[Mb-civic] So You Think You're Party-Savvy?

Michael Butler michael at michaelbutler.com
Sun Sep 5 14:19:05 PDT 2004



So You Think You're Party-Savvy?

Be warned: You may find yourself agreeing with the other side

 September 5, 2004

 How different are the platforms of the Democrats and Republicans? Are the
parties as perilously divided as many believe? Or, as some protest posters
had it in the streets of New York, is it the return of the Republicrats?

 Here's a selection of planks from each party's 2004 platform. After a week
of GOP political reeducation, can you pick the Republican position in each
pair? Score one point for each correct answer.

 ‹ Compiled by Michael Soller

1. Inclusiveness

 A. We know who we are and what we believe. [But] we respect and accept that
members of our party can have deeply held and sometimes differing views.
This diversity is a source of strength, not a sign of weakness, and so we
welcome into our ranks all who may hold differing positions.

 B. Members of our party have deeply held and differing views on some
matters of conscience and faith. We view diversity of views as a source of
strength, and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who seek to build a
stronger America.

2. Intelligence

 A. We must Š reform our intelligence system by creating a true director of
national intelligence with real control of intelligence personnel and

 B. We therefore support [the plan] to create the position of a national
intelligence director to be appointed by the president with the advice and
consent of the Senate.

3. Abortion

 A. Because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand
proudly for a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe vs. Wade, and
regardless of her ability to payŠ. Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

 B. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse
legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment's protections apply to
unborn children.

4. War on terror

 A. We stand for a hopeful tomorrow that will come from total and complete
victory in the war on terror.

 B. We yield to no one in our commitment to do everything necessary to win
the war on terror.

5. Family

 A. Family is the center of everyday American life. Our parents are our
first protectors, first teachers, first role models, and first friends.

 B. We respect the family's role as a touchstone of stability and strength
in an ever-changing world.

6. Energy

 A. Using the most sophisticated technologies, we can explore and develop
oil resources here at home with minimal environmental impact.

 B. We cannot drill our way to energy independence. But we can create,
think, imagine and invent our way there.

7. Healthcare

 A. We believe that healthcare is a right and not a privilege.

 B. We want more people to own and control their healthcare.

8. Immigration

 A. Undocumented immigrants within our borders who clear a background check,
work hard and pay taxes should have a path to earn full participation in

 B. [We support] a new temporary worker program that applies when no
Americans can be found to fill the jobs. This new program would allow
workers who currently hold jobs to come out of the shadows and to
participate legally in America's economy.

9. Iraq

 A. The best intelligence available at the time indicated that Saddam
Hussein was a threatŠ.Saddam Hussein had the capability to reconstitute his
weapons programs and the desire to do so.

 B. People of goodwill disagree about whether America should have gone to
war in Iraq, but this much is clear: This administration badly exaggerated
its case, particularly with respect to weapons of mass destruction and the
connection between Saddam's government and Al Qaeda.

10. Military readiness

 A. The real proof of military readiness is combat performance. Our combined
military forces have demonstrated overwhelming combat effectiveness in
Afghanistan, Iraq and in other operations around the world. The readiness of
the U.S. armed forces to carry out combat operations anywhere in the world
is now unparalleled.

 B. We will expand America's active-duty forces. The war in Iraq has
overextended our armed servicesŠ. That is a dangerous and potentially
disastrous strain that limits our capacity to respond to other crises.

11. Labor

 A. We affirm the time-honored right of individuals to voluntarily
participate in labor organizations and to bargain collectively.

 B. We will ensure that the right to organize a union exists in the real
world, not just on paper.

12. Education

 A. We must remain committed to the moral and civic dimensions of education.
Education requires the engagement of the whole community in order to teach
the whole child. 

 B. Public education, access for every child to an excellent education, is a
foundation of a free, civil society.

13. Israel

 A. The _____ Party [has a] commitment to the security of America's
democratic ally Israel and the safety of the Israeli people. We remain
committed to ensuring that Israel maintains a qualitative edge in defensive
technology over any potential adversaries.

 B. The _____ Party is fundamentally committed to the security of our ally
Israel and the creation of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace between
Israel and her neighborsŠ. We will ensure that under all circumstances,
Israel retains the qualitative edge for its national security and its right
to self-defense. 

14. Preemptive war

 A. We must build and lead an international consensus for early preventive
action to lock up and secure existing weapons of mass destruction and the
material to manufacture more.

 B. The United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. We therefore
believe that to forestall or prevent hostile acts by our adversaries, the
United States must, if necessary, act preemptively.

15. Gay marriage

 A. Marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we
believe it should continue to be defined thereŠ.Our goal is to bring
Americans together, not drive them apart.

 B. Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have
serious consequences throughout the countryŠ. On a matter of such
importance, the voice of the people must be heard.


10-15 High: Congratulations, apparatchik. The Party is grateful for your

 Now please hang on as we veer sharply to the middle.

5-9 Medium: You might beat the Bush twins ("Jenna and I are really not very
political," her sister, Barbara, admitted at last week's Republican National
Convention). But you are no Al Gore, either.

 Probably you've always done OK on tests like this one. But here's a tip for
November: Make sure to check your answers before you turn in your score

0-4 Low: You're a raider for Nader or a member of Pat Buchanan's silent
Florida majority.

 Either way, as President Bush put it four years ago, you don't need to take
America's pulse to know your mind.

Answer Key

 1. A; 2. B; 3. B; 4. A; 5. B; 6. A; 7. B; 8. B; 9. A; 10. A; 11. A; 12. B;
13. A; 14. B; 15. B

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