Tale of Two Conventions:

Hate vs. Hope

It’s just past Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention and it couldn’t be more clear. The jury hasn’t even heard the entirety of the defense’s case yet the evidence is unambiguous. In Tampa last week, the Republican prosecutors presented their hollow case – during their 3 days they called witness after witness – none of whom presented any evidence that their approach to pulling us out of the deep economic ditch we’ve been mired in is any different than the policies of previous Republican administrations that steered us into the ditch in the first place. None of whom could point to new ideas or speak to a new vision.

Yes, they tried to paint a human face on the animatronic Romney, knowing that his elitist and privileged past is not winning any new votes. They tried to sell themselves as “just folks”, a bunch of up from the bootstraps heroes. Poor Mitt, slumming it by eating dinner on the ironing board.

But mostly their story is founded on negativity and hate. It is the culmination of four years of dedication to one thing and one thing only. The hell with any ground rules, the hell with the truth.

Just before Mitt’s closing arguments, their star prosecutor Clint Eastwood called the president to the stand. I haven’t seen an as inept a display of courtroom prowess since   Austin Pendleton as the stuttering lawyer attempted to plead his client’s case in My Cousin Vinny.

Cut to Charlotte where the Democrats presented real evidence of progressive policy initiatives intended to provide health care for all Americans, lower taxes for the middle class while the super-rich pay their fair share, save millions of jobs while bringing the U.S. auto industry from the brink of bankruptcy to record profits, provide affordable loans to those trying to afford college, provide a legitimate pathway for immigrants to become productive citizens, eliminate discrimination of gays in the military while supporting marriage equality for all, establish equal pay for equal work regardless of gender and fight attempts to reduce woman’s rights to make decisions about their health.

And for good measure, the defense countered the attacks on President Obama’s character culminating with Michelle Obama’s incredible speech. She said “success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people.”

Michelle masterfully drew the distinctions between Barack and Mitt without even mentioning his name:

We learned about dignity and decency – that how hard you work matters more than how much you make…that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself. We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules…and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.

There’s a lot more campaigning and debating to go and of course the jury won’t convene until November 6. But when it boils down to hate vs. hope, the choice is clear.

Published in: on September 8, 2012 at 11:41 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. In all the years that I have been involved in politics, I have never experienced the differences more clearly. It’s not that the Dems are our saviors, it’s that the Republicans have gone crazy.

    During the last election, Paul and Danya and I went to an area outside of Pittsburgh for a month to help the Obama campaign. What I learned there, in a very conservative area, was that neither the Dems or the Republican voters wanted extremes. With Romney’s choice of Ryan, I think they have dug ther own grave.

    They (the Republicans) get nothing for pandering to their right wing, who probably won’t vote for Mitt, and the more traditional Rs won’t come out to vote.

    As to the Dems, I think this was a great convention. The speeches got people fired up and more importantly, a few key lines gave us all the arguments that we needed. “Why would we bring back the party that made this mess in the first place?” “Do the math”, etc.

    I still think we all have to go out and work really hard, but I think we feel more enthusiastic and are clear about what needs to be done.

    [Note: The writer is a former Congressional staffer and political campaign and union organizer]

    Editor’s Response: Thanks Laura. Very well said and I agree that despite recent bumps in the polls for Obama nothing can be taken for granted – lots of work is needed, especially when you consider the potential for widespread voter suppression.


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