After I wrote about how terribly planned the Republican National Convention was this year, I was challenged by a commenter to write a critique on the Democratic National Convention that just wrapped up in Charlotte, NC.
So, here goes.
Democrats are often their worst enemy. But not tonight.
The last day of the convention is where you really “put on the dog” and galvanize your base supporters, while at the same time appealing to a certain demographic that may be wavering in their support.
We have heard all along that President Barack Obama is counting on the “youth vote” to turn out at the polls and back his re-election campaign, yet the Dems planned the peak of their event at the same time the “MTV Music Awards” was on television.
So much for the youth vote.
The Democrats also failed to plan for the weather, though not as badly as the Republicans. The president was supposed to give his acceptance speech at an outdoor stadium (Bank of America stadium, of all places), but was moved to a much smaller venue at the last minute because of an approaching thunderstorm.
Police locked down the smaller building two hours before anyone expected, and left at least 50 people with entry passes on the outside, unable to get in.
But they never left. They just waited.
From what I could see, the convention crowd in Charlotte was much more diverse than Tampa’s sea of white faces and hand-picked, well-placed ethnic minorities.
That’s one thing about Democrats: They never have to pretend to be inclusive.
We heard a lot about the “middle class” in America at both conventions.
Rand Paul said, “Mr. President, you say the rich must pay their fair share. When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class.”
Bullshit. Middle class people are the job creators in this country.
When they make good money, they spend it. They don’t hide it in some secret bank in the Caymans. The pay their mortgage, they buy groceries and cars and take vacations.
I say this because I am in that dwindling middle class. I was born and raised in it. And for most of my working life, I was a member of it until I fell out for a while in 2009.
But it is nice to be back.
Exactly why I am back in the middle class is a story that probably deserved to be told at this convention. The Democrats, then showing an astonishing lack of brass, let the Republicans set the course of debate these last few years. That gutless lapse illustrates how the Dems have failed to properly articulate what the president has accomplished in one term.
Up until now.
The GOP likes to say the stimulus plan did nothing to help the country’s jobless, but I am back in the middle class today as a direct result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
My wife and I were hired by companies that received money from the stimulus plan. I have since moved up to an even better job and my wife is now a permanent, full-time employee with the organization stimulus dollars helped create. It is now a self-funding enterprise.
We wanted, as Vice President Joe Biden put it, “a shot.”
The Recovery Act gave us one.
Paul Ryan says, “You, the American people, were cut out of the deal. What did taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted, it was borrowed, spent and wasted.”
That’s a cheap-ass lie. Thousands of people in Louisville like me are proof that it worked. I am now paying taxes and spending money – two things I was not doing in 2009.
This year’s Democratic convention was more entertaining to me than the Republican’s version. The GOP seemed to be bitter, angry and deceitful. The Democrats seemed to be joyful and (finally) proud to be called “liberal.”
I watched completely equal amounts of both conventions and listened to analysis from both sides. I’ve been following politics since 1980, when I was an eight-year old wearing a Teamsters Local 89 cap in the basement of my childhood home in Shively.
I’ve watched more than my share of these nominating conventions, and although I’ve voted for a losing candidate, I’ve never failed to pick the winner.
While my prediction may not mean much to some of you, I’ll go ahead and say it anyway:
The Democrats did it better.
Four more years.