Massachusetts Republicans are a fringe party

While I recognize that state party platforms are often pretty meaningless and individual candidates often don’t agree with them anymore, I think it’s still worth noting — nay, stopping still to stare in open-mouthed amazement at — the fact that the Massachusetts Republicans’ 2014 platform is, drumroll please…

  • opposed to same-sex marriage
  • opposed to abortion rights

Let’s check in on where folks in Massachusetts stand on that:

a September poll [in 2013] found that 85% of Massachusetts voters saw a positive or little to no impact from gay marriages in the commonwealth. In the poll, voters in the state support legalizing gay marriage 60% to 29%.

 
In the same poll, if you go to the crosstabs, you find

  • 78% of Democrats say same-sex marriage should be allowed
  • 53% of independents agree

The platform is actually consistent with the 60% of Massachusetts Republicans saying they do not think same-sex marriage should be allowed…but that’s in large part because everyone else became independents or Democrats to escape the crazy, leaving the Republican Party to be a mirror opposite of state opinion.

And more importantly, identifying with the 29% of overall voters who oppose same-sex marriage — in a state where 85% say it’s been a positive or had no impact a decade after legalization — is not a good way to get Republicans elected in the state. Without significant support from Massachusetts independents, who tend to be fiscally conservative but socially indifferent, Republicans remain a tiny majority out of power.

It seems kind of needlessly self-destructive too, including that in the platform, considering even 61% of Republicans in that poll admitted same-sex marriage had had no impact on their lives.
Read more

March 3, 2014 – Arsenal for Democracy 75

AFD-logo-big-newDescription: Bill and Greg discuss discuss the Crimea crisis and Newsweek’s print resurrection. Persephone updates us on the Ley Gallardon abortion controversy in Spain.

 
March 3, 2014 – Arsenal for Democracy 75

 

 

Backlash mounts on Spanish abortion rollback

spainBill and I have already discussed Spain’s proposed abortion law, the Ley Gallardón, which would restrict abortion in Spain to cases of rape or long-term harm to the mother.

Opponents of the proposal have created a satirical website called “Bebés de contenedor” (“Dumpster babies”) advertising a fake startup that connects hopeful adoptive parents with the babies that will be abandoned because of restricted abortion rights.

The site states (all translations in this post are my own):
Read more

Colorado: The return of Ken Buck

Hey, will you look at that: Failed 2010 Republican Senate nominee for Colorado, Ken Buck, is back again to seek the state’s other seat in 2014. He’s off to a very strong start with a puzzling (yet, predictably offensive) comparison between a woman’s pregnancy and his experience battling cancer, as a way to express his opposition to a woman having a say in her personal health.

Yes, I am pro-life. While I understand a woman wants to be in control of her body — it’s certainly the feeling that I had when I was a cancer patient, I wanted to be in control of the decisions that were made concerning my body — there is another fundamental issue at stake. And that’s the life of the unborn child.

 
This dismissive attitude toward women’s decision-making abilities is absolutely in line with his past views from the 2010 cycle. It also reminds us of his “prosecutor’s discretion” decision not to charge a rapist on the horrid “grounds” that the survivor, who had been asleep, must have just made a bad call and regretted it, even though the rapist also admitted lack of consent. (More on that here.)

That all added up to Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund dropping over $800k in Colorado to run this ad in October 2010…

If Ken Buck wins the GOP nomination in Colorado, that’s probably for the best from a Democratic perspective, given that anti-woman comments like this latest cancer comparison were what helped him lose an easy race to an unelected no-name appointee. Here’s the text from my 11/3/10 post at Starboard Broadside:

Against the odds, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Col., appointed 2009) has pulled off an upset to win his bid for a six-year term against DA Ken Buck, the tea-party favorite who had led the former Denver Public Schools superintendent for months in the polling. The Associated Press has called the race for Bennet with 97.2% of the vote reported, as Bennet leads by 15,444 votes. Buck has not conceded yet.

Bennet began pulling even in recent weeks as more revelations about Buck’s views on rape, abortion, and women came to light. Bennet’s hard-hitting response combined with independent expenditures against Buck by women’s groups helped derail Buck’s campaign. This was a critical hold for Democrats, as in nearby Nevada, where Harry Reid also won a major upset to retain his seat. On a night where the Democrats lost Obama’s old seat in Illinois, it would have been yet another embarrassment for the President to lose Colorado, since Bennet only occupies the seat because President Obama appointed Sen. Ken Salazar (D) to serve as Interior Secretary in his administration.

 

This time, if nominated again, Buck would be up against an elected incumbent with very high name recognition — Senator Mark Udall.

Oh, and I haven’t even gotten into Ken Buck’s views on education. But I guess I have to end this post somewhere before it just becomes an exercise in telling someone about that nightmare you had last night.

AFD 60 – Furlough

Latest Episode:
“AFD 60 – Furlough”
Posted: Tues, 15 October 2013

Guest commentator Melanie joins Bill to talk about the impact of having most Federal workers on unpaid leave from their jobs during the shutdown. Then Bill looks at food inspection problems in the U.S. Guest commentator Sarah discusses a court decision in Nebraska. Bill examines political mirroring between France and a former African colony.

Additional links:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/11/20926440-statue-of-liberty-mount-rushmore-other-national-parks-to-reopen-during-shutdown

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/10/shutdown-salmonella/

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/11/2770331/salmonella-usda-regulation-fail/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/world/europe/france-to-send-more-troops-into-africa.html

http://allafrica.com/stories/201310110610.html

http://allafrica.com/stories/201310110463.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21913926

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/world/africa/michel-djotodia-leader-of-coup-in-central-african-republic-holds-on-to-power.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/10/french-polls-surge-support-national-front

AFD 56 – Internationalism and Localism

Latest Episode:
“AFD 56 – Internationalism and Localism”
Posted: Tues, 10 September 2013

Bill and Persephone discuss Russia’s assertion that the UK is irrelevant to world affairs, then we examine the most successful global treaty of all time (and efforts to improve it), and we conclude by asking how individual cities and towns are possibly able to pass abortion bans on their own because that is crazy.

Additional links referenced:

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/EED8A9F289E19D3F85257966005DBF51