Has the GOP gone extreme?Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Republican National Convention gets underway on Monday.For three days, some 5,000 delegates and alternates will assemble in Tampa, Florida.They'll officially nominate Mitt Romney as their guy to take on President Obama in November.Tonight, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe wonders how many women here and across the country will be glued to their televisions.=====================================================Chances are, the numbers of female viewers will be huge. But, very likely, for the wrong reasons.Instead of yearning to learn more about what the Republican Party can do for them, they'll be watching to see the effort to take things away.Most women already know that the Republican Party has moved so far to the right that, as the New York Times put it, “the extreme is now the mainstream.”And once again the party is abuzz with more megaphone shouts for constitutional amendments to ban abortion and same sex marriage.What the country needs is a debate and some action on taxes, entitlements and debt.It needs debate and direction on how we involve ourselves in the affairs of other nations; for how much longer we can lay the role of the world's policeman.We need to define how important education is to our collective future and at what cost. What are we willing to do, how much are we willing to pay, to compete is our increasingly competitive world.Instead, the Republican Party heads into Tampa Monday up to its ears in a platform that calls for an end to abortion, an end to gay marriage, and doing away with the Department of Education.There's been a lot of hand-wringing in recent days over the remarks of Missouri Congressman and Senatorial candidate Todd Akin, who said pregnancy in the aftermath of a "legitimate" rape probably won't happen because women have the presence of mind, or a physical reaction, the ability to summon up some kind of magical hormonal secretion to block a pregnancy.And if the unfortunate victim does get pregnant, its because it wasn't rape to begin with.Therefore, he said, rape exemptions in anti-abortion legislation isn't necessary.Now you have to simply ignore the frightening fact that Akin holds a seat on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.Quite simply, he's is wrong, offensive, and ignorant.Akin's fundraising tweets now blame all his troubles on the liberal media, but the truth is his own party is urging him to drop his Senate campaign.And a hypocritical effort it is, because huge numbers of his own party share those same beliefs.Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan is one of them. Extremism is becoming part and parcel of the party.A Republican judge in Texas says Obama's re-election could inspire a civil war. A Republican Sheriff's candidate in New Hampshire says he would consider deadly force to stop an abortion.Novelist and former speechwriter for George W. Bush, David Frum, says the Republican Party has become "ideologically extreme, scornful of compromise, and unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science."Good grief! Could a conservative offer a more scathing indictment of his party than that?Personally, I think Akin ought to stay in the race. It's the only way to determine what his constituency really thinks.Do the women of Missouri think sending a guy who thinks the way he does to the United States Senate is a good idea? Or do they think they can do a better job of patrolling their own bodies?I hope we have the chance to find out.Meantime, the Grand Old Party, whatever it is today, starts its convention on Monday.In this corner, I'm Tom Van Howe.Has the GOP gone extreme?