Day One at the RNC: “The Most Conservative Republican Platform Ever”

13770353_10155027073179554_3783687969588507444_nPromoted by Rosi. Yes, my life is weird. The man I live with – like me, a delegate to the Democratic National Convention – also goes to the Republican National Convention. Yesterday’s fun included platform chaos, which a desultory moment earlier in the NJ delegation hotel suggested might be coming. 

“The Most Conservative Republican Platform Ever.”

NJ State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) proudly uttered those words from the podium at the opening breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel in Cleveland, the NJ delegation hotel and HQ for the week. How do I know? Because I’m here, that’s why. I am covering the Republican National Convention (RNC) for my radio show “Punchline & Politics”, the website SuperPac for Reason and Blue Jersey. The Senator’s words were met by a smattering of applause – – much less than I would have expected in his room full of Republicans.  But wait, there’s more.

Pennacchio then proceeded to introduce Lynda Pagliughi and Aubrey Fenton – two reps from New Jersey who sat on the RNC Platform Committee. They described the GOP platform process, and how it came about to reflect the “conservative values…that we all hold in our hearts as Americans.”  Another bit of applause; a bit weaker this time.

For me, all of this came about before the chaos on the floor of the RNC convention in which there had to be more than one voice vote of support for their platform. That breakfast meeting at the NJ delegation hotel suggested there were problems to come in just hours once the delegates got on the floor.

And “conservative” the platform certainly is: For example, even though issues like marriage equality and reproductive freedom are deeply rooted now in the law, the Trump-led GOP reaches far back into their 1950s values and inserts a solid hard line against gay rights and abortion rights. This is from a guy who at one point identified himself as pro-choice and pro-Gay rights.

And the 2016 GOP Platform goes downhill from there. It calls for the complete defunding of Planned Parenthood; support for Trump’s plan for a physical wall on the Mexican border; repealing Obamacare; and dismantling the EPA – and turning over responsibility of environmental protection to the states.

And in a nod to the extreme right-wing Evangelical Christians, the Platform supports ‘conversion therapy’ for gays and lesbians; support for the inclusion of Bible study as literature curriculum in high schools; and calls “illegal ” the direction the Obama administration is taking on the transgender bathroom “issue” – illegal, dangerous and ignores privacy issues.”

And so it goes for Day One, my Monday in Cleveland. Day Two includes a stand-up comedy performance by Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and a prime-time appearance by Christie himself.

More later today.

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