Thursday, September 06, 2012

God and Jerusalem at the DNC

I'm not sure God appreciates being included in party platforms, so I could argue this one either way.  Same for Jerusalem although I'm committed to Zionism.

I know it was rammed through an unwilling convention.  That's obvious from the vid.



RNC Presser with many good links.


Convention Chaos As Democrats Alter Platform To Include God And Jerusalem
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The Huffington Post Labeled The Democrats "The Pushover Party" For Changing Their Platform To Include "God" And "Jerusalem." (The Huffington Post, 9/5/12)
DEMOCRATS FRUSTRATED
"Obama: Why Was 'God' Taken Out Of Platform In The First Place?" (Alana Semuels and Christi Parsons, "Obama: Why Was 'God' Taken Out Of Platform In The First Place?" Los Angeles Times, 9/5/12)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D-NJ): "It Was An Unfortunate Omission." "It was an unfortunate omission, and it in no way detracts from the point that we have a president of the United States who believes both in God, we all know that, but also believes in that plank [supporting Jerusalem]."(CNN's "Starting Point," 9/6/12)

Senator Al Franken (D-MN): "It Was Silly Not To Include It." "'It was silly not to include it,' Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) told the Washington Free Beacon Wednesday evening, during an event meant to honor Center for American Progress founder John Podesta, a former Clinton administration official." (Adam Kredo, "Democrats React To Platform Controversy," Washington Free Beacon, 9/5/12)

Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY): "I'm Glad They Saw The Error Of Their Ways." "'They got a lot of calls from people like me,' New York Representative Eliot Engel, a Democrat, said in an interview at the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. 'I'm glad they saw the error of their ways.'" (Lisa Lerer and Jonathan D. Salant, "Democrats Amend Platform To Back Jerusalem As Israel Platform," Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 9/5/12)

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA): "I Felt Pretty Frustrated That A Lot Of Us Who Have A Very Strong Point Of View On This Weren't Given A Heads Up, Weren't Given A Briefing On This, It Was Just Kind Of Sailing Along." "Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said the move was a 'reasonable adjustment' because many Democrats felt the platform should reflect the party's belief that Jerusalem should be capital of Israel. 'I felt pretty frustrated that a lot of us who have a very strong point of view on this weren't given a heads up, weren't given a briefing on this, it was just kind of sailing along,' Casey said." (Julie Pace and Steve Peoples, "AP Sources: Obama Intervened On Platform," The Associated Press , 9/5/12)

Democrat Strategist Paul Begala: "It's Beyond Awkward. It's Embarrassing. It's Stupid. It's An Unforced Error By My Party." "CNN'S WOLF BLITZER: "Paul Begala, I don't know about you, but to me, it didn't sound like a two thirds majority." PAUL BEGALA: "Sounded like three fourths? Five sixths? Ninety-nine one hundredths?" BLITZER: "I don't know what it sounded like but at best maybe it sounded even if you will. But what do you think?" BEGALA: "It's beyond awkward. It's embarrassing. It's stupid. It's an unforced error by my party. They don't need them. You know, look, the Chief Justice of the United States made a mistake with the Oath of Office. Everybody makes mistakes, even the smartest people in the smartest enterprises." CNN'S JOHN KING: "He's got a life time appointment." BEGALA: "That's a great point." (CNN's " The Situation Room," 9/5/12)
DELEGATE DISCORD AFTER CONTROVERSIAL VOICE VOTE ALTERS PLATFORM LANGUAGE
The Reversal On Jerusalem Angered DNC Delegates
President Of The Arab American Institute Dr. James Zogby Called The Move To Include The Jerusalem Capital Language "Insulting To My Community." "The president of a top Arab American group is lashing out at the 11th hour political maneuvering that restored language about Israel capital to the Democratic convention platform - calling the move 'insulting to my community.' Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a DNC delegate and a member of the convention's platform committee, blasted the re-insertion of language affirming that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel in an interview with POLITICO." (Byron Tau, "Arab-Americans Object To Jerusalem," Politico's "Politico 44", 9/5/12)

Zogby Said He Was "Proud That So Many Delegates Delivered A Resounding No." "Jim Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute, wrote in a statement that he was 'disappointed in the irregularities of the procedure' 'This effort hurts the president and it hurts chances for a lasting peace,' Zogby continued. 'I am, however, proud that so many delegates delivered a resounding no.'" (Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough, "Convention Floor Chaos: Democrats Alter Platform, Disagree," CNN's "PoliticalTicker", 9/5/12)

  • Noor Ul-Hasan, A Muslim Delegate From Utah: "There Was No Discussion. We Didn't Even See It Coming. We Were Blindsided By It." "'There was no discussion. We didn't even see it coming. We were blindsided by it,' said Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim delegate from Salt Lake City, who questioned whether the convention had enough of a quorum to even amend the platform." (Josh Lederman and Julie Pace, "Democrats Change Platform To Add God, Jerusalem," The Associated Press, 9/5/12)
  • Michigan Delegate Jamana Judeh Was Not Present For The Vote On Jerusalem, But Said: "I Would Have Yelled And Screamed And Said No. That's Wrong. There's Absolutely No Reason For It." "Jamana Judeh, a second Michigan delegate, said she was happy yesterday when she heard that the Jerusalem issue had been taken out of the platform. 'Everybody feels good, that finally, maybe, the party is acknowledging us,' Judeh said, referring to the 55-member Arab American delegation at the convention. While Judeh was not on the floor for the vote at the time, she said she would have yelled 'no' if she were present. 'I would have yelled and screamed and said no. That's wrong. There's absolutely no reason for it,' she said." (Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough, "Convention Floor Chaos: Democrats Alter Platform, Disagree," CNN's "PoliticalTicker", 9/5/12)
  • Washington Delegate Gus Mansour Objected To The Amendment Saying, "This Is Not Because I'm Against Israel - Jerusalem Is For All Of Us." "A friend of Lebanese descent who also protested the amendment, Gus Mansour of Lynnwood, said 'This is not because I'm against Israel - Jerusalem is for all of us.'" (Mark Landler, "Democrats Restore Language Declaring Jerusalem Israel's Capital," The New York Times' "The Caucus" , 9/5/12)
  • Washington Delegate And Iraqi-American Majid Al-Bahadli Called the Vote "Undemocratic" And Said "Jerusalem Is Arab And Jewish And Christian, It Cannot Be For One Country." "Among those shouting 'No' on the convention floor was a delegate from Washington, Majid Al-Bahadli, who said, 'Jerusalem is Arab and Jewish and Christian, it cannot be for one country.' Mr. Al-Bahadli, an Iraqi-American who said he had been in a prisoner of war camp under Saddam Hussein, said the vote process undemocratic." (Mark Landler, "Democrats Restore Language Declaring Jerusalem Israel's Capital," The New York Times' "The Caucus" , 9/5/12)
  • Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) Opposed With The New Language On Jerusalem And Was Frustrated That There Had Not Been A "Fair And Just" Debate. "Jerusalem 'is a hub of all three religions and we should recognize that fact,' said Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan state representative who said she opposed amending the platform. 'It should not belong to just one people. It makes me feel a little frustrated that this isn't being discussed in a fair and just way,' she said." (Zeke Miller, "Chaos As Democrats Try To Put Jerusalem, God Back In Platform," BuzzFeed, 9/5/12)
  • Utah Delegate Angela Urrea: "We Shouldn't Be Declaring Jerusalem As The Capital Of Israel." "Angela Urrea, a delegate from Roy, Utah, said she felt it was sprung on the convention without any discussion. 'The majority spoke last night,' Urrea said, referring to Tuesday's vote. 'We shouldn't be declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.'" (Julie Pace and Steve Peoples, "AP Sources: Obama Intervened On Platform," The Associated Press , 9/5/12)
The Inclusion Of "God" Drew Sharp Opposition From Delegates And Atheist Groups
Teresa MacBain, Spokeswoman For American Atheists: "What Appeared To Be A Bold Move By The Democrats To Be Inclusive Has Been Pulled Away." "'We're disappointed,' Teresa MacBain, spokeswoman for American Atheists, told POLITICO. 'What appeared to be a bold move by the Democrats to be inclusive has been pulled away. It sends a mixed message. Many, many people who are nonbelievers fall in the lines of the Democrats.'" (Kevin Cirilli, "Atheists Bummed By Democrats' God Flip," Politico, 9/5/12)
  • Utah Delegate, TJ Ellerbeck Voted Against The Amendment Because "When You Bring In One Deity Above Any Other Deity, You're Automatically Excluding People." "'This is the big-tent party. We want to include all faiths,' said TJ Ellerbeck, a delegate from Salt Lake City who voted against the amendments. 'And when you bring in one deity above any other deity, you're automatically excluding people.'" (Evans McMorris-Santoro, "Utah Delegates Help Launch A Democratic Insurrection Over Platform Changes," TPM, 9/5/12)
  • New Mexico Delegate Terri Holland Said The DNC Was Forced "To Kowtow To The Religious Right." "In interviews, several said they were bothered by the reference to God. Terri Holland, a delegate from New Mexico, said she thought the word was put back in 'to kowtow to the religious right,' something the party should never do. 'I don't think it has a business in anybody's platform,' she said." (Matea Gold and Christi Parsons, "Democrats Stumble On Party Platform Language," Los Angeles Times, 9/6/12)
  • Wyoming Delegate Barbara Herz Said Religion Should Not Be Included In The Platform. "One dissenter, who said she hadn't made it in to voice her 'no,' said she opposed the inclusion of God. 'I think the best thing we could do is separate religion and politics,' said Barbara Herz, of Wyoming. 'We should let every person make their own religious decisions and keep it out of the platform.'" (Zeke Miller, "Chaos As Democrats Try To Put Jerusalem, God Back In Platform," BuzzFeed, 9/5/12)
  • New Mexico Delegate Richard Cooley Said The Vote Taking Should Have Been More Precise, "Especially On Such A Divisive Issue." "She and fellow delegate Richard Cooley said the proceedings were haphazard, and that the platform should have taken a paper ballot vote. Neither were even aware the changes would be made until Villaraigosa got up on the podium and started speaking. 'We're Democrats, we love that stuff,' Holland said, about paper ballots. Cooley added that Democrats had learned the importance of proper vote-taking in the Bush-Gore election in 2000. They shouldn't take any vote for granted, he said, especially on such a divisive issue. 'We all have our own God,' he said." (Alana Semuels and Christi Parsons, "Obama: Why Was 'God' Taken Out Of Platform In The First Place?" Los Angeles Times, 9/5/12)
Many Delegates Criticized The DNC For The Lack Of Discussion And Confusion During The Vote
Georgia Delegate, John Washburn: "I'm Upset With The Process. That's Why I Voted No." "'I didn't get a chance to read it and there was no discussion. It was up there for 30 seconds and then it was down. I'm upset with the process. That's why I voted no,' said John Washburn, a Georgia delegate." (Zeke Miller, "Chaos As Democrats Try To Put Jerusalem, God Back In Platform," BuzzFeed, 9/5/12)

California Delegate Kalimah Salahuddin Voted No, Saying She Thought There Should Have Been More Discussion. "Kalimah Salahuddin a 36-year-old delegate from Pacifica, California, said she voted against it because she felt like it needed further discussion. 'I was actually pretty surprised. I thought I was going to be the only one in saying no in California,' she said. She, like many, said it was too difficult to tell if there really was a two-thirds vote. 'I just don't know if it was two-thirds people or two-thirds louder' on the third vote, she said." (Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough, "Convention Floor Chaos: Democrats Alter Platform, Disagree," CNN's "PoliticalTicker", 9/5/12)

Idaho Delegate Don Kershner: "I Think It Failed…It's Clearly A Dividing Subject." "'I think it failed,' said Don Kershner, a delegate from Boise who said it sounded to him - sitting in the opposite end of the arena from the speaker's platform - that at least 50% of delegates opposed the changes. Kershner was one of the only delegates from Idaho in the arena when the changes were made - itself a problem, he said. But he said he thought the party should have left well enough alone. 'They shouldn't have messed with it,' said Kershner, wearing a white cowboy hat supporting the Boise State Broncos. 'It's clearly a dividing subject. We don't want to drive a wedge into the party.'" (Alana Semuels and Christi Parsons, "Obama: Why Was 'God' Taken Out Of Platform In The First Place?" Los Angeles Times, 9/5/12)

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