The New York Times decided to recycle its recent editorial about the unprecedented rightward lurch of the GOP platform into a news article today. Insisting that the conservative movement was far more moderate in its 1980 GOP platform, the article bemoans the Party’s alleged “sharp turn to the right”:
One party platform stated that Hispanics and others should not “be barred from education or employment opportunities because English is not their first language.” It highlighted the need for “dependable and affordable” mass transit in cities, noting, “Mass transportation offers the prospect for significant energy conservation.” And it prefaced its plank on abortion by saying that “We recognize differing views on this question among Americans in general — and in our own party.”
The other party platform said, “we support English as the nation’s official language.” It chided the Democratic administration for “replacing civil engineering with social engineering as it pursues an exclusively urban vision of dense housing and government transit.” And its abortion plank recognized no dissent, taking the position that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”
These two paragraphs alone are so misleading it’s hard to believe they were published in the news section. Let’s go through it point by point, with copies of the GOP’s 1980 platform and the GOP’s 2012 platform for comparison.