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Susan Estrich
12 Feb 2016
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The Platform of the Party


A constitutional prohibition on abortion, even in cases of rape and incest?

No federal funds for universities that allow undocumented students to pay the same tuition as other students who live in the state?

A commission to study a return to the gold standard and audit the Fed?

A "double layer" fence at the border?

Welcome to the Republican Party of 2012. This is the platform so far agreed to by the platform committee and set to be adopted by the convention delegates next week in Tampa, Fla.

It's not surprising that some Republicans are trying to disown the platform before the ink is dry. Even the platform committee chairman is downplaying its significance. "This is a bottom-up political process, where the grassroots people in both parties get to have their say about what they collectively believe in as a party," Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said. "I think it's a marvelous exercise in democracy for both major political parties."

"A marvelous exercise in democracy"? Get serious. Mitt Romney's top aides were in the room for the two-day marathon session — his top policy and political people. The room was full of men and women who are, at least as delegates, committed to Romney. This platform wasn't adopted without their participation. And if it was, it's a major sign of a weak nominee in trouble.

If Romney can't run his own party's platform process, how can he run the country? If he can't stand up to the hotheads in his own party, how is he going to stand up to the real hotheads on the world stage?

The purpose of conventions these days is not to make decisions on anything. It is to put on a good show for the cameras. A convention is a television show and a fundraising event, with some parties thrown in to reward and invigorate the troops. Even vice presidential nominees are now selected in advance, removing the last vestige of drama, lest anything go wrong. They are scripted down to the minute.

During a break in the committee meeting, one former congressional aide, in a clear effort to dismiss the significance of the train wreck in front of them, reportedly told journalists, "I cannot remember, once in two decades, the committee chairman saying, 'Let's look at the platform.'"

I'm sure that's right.

Committee chairmen don't look at platforms. Candidates don't look at platforms once they are elected. But believe me, all those talking heads on television with nothing to talk about will talk about them and look at them. And rightly so. Platforms are significant political documents.

A platform that doesn't reflect the candidate's views is a sign of his weakness — and a weapon that the other side will use against him. The platform is the leading indicator of a convention that could end up hurting the candidate more than it helps him. It puts the spotlight on the divisions within the party and the power of the ideological extremes, which is the very last thing you want to do at a convention.

That's what happened to Jimmy Carter in 1980. Now those were some good fights. And it's also what happened to George Bush in 1992, when the platform committee wanted to take out Abraham Lincoln's "better angels" because they thought it was anti-Christian. Things got so bad that Ronald Reagan had to use his convention speech to plead for tolerance from, and among, his fellow Republicans.

The fact that Republicans would pass a platform that Romney cannot run on — a platform that throws federalism to the wind (telling states who pays what to go to college), forces rape and incest victims into maternity wards, and reads like a complete pucker-up to libertarian Ron Paul rather than the Wall Street-savvy nominee — means one of two things.

Either Romney wasn't strong enough to stand up to the ideologues who could drag down his campaign, or he didn't dare try.

No one expects Romney to be able to control the stormy weather heading toward Tampa, although it might give him a chance to show some leadership in a crisis — something that didn't happen during the deliberations of his party's platform committee.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



15 Comments | Post Comment
Ms. Estrich seems to have run out of substantive topics to discuss. Does anyone really care what is in a party platform any longer? Does anyone expect 99% of the items in the platform to ever be addressed? The Republican platform tells us what we already know (i.e., The GOP is a Conservative, Pro-life party. Who would have ever thunk it?).

Allow me to suggest a few substantive topics you haven't addressed recently. Topics concerning things we don't know.

Why should I (or anyone else) vote for the proven failure that is Barack Obama? Given his economic performance (such as it was) in the first term, why would I expect the economy/job situation to get better in the next four years if we reelect Obama. How does Mr. Obama intend to address the deficit problem? His favorite 'solutions' (e.g., repeal the Bush Tax cuts on those making over $200 K and the Buffet Rule) will raise less than $ 200 billion dollars, leaving the US a mere $1.2 - 1.3 trillion dollars short. Is there any realistic scenario for a Obama second term that doesn't at best produce more of the last four years of joblessness and dwindling hope?

In short, what I would like to read is an argument for reelecting Obama that doesn't involve an endless litany of how bad the GOP is and what a flawed man the Republican nominee is. Why not actually address why I should vote for Obama in terms that discuss Obama and his policies?

In a choice between voting for a known failure and a potential failure, common sense says vote against the known failure. I suspect an awful lot of people will be voting for the "hope and change" represented by Romney in November for this very reason. That is unless there is a positive reason to vote for BO. Presenting such a case shouldn't be that difficult, should it Ms. Estrich?
Comment: #1
Posted by: Old Navy
Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:53 AM
Re: Old Navy
Any attempt to find a positive reason to vote Obama is an act of futility. There is no such reason. Obama has shown himself beyond all doubt to be a lying stuttering stumbling clusterf*ck of a miserable failure of a president, failure of an American, failure of a defender of the constitution, failure of a leader, failure of a defender of American lives, failure of an ally to our allies, failure of an ecomomic strategist, failure of a job creator and failure at everything he touches save for the destruction of this Republic
Comment: #2
Posted by: joseph wright
Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:13 PM
Now consider what the Democratic (Socialist, Facists, Marists) platform will be:
!. Free abortion for everyone, no restrictions.
2. Free (liberal) college education for anyone including illegals.
3. Don't return to the gold standard and purchase more printing presses for the fed.
4. No borders!
5. Spread the wealth if there is any.
6. Reduce America's influence in the world by reducing military to that of Sweden.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Early
Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:49 AM
Want to hear something funny.

I am sure everyone knows of the Apple v Samsung patent infringement case that just ended. Apple was asking for 2.5 Billion in the Northern District of California.

That is 2.5 BILLION. Apple won and received about 1 Billion. Just an FYI, Samsung should have won but that's patent law for you.

As one would expect, both Apple and Samsung both hired legions of the country's best patent lawyers and trial lawyers.

So one would expect nothing but the best, right?

Wrong, not when a liberal is involved.

It seems Susan Estrich, who is a partner in the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, representing Samsung, argued a motion before the Northern District of California and she did.

Problem is, Susan had not been admitted to practice before the federal court of the Northern District of California and apparently had not even filed a Notice of Appearance!

LOL, Such is almost unheard of, even for low level flunkies . . . . and with 2.5 BILLION dollars up for grabs !!!

She had to file a motion basically begging for forgiveness.

I respectfully request that the Court not hold these inadvertent omissions on my part against the merits of my client's case, and further respectfully ask that the Court determine this matter as concluded now that I have obtained admission to the bar of this Court and have filed a notice of appearance pursuant to the Orders of the Court in his matter.

LOL, in a 2.5 BILLION dollar case.

Point is, instead of writing liberal propaganda and lies on this blog perhaps Susan should attend to her own business.
Comment: #4
Posted by: SusansMirror
Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:19 PM
Get real. Compared to the issues of creating economic growth, jobs and downsizing the tax beast, he issues of abortion, education, same sex marriage, etc. are down there with gerbil eating disorders. Most of us aren't paying attention to the social dance lessons. We need someone in the white house who didn't sleep through economics class or smoke weed during civics. Let's try a successful business man up there who can slay this government dinosaur and feed it to the birds. As it is written, "You will know them by their fruits." The current tree is leafless and barren.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Quigley
Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:30 PM
Re: SusansMirror.
Obama got to be president without actually entering a bona fides appearance,without standing, without license or credible certificate and has cost us trillions. Seems unlawful practice costing the employer severe financial loss is de rigueur for libs progressives Marxists and Demorats
Comment: #6
Posted by: joseph wright
Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:39 PM
Ok the third line really grinds my gears. So whats wrong with auditing the fed? Why are liberals so vicously opposed to big banks, yet so protictive of the mother of all big banks? The fed is the biggest reason why the rich/poor gap keeps widening. This makes no sense. Its total hypocrasy. I'd like to see the next Susan article all about why its good to keep letting the fed do whatever it wants to. And the republican party does not wish to return to the gold standard. Thats a Libertarian thing. And I would love to return to the gold standard and walk around with something valuable in my pocket instead of monopoly money. When the US loses its place as the world reserve currency, we'll find out first hand how worthless our money really is.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:52 AM
Ad hominen attacks are generally pointless. I've made a few 'howler' type errors in my life and I doubt I'd want them broadcasted to the world at large as a counter argument to any point I was trying to make. Let's attack the arguments/logic of the other side not the other person.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Old Navy
Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:41 PM
As a long time hoarder/investor in gold and silver coins, I would love a return to the gold standard. But realistically, that will never happen in my lifetime. That is an idea straight out of the 1890s .....William Jennings Bryan is long since passed from the face of Earth. What people must recognize is that the greatest Gold we have in this country is the intelligence and energy of our youth. Investing in education for our children will assure that possibility that we can compete in a global economy and eventually return to a debt free economy as we produce our way out of debt and back to prosperity.
Comment: #9
Posted by: robert lipka
Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:36 AM
Re: robert lipka
What is your solution to 'improve' education?
Comment: #10
Posted by: Early
Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:32 AM
Re: Early

Get government and unions out of education. America has the bes bombs in the world yet America does not own 1 bomb factory.

Comment: #11
Posted by: SusansMirror
Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:59 AM
Robert, you're right. We won't return to the gold standard. Probably forever. See, that would actually work, and I think both parties do certain things to keep them in control. Fiat currency would be one of them. Getting unions out of education and giving parents more choices is what would improve educations. The government monopoly has turned the school system into a nightmare.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:36 PM
Re: Chris McCoy

Google Robert Scheer and Creator's Syndicate to see your comment "Creator's screwed up" as first result on the web.

Comment: #13
Posted by: morgan
Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:26 AM
My idea for bettering our educational system would certainly piss off a lot of conservatives. I think that we should give tuition-free education to every college student who QUALIFIES. How do they qualify?? By posting grades in high school that are exemplary and by passing a strict entrance examination to get in to our finest colleges. That tuition would then be subsidized by the taxpayers up to 95% of tuition total. Colleges that accept tuition paid students would be prohibited from raising their tuition rates more than two percent per year.
Of couse, Conservatives, who never see the light ahead in the tunnel would oppose this as a huge government giveaway, not seeing that down the road these educated students would become productive members of one of the finest group of workers in the world. Not only would they pay more in taxes, but they would greatly add to our GDP and overall economic growth because of their increased use of their intellectual powers. China is way ahead of us in the education department. Even Brazil has recognized the power of education and is currently beating us to many trade markets because of their forward thinking educational programs American education has a solid foundation but we are not building on that foundation and many short-sighted politicians are tearing away at that foundation in order to save a few bucks now. Sure it looks good to taxpayers now, but what will the future bring?
Comment: #14
Posted by: robert lipka
Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:58 AM
Great so the smart kids get to go to college for free while the non-straight A students get left in the dust. Being able to pass tests does NOT make someone commited to educating themselves. I can just see brainy kids going to college for free, getting drunk all the time, finishing, then doing nothing with their lives. College has to be earned, not given. You'd just be creating a new generation of entitled punks who are used to getting things handed to them on a silver platter. HANDOUTS DON'T WORK. Here is a better idea. Get government out of the student loan bussiness and see college tuition drop. Then let kids pay for college themselves and earn it. Liberals just don't understand the concept of personal responsibility, they'd rather just get things handed to them.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:15 AM
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