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Three Things Not in the Democratic Platform

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 [1], and this observation:

In 2008, Democrats were eager to draw a contrast [2] 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 [3] 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 [4] to prosecute Bush-era torturers and stepped up extrajudicial assassinations. In confronting terrorism, the platform says, our methods [5] “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 [6] 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 [7] 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 [8]) (Update: j/k [9], 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.”

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Comments Disabled To "Three Things Not in the Democratic Platform"

#1 Comment By Matt On September 4, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

4. Hope
5. Change

It’s amazing how dead all that is, and how quickly it was buried.

#2 Comment By MattSwartz On September 4, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

Lowering the corporate tax rate strikes me as exactly backwards. I want corporations taxed heavily and individual earners not at all.

For one thing, people exist because of God and nature, while corporations are solely creatures of the law. For another, they have advantages that people don’t, like solubility, transferability, and limited liability. Everyone tells me this won’t work, because corporations will lobby to keep rates low. For me, since I want a very small federal government, that’s a feature rather than a bug.

Also, the fact that Democrats and Republicans both want the opposite of what I want tells me that I’m onto something.

#3 Comment By matt On September 4, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

Must have had the same PC copy editors as the US Constitution.

#4 Comment By EngineerScotty On September 4, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

#1 is a big deal, potentially.

#2 is a side-issue–PBA is extremely rare, and not worthy of explicit mention in the party platform. The Democrat’s platform also doesn’t explicitly condemn the clubbing of baby seals–so what?

#3 is not a big deal for the voters who are likely going to be voting for Democrats (base voters or centrists).

Not much to see here.

#5 Comment By MattSwartz On September 4, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

Matt (5:42),

You might have missed the reference to the Deity that exists in the Constitution. It’s easily missed, but in the signatory section, it says “In the year of our Lord, 1787.”

The Founders may not have been Christians, but they wanted God referenced. There were other ways for them to write the date, but they didn’t use them.

#6 Comment By Erik Esse On September 5, 2012 @ 12:27 am

As Bill Moyers pointed out today, the Republican platforms of 1972 and 1912, to name a few, did not mention God or faith, except “faith in government.” Who knew the PC police have been around for so long? How did faith in God possibly survive in America without the support of William Howard Taft and Richard Nixon?

#7 Comment By Bob On September 5, 2012 @ 12:35 am

Actually Matt that was a common way to insert a date in the 18th century and certainly sprang’t imply anything beyond the fact that the document was signed in 1787. If Madison had wanted to reference God he would have do so and not used the date to play games.

#8 Comment By Bob On September 5, 2012 @ 12:37 am

Should say: doesn’t imply.

Sometimes I hate this screen touch pad thing.

#9 Comment By same day service On September 5, 2012 @ 9:50 am

Democrats support presidentially ordered assassinations, partial birth abortion, expanding wars, and a global prison camp system centered on Guantanamo.

So why the surprise that their party platform doesn’t mention God? For that matter, what self-respecting God would want to appear in it?