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David Gaul
Shelby County Democratic Party Co-Chair

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David Gaul
Donna Clothier
Kathleen Cue


It 's Caucus Day here in Iowa.  We Democrats here in Shelby County will be gathering under one roof at 1401 19th Street in Harlan, Iowa, at the Harlan Intermediate School.  Outside, it promises to be a chilly night, but inside all will be warm and bright--which is something that can't be said for our cross-town friends, the Republicans.

One of the great things about the caucus is that portion of the meeting that focuses on proposed platform resolutions to our state party's platform.  This is a chance for caucus goers to put forth their ideas as to what he or she thinks should be the policies the Democratic Party ought to pursue and stand for. 

Without seeing a single one of them--other than my own--I can guarantee these proposals will be progressive and liberal in nature.  They will be proposals designed to make life better for all individuals.  That, after all, should be the ultimate purpose of government and all those holding office within government.  It should be the overarching philosophy of everyone who goes into public service:  How can I make life better for other people?  Resolutions to a Democratic Platform, be it a state or federal, generally are grounded in this simple principle. 

Alas, that is not the case for our Republican friends.  Here are some chestnuts from their 2012 Platform.  My comments are in caps.  Steel yourself. . .

1.10 We support an Iowa “Woman’s Right to Know Law” requiring informed consent — including a three day waiting period with a mandatory ultrasound — before any elective abortion services may be provided. “Informed Consent” means that abortionists must offer to the pregnant woman, prior to the abortion, complete factual information about the complications of abortion, the biological development of the unborn, fetal pain, and the availability of alternatives to abortion. (THERE'S YOUR MANDATORY ULTRASOUND PROBE, AGAIN.)

1.17 We support the use of non-embryonic stem cells to advance modern medical research. We oppose somatic cell nuclear transfer (human cloning), embryonic stem cell research, human fetal-tissue research from induced abortions, and the commercial use or sale of fetal parts. (NEVER HAVE UNDERSTOOD THIS ONE.)

2.1 We call for the abolition of the Federal Department of Agriculture, returning control to the state and local governments. (WE HAD SOMETHING LIKE THIS BEFORE.  OH YEAH, IT WAS THE 1920S!)

2.10 We call for the end of all federal subsidies in agriculture, including ethanol, and support the repeal of all federal regulations that inhibit the ability of the American farmer to compete fairly and effectively in the free market. It is not the government’s role to choose economic winners and losers. (THEY DO KNOW THAT THIS INCLUDES CROP INSURANCE SUBSIDIES, DON'T THEY?  HAVE THEY TOLD THEIR RICH REPUBLICAN FARMERS ABOUT THIS ONE?)

3.1 We believe that our current national debt is dangerous to our economy. As such, we demand that the federal government return to a balanced budget which uses GAAP, and which disallows off-budget expenditures within four years or sooner, and maintains such thereafter except during a Congressionally declared war or national emergency. (AUSTERITY IS A PROVEN LOSER.)

3.4 We call for restricting the federal spending budget not to exceed more than 10% of the Gross Domestic Product of the United States. (DITTO MY PREVIOUS COMMENT.)

3.6 We call for spending cuts in order to reduce the size and scope of government. We believe that there should be included within the budget money allocated to retire the national debt. (THIS WOULD BE SUPER AUSTERITY.  WE ARE NOT GREECE!)

3.16 We oppose federal funding for all media outlets.  (BYE, BYE, BIG BIRD.)

4.1 We believe that the only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth are improper and we demand their immediate elimination.  (I'M LAUGHING TOO HARD TO COMMENT.)

4.8 We demand the elimination of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the return of safety inspections and regulations to the I-OSHA. (HEY, WHAT'S THE LOSS OF A FEW LIMBS AMONG FRIENDS?  AND IF YOUR DRINKING WATER IS CONTAMINATED BY A CHEMICAL SPILL, CUT BACK ON SALTY SNACKS.)

4.14 We believe all business owners have the freedom to choose the quality of air in their establishments.  (LIGHT UP!  HAVE A SMOKE!  AND DON'T PASS GAS!)

5.3 We oppose the unconstitutional concept of a “hate crime” since it is an attempt to criminalize the reasonable actions of persons who oppose the granting of “special status” or “privileges” to defined classes of people. If someone is to be punished, it should be after proper conviction for actual actions, not what someone alleges they were thinking. We support repeal of state and federal “hate crimes” legislation.  (WHERE ARE WE AT?  MISSISSIPPI IN THE 1960S?)

5.5 We support repealing the smoking ban. We believe this to be an issue of liberty.  (YEAH, THERE ARE SO MANY TOBACCO FARMERS IN IOWA WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS!)

5.10 Inmates should be required to work for their room and board. We favor an overhaul of our penal system to reduce the incidence of gangs, drugs, and weapons within the prison system.  (CHAIN GANGS.)

6.4 We support the teaching of the documents and beliefs of our Founding Fathers, with emphasis on patriotism, citizenship, responsibility, respect for our country and its symbols, and pride in the United States’ unique contributions to liberty and freedom, and U.S. history, including its religious heritage. We call for the teaching of documents such as: “The Mayflower Compact”, “The Declaration of Independence”, “The U. S. Constitution”, “The Federalist Papers”, and the Iowa Constitution among other items that share the ideas of the Founding Fathers. (TEA PARTY HIGH SCHOOL.  WONDER WHAT THE PROM IS LIKE?)

6.11 We oppose ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which interferes with parental rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children.  (YEAH, THE UN HAS BEEN BEATING DOWN OUR FRONT DOORS  FOR YEARS.)

8.1 We call for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Energy.  (THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A HEAD SCRATCHER.)

8.3 We demand the elimination of government impediments to the construction of nuclear energy plants in the United States to assist us with energy independence.  (CAN WE BUILD ONE BEHIND STEVE KING'S HOUSE?)

8.10 We oppose government regulation of greenhouse gasses emissions.  (YOU KNOW THAT CAT 5 TORNADO HEADING TOWARD YOUR HOUSE?  DUCK!)

10.4 We demand an end to all government programs that interfere with the natural rights of parents to nurture, support, love, and appropriately discipline their children—whether such programs are local, state, or federal.  (DISCIPLINE?  WOULD THIS BE THE LASH?)

11.3 The US should drop out of the United Nations and eliminate UN funding.  (YEAH, THESE SAME TYPES WANTED US NOT TO ENTER THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS BACK IN 1919, AND WE GOT WWII.)

11.9 We oppose so-called “World Government” and support full constitutional sovereignty of the U.S.A.  (AND MAYBE WE CAN FIND SOME TINFOIL HATS FOR THESE PEOPLE.)

12.2 We believe the language in the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence is as relevant today as when it was penned. Any attempts to revise or deviate from the original intent of said documents must be vigorously opposed.  (AND JUST IGNORE THAT SLAVES ARE ONLY THREE-FIFTHS OF A PERSON.)

12.18 The Federal Reserve must be transparent, fully audited, and accountable to Congress.  We demand the elimination of the Federal Reserve Act and the implementation of a sound commodity-backed currency. We support returning to the gold and/or silver standard.  (HAD THIS BEEN THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN 2008, WE WOULD ALL BE LIVING IN HOOVERVILLES BY NOW.)

22.1 We support federal and state constitutional amendments, voted on by the citizens, which define marriage as only between one natural man and one natural woman.  (HOW'S THAT WORKING OUT?)

24.9 We call for the Republican Party to educate and enlist young voters.  (EDUCATE?  HOW?  THIS IS ONE OF THE DUMBEST DOCUMENTS A PERSON COULD EVER READ.)

25.2 We believe the market, not the government, should set the “minimum wage”.  (THEY ALSO BELIEVE A BAG OF PEANUTS WOULD BE ADEQUATE COMPENSATION FOR A DAY'S WORK.)


26.8 We call for an end to the State of Iowa Income Tax. We support replacing the current federal income tax system. Until the federal income tax system can be replaced, we support a minimum federal income tax rate to be paid by every adult U.S. citizen. We support the FairTax, and until it can be put in place, call for Flat-rates on federal and state income taxes.  (BETTER BUY THAT WASH MACHINE NOW.  AND HEAD TO SAM'S CLUB FOR A BARREL OF BEANS.)

Well, you get the idea.  They will be proposing the same sort of paranoid, delusional planks tonight at their caucus.  Meanwhile, across the State of Iowa tonight, Democrats will propose ideas that will truly enhance the lives of all Americans.  We ultimately will produce a document free of rancor and nastiness and full of hope.  It may sound idyllic, but I submit that such a goal is something we should all aspire to.

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