Thursday, July 29, 2010

The mighty platform of Matthew Strawn

"I don't know if you're a basketball fan," begins Iowa GOP party chairman Matthew Strawn, responding to the question of why the state's Republican platform is so darn long. "I know I sure am, and whenever I watch our Hawkeyes play, I invariably spend a lot of time looking at the floor. Cause the floor is where the action is. And when you're looking at it, you can't help but notice that it's made up of a lot of individual planks. Without all those planks, the ball would simply go astray. That's what's happened to the Republican Party in the past, and that's why we made sure that we had all the planks we needed to dribble on to victory."

The 12,000 word platform with it's 367 separate planks can be called many things, but it most assuredly cannot be called dashed off. It is so comprehensive that Iowan Republicans who study it sufficiently should have absolutely no need to waste any time coming up with an opinion of their own. And they better study it sufficiently, because the 367th plank is a requirement for GOP candidates to complete a signed questionnaire "indicating whether the candidate agrees, disagrees or is undecided about each plank of the current party platform".

"A lot of the planks are just good old fashioned common sense," says Strawn. "Take 2.08 for example - 'We support the definition of manure as a natural fertilizer'. Who's going to disagree with that? And then a lot of them are Republican dogma at this point, such as the planks for abolishing the Agriculture Department, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the IRS, OSHA, the Federal Reserve, the congressional retirement fund, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But what about plank 4.15, abolishing the Iowa Core Curriculum Education guidelines? Makes you pause and think, doesn't it? I can see where some Republicans of good conscience might disagree with that one, and still think they're qualified to run."

"Yes sir, we've really got it all covered in this platform - abortion, taxes, religion, the NAFTA superhighway, ACORN, presidents without birth certificates, you name it, it's in there," brags Strawn. "This platform is so good that it's already spawned a new movement - the Thirteenthers. Maybe you read about them, or I should say us, in Newsweek. Plank 7.19 is calling for the reintroduction and ratification of the 13th amendment. Not the slavery amendment, although that one will have to get a new number. The original 13th amendment goes back to 1810, and was about titles of nobility. It said that anyone who received a formal title or a special honor from a foreign power would lose their American citizenship. So let's say you had this president, one that was already skating on some mighty thin ice, and he was to accept a Nobel Prize, it would be like 'sorry Charlie, hope you like the weather in Oslo'. Not that I'm picking on Obama. The same type of logic would apply to Al Gore or Jimmy Carter."

"Good old number thirteen," chuckles Strawn. "It kind of got lost in the shuffle back in the 1800s, cause every time it would near passage by three quarters of the states, they would just add another state... It was an ongoing conspiracy, but the beauty is, it didn't have a time limit, so it's still out there, just waiting for more states to take it up."

"You know, we're kind of proud of the fact that Iowa is the first state in the nation to vote, and plank 14.06 says that we intend to keep it that way. Politicians have to spend a lot of time in our state, and in the 2012 primary, we're going to really put their feet to the fire. But that's okay, as long as they agree with the vast majority of our platform, they should do fine. If they don't think manure is natural fertilizer, we'll just mark it down to ignorance, and that's still not a crime here in Iowa."

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