Democratic Convention 2012

Convention Vote Debacles Show Both Parties Hate Freedom

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In a reminder of last week's suppression of grassroots delegates at the Republican National Convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the chairman of the Democratic Party's convention, yesterday overrode a popular uprising against the party's platform, prompting loud booing and shouting from the convention floor. 

Reason's Garrett Quinn and Emily Ekins reported on the DNC's corrupt platform vote, which was captured on video, along with Villaraigosa's blinking, unprepared response. Take a look, and tremble to reflect that one of America's great cities is in the stubby hands of this man: 

 

At issue: a boilerplate reference to God in the platform and an equally standard assertion that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Both these references were not in a version of the platform that passed a voice vote on Tuesday, and the Obama campaign hustled to restore them after a controversy erupted over their elimination. Villaraigosa (who has perversely retained his last name, a portmanteau of his original surname and that of his long-suffering ex-wife, despite the failure of the marriage) called the new vote in an unsuccessful effort to tamp down the public relations wildfire

Even on a big screen Antonio Villaraigosa is not larger than life.

It's unclear to me why control of a secular government requires shoutouts to the supreme being, who presumably won't be affected one way or the other. It's even less clear why an American political party is taking a position on the capital of a foreign country. (One election prediction you can take to the bank: No matter who wins, the actual U.S. position on the Israeli capital will not change.) The New York Post's John Podhoretz analyzes the political fallout:

You can argue that the booing came from delegates who believed their will was being thwarted, and therefore was about process and not about substance.

But their will was that the platform should not feature the word "God," and that it should no longer declare that the Democratic Party supports Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

This is a country in which 84 percent of people claim a belief in God, and where 69 percent describe themselves as supporters of Israel. It's nothing short of insane to place yourself on the wrong side of these numbers, which the Obama campaign understood.

It's even worse to have created video footage of Democratic delegates actually booing that can be used and used and used again by the Romney campaign.

The convention seemed to be shell-shocked for hours afterward, as dull speaker after dull speaker made absolutely no impression at all.

My old friend Mike McGough at the Los Angeles Times explains how Republicans were using God and Jerusalem even before yesterday's dustup: 

The Jerusalem Omission (sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel) aroused the ire of the top man on the GOP ticket. "It is unfortunate," Mitt Romney huffed, "that the entire Democratic Party has embraced President Obama's shameful refusal to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel's capital." By contrast, Republicans point out, their 2012 platform says: "We support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states—Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—living in peace and security."

We have already done a few urinalyses of the issues involved when the GOP last week made sacrifices of Ron Paul supporters within the party. Presumably there are people for whom the details of that fight are as opaque and pointless as God and Jerusalem are to me. 

But if you look past the specifics of what the two parties and their zealots are saying and spend some time with their emotional torment (which is probably the best way to think about politics in a two-party context), I think you'll find a more hopeful story. 

Both the Red and Blue factions of the duopoly have done everything in their power to remove all chance and free speech from their conventions. Maybe it's nostalgia for the days of competitive politics that has inspired so many theater fans this year to buy tickets to The Best Man, the late Gore Vidal's play positing a national convention in which the presidential ticket has not yet been decided. 

But the parties can't even force their most shameless vassals – people who have nothing better to do on a work week than wear a funny hat and beg politicians for crumbs of their time – to shut up and do what they're told. The Republicans and Democrats are implacable enemies of democracy and free expression, and the story is out there for everybody to see. Both the RNC and DNC vote suppressions were discussed in the establishment media. 

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  1. In fairness, they only hate the freedom to do things they don’t want done.

  2. It’s not the votes that count. It’s the vote counters. This was a textbook example of how the Democrats view elections.

  3. The conservative talk radio schmucks have been tarding out the past couple days over NO DEM GAWD! and Jerusalem not being a key point in the Democrats platform.

    1. Why are the internal politics of a foreign country in one of our political parties’ platforms in any case?

      Oh I remember, Israel is somehow more important than our mind-boggling, ginormous, world crushing, mountain of debt.

      1. Why are the internal politics of a foreign country in one of our political parties’ platforms in any case?

        Although issues like these should take a backseat with the problems we have, foreign affairs is an actual constitutional function of the federal gov’t, and choosing to or not to recognize other countries and their capitals goes along with that.

  4. There a lot of things that show both parties hate freedom.

    1. There *are* a lot of things. I blame the squirrels.

  5. Almanian – 2012
    We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Conventions

  6. The whole thing just show how incompetent Obama. Both of these things are cheap symbolic things that pick up votes and more importantly keep you from losing votes. Skilled politicians know how to keep the fanatics in check during the election season. They also know how to ensure you win a vote within your own party. What a bunch maroons.

  7. Convention Vote Debacles Show Both Parties Hate Freedom

    “Does the word ‘duh’ mean anything to you?”
    -Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  8. I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
    ? Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

  9. It’s unclear to me why control of a secular government requires shoutouts to the supreme being…

    I’m choosing to ignore that remark under the basis that you are a godless, glassy-eyed Clintonista.

    1. “In God we trust, but in Obama we *hope*!”

  10. The whole thing just show how incompetent Obama. Both of these things are cheap symbolic things that pick up votes and more importantly keep you from losing votes. Skilled politicians know how to keep the fanatics in check during the election season.

    Ummm, no. The whole point of a convention is for the political party to define itself via its delegates, and if necessary throw out the current leadership. That is what happened in Las Vegas during the LP convention, where the current leadership was tossed out, and the second tier also got tossed out in favor of NOTA (None Of The Above).

    If the Democratic party leaders actually were in favor of democracy, Villaraigosa would have called for a roll call vote on the contested vote, after members on the floor called for it. What was curious was that no one seemed to be calling for that roll call vote, at least from what I could hear in the video clip.

    1. No. The point of the convention is to win the coming election. And the way that works is to convince as many people as possible to vote for you. So you tell the people who are out of the mainstream to hang in there, you will reward them with patronage jobs that will allow them to continue their jihad when the electoral heat is over.

      And give me a break. If the Republicans had fucked a bunch of SOCONS at the convention to give the Paul people their way, Reason would be cheering.

      1. Except they also did a shady vote count to screw over the Paul people.

      2. If the Republicans had fucked a bunch of SOCONS at the convention to give the Paul people their way

        Meanwhile, back in the REAL world…

      3. And the 3 Card Monte continues. “These conventions are meaningless, so let’s just make sure all of the meaningless votes go our way. What’s that? You disagree with what we’re trying to do? Traitor! Traitor! He’s causing chaos! The traitor won’t play ball and may destroy the party! [pauses for security to drag the malcontent away] Now, as I was saying, these votes are meaningless. No need to worry your pretty little heads over what grown-ups are doing.”

        1. THE main concern is image control, right? The stupid conventions are all about appearances only – the last one to actually have anything happen was at the TEAM BLUE one in …1972?

          1. 1976. Reagan forced a brokered convention when running against Gerald Ford. If anything has happened since then, I’m not aware of it.

            1. 1980 Democratic convention. Ted Kennedy tried to get delegated released on the first round and when that failed, gave a concession speech that lacked any real endorsement of Carter.

      4. “If the Republicans had fucked a bunch of SOCONS at the convention to give the Paul people their way, Reason would be cheering.”

        Um, that’s what happened last week. The people on the losing end of the rules committee beatdown (as opposed to the delegate count swindle) were not Paulites. Phyllis Schlafly filed a brief. Drew McKissick sent out a memo reading, “Let me stop here and say that this is NOT…REPEAT NOT a move by a bunch of disgruntled Ron Paul supporters. This is a group of long-time conservative activists, even ‘party regulars’ and lots of Romney supporters, many who go back to the Goldwater days.”

        I don’t remember Reason cheering when they were put down. Please return the straw man in the same condition you found it.

        1. Fair enough Tim. I don’t recall you guys writing about it or being that concerned either. But maybe you were and I missed it.

  11. It’s unclear to me why control of a secular government requires shoutouts to the supreme vagina…

    1. “shoutouts to the supreme vagina”

      Hey, now THAT is something worthy of a shoutout, and worship!

      1. depending on the vagina…

        1. pssssst…it’s Supreme.

          1. Supreme means it comes with sour cream, right? No thanks, I don’t like sour cream. Especially in vaginas.

            Let that mental image stew for a while…

            1. Eewww. You’ve put me off of pussy for a whole month now…

  12. Lets try this a fourth time: All in favor of mandatory late term abortions to be performed only in church, say pie!

  13. “…when the GOP last week made sacrifices of Ron Paul supporters within the party.”

    Yikes, I thought they just shut down their attempts to speak and vote – I didn’t realize they heaved them into a live volcano! C’mon, TEAM RED, lighten up a little.

    1. didn’t realize they heaved them into a live volcano!

      They were going to, but then they discovered that none of them were virgins. So the whole shutting down their attempts to vote and speak that we saw was actually their fall back plan.

  14. Jesus Fuck, the sense of entitlement emanating from this bitch is abhorrent: http://blog.ctnews.com/politic…..nt-let-up/

    1. Don’t you KNOW WHO I AM???!!?!?!?

      1. Also like that if you don’t have a security detail, you’re a second-class citizen.

    2. Malloy was not part of the on-stage panel, which included the actress Ashley Judd and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. It was moderated by Cosmpolitan Editor Joanna Coles.

      Really? REALLY?

      Were all the questions about how their vaginas sometimes feel weird and their 25 favorite sexual positions?

    3. scrutiny by the media is driving people, including women, from public life

      Does anyone else find it hard to believe anyone could write this sentence without any sense of irony whatsoever?

      I mean, isn’t it called *public life* for a fucking reason?

      “”In April I drove to work and I forgot to put my seat belt on, and I was pulled over by police. Of course, they had no idea who I was …””

      Uh, the *wife* of an elected official? WTF. She actually thinks there’s some kind of special legal entitlement program for the political class, AND their spouses?

      Almost makes you want to go back to Aristocracy, because at least they didn’t insult you with the idea that they were *doing all the little people a favor* when they fucking taxed them for the privilege of being slaves.

  15. one of America’s great cities

    I thought he was mayor of L.A.?

    Suck it, California!

  16. At issue: a boilerplate reference to God in the platform and an equally standard assertion that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel… the Obama campaign hustled to restore them after a controversy erupted over their elimination.

    Where’s Shriek, anyway? I need him to reassure me that the Democratic party is the secular option, or my head might explode.

  17. How tone deaf do you have to be to vote down God THREE TIMES at the convention? I don’t care how more-atheist-than-thou you are, pandering to the Militant Dawkins wing of the party isn’t going to win you many votes.

    1. They voted down the Israeli position, not God. A stand-along vote on God would have passed, even in this nutty Party.

    2. If you live in a little Democrat/NPR/NY Times/Daily Show bubble, such attitudes may not strike you as odd. But yes, that hilarious event will be seen in Romney ads for the next two months.

  18. They’d get 2/3 easy to put in God (specifically, “God-given”). It’s Jerusalem which is the sticking point. Leaving the matter up to negotiation versus upholding the Isreali side. It’s an issue on which there are actually different points of view, and the convention seemed evenly divided.

    But this is not really about the issue, it’s about the vote counting. We see on national television that a Dem public official can declare that a very close voice vote translates into the required 2/3 majority, which is so outside the bounds of reality that we can only stand and gasp.

    Someone should do a video with that vote-counting superimposed on Dem officials saying there isn’t any vote-fraud problem.

  19. At least John Boenher can ignore the voice vote and read the predetermined result off the script. Tony Villar can’t even do that right.

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