Idaho Republicans held their convention over the past weekend, approving a platform containing some mighty interesting parts of the Tea Party platform -- from state nullification of federal laws, to protecting the institution of marriage from transgendered people, to to a Glenn-Beckesque embrace of gold and silver money.
State Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R) told the Associated Press
that the push to go further right was a product of disgust with the current status quo from the Obama administration. "It does reflect a change," said Hagedorn. "But it's not a change in our party, it's a change in the White House."
The convention's platform calls for a radical overhaul of the federal government. One proposal is a Tea Party favorite, calling for the repeal the 17th Amendment, which provides for the direct election of Senators instead of the original system of them being selected by state legislatures. The platform also calls for the state legislature and governor to "nullify any and all existing and future unconstitutional Federal mandates and laws, funded or unfunded, that infringe on Idaho's Tenth Amendment sovereignty." In addition, the GOP calls for the state of Idaho to take back federally controlled lands.
Then there is the hard-money plank, which might have come right out of a Goldline ad on talk radio: "We believe Idahoans need to protect their savings from the ravages of inflation, which is hidden taxation, and encourage citizens to participate in a systematic acquisition of precious metals which represent real value as opposed to paper currencies."
One resolution went even further: "Let free Idahoans pay taxes, and other fees due to the State, County and City in silver and or gold in any form. Payments to City, County, or State employees requested to be paid in silver and or gold, Will be complied with."
We asked the state GOP for comment on this one: How would such a system work? How would the state evaluate the proper values of gold and silver in collecting payments? And since governments collect taxes and fees in order to spend those revenues on needed goods and services, how would the state find people who accept gold and silver, instead of the universally accepted U.S. dollar? Would the state simply sell the excess gold and silver, in order to pay for services with dollars? They have not responded to our request for comment.
The platform also called for marriage to be limited to a "naturally born" man and woman, going the extra mile beyond conventional gay marriage bans and making sure to exclude transgendered folks, as well.
That said, there are some places that the state GOP wouldn't go -- they rejected a call for the state to establish its own independent volunteer militia, separate from federal control. The reason: It would cost too much.
(Platform and resolution documents provided to TPMDC by Dustin Hurst of Idaho Reporter.)