Voters may not normally be swayed by party conventions – and almost no one by a party’s platform.
This time should be wholly different, though.
Democrats inadvertently made their platform the big story of their national convention this week, when they oddly omitted “God” and “Jerusalem” from it – then used questionable tactics to return the references in the face of loud opposition from the convention itself.
The 2012 Democratic platform initially cut out the word “God,” where before it referenced the need to allow people to fulfill their “God-given” potential.
That’s certainly a bizarre edit, and one they went out of their way to do.
Also, ominously, the new document removed language from the 2008 Democratic platform recognizing that Jerusalem is, and always will be, the capital of Israel, and that it is the staunchest U.S. ally in the Mideast.
Given the imminent, existential threats to Israel from Iran, and perhaps a radicalized Egypt, such a severe shift in the Democratic Party’s dogma has to make American Jews question their own commitment to the Democratic Party.
That convention leaders defied the convention delegates themselves to re-insert “God” and “Jerusalem” should give no one any comfort. The move was clearly public relations damage control, not a sudden change of heart for Israel.
Moreover, asked three times to approve the reinsertion, Democrats on the floor appeared to shout it down – and actually booed the reinsertion of God.
That speaks volumes.
But so does this: The Democratic platform took out, and kept out, language encouraging the U.S. to isolate terrorist group Hamas. Why?
All this should hurt Obama and the Democrats going forward, in two ways: first, by making you wonder why any Jewish American would consider voting for a party that fails to recognize either Israel’s capital or its dire enemy Hamas; and second by angering Arab and Muslim Democrats by reinserting Jerusalem, particularly when the majority of delegates appeared to be against it.
“Arab-American and Muslim party officials expressed anger over how the issue was handled,” NBC News reported, “and predicted that it may suppress Democratic votes this fall among constituents in key swing states.”
It should. Democratic leaders proved themselves to be poor friends indeed – ironically to both Jews and Arabs, in one fell swoop.
The White House was quick to claim credit for the reinsertions – but who doesn’t think the White House was behind the deletions as well? Democrats wanted to assign every punctuation mark in the Republican Party platform to presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Do you believe for a second that the president’s people weren’t involved in his party’s platform?
Even liberal network CNN’s Dana Bash noted that likely link in a report from the floor of the Democratic National Convention, saying Democrat officials told her the original decision to excise the party’s support for Jerusalem was “simply following the Obama administration’s policy” on Israel.
Bash went on to predict that American Jews, particularly in swing states such as Florida, might now question “President Obama’s commitment to the state of Israel. This is probably going to raise a lot more questions in their minds.”
It should – especially in the face of recent hemming and hawing from the president’s spokesman Jay Carney over what the Obama administration view of Jerusalem is.
And why go through all the trouble of taking a completely innocuous reference to God out of the Democratic platform? When He was only used as an adjective anyway! How goofy is that?
And how telling?
Lest you fall for the notion that these word changes aren’t important, we’d simply remind you of something a great Democratic presidential candidate once said:
“Don’t tell me words don’t matter! ‘I have a dream.’ Just words? ‘We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal.’ Just words? ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words? Don’t tell me words don’t matter!”
That candidate, of course, was Barack Obama.