A Democratic National Convention Review: Day 1 (Israel & God Are Out, Obamacare And Repeating Forward 12 Kajillion Times Are In)

The GOP started off its convention with a largely unnecessary brouhaha over who was allowed to pick the delegates while Democrats managed to make headlines by jettisoning “God” & Pro-Israeli language from their platform. Here’s the Huffington Post reporting.

In an interview broadcast tonight, CNN asked Obama adviser Robert Gibbs about the DNC platform dropping the word “God,” which has been included in previous platforms. The question, which asked if it was a deliberate decision to drop the word, was somewhat dodged by Gibbs.

…Democrats have dropped from their platform recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that has opened President Barack Obama to criticism from Republican rival Mitt Romney.
Four years ago Democrats stated unequivocally that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.”

This creepy & odious video which declares that, “The Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To,” was also another unneccesary bullet to the foot.

Intriguingly, for a convention that made “forward” its theme, the Dems decided to look backward by doing a tribute to Teddy Kennedy.

Strangely enough, the convention seemed to be more geared towards firing up the base than reaching out to independents. Throughout the first night, they obsessively talked about abortion, gay marriage, abortion, gays in the military, abortion, the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and Obamacare which has consistently been unpopular from the time it was enacted all the way to the present day.

Furthermore, even once you got past the “We’ll put a unicorn in every pot and sprinkle magical fairy dust on every child’s head” overpromising of the wonders of government and the heavily coordinated “Now we’ll mention God,” “Now we’ll give you flags to wave for the cameras” moments, the tone of the convention was strange. Listening to the speakers talk, you got the sense that they are very happy with how things are going in the country. No one on the stage seemed to think that any major changes need to be made. Getting more people back to work? Improving the economy? Tackling the debt, which crashed through the 16 trillion dollar barrier yesterday? Those issues were almost completely ignored.

For the most part, the b-list line-up speakers weren’t very good. Rahm Emanuel and Lincoln Chafee? They were both deadly dull. Martin O’Malley used the childlike Obama rhetoric of the 2008 campaign and it didn’t age well.

Ted Strickland’s speech would have been decent if he’d toned down a notch or two, but the whole speech was shouting at the top of his lungs and it came across as really strange.

As to the better speakers, Tammy Duckworth stood out, not because of her speech, which was dull, but because she’s a veteran who lost both of her legs in combat. Actor Kal Penn did a lighthearted, fairly entertaining speech as well, although his main reason for voting for Obama seemed to be that his friends were getting free stuff at everyone else’s expense.

Deval Patrick’s speech had great delivery, Julio Castro did a good, but not great speech, and then Michelle Obama closed out the night.

Michelle Obama did give an excellent speech. It wasn’t quite as good as Ann Romney’s speech at the RNC, but it was in the same ballpark.

All in all, it’s a hard night to grade. Does it help fire up Obama’s base? It probably didn’t help with black Americans, who tend to be more Christian than the general population and Jewish Americans who will rightfully be concerned about the Democrats’ choice to no longer support Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — but otherwise, yes. On the other hand, was this a night that helped the Democrats with Independents? Probably not. Any undecided voter tuning in to see where the Democrats stand on big issues that are going to decide the election learned nothing from what was said tonight. Moreover, there are a lot of Christians who’ll be turned off by the hardcore gay marriage stand and others who won’t like the embrace of Obamacare. So, if I absolutely had to grade the Democrats on night one, it was a net negative for them in winning the election overall.

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