Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just Like Yesterday

From the 2008 Democratic Party Platform:
As Democrats, we are committed to being smart on crime. . . . We must help state, local, and tribal law enforcement work together to combat and prevent drug crime and drug and alcohol abuse, which are a blight on our communities.[1]
From the 2000 Republican Party Platform:
When the average American family has to work more than four months out of every year to fund all levels of government, it's time to change the tax system, to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer for everyone. It's time for an economics of inclusion that will let people keep more of what they earn and accelerate movement up the opportunity ladder.[2]
From the 1992 Democratic Party Platform:
If a company wants to overpay its executives and underinvest in the future or transfer jobs overseas, it shouldn't get special treatment and tax breaks from the Treasury.[3]
From the 1988 Republican Party Platform:
We want to reduce further the intrusion of government into the lives of our citizens. Consistent with the maintenance of a competitive market place, we are committed to breaking down unnecessary barriers to entry created by regulations, statutes, and judicial decisions, to free up capital for productive investment.[4]
From the 1980 Republican Party Platform:
Republicans recognize the very special sacrifice of those who have served in our nation's armed forces. Individual rights and societal values are only as strong as a nation's commitment to defend them. Because of this our country must never forget its appreciation of and obligation to our veterans. . . . In particular we feel it is of vital importance to continue and expand the health-programs provided to veterans through the Veterans Administration hospitals. Here we see the need for increased access to care, especially for older veterans.[5]
From the 1976 Democratic Party Platform:
There must be an ever-increasing accountability of government to the people. The Democratic Party is pledged to the fulfillment of four fundamental citizen rights of governance: the right to competent government; the right to responsive government; the right to integrity in government; the right to fair dealing by government.[6]
From the 1968 Republican Party Platform:
The entire nation has been profoundly concerned by hastily extemporized, undeclared land wars which embroil massive U.S. armed forces thousands of miles from our shores. It is time to realize that not every international conflict is susceptible of solution by American ground forces.[7]
From the 1971 album Who's Next, by The Who:

As I may have mentioned before, I'll be voting for Gary Johnson. It honestly baffles me that I'm the one who's supposedly wasting my vote.

1. How much progress have we made in four years? A little—the Democrats no longer claim to be "smart on crime". From this year's platform: "We understand the disproportionate effects of crime, violence, and incarceration on communities of color and are committed to working with those communities to find solutions. . . . We must help state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement work together to combat and prevent drug crime and drug and alcohol abuse, which are blights on our communities."
2. 12 years later, look how far we've come: "We reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs, or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and corporations. Our goal is a tax system that is simple, transparent, flatter, and fair. In contrast, the current IRS code is like a patchwork quilt, stitched together over time from mismatched pieces, and is beyond the comprehension of the average citizen. A reformed code should promote simplicity and coherence, savings and innovation, increase American competitiveness, and recognize the burdens on families with children."
3. 20 years later, the Democrats are still working on it: "We want to cut tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and for special interests."
4. 24 years later, the Republicans are "listening to America", and what they're hearing should sound familiar: "In listening to America, one constant we have heard is the jobcrippling effect of even well-intentioned regulation. That makes it all the more important for federal agencies to be judicious about the impositions they create on businesses, especially small businesses. We call for a moratorium on the development of any new major and costly regulations until a Republican Administration reviews existing rules to ensure that they have a sound basis in science and will be cost-effective."
5. 32 years later, they've at least added homelessness to the list of problems they claim to care about solving: "We must heed Abraham Lincoln's command "to care for him who bore the battle." To care, as well, for the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, who must be assured of meaningful financial assistance, remains our solemn duty. . . . We are committed to ending homelessness for our veterans."
6. 36 years later, we're still waiting for the government to be held accountable: "We are committed to the most open, efficient, and accountable government in history, and we believe that government is more accountable when it is transparent."
7. And yet, 44 years later, the Republicans pledge to do just that: "Future decisions by a Republican President will never subordinate military necessity to domestic politics or an artificial timetable. Afghans, Pakistanis, and Americans have a common interest in ridding the region of the Taliban and other insurgent groups, but we cannot expect others to remain resolute unless we show the same determination ourselves."