1. Civil Liberties — It might have been cynical to recycle the strong language on civil liberties from the 2008 Democratic platform, given President Obama’s broken promise to close Guantanamo within a year of his election, his approval of the NDAA which allows for indefinite detention, due process-free assassinations, and stepped-up use of drones which raise major privacy concerns. The 2008 platform included planks on torture, indefinite detention, closing Guantanamo Bay, wireless surveillance, and racial profiling that have now been eliminated or watered-down to the point of being unrecognizable. Adam Serwer has the details, and this observation:
In 2008, Democrats were eager to draw a contrast with what they then portrayed as Republican excesses in the fight against Al Qaeda. Since then, the Obama administration has in many cases continued the national security policies of its predecessor—and the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform highlights this reversal, abandoning much of the substance and all of the bombast of the 2008 platform.
The phrase ‘civil liberties’ is used once, in the context of a section about torture. The Obama administration has refused to prosecute Bush-era torturers and stepped up extrajudicial assassinations. In confronting terrorism, the platform says, our methods ”must always be in line with our Constitution, preserve our people’s privacy and civil liberties, and withstand the checks and balances that have served us so well.”
2. Opposition to Partial-Birth Abortion — The 2012 platform removes the symbolic injunction that abortions be “rare,” and supports a woman’s unqualified right to an abortion, “regardless of ability to pay.” Also, “We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.” Without language drawing a line somewhere indicating an opposition to late-term abortions, a huge swath of the population–which mostly votes Republican anyway–will see President Obama’s position on the issue as just as extreme as Todd Akin’s. Until such a thing is ever added, Obama and the Democratic Party will be open to the accusation that they support taxpayer-funded partial birth abortions.
3. God – The 2008 Democratic platform contained one mention of “God-given” potential. Not a one slipped by the politically correct copy editors this year. (h/t David Brody) (Update: j/k, we totally meant to have God in there the whole time.)
Two things that are:
1. Support for lowering the corporate tax rate — “We are also committed to reforming the corporate tax code to lower tax rates for companies in the United States, with additional relief for those locating manufacturing and research and development on our shores, while closing loopholes and reducing incentives for corporations to shift jobs overseas.”
2. Support for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United — “We support campaign finance reform, by constitutional amendment if necessary.”