The Truth in an Unscripted Moment

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

One of the problems with modern conventions is that they are so scripted and staged that there is an air of artificiality.  This is not necessarily bad, but it makes judging a party somewhat like judging someone based on a first date.  You know that they are putting on their best face, and there is always the question of how much you see is real and how much is show.  This is doubly so with a convention; after all we are dealing with politicians.

This is why conventions have become so scripted, and why the unscripted moments that do occur can be so revealing. One such moment occurred on the second night of the DNC convention. It began when the platform committee removed long standing references to God (i.e. our God given potential) and to Jerusalem as the capital Israel.  When this became known a small firestorm erupted and this led to the unscripted moment when the leadership moved to have these two items added back to the platform.

This of course immediately raises the issue of which was the “real” position.  Platforms planks, while often largely ignored by the public, are closely scrutinized and often the subject of fights within the party, and so it is difficult accept that this was just an omission.  But the attempt to put them back in removed all doubt and made a bad situation much worse.

To restore them required a 2/3 vote of the delegates. When a voice vote was called by LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, not only did they not get the 2/3 majority ,it’s quite possible that they had 2/3 against.   Clearly caught off guard, Villaraigosa, apparently thought the delegates had not understood the question.  So he wanted a do over; this time outlining the positions more slowly.  Again the majority was clearly opposed.  Stunned and unsure how to proceed a number of seconds passed before Villaraigosa called for a 3rd vote, and again the delegates clearly voted no. But this time Villaraigosa was undeterred and simply declared the measure passed anyway, to the loud boos of the delegates.

As a result of this unscripted moment, three things are clear.  First the original removal of the God and Jerusalem is clearly the position of the convention delegates.  Second, when push comes to shove, Democrats will do what they want regardless of the vote.  Not that we should be surprised, for after all this is how health care reform was passed.  The people clearly opposed it, in polls and at the ballot box, But the Democrats just pushed it through anyway.

Lastly, while politicians are known for bending the truth, the reaction to this event by leading Democrats such as Debbie Wasserman Schultz  the chair of the DNC really casts a doubt on their truthfulness.       Before the vote her claim that this was simply a “technical oversight” might have been overlooked as simply political speak.  But her claim in the face of the loud booing, that “there wasn’t any discord” and concerning the vote that “it was absolute 2/3” put her in the league of Bagdad Bob, and was described by the normally supportive Anderson Cooper as being in an “Alternative Universe.”

This is key because in this election there is a lot in dispute. For example, Republicans claim Obama has weaken the work requirements, Democrats say he hasn’t.   Who to believe?  If the democrats will lie so blatantly when all one needs do is watch the video to see that are lying,  can we really trust them when the truth is buried in the details of the Welfare reform law and will ultimately only be settled by judges and complex legal arguments?

Sep 6th, 2012

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