the low birthrate of white people compared with minority birth rates.

cheebdragon's avatar

@Ron_C you should probably think that through one more time….

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