Friday, September 7, 2012

Democrats Dither About God and Jerusalem (Update: Debbie Digs Deeper)

I was watching the C-Span footage of the Democratic National Convention during the attempt to re-insert the previous language of the platform about God and Jerusalem being the capital of Israel (both items being included in the platforms going back at least to 2000, as far as I cared to look).  It struck me that the delegates on the floor rejected the declarations three times, drawing an immediate correlation for me (and others) to the actions of Peter denying Christ.

"... let them do what they're gonna do."

[Peter’s story is reflected in all four Gospels (allow me a brief aside), lending it credence amongst those who seek reasons to disregard the historical accounts of the Bible.  The fact that it is present in all accounts (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13) reflects Peter’s confession to the others of his profound contrition when he realized the truth of Christ’s prediction and his craven reaction (he “wept bitterly”).  Those critics point out differences in some details between the Gospels as impeaching their veracity, but this ignores the truth that this is exactly what we would expect to find when comparing historical accounts of the past, or even eyewitness accounts today.  I have dealt for many years and in many ways with analyzing testimony, and I am doubtful when different accounts match up in precise detail.] 

But getting back to the original purpose of this post, beyond its symbolic value, the spectacle of the vote was amazing as it unfolded.  The revisions were introduced without prior announcement, to a floor that was at an ebb, probably in the hopes that it would slide past quickly, needing a clear two-thirds positive voice vote, without the risk of attracting others to the floor who found the action provocative.

The “clarification” was introduced by former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who made a point of saying that he was a United Methodist minister (if you are a follower of the Rev Donald Sensing’s web log Sense of Events, you will understand the dénouement of the United Methodist Church).  Yet the moderator, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was dumbfounded when the initial reaction was so negative – not only was it clearly not a two-thirds vote in favor, it was doubtful that it was even a simple majority.  He sought another vote, but this time the negative reaction was even louder.

He is confused and perplexed until supported by a lady with an Aunt Bee from Mayberry appearance, with a gently smiling countenance throughout (‘the Dark side is seductive precisely because it appears to be so pleasant’), who counsels, “You gotta rule, and then you gotta let them do what they’re gonna do.”  In other words, make the decision and ignore the consequences.  On the third attempt, the ‘no’ vote is thunderous, and Villaraigosa announces that the positive vote is clearly in excess of two-thirds and the revision passes.  The boos of the crowd are almost palpable.

John Lott (scroll down to the last entry on 9/05/2012) shows a graphic representation of the result:

Earlier, before the surprise vote, Bret Baier questioned Sen Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) – the one who compared US troops to Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot because of Guantánamo – about the removal of the reference to God and Jerusalem, but Durbin launched into a diatribe against Fox News, illustrating the lawyer’s axiom of “If you have the law on your side, cite the law.  If not, cry for justice.  If you have neither, pound the table.”

He never answered nor even addressed Baier’s simple questions about why the language was removed.  After the vote, Durbin was unavailable under any circumstance. 

This adds fuel to the fire which includes Democratic National Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz being caught in a lie, in which she denied accusations that she said that the Israeli ambassador called the Republicans “dangerous” to Israel.  When Ambassador Michael Oren condemned the report, she stated for the record:
I didn’t say he said that.  And unfortunately, that comment was reported by a conservative newspaper.  It’s not surprising they would deliberately misquote me.
Unfortunately for her thin veneer of veracity, a recording of her stating her quote precisely, word for word, was quickly released by the Washington Examiner.  She too is suddenly unavailable.


For that and more, all in all, it was a bad day for the Democrats. 

Rep Allen West (R-Florida) quickly picked up on the ‘thrice denied’ theme and released a political ad called simply “Three Times”.

A weak attempt by some in the media, with footage of the reaction of two Arab-American members in the convention audience, sought to portray the vote as the voice of the ethnic Arabs because of the Jerusalem part of the vote, but really, do they expect us to believe that half the delegates on the floor are Arab-Americans?  Interviews with some delegates talk of how they wanted to appear ‘inclusive’, but how is that truly done by removing language that Christians and supporters of Israel find vital to their cause?

Update: Wasserman Schultz has finally responded to the release of the audio recording of her statement which she initially denied making.  She now claims, predictably and straight-faced, that she was instead “quoted out of context”, and tries to make a case for what she said in toto.  But Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner, who broke the story and just won’t go away, continues to show how deep she is digging herself.  Klein has released a more detailed story expanding on the quote and the reaction, and includes the entire audio (at the bottom of the piece) starting at 28 seconds prior to the statement ‘in question’, and extending for 38 seconds afterward.

As for this being a trick of a “conservative reporter”, note that the Washington Post has given her a Four Pinocchio mark on her “false accus[ation]”, and PolitiFact has given her remarks a score of “pants on fire”.

Alana Goodman at Commentary looks at CNN's Don Lemon and his attempt to confront Wasserman Schultz with her own words, but to no avail.

One of the cardinal rules of politics is “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”  Debbie Wasserman Schultz just doesn’t know when to shut up, but then we already knew that, didn’t we?

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