I hadn't had a chance to blog about the proposed Republican platform plank on immigration. It's hard to call it anything but extreme, as its purpose is to use government power to punish immigrants, businesses, universities, and others. It's more extreme than the statements Mitt Romney has made, though on immigration he seems not to care much and changes his mind frequently.
But should anyone care? What's funny is that John Boehner is repeating that platforms are a joke.
But Boehner's message, over and over, was that the convention and the election are about the economy. Don't even worry about what's in the platform, he said.
"Have you ever met anybody who's read the party platform?" Boehner asked. "I haven't meet anybody."
He's saying that largely because he doesn't want people talking too much about the extreme parts of the platform, but in fact he's right. Platforms are for party activists, and don't necessarily inform policy later.
Nonetheless, the immigration plank is yet another indication of how much the party has changed over the years. Look, for example, at the mention of immigration in the 1980 Republican platform.
Republicans are proud that our people have opened their arms and hearts to strangers from abroad and we favor an immigration and refugee policy which is consistent with this tradition. We believe that to the fullest extent possible those immigrants should be admitted who will make a positive contribution to America and who are willing to accept the fundamental American values and way of life.
Quite a difference from now, though in fact that plank did inform policy, namely the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which Ronald Reagan signed with obvious pleasures in 1986, and which now is considered evil incarnate by the party that constantly invokes him.