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While One State’s GOP Wants to Be More Moderate, Another Wants to Secede

While One State’s GOP Wants to Be More Moderate, Another Wants to Secede

There’s little denying that the Republican party is going through some growing pains as it heads to the 2014 midterms. They continue to struggle with how they can appeal outside their base to groups like women or minorities, while still keeping their bread and butter far right social conservatives from refusing to come out to vote. The balancing act can be a painful one, but some states are doing it with style. Other states? Well, they just aren’t doing it at all.

In Nevada, what started out as a policy change in one county has now taken over the entire state, which has voted to make its party platform less divisive. Originally only Clark County had made the change to remove both opposition to gay marriage and opposition to abortion as party platform planks. However, the state GOP convention agreed, and both issues have now been removed for the entire Republican party.

Gay marriage opposition has been a losing battle for many GOP activists in a variety of states, as bans have been either voted down or overturned by the courts at a rapid pace in recent years. Public support of marriage rights have been increasing, too, and haven’t been limited just to those who ID as Democrats. With both factors at play, removing active opposition to equal marriage rights from the party platform isn’t surprising in the least.

Abortion, on the other hand, is a little more of a shocker. Although directly opposing abortion wasn’t a GOP plank until the 80s, it had remained a steadfast one, and often the only variation is whether the party stops at just opposing abortion, or endorses full equal rights for the unborn from the moment of conception. The party has been successful in moving multiple abortion bans through half of the states in the country since just the last midterms, and in general seems committed to continuing to do so.

Excluding abortion, however, has nothing to do with the party accepting the necessity of allowing legal, safe access to the procedure to exist, but rather to keep government at arms length from people’s personal lives. “The issue was how can we back out of people’s personal lives,” Dave Hockaday of Lyon County, who sat on the platform committee, told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “We need to focus on issues where we can have an impact.”

Of course, not everyone in the GOP agreed with the decision, especially not those from the state Right to Life group. “Republicans in NV have been friends of life and this sends the wrong message to their base,” Don Nelson of Nevada Right to Life, told LifeNews. “The fact is that over 70 percent of republicans are pro-life and a many of them hold their nose and vote for republicans because they have are the pro-life party. Events like this do nothing but further depress the NV Republican vote.”

While Nevada may be working towards more inclusive, non-divisive actions where they can make an “impact,” Wisconsin’s Republican party is doing something a little different: going as far right as they conceivably can. In fact, they may be becoming so extreme they may leave the union all together.

According to the Capital Times, the Wisconsin GOP is putting secession rights up for discussion at the state party convention this year. “Earlier this month, the party’s Resolutions Committee voted in favor of a proposal that says the state party ‘supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede,’” writes the Cap Times. ”A version of the so-called ‘state sovereignty’ resolution was first OK’d last month by one of the state GOP’s eight regional caucuses as an assertion of the state’s 10th Amendment rights. The measure also calls for ending all mandates that go ‘beyond the scope of the constitutionally delegated powers of the federal government.’”

Rather than being killed off at the county level, it’s now heading to state for full consideration, and at a very uncomfortable time for the Republican party. While secession talk used to be just the province of the far right fringe, rather than an actual plank for the GOP, there’s little doubt that those who really believe states should be able to break free to save themselves from federal “tyranny” are getting both louder and more embedded into the party apparatus. Texas governor Rick Perry bandied about the idea after President Barack Obama’s election, and conservative news outlets’ obsession over standoffs like the militia tent town at the Bundy Ranch over the last few weeks show a growing number of conservatives ready to embrace state’s rights to their most extreme.

Nevada at first glance should appear more likely to win new support with their gentler stance than Wisconsin with their full-throated extremism. Then again, we have to remember that 2010 was the Tea Party sweep, so nothing can be taken for granted.

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69 comments

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9:16AM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

If a party doesn't grow, I don't want to associate with them. Most politicians have their heads stuck in the mud. (There is a better place they actually do put their heads, but I think mud will suffice.)

8:36PM PDT on Apr 21, 2014

I live in WI and this is the first I've heard of this seceding business. I have not fallowed the Bundy story. I don't want to secede, so what happens to the rest of us? Can we just have open season on those fools? Can we send them off to some isolated, undisclosed location to play out their parnoid fantasies? And thus be rid of them amongst us? And Good god people, how dare you imply, or even think that crowd represents our state? You're almost as bad as they are.

10:22AM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

Of course this Bundy shit is all over Fox news and they are as always misrepresenting what the story is about. BUndy has been in violaton of a contract and has refused to pay to graze his cattle land on TAXPAYER land.

11:57AM PDT on Apr 17, 2014

Philip S.
“Also on the Clive Bundy issue, his family has owned that land since before Nevada was a state.”

as I posted previously WV became a state in1864, Bundy ancestors first settled in the 1880s. You do realize that 1864 was 16 years prior to 1880. you know just like 1964 was prior to 1980. I'll bet you despise welfare for the poor as well. Of course you don't seem to mind supporting welfare for the rich.

Patti T
“Carole L......GREAT COMMENT! Hope you don't mind, I am copying & pasting it's so good.”

you can copy and past my comments any time. I'm honored. I'm thinking philip must be sequential year challenged. Maybe linear confuses him.

Jean W
“Above is a article on secession ....a state cannot secede on its own. It requires the vote of all the American people.”

that would be an interesting vote. We'd have to set a an underground railroad fund for those wishing to escape WI. Remember how the neocons were totally shocked, shocked I tells ya! after they learned what services our government actually provides. Nit wits. they haven't a clue how government works.

7:35PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

www.theamericanconservative.com/.../is-sece...‎
The American Conservative
Dec 7, 2012 - Can a state legally secede from the Union? Many, including Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, suggest no. In a 2006 letter, available here, ...

Above is a article on secession ....a state cannot secede on its own. It requires the vote of all the American people. So ,my guess is that this law in Wisconsin would be challenged in a court and found unconstitutional. Also my guess that it's grandstanding.

5:34PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

If Mr Bundy lays claim to that land , he must have documentation , in the form of a deed.It seems he does not have any proof or the courts would not have ruled that the government owns it , and has always owned the land since it was ceded from Mexico.

5:12PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

CUT OFF.......
AND, Phillip S.>>> As long as a state is part of the United States it does have to follow certain federal laws as described in the same Constitution that you morons seem to think you can pick & choose what you'll follow. Please, let WI, TX, and any other of you crazy states secede, let me know how that works for you when you have to develop your own military, monies, water & other utility rights, and the list goes on, cause it's not easy becoming a country-you do know you'll no longer be able to call yourselves part of the United States of America if you decide to secede from it, Plus they'll be no more help or funds from the US Gov't. Funny how you complain about states that take help from the federal gov't, but if researched you'd see just how many of you slime in to take that same help/money.
So leave, Please!

5:11PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Carole L......GREAT COMMENT! Hope you don't mind, I am copying & pasting it's so good. Took the words right out of my mouth.
Quote: "gee if WI succeeds does that mean they'll have their own currency and no longer take US government subsidies, SS, Medicare, etc? Will they need passports in order to visit family, friends, or vacation in other states. Will boarder checks be set up same as Canadian boarder?" End Quote --
Quote: "[[In July 2013, the federal court granted the DOJ’s motion for summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Government. The court reiterated its position that “the public lands of Nevada are the property of the United States because the United States has held title to those public lands since 1848, when Mexico ceded the land to the United States.”]]]

AND, Phillip S.>>> As long as a state is part of the United States it does have to follow certain federal laws as described in the same Constitution that you morons seem to think you can pick & choose what you'll follow. Please, let WI, TX, and any other of you crazy states secede, let me know how that works for you when you have to develop your own military, monies, water & other utility rights, and the list goes on, cause it's not easy becoming a country-you do know you'll no longer be able to call yourselves part of the United States of America if you decide to secede from it, Plus they'll be no more help or funds from the US Gov't. Funny how you complain about states

5:02PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Some politicians are just unfit for political office. They and their adherents are detrimental to the functioning of our inadequate system that is limping along ....

Anyone who wants to run for any political office should be required to undergo psychological analysis and the MMPI testing.

4:03PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

States should push for secession, not from the union, just from laws outside of the Constitution. States have the right not to follow those laws and they should enforce that as they see fit.

Also on the Clive Bundy issue, his family has owned that land since before Nevada was a state.

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