God was out; now He is back in. Caving to pressure from the Romney/Ryan campaign and President Obama himself, the Democratic National Convention voted to restore references in the party platform to God and to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. In a verbal vote that took three times to get a majority, Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa finally declared the “ayes” to have it.
Wondering why the reference to “God-given potential” was ever removed in the first place, President Obama reportedly put his staff to work to change it back as soon as he heard about it. The vote on the convention floor apparently was the culmination of their work. Although many on the floor remained steadfast in their disagreement with the change back—citing it as a knuckling to pressure from the Religious Right—those in favor of it were able to shout louder and longer.
This vote is rather interesting because it parallels another vote on the convention floor at the Republican National Convention. The much-debated delegate vote got the RNC off to a tenuous start, with many claiming that the “aye” vote to be not nearly as unanimous as John Boehner said it was. And so it is with the DNC vote. Many on the floor believe that the vote was equally split—all three times—between “ayes” and “nos.” Much like the RNC delegate vote, the DNC vote is a polarizing issue for the convention—one that sets the tone for the entire event.
What the vote really highlights though, regardless of the outcome, is how out of touch with average Americans the DNC really is. The fact that nearly 50% were in favor of keeping “God-given” stricken from the platform shows that nearly half of the convention is out of step with its own candidate for president. It further shows that nearly half the convention is willing to listen to Palestinian rhetoric concerning the Middle East, particularly when it comes to Israel. Despite the politics surrounding the whole mess of Israel, almost half of the DNC is willing to embrace a known terrorist support group over against a known ally. This speaks volumes and should inform us about the true motives of many DNC delegates.
More importantly, the reinstatement of “God” and “Jerusalem” prove that the omissions were completely and unreservedly intentional. Ever since Mitt Romney began pointing out the changes in his speeches and interviews, the DNC has claimed that they were not as “clandestine” as Romney was making them out to be. If this is true, why the vote now to put them back? It would seem that not taking the vote and preserving the language as originally written would be the proper way to go if the language really was unintentional. The vote to change it back proves the very opposite to be the case. Romney would have looked like a conspiracy-theorist had the DNC left it alone. Now, however, he looks like a prophet and the DNC is only proving that his campaign’s detective work was right on the money.
It certainly remains to be seen how much or how little campaign capital Romney will be able to milk from this, but for right now he should be taking every opportunity to bring this to the public’s attention.