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So You Think You're Party-Savvy?

Be warned: You may find yourself agreeing with the other side

September 05, 2004

How different are the platforms of the Democrats and Republicans? Are the parties as perilously divided as many believe? Or, as some protest posters had it in the streets of New York, is it the return of the Republicrats?

Here's a selection of planks from each party's 2004 platform. After a week of GOP political reeducation, can you pick the Republican position in each pair? Score one point for each correct answer.

-- Compiled by Michael Soller

1. Inclusiveness

A. We know who we are and what we believe. [But] we respect and accept that members of our party can have deeply held and sometimes differing views. This diversity is a source of strength, not a sign of weakness, and so we welcome into our ranks all who may hold differing positions.

B. Members of our party have deeply held and differing views on some matters of conscience and faith. We view diversity of views as a source of strength, and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who seek to build a stronger America.

2. Intelligence

A. We must ... reform our intelligence system by creating a true director of national intelligence with real control of intelligence personnel and budgets.

B. We therefore support [the plan] to create the position of a national intelligence director to be appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate.

3. Abortion

A. Because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand proudly for a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe vs. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay.... Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

B. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.

4. War on terror

A. We stand for a hopeful tomorrow that will come from total and complete victory in the war on terror.

B. We yield to no one in our commitment to do everything necessary to win the war on terror.

5. Family

A. Family is the center of everyday American life. Our parents are our first protectors, first teachers, first role models, and first friends.

B. We respect the family's role as a touchstone of stability and strength in an ever-changing world.

6. Energy

A. Using the most sophisticated technologies, we can explore and develop oil resources here at home with minimal environmental impact.

B. We cannot drill our way to energy independence. But we can create, think, imagine and invent our way there.

7. Healthcare

A. We believe that healthcare is a right and not a privilege.

B. We want more people to own and control their healthcare.

8. Immigration

A. Undocumented immigrants within our borders who clear a background check, work hard and pay taxes should have a path to earn full participation in America.

B. [We support] a new temporary worker program that applies when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. This new program would allow workers who currently hold jobs to come out of the shadows and to participate legally in America's economy.

9. Iraq

A. The best intelligence available at the time indicated that Saddam Hussein was a threat....Saddam Hussein had the capability to reconstitute his weapons programs and the desire to do so.

B. People of goodwill disagree about whether America should have gone to war in Iraq, but this much is clear: This administration badly exaggerated its case, particularly with respect to weapons of mass destruction and the connection between Saddam's government and Al Qaeda.

10. Military readiness

A. The real proof of military readiness is combat performance. Our combined military forces have demonstrated overwhelming combat effectiveness in Afghanistan, Iraq and in other operations around the world. The readiness of the U.S. armed forces to carry out combat operations anywhere in the world is now unparalleled.

B. We will expand America's active-duty forces. The war in Iraq has overextended our armed services.... That is a dangerous and potentially disastrous strain that limits our capacity to respond to other crises.

11. Labor

A. We affirm the time-honored right of individuals to voluntarily participate in labor organizations and to bargain collectively.

B. We will ensure that the right to organize a union exists in the real world, not just on paper.

12. Education

A. We must remain committed to the moral and civic dimensions of education. Education requires the engagement of the whole community in order to teach the whole child.

B. Public education, access for every child to an excellent education, is a foundation of a free, civil society.

13. Israel

A. The _____ Party [has a] commitment to the security of America's democratic ally Israel and the safety of the Israeli people. We remain committed to ensuring that Israel maintains a qualitative edge in defensive technology over any potential adversaries.

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