The Washington Post

The 10 weirdest brags and vaguest platitudes in the Democratic party platform

(David Goldman | Associated Press)

The Democratic party released its 2012 platform Sunday, which you can read in full here.

We combed through all 78-pages looking for the big policy ideas. We'll be writing about those soon. What struck us immediately though, was the abundance of weird brags and vague platitudes in pretty much every section. Here are some of the best.

The brags

1. Historic...spending cuts? From the party that has pushed for the American Jobs Act to bolster public spending: "President Obama has already signed into law $2 trillion in spending reductions as part of a balanced plan to reduce our deficits by over $4 trillion over the next decade while taking immediate steps to strengthen the economy now. This approach includes tough spending cuts that will bring annual domestic spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy in 50 years…"

2. Manufacturing growth is up--just like in every other recovery. "Our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time in more than a decade." That may be the case, but it's a weird brag nonetheless.  We're recovering from a recession, all sectors grow in recoveries, and the last time we had a recession and recovery was…about a decade ago.

3. We didn't quite close Guantanamo, but we haven't added to the population! President Obama pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay Facility and even signed an executive order, on his second day, to do so. That makes this brag a bit odd: "We are substantially reducing the population at Guantánamo Bay without adding to it. And we remain committed to working with all branches of government to close the prison altogether because it is inconsistent with our national security interests and our values."

4. A visit to Puerto Rico always helps. "As President Obama said when he became the first President to visit Puerto Rico and address its people in 50 years, Boricuas every day help write the American story."

5. Bolstering trade with...Brunei Darussalam! From the section on free and fair trade: "Alongside Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, we are on track to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a historic high-standard agreement that will address new and emerging trade issues, lower barriers to the free flow of trade and investment, increase exports, and create more American jobs."

6. When in doubt, use statistics. "Customs seizures of counterfeit drugs are up 600 percent and seizures of fake consumer safety and critical technology have increased nearly 200 percent."

7. Call Europe, maybe? On handling the European debt crisis: "We have been and will continue to be in frequent contact with our European allies to discuss best practices and share valuable lessons from our own experience reversing our economic downturn, helping them chart the best way forward."

The Platitudes

8. Good work is good. "People of faith and religious organizations do amazing work in communities across this country and the world, and we believe in lifting up and valuing that good work, and finding ways to support it where possible."

9. Farms are...continuing to farm. "Democrats support agriculture from the small farms that feed the community to the large farms that feed the world. Under President Obama, American farmers are seeing record farm income, record agricultural exports, and millions of acres enrolled in conservation program."

10. Grassroots solutions FTW.  "We believe solutions to America’s challenges are being developed every day at the grassroots level, and government should be supporting those efforts. We’ve created a Social Innovation Fund that is leveraging millions in private sector dollars to invest in programs with a proven track record of success."



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