Remember the Maine (platform)

REMEMBER THE MAINE (PLATFORM)…. Whenever it seems Republican Party officials in D.C. have gone completely over the edge, it’s worth keeping in mind that, at the state level, the GOP tends to be even more radical.

Take the new platform adopted by the Republican Party of Maine. (via Digby)

The official platform for the Republican Party of Maine is now a mix of right-wing fringe policies, libertarian buzzwords and outright conspiracy theories.

The document calls for the elimination of the Department of Education and the Federal Reserve, demands an investigation of “collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth,” suggests the adoption of “Austrian Economics,” declares that “‘Freedom of Religion’ does not mean ‘freedom from religion'” (which I guess makes atheism illegal), insists that “healthcare is not a right,” calls for the abrogation of the “UN Treaty on Rights of the Child” and the “Law Of The Sea Treaty” and declares that we must resist “efforts to create a one world government.”

It also contains favorable mentions of both the Tea Party and Ron Paul.

This is, just for emphasis, in Maine. It’s a state known for its moderate Republicans, and a state that hasn’t backed a GOP presidential ticket in more than two decades. If any state Republican Party would seem likely to adopt a sane platform, it’s tempting to think Maine would be near the top of the list. Alas, this is not the case.

Dan Billings, who has served as an attorney for the Maine GOP, called the new platform “wack job pabulum” and “nutcase stuff.”

That seems like a fair characterization.

As a practical matter, this may not matter. Most voters, in Maine and elsewhere, spend exactly zero time evaluating the parties’ platforms, and probably don’t know that the platforms exist. For that matter, Republican candidates in Maine are not bound to run on their party platform.

But the fact that the state party formally adopted fringe nonsense as its official platform nevertheless points to another step in a disturbing trend in GOP politics. When even Maine Republicans are radicalized, the party is driving itself off a right-wing cliff.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.