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The Texas GOP appears to have lost its collective mind.  Officially.

State party platforms are not binding on every elected member of the party, but they do speak to the general direction a party is moving in that state, and the Republican party in Texas has taken a hard turn to the right, straight off the edge of the US Constitution. The full platform - which is available, among other places, through a link on the Texas Tribune website as a PDF download - includes positions that seem to be based on the idea that if Texas can't secede from the Union, then they'll simply act as if they're a separate country - including insisting that any federal enforcement actions must be undertaken with the supervision of a Texas county Sheriff.

More below the fold.

In Nov. 2012, a petition was signed by over 125,000 people asking that Texas be allowed to secede from the United States:

We petition the Obama administration to:
Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.

The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.

Not at all surprisingly, the official response to the petition amounted to "Not on your life."  This is, after all, what the Civil War was fought over.  

As Jon Carson, former director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, wrote in the White House reply:

Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States "in order to form a more perfect union" through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. They enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot -- a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it. As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaugural address in 1861, "in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual." In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States. And shortly after the Civil War ended, the Supreme Court confirmed that "[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States."
So what has the Texas GOP gone and done now?  In essence, they have developed a state party platform that if enacted in full would allow the state to ignore all those bothersome aspects of the Federal government that they don't like.  While the very first "principle" listed at the beginning of the document states that the party believes in "Strict adherence to the original intent of the Declaration of Independence and United States and Texas Constitutions," it conveniently ignores the supremacy clause in Article 6 of the Constitution and instead calls on the state legislature to "ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify any federal mandated legislation which infringes upon the states’ 10th Amendment Right".  The same section goes on to state that "All federal enforcement activities in Texas must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county."  The party calls for full repeal of the 17th amendment of the US Constitution, abolition of the national income tax (as well as taxes on property, capital gains, inheritance, and gift taxes), abolition of social security, repeal of the Voting Rights act, and - as if that wasn't enough - calls on Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases dealing with abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.  

There's more, of course.  If you're gay, well, you can be cured.  You just need "reparative therapy and treatment".  If you continue to choose to be gay - because "Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible" - then any employer can fire you.  And while we're talking about what God ordained, the party's platform  states that the right to carry firearms is "God-given"; it would explicitly base national policy toward Israel on "God's biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel" and it "further invite[s] other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise."  

There have been a number of articles written detailing these and other aspects of the platform that fly off to the extreme right of sanity.  A good summary is available at ThinkProgress.org, and I strongly recommend downloading and reading as much as you can stomach of the actual document using the link (above the fold).  

To be fair, there are a few things in it that even a staunch progressive Democrat like myself might be willing to endorse - repeal of the Patriot Act, a call to Congress to reclaim its responsibility under the War Powers Act, and my favorite, the "If It’s Good Enough For Us It’s Good Enough For Them" provision which would require that the government could not exempt any of its members from the provision of laws it passes. However, I'm afraid that points of common ground such as those are few and far between.

I haven't seen as much reporting of the platform outside as I would have expected; aside from several stories mentioning the endorsement of the long-discredited "reparative therapy" for gays and lesbians, most of the reporting has been in Texas papers and political blogs. There's a good analysis on ThinkProgress, and another by the Texas Freedom Network, for anyone who wants to go into more detail.

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