Democratic Convention 2012

DNC Chair Villaraigosa Declares Super-Majority Supports Party Platform Amendment Minutes After Failing To Actually Get Super-Majority

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Although Democrats adopted a plank supporting the constitutional overturning of Citizens United for the sake of democracy, they managed to ignore their own party rules and delegate voices this afternoon when amending the party platform. DNC Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa announced the party required a two-thirds vote to amend the party platform. However, minutes after failing to reach the threshold after three separate votes, he awkwardly moved forward and declared the two-thirds threshold had been reached.

The party got itself into an earlier controversy when pundits learned the Democratic platform had changed in two significant ways from 2008. As CNN reports: 

"Democrats omitted the word "God" from their 2012 platform, a change from the party's 2008 document and a noticeable split from Republicans, who mention God ten times in their official party stance…The party also removed a 2008 reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a diplomatic flashpoint that Republicans decried as a slight to the Jewish state."

As a result of the controversy, the Democratic Party aimed to amend their platform this evening, both to include a mention of God and affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

DNC Chair Villaraigosa read the two amendments to the Democratic delegates and led the vote.

Amendment 1

Page 32, Line 48: 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.

Amendment 2

Page 63, Line 26: 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.

Villaraigosa announced that the matter required a two-thirds vote in the affirmative to be adopted into the platform, but was perplexed by the response.

"The matter requires a two-thirds vote in the affirmative. All those delegates in favor say 'aye' all those delegates opposed say 'no.'"

Far from the two-thirds required, perhaps half the room yelled 'aye' while another half yelled 'no.' Villaraigosa didn't notice at first and began to announce the motion carried…

"In the opinion of the– … let me do that again. All of those delegates in favor say 'aye' all those delegate opposed say 'no.'"

Again, clearly half the room said no. It was one of the most uncomfortable moments of the convention, Villaraigosa awkwardly smiled, and paused for what seemed like too long.

"um…I guess…I'll do that one more time. All those delegates in favor say 'aye' all those delegates opposed say 'no.'"

Again, the vote fell short of two-thirds, but this time a party leader came up to Villaraigosa to encourage him and he then announced:

"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."

It's ironic that a party which professes such fervent dedication to democracy blatantly ignored considerable dissent within its own ranks, even on national television.