The Clinton charm offensive falls flat.
Republicans are asking “Are we better off today than we were four years ago?” At Wednesday night’s DNC convention, Democrats largely ignored the question and, instead, focused on those issues that divide America. That, along with an attempt to quiet a controversy that threatened to overshadow Tuesday’s fairly powerful first night.
On Tuesday, the DNC confirmed their party platform that included no mention of “God” or of Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. This provided much ammunition for Mitt Romney, who only one month ago visited Israel and proclaimed Jerusalem as her capital. This also concerned a number of Democrats, so they moved to re-vote – three times – to put these two issues into the platform. At least half the crowd yelled “No” and booed loudly when the motion was adopted. In the beginning, these issues were merely missing from the party platform. Now we know why.
Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, repeated the false narrative that Barack Obama has created jobs. She stated, “Jobs are central to the American dream – and President Obama has focused on jobs from day one.” The reality is that from day one of Obama taking office, America has had the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
Tuesday night, the head of NARAL took center stage. Wednesday night, the president of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards got her chance to curse Republicans for not wanting taxpayer money to go towards paying for abortions, something that many Americans abhor. As expected, Richards, the daughter of the late Texas Governor Ann Richards, fit the issue into the Democratic ‘War on Women’ strategy. She stated, “This year, women learned that if we aren’t at the table, we’re on the menu.” She got what she wanted, a seat at the Obama table.
Sandra Fluke, an activist attorney who was stopped from participating in a government hearing on contraception, painted the GOP as monsters. She said that if Romney is elected President, it would be “an America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it; in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don’t.” This, all from the GOP not wanting to fund abortion or to force religious institutions to have to provide contraceptives.
Benita Veliz was the first undocumented worker to address a party convention. Veliz is an advocate for the Dream Act, an undertaking that has failed to gain acceptance in Congress by many Republicans and Democrats, as it has been seen as being unconstitutional, a way to encourage mass amnesty into the U.S., and an offense to legal immigrants who work hard and pay tremendous fees striving to become American citizens. Veliz said, “I have had to live almost all my entire life knowing I could be deported just because of the way I came here.”
Bob King, the president of United Auto Workers (UAW), praised Barack Obama and attacked Mitt Romney for their respective stances on the auto industry bailouts. He gave credit to Obama for saving Chrysler and G.M., but he spoke nothing of his organization’s role in causing the companies’ collapse. Indeed, it was the unions that created the disadvantage America’s big three auto manufacturers had with their foreign competitors. If it weren’t for the auto unions, there would have been no talk of bailouts to begin with – bailouts which benefited UAW.
The convention also featured a number of individuals who claim to have lost their jobs because of Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital. This went perfectly with the DNC’s ‘Class Warfare’ theme that was on full display Wednesday night.
Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, who acted as “the warm-up act” to former President Bill Clinton, continued the theme in a big way. She stated, “Oil companies guzzle down billions in profits. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. And Wall Street CEOs – the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs – still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors and acting like we should thank them… The Republican vision is clear: I got mine the rest of you are on your own.”
President Clinton said basically the same with a lot less rhetoric. He said that people should vote for Barack Obama, “if you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining.” But these were mere words, as the middle class has become the new poor due to policies of President Obama that cause small businesses to shut down and large businesses to move overseas. And shared prosperity? Is that America he’s talking about or Venezuela?
Clinton denounced and demeaned Republican fiscal policy, stating that “We simply can’t afford to double-down on trickle-down.” Yet, it was this same Bill Clinton who, while he was in office, turned to Republicans when he saw that his liberal policies were destroying his presidency. Along with GOP leaders Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole, Clinton moved to the center and passed a balanced budget and welfare reform, while President Obama ignores the balanced budget and looks to destroy Clinton’s welfare reform.
Bill Clinton can portray President Obama as a man of sound fiscal integrity – he said he was strong on national security as well – but Obama is no Clinton. Clinton says that Obama has laid the groundwork for future prosperity but needs another four years to see it through. After these last four years, it remains questionable how many Americans are willing to give it to him.
Are we better off today than we were four years ago? Bill Clinton may say “Yes,” but he and the rest of the nation may be thinking something very different.
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