Finding that they have a remarkable inability to inspire their base with an economic message (or even to like them), Republican presidential candidates, and the party as a whole, have all turned back to the culture wars. As a result, just as we saw with the Great (Legislative) Republican Overreach of 2011™ in statehouses across the country, we’re now seeing the Great (Reproductive) Republican Overreach in 2012. (™ still pending.)
There’s a rather amusing new chapter to this volume. The Clinton Chronicle reported that last week, the Laurens County Republicans wanted to make it clear that they won’t just associate with just any kind of Republican!
This statement says, in part, the the Laurens County Republican Party “does not want to associate with candidates who do not act and speak in a manner that is consistent with the SC Republican Party Platform…”
So yes, there will be a test. Even when you start reading the 28 (yes, that many) commandments requirements, they seem like GOP boilerplate. Abortion? Check. Guns, guns, guns? Bullseye. Balancing the budget “by any means necessary”? You got it.
The next few, they might have trouble with.
- You must favor, and live up to, abstinence before marriage.
- You must be faithful to your spouse. Your spouse cannot be a person of the same gender, and you are not allowed to favor any government action that would allow for civil unions of people of the same sex.
- You cannot now, from the moment you sign this pledge, look at pornography.
So Laurens County Republicans – who are already well on their way to shutting out virtually every cultural and sexual minority voting bloc – are trying now to shut out people who’ve had premarital sex, view pornography, and have been unfaithful (this is the state Newt Gingrich won). All that is pretty hilarious both politically and literally, as South Carolina Democrats have noted with glee.
What is most hilarious about these new rules are three other things: first, the fact that they appear to have been provoked by exactly nothing. Also, the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party admitted that they don’t plan to enact a process to enforce the rules.
Lastly, there is the line, “Your spouse cannot be a person of the same gender.” Laurens County Republicans are, in effect, recognizing same-sex marriage as an actual thing – which “Real Republicans” tend not to do, what with the whole “marriage between a man and a woman” bit.
Should the 29th commandment of being a South Carolina Republican be that you be able to stick to the script?