An undecided voter on President Obama's convention

An undecided voter on President Obama's convention

Summary: It's the Democrats. What could possibly go wrong?


This week, the Democrats held their convention. As you know, last week I covered the Republican convention in-depth. As an undecided voter, I was hoping that a clear winner would emerge, a party I could truly feel comfortable supporting.

Unfortunately, the only thing last week's GOP convention and this week's Democratic convention convinced me of is that I can't blindly follow one party or another. Each has points worthy of consideration, and each has policies and doctrines that make my skin crawl.

See also: Diary of an undecided voter (GOP convention edition)

Before the convention, I was worried about whether or not I'd have much to say about the Democrats. After all, President Obama and VP Biden are now well-known quantities as compared to the Republican newcomers.

I didn't have to worry. It's the Democrats. What could possibly go wrong?

Controversy over the party platform

The Democrats started off Tuesday night with a strong lineup. But then, Wednesday morning, it all went off the rails.

Parties have what are called "platforms," essentially the written mission statements of what the party stands for and what's important. Not many voters read the platforms, but they're used almost the same way we'd use a corporate backgrounder -- they provide guidance on the values and direction of the party.

Well, apparently someone in the Democratic party decided to replace the word "God" with the word "faith" and all hell broke loose. Speaking strictly personally, I believe in the separation of church and state. While everyone is entitled to their personal devotion, I don't think God belongs in any discussion of governance.

Apparently, I'm in the minority, because once "God" became "faith," the party faithful parted down the middle, ayes became boos, and the Republicans got yet more juicy talking points.

The Democratic party leadership quickly changed the platform back to include "God," and claimed it was all a typo, sort of like an act of God. You know, not their fault.

Then there was the question of whether the Democratic party considered Jerusalem the capital of Israel. You can't make this stuff up.

I'd rather make sure the 161 citizens in Jerusalem, Ohio can stay above the poverty line than worry about whether an American political party thinks Jerusalem is the capital of a sovereign state that's not ours. After all, everyone -- everyone -- in the Middle East is pretty much crazy. Let's get our own house in order first.

That hopey changey thing

Back in 2008, Candidate Obama had some of the best political slogans in history. "Yes we can" and "Change we can believe in." Sadly, since it's not clear the Democrats can claim they were fully successful at "yes we can," this year's campaign slogan is "Forward."

That's it. Forward. Not forward to the future, not forward to success, not forward to something this or even forward to something that. Just. Plain. Forward.

The signage in the crowd was equally bizarre. Although there are a few delegates who bring their own signs, convention signage is always a scripted affair. This time, about half the delegates held up blue signs saying "Forward." The other half had not-quite-red signs saying "Not back."

Seriously. "Not back." President Obama has almost constantly (and to some substantial degree, rightly) blamed our current economic woes on the preceding President. He's the one who seems to look back the most.

Given that the Republican ticket consists of relative newcomers (and -- with the exception of Condi Rice -- very few Bushies), it's not clear that a credible claim can be made that the GOP is looking back.

The President's record is one thing. But when it comes to being inspiring, it's not clear that President Obama holds a candle to Candidate Obama.

How hard could it have been to come up with something that's a little more somethin' somethin' than "Forward"?

Dead man talking

I love politics, but I hate tribute videos. Watching them always seems like a chore, but the Dems fielded a video tribute to former Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy that was actually quite good.

Kennedy is interesting, not just because of his long service in the Senate, and not because of the Kennedy legend and legacy, but because Mitt Romney ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994. Romney was defeated, of course, but a decade later went on to win the governorship of Massachusetts.

The interesting takeaway, beyond a reminder of just how good a pol Kennedy really was, is how liberal Romney sounded then by comparison to today. If you didn't know Romney was a Republican and you played back some of his statements, you'd be sure you were listening to another Democrat.

I guess that's change you can believe in. Or something.

Next up, the opening speakers: Rahm Emanuel and a guy named Castro.

Topics: Government, Government US


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • The real party platform:

    (Think of a 'Meow Mix' cat food commercial) God god god god, God god god god, God god god god, God god god god, God god god god, God god god god, God god god god, God god god god, God god god god, God god god god, God god god god....
    • "Corporate should have losses!!"

      So says the Obama-loving communists at DNC. I just wonder how Obummer would get his donation then. Hoho. The liberals just could not use their brain.
      • less than 20 people

        how many did he go through to get those 20 people?

        would be just as easy to find a bunch of democracy hating people to say obama's a communist, socialist, isn't a citizen, blah blah blah. you know, a president elected by the people of the country. hey wait! we can start with you! that's 1.
      • and btw

        your democracy loving party has done something never before done in the history of our country. congress averages a filibuster about every 10 years. in the last 4 years your patriotic elected officials from the right have managed over 400.

        really really really tough to govern when you can't pass anything. when you can't even get people approved for vital positions, positions filled usually within months of a new presidency that remain empty to this day, when the opposition is only interested in obstructionism.

        your flag waving leaders have held this country and economy hostage in their determination to undermine the will of the american people. you know, those people that elected the president to do a job. now good look up the word filibuster.

        but hey, stick a camera in the face of a couple of dozen people. use the word obummer like you actually have wit.
        • Please see my direct response to him, as

          that includes a few links - mostly to nonpartisan sources but I included a few from both right- and left-wing sources as well...

          These guys don't get it. If they really checked up on what politicians do, they'd find Obama by and large being "Bush's third term", and whose bipartisan and compromise has given the GOP a free ride. In 2003, Obama talked of single payer. After 2009, all he did was lift Romney's own plans, using his own people.

          Indeed, noting how the GOP loves to give corporate handouts to corporations, especially those that offshore, how Obama is the C-word is the biggest LIE being told. The GOP loves offshoring to C-word countries (China), and those sites that go into detail on votes tell it all...

          It's all documented stuff.
      • LBiege ...your a F*****g jerk

        End of story.................
        Over and Out
        • Wow, my post with links to several sites has to wait

          but your immature slop got posted?!!!!!!!
  • Neither were good, Neither were bad

    I feel like I am watching an episode of "I wish someone would figure this out" after watching both conventions. The sheer vastness of " they get it not" fom both parties leaves one wishing for a Kable third this stage I am, either way - either party, looking at four more years of my wallet getting slimmer.
    • We really really really

      Need edit capability.
      • New CMS

        It's a new CMS. I understand that's many of the items the programmers are working day and night on. But, as with all mere matters of programming, when it'll show up is, well, a mere matter of programming.
        David Gewirtz
        • it's a tech site

          day and night and still not fixed? no other tech site i visit has this problem.
          maybe you guys should contract it out.
    • Well, since private industry creates jobs and sets their value,

      scapegoating any figurehead from any political party won't do you much good.

      Stop whining about wages going down. The politicians, dare they do something positive for you and me and others, will be called "comm unist" or something by the usual one-liner fluffheads...

      And it's documented, stagnant wages not keeping up with inflation... tons of articles exist online... you'd be surprised... Indeed, "The American dream died in february 1973" - web search that article. And "the vicious cycle of stagnant wages".

      Then look up corporate welfare, especially as handed out by the politicians that claim to love this country, hate "Communi sts", et cetera...
      • in short,

        ask why corporate leaders devalue the worth of your labor, why you have to do more for less, give up vacation time, etc, etc... or do you choose not to defend your own value?
  • Wrong Site Buddy...

    I though this was a tech website. What on earth does your blog have to do with technology? Use another forum to post political opinions.
    • Go ahead

      glance at the top of this page where it says topic.

      It says "government".
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Since you say it's ok I'll post my opinion

        Obama has three "qualities": He's incompetent, He's a liar and He's a Socialist. He wants the government to control everything. All money is to flow through the government and they will decide what it is to be spent on and how much each person can have to spend. Obamacare is just the start. 49% of all Americans currently receive some type of government support. The Chosen One wants it to be 100% If that's the type of country you want then by all means vote for another 4 years of "Change".
        • Oh no...

          Another idiot that doesn't know what "socialist" means trying to sound intelligent.
        • Did you mean to say Romney care?

          Maybe you should look that up.
          • I put in some news articles

            but they're being vetted. It's worth the wait; there's nothing bad in that response...
        • oh no you didn't!

          did you just use like almost every single sound bite the right and fox has been pushing for the last 4 years!?! SNAP! truly, a singular mind indeed. true, there's no real thought in there, no valid arguments, you know, just the talking points, but if you keep working on that soon you'll start believing that you can actually think! good job laddie, good job indeed.