But to fire up the base – conservatives who stayed home in 2008, but stormed the polls in 2010 – the convention will need to be about more than pomp and circumstance. There will need to be substantive policy declarations that conservatives can rally behind, which in some cases will mean a repudiation of the party’s past.
That’s where the party platform comes in.
Although Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been emphatic that it is “the platform of the Republican Party [and] not the platform of Mitt Romney,” no one will make the distinction, which is precisely why getting it right is so important. Based on news reports, here are a few things from the platform conservatives should note.
First, the platform apparently removed past language in support for the wind production tax credit. Although the tax credit, which has been in place for 20 years, retains bipartisan support, it has become synonymous with President Obama’s failed stimulus, a faulty green energy future, and Spain’s economic quagmire. In short, there is no place for energy subsidies in a conservative governing agenda.
This push was made by the Romney campaign, knowing full well it may cost them votes in windblown Iowa. Interestingly though, North Dakota Senator and platform committee co-chair John Hoeven defended the new language, saying we are “trying to use all sources of energy with market-based principles.”
What’s President Obama’s response: He wants to “keep investing in homegrown energy sources like wind that have never been more promising.” Two decades of subsidies with no end in sight…at least Republicans are finally getting on track.
Second, the platform objects to “global taxes and a global monetary governance mechanism to raise $400 billion a year to aid developing countries.” The Washington Times reported the “move also could have the practical effect of complicating the ability of the U.S. to participate in such international accords as the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the U.S. Senate has never ratified.”