Democratic National Convention: The ayes have it?

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In case you missed it, here's the video of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, serving as Democratic National Convention chairman last week, presiding over a vote to amend the Democratic national platform on two controversial points -- the restoration of a reference to God and to Jerusalem as Israel's capitol -- that had been removed by the Platform Committee:

It seems fairly clear that there were not two-thirds in the affirmative on any of the three attempts at a vote.

It's not clear to me what the woman next to Villaraigosa -- the parliamentarian, I assume -- meant by "gotta let them what they're gonna do." It could be taken as, "All you can do is call for the vote; it's their decision." Or it could be taken as, "Let them holler, but the ruling is there to be read off of the teleprompter."

Two things are striking about the wide shots of the crowd -- how empty the convention hall was and how small it was. At the Republican National Convention, all the delegates were on the arena floor, with guests and media in the stadium seats. The Democrats used the stadium seats to accommodate the delegates.

When the mainstream media were too busy lining up to service Slick Willie for old time's sake (metaphorically speaking), blogger Jeff Dunetz did the heavy lifting we used to expect reporters to do. Dunetz compared this year's platform with 2008's and uncovered the dropping of the reference to God and the reference to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, along with three other key pro-Israel points in the 2008 platform regarding Hamas, the status of Palestinian refugees, and the pre-1967 borders. For his efforts, Dunetz was called a troll by Dave Weigel, a member by his own admission of the mainstream media herd too busy enjoying the show to dig into the substance of the convention.

There were, reportedly, 15,000 members of the media in Charlotte, of whom maybe 14,980 could have given a damn about the party platform. On Tuesday night, when the Obama campaign and the DNC released its platform, none of the bigfoot media outlets in town spent time on the text.

Shame on them for missing the meat of the story.

But Tuesday morning, Jeff Dunetz already had the story, and by Wednesday it had caught fire, forcing the Obama campaign to go into damage control mode. Not paying close attention to the DNC, I was tipped to the scandal by a Jewish friend who announced on Facebook that, despite his dislike for Romney's economic policies, he could not bring himself to vote for Obama, because of these platform changes.

It amazes me that President Obama's team wasn't watching the platform committee deliberations closely enough to squelch these changes in committee. This last minute fix suggests that the Obama campaign was happy with the changes, until they were frightened by the public outcry from many of their supporters, or that the campaign simply doesn't have its act together.

By the way, although the reference to Jerusalem was restored, the other three pro-Israel points were not restored. It will be interesting to see whether the platform change (and its obvious rejection by rank-and-file Democrats) will be sufficient to win back the pro-Israel voters who announced plans to drop Obama over these changes.

P. S. I'd like to say the Republicans were better than the Democrats, but something very similar happened at the Republican National Convention the week before, with Speaker John Boehner appearing not to hear accurately the delegates objecting to a radical change to the Republican party rules pushed by a Romney ally.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 9, 2012 10:56 PM.

State Senator: Oklahoma Democratic Party treats blacks like "disposable diapers" was the previous entry in this blog.

Johnny Cuviello, "Texas Drummer Boy," RIP is the next entry in this blog.

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