Thursday

DNC Applause Meter

DNC APPLAUSE METER

Only at the wildly inept Democratic Convention does a 50-50 vote (at best) equal 2/3 majority. How? Read on:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Democrats, chagrined by both Republicans and a national wide backlash for their newly adopted convention platform, attempted to amended it on Wednesday, but not before creating yet another uproar and national embarrassment.

What at issue was the redaction of the words "God" and "Jerusalem" from the DNC platform. The repercussions were wide and deafening - clearly beyond anything the bumbling DNC organizers could image. Thus, the business at hand was to restore the mention of God and Jerusalem to their convention platform.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was handed the simple tasking of presenting and amendment to the DNC delegates and asking for the obligatory Ayes and Nays votes, which necessitated a 2/3 majority.

Slam dunk, right? One would think for all the talk about Democrats being just a God fearing as Republicans. Well, this is according to at least one prominent Democrat leader, Dick Durbin. His now infamous tirade directed at Bret Baier was partly responsible for the sudden change in the DNC's about face.

Bret Baier had only asked for Dick Durbin to comment on the purpose for the redactions of God and Jerusalem in the DNC platform. However, from Durbin's perspective, Baier was expressing a litany of sordid implications, none of which were evident in Baier's single question.

Baier's insistance that no inferences of any sort were being made and that he was simply giving Durbin the opportunity to to express his party's platform would mollify Durgin. The resulting interchange went viral and subsequently precipitated the DNC's platform amendment.

I'd like to think Democrats had a change of heart once they reflected on the fact that America was founded as a land where God was not redacted but where freedom to worship the God of one's conviction was protected. This is what made America great. Is it that Democrats suddenly remembered America's roots or something else, like political pressure? Regardless, the process of reinserting God back into the DNC platform was not as perfunctory as one might have imagined.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's first of three unforeseen vote calls appeared to have the Nays as victors. Not satisfied whether Villaraigosa heard correctly, and after a bit of confusion, he called for a second vote. Again, even more apparent, the Nays were just as loud, if not more so. At this point Villaraigosa was beside himself and sought advice. He was instructed to try once more, and as before the Nay's either tied or were louder than the Ayes.

No matter how the casual observer looked at it, the Ayes were far quieter that the 2/3 mandated to enact the amendment. Regardless, Chairman Villaraigosa approved the measure, giving the call to the Ayes.

Understandably, the audience booed and threw their hands in the air in disgust. Disgruntled faces were seen plastered throughout the large groups of delegates and the voices of discontent were not easily silenced.

In short, the party reinstated language from the 2008 platform that stated: "We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."

The non-Aye votes also reinstated by fiat the original language of 2008 regarding Jerusalem: "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."

What began the tumult was a decision Democrats made the Tuesday before their convention, which eliminated God and Jerusalem from their platform. God was removed from describing one's potential, and in place of Jerusalem they inserted an "unshakable commitment to Israel's security."
Because of nationwide backlash from eliminating "God" and "Jerusalem" for the DNC platform, Democrats were forced to hold a party vote to add the two words back in.  The additions would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and allow a mention of God. To pass the measures, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had to call for three voice votes. The consensus in the hall was that the Nays at least equaled the Ayes if not louder, but nowhere in the vicinity of a 2/3 majority.
The country reacted swiftly to both omissions. GOP officials also were quick to comment, arguing that not taking a position was detrimental to Jerusalem, demonstrating that America's support for Israel was weak - inferring the sentiment was tied to President Obama and his party.

Presidential nominee Mitt Romney also spoke on the matter, stating that the omission of God from the DNC platform "suggests a party that is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of the American people....I think this party is veering further and further away into an extreme wing that American's don't recognize."

Mitt Romney's spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, noted that, "Mitt Romney has consistently stated his belief that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. President Obama has repeatedly refused to say the same himself. Now is the time for President Obama to state in unequivocal terms whether or not he believes Jerusalem is Israel's capital."

The DNC responded that the Democratic Party's decision to restore Jerusalem to the platform "reflected the president's personal view," according to the president's advisors. However,
the White House was silent and neither confirmed or denied whether the change in the Democratic platform language reflected a change in administration policy.

Regardless of not hearing a word out of the White House, Democratic leaders have been out front putting a positive spin on the fiasco. While Debbie Wasserman Schultz, National Committee chairwoman, is touting the reinstated party language as "the policy of both Republican and Democratic administrations for decades," former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is telling reporters that the amendment is "an effort to bring clarification."

Be that as it may, many Democratic delegates don't share the views of it's leaders. One such delegate, Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim from Salt Lake City, felt that the change in the platform violates the principle of the separation of church and state. Ul-Hasan went on to say that, "There are people who don't believe in God and you have to respect that as well."

Other delegates questioned whether the DNC had enough of a quorum to actually amend the platform. Their concerns were largely concentrated on not having thorough discussion and feelings of being "blindsided."

Angela Urrea, a Roy, Utah delegate, said she felt the platform change was sprung on her and her fellow delegates without any sort of examination or consult. She was decidedly dissatisfied with the outcome, stating that, "The majority spoke last night. We shouldn't be declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

Officially, the DNC will reflect not only a mention of God, but that they recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a declaration the Republican party platform approved last week at its convention in Tampa, Florida.

Mark Jordan
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