20 reasons Bob Ehrlich is wrong

November 23, 2012

Former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. presents a 20-point platform for Republicans to "be proud of" ("A platform for the next Republican nominee," Nov. 18). Let's examine each of these points in detail, and the reader can decide if any of them are things to be proud of. Mr. Ehrlich says that the Republican conservative movement:

•"Chooses to respect the American tradition of religious liberty as applied to faith-based institutions." Poppycock! This has nothing to do with religious liberty — it is just an excuse for religious employer (the Catholic Church in this case) to deny basic medical care to their employees (of any faith) by claiming it violates their religious doctrine. In fact, it's depriving their employees of their religious freedom by forcing the employees to conform to the church's doctrine in its non-church-related businesses.

•"Believes in a limited federal role (and major local role) in public education." This is code for disbanding the Department of Education and letting local school boards dominated by creationists define our scientific curriculum.

•"Understands that open borders are anathema to a nation built on the rule of law." This is code for keeping Central Americans out. America was built on immigrants bringing fresh ideas and hard work. The rule of law has nothing to do with it —plenty of dictatorships are built on the "rule of law." Nobody's talking about sealing the Canadian border because they are (mostly) white and (mostly) speak English.

•"Welcomes our ethnic diversity but celebrates assimilation into our uniquely American culture." This is code for "you're welcome in America if you are white and speak only English." Being white and speaking English is not "uniquely American." And why won't those black people assimilate and become white?

•"Would not put up with the official misconduct of President Bill Clinton." What "official misconduct"? Clinton's misconduct was entirely personal — nothing to do with his official duties. While we're casting stones, what about the repeated voter suppression schemes done on Mr. Ehrlich's behalf? Are the Republicans really going to run against the most successful presidency in half a century?

•"Respects the religious values represented in our Judeo-Christian heritage." Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and non-believers need not apply. Republicans only include Jews as lip service — they are perfectly happy to force their version of fundamentalist Christian dogma on everyone. By the way, there is no such thing as Judeo-Christian heritage. There is Jewish heritage and Christian heritage. Christianity is perceived by Jews as a Jewish heresy taken over by Gentiles. Fundamentalist Christians believe that Jews are doomed to hell. Not much room for a joint heritage here.

•"Believes in every adult's right to his or her contraception option of choice but rejects the notion that the taxpayers should be forced to pick up the tab." The Republicans complain about poor people having too many babies and teenagers having abortions, but they oppose the one thing that would do most to prevent that: free contraception. Either they are hypocrites or just plain stupid. And the government isn't even paying for that — just requiring that medical insurance cover it. The policy holders are paying for that — and it actually saves money in the long run because an abortion or a full-term pregnancy cost a heck of lot more than some birth-control pills.

•"Clings to the belief that America's Constitution, democratic institutions, market capitalism, and anti-imperial attitude make it 'exceptional.'" Code for "America is best, everyone else is inferior and therefore [ironically] American imperialism and interventionism is justified and we cannot learn anything from any other culture or society."

•"Advocates for free and fair trade as the cornerstone or our market economy." Code for "ship all our jobs overseas to maximize corporate profits."

•"Realizes the role 'community organizers' played in the mortgage crisis." Really? The mortgage crisis was caused by local community leaders, not reckless, greedy financiers working without oversight? Banks make loans, not community organizers. This is just a thinly-veiled slam on President Obama's early political career. Guess what, Mr. Ehrlich? You don't get to run against Mr. Obama again.

•"Views small business job creators as quintessential American success stories." Sure, these are great propaganda stories but irrelevant to Republican policies, which favor not the small businesses but job-crushing billionaires. This really means eliminating federal regulation of big polluters.

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