The media, when it comes to the Republicans’ platform, was intent on finding “extremism.” When it comes to the Democratic platform, there is virtually no coverage. You can understand why.
The Democratic National Convention’s platform is most radical — unsurprisingly so — when it comes to abortion and Israel. If there are two areas in which President Obama is more out of the mainstream (even in his own party), I’d be hard pressed to think of them.
The media was convinced (until some of the outlets actually read it) that the Republican National Convention platform called for no exceptions on abortion. It did not, as the Post later pointed out. In fact the Democrats’ platform is the extreme on when it comes to abortion:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.
Notice the platform doesn’t bother with the part of the Bill Clinton aspiration that abortions be “rare.” Moreover, the platform explicitly opposes any (parental notification, partial-birth abortion) regulation of abortion and considers public funding of any type of abortion to be a “right.” This means the Democratic Party would favor, for example, public funding of partial-birth abortions. Now, that is extreme.
The platform is dramatically less supportive of Israel than it was even four years ago. In 2008, Obama committed “to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.” That language is gone in the 2012 platform. The 2008 platform said: “All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. 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.” That entire section is absent in 2012, and, as we know, the administration won’t say where the capital of Israel is. “Jerusalem” is not mentioned in the platform. This is the most radically unsupportive statement of policy on Israel by any major party since the founding of the state of Israel. It is indeed Obama’s Democratic Party.
The Democrats, I am sure, will rush forward to say platforms are meaningless and Obama isn’t obligated to abide by any of it. Aside from the egregious hypocrisy in coverage of the two platforms, you do have to wonder why it is so important to expressly downgrade language on Israel while aspiring to a country in which abortions are no longer “rare” and are funded without exception by the government. It seems awfully radical to me..