Wednesday was a wonderful political day for Republicans. Let’s recap. The day started off with the flap over platform language. That in turn led to the spectacle of Democratic delegates booing the vote to put back Jerusalem and God back into the platform. It was even in the eyes of the most Obama-sympathetic media a horrid disruption, signaling both incompetence and hostility to things that many if not most Americans hold dear. The news got worse as Politico reported that the president had signed off on the platform sans God and Jerusalem. The Romney camp could hardly believe the avalanche of atrocious press. (Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s insistence that there had been no controversy brought CNN’s Anderson Cooper to declare she was operating in an “alternate universe.”)
It was a remarkable, actual newsmaking episode, something we rarely get at conventions. Moreover, it was the worst blunder in a scripted TV event in recent memory.
Until the appearance of Bill Clinton, the parade of speakers were cartoonishly angry figures, mouthing the “Bain is evil” and pro-abortion platitudes. It managed to be both dull and over-the-top, and moreover lacking any appreciation for how bad is the economy, the number one concern of voters, really is. Had a Republican convention ignored the economic and human misery like this the media surely would have decried the “insensitivity” and “cluelessness.”
None of this was aimed at undecided voters, and the message was so tired and worn you have too wonder if it really connected with base voters. If Michelle Obama was inclusive and positive,; these folks were negative, accusatory and predictable.
Then came Sandra Fluke. If you think women are victims and have a right to free birth control, you were enraptured. But aside from that sliver of already devoted Obama supporters did this help the Democrats? It is very hard to see how.
Next came Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. Her boiler-plate appeals to fairness and attacks on Mitt Romney went over very well with the crowd, and naturally the press corps. But for any independent voter or uncertain voter, she was simply a cookie-cutter liberal Democrat.
Maybe this is all invigorating for the base. But frankly they could have skipped the entire evening and done as well, or better (at least avoiding the Israel debacle). The build up to Bill Clinton was a downer, a sign that the current Democratic Party is living off trite phrases and nostalgia. Not a good sign for a president wanting to take the country “forward.”