A vote to put God and Jerusalem back in the party platform takes an Orwellian turn.
The story begins when Los Angeles Mayor and convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa recognized former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Strickland is an ordained minister, and he offered up an amendment to the party platform, addressing two "omissions" Barack Obama and his party suddenly realized were political liabilities. In short, the Democratic platform was one in which all references to God had been deleted, along with the idea that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
According to Politico, Obama knew nothing about this until Wednesday morning, when he saw media coverage of the omissions and undoubtedly realized what a public relations disaster it would be for his party. He then ordered both items restored to the platform because, according to his campaign handlers, the amended version is “consistent with the president’s own positions.”
The task of amending the platform was then handed to Villaraigosa. He introduced Strickland, who got the ball rolling. "Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This summer I was proud to serve this party as the platform drafting committee chair," said Strickland. "As the chair I come before you today to discuss two important matters related to our party's national platform."
Let's pause. What Strickland is essentially saying is that everyone involved in formulating the original platform signed off on it--meaning no one had a problem leaving God out, or tossing Israel under the bus--until Wednesday.
Strickland continued. "As an ordained United Methodist minister I am here to affirm and attest that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story, and informs the values we've expressed in our party's platform. In addition, president Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and our party's platform should as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move for adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates."
The amendment was indeed projected on a big screen for all the delegates to see. Then it was Villaraigosa's turn. "A motion has been made. Is there a second?" he asked. The crowd "seconded" the motion. "Is there any further discussion?" he continued. "Hearing none, the matter requires a two-thirds vote in the affirmative."
At that point things took a stunningly revealing turn. "All those delegates in favor say 'aye,'" commanded Villaraigosa. A fairly loud "aye" was heard in response. "All those delegates opposed, say 'no,'" continued the Chairman. "No," the crowd responded -- in equal measure. Villaraigosa was totally flustered. "In the opinion of the….let me do that again," he stammered. "All of those delegates in favor, say 'aye,'" he repeated. A little louder level of response was heard. "All those delegates opposed say 'no," re-interated Villaraigosa. The same equally louder level of nay votes--again.
Villaraigosa was visibly stunned. "I uh…I guess…" At that point a women walked up to Villaraigosa. "You got to rule, and then let them do what they're going do," she advised the Chairman. "I'll do that one more time," said Villaraigosa. "All of those delegates in favor, say 'aye,'" he said for the third time. A bit louder still. "All those delegates opposed say 'no'." The "nays" matched the volume of the "ayes"--for the third time.
Villaraigosa then did what Democrats do when reality doesn't coincide with their worldview. "In the opinion of the Chair, two thirds have voted in the affirmative, the motion is adopted, and the platform has been amended as shown on the screen. Thank you very much, thank you," said Villaraigosa--to a loud chorus of boos.
Unlike some in the media, I will not go so far as to say that Democrats booed God and Jerusalem. Perhaps some did, but one suspects the response by the crowd was more about Villaraigosa's transparent effort to alter a reality so obvious it could not be ignored.
Ironically, Democrats, and their standard-bearer, Barack Obama, are more than willing to ignore several realities that don't accrue to their worldview, like a nation going bankrupt, 42 months of unemployment "officially" over 8 percent, an incoherent foreign policy that coddles our enemies and cold-shoulders our friends, and the ongoing virulent attacks on anyone and everyone who doesn't agree with their worldview.
Wednesday's spectacle was a pathetic combination of Orwellian-ism and Groundhog's Day rolled into one. It is the true face of a Democratic Party whose commitment to the will of the people and the sanctity of the vote--in this case their own people and their own vote--is a complete fraud. Watch the tape. And as you watch it, try to imagine the difference between what occurred here, and the same kind of "vote" in any totalitarian society that has ever existed. Moreover, watch it even as you remember that this is a party and a president currently constrained by the need to get re-elected.
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