Shameful. There is no other word to describe what transpired yesterday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As it had been reported, on Tuesday the Democratic National Committee (DNC) approved a platform that took previous references to God and Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel out of the party's platform. There is no question that the language was changed deliberately.
Immediately following the adoption of the change, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Dana Bash who got a response directly from the DNC that they were simply following the Obama Administration's policy on Jerusalem. The Cable got the same response from two officials involved with the actual drafting of the language:
"Changes between the 2008 Democratic Party platform's language on Israel and the 2012 version were due to a deliberate effort to refocus the platform toward President Barack Obama's policies, two officials directly involved in its drafting process told The Cable.
"Leading pro-Israel groups such as AIPAC were heavily involved in the platform-drafting process, saw final language of the draft platform, and told platform drafters they were satisfied with it, both officials said."
The only problem was that they were apparently lying about AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee:
"Any assertion that AIPAC had prior knowledge of the deletion of language including on Jerusalem, Israel as the most reliable ally, Hamas, or the refugees is categorically false," AIPAC spokesman Patrick Dorton told The Cable. "AIPAC was never provided with a final copy of the Middle East part of the platform."
"Jerusalem as the capital was part of AIPACs written submission to the platform but we did not see, review, or sign off on the final text," Dorton said.
But wait, I have not gotten to the most shameful part yet. You see, the reports of the changes were getting too loud. People in swing states might actually pay attention and realize what was happening, so yesterday the farce continued at the convention.
Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio (apparently on orders from President Obama himself, but more on that later) made a motion to change the platform, a very unusual thing to do at this stage of the convention to say the least (actually they had to suspend the rules to proceed). Here is what he said:
This summer, I was proud to serve this party as the platform drafting committee chair. I came before you today to discuss the two important matters related to our party's national platform. As an ordained United Methodist minister, I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the value we have expressed in our party's platform. In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party's platform should as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing, and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was presiding, asked for the amendment to be seconded, and it was. Then he asked for a two-thirds vote for the amendment to be adopted, "The matter requires a two-thirds vote in the affirmative. All those delegates in favor say 'aye.'" About half the auditorium said "aye." "All those opposed, say 'no.'" And about half of the delegates said "no."
"In the opinion of the ... let me do that again. All of those delegates in favor, say 'aye.'" About half of the auditorium said "aye," a little bit louder this time. "All those oppose, say 'no.'" And about half the auditorium said "no," even louder.
Mr. Villaraigosa seemed to look for somewhere to hide, but finding none, and with the cameras fixed on him, began to look left and right. "I am ... I guess." An intriguing person then approached to tell the mayor something and apparently give him some direction.
"I'll do that one more time. All those delegates in favor say 'aye.'" Same answer. "All those delegates opposed, say 'no.'" And a louder "no" was heard.
The next line was indicative of a lot of what we have seen from the DNC in recent months, "In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative. The motion is adopted. And the platform has been amended." Loud "boos" and the discontented waving of hands followed.
And I still have not gotten to the worst of it.
In an interview with CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the DNC, was asked about the changes in the platform, and there are no words to describe her answers.
Wait, on second thought, we'll let Anderson Cooper, who was moderating a panel immediately following her interview, describe it:
I just gotta ... uh ... told ... I uh ... I just gotta go to the panel with this. I mean, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said: 1) It wasn't a change of language, 2) there was no discord that we saw, and 3) it was a two-thirds vote. I mean, that's ... I mean that's an alternate universe.
Well said, Anderson. How can you have a conversation with someone who is this delusional? Here are the highlights of the interview:
Q: How did you feel when you learned that the platform omitted Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
A: Well really, it was essentially a technical oversight, and President Obama, because he personally believes that Jerusalem is and always should remain the Capital of Israel, he made sure that we amended the platform so that it would reflect his personal view, as well as reflect the language that we had in 2008.
Q: And the language on God you would call a technical oversight as well?
A: Yeah, the language on God, while we were amending the platform to include Jerusalem and the president's personal view, we also felt it was important to make sure that we made reference there.
Q: How was it overlooked?
A: You know, ah, look, platforms are many pages long. The bottom line is that we've taken steps. We've amended it. President Obama felt it was important to reflect his personal view, and it's done. And we're moving forward and continuing this convention.
Q: And what about the process of changing the platform, three voice votes that had to be done. There was some booing on the floor. I mean that's obviously not what you want to be seen, discord here on what's really ...
A: There wasn't any discord. You know Mayor Villaraigosa, as he presided, in order to amend the platform it takes a two-thirds vote. He had to just make sure we had two-thirds vote, and when he realized that we did, we moved forward.
Q: And did you really feel like it was two-thirds? It seems like a lot of people felt like maybe [chuckling] it wasn't quite there.
A: Yes. It was absolutely two-thirds and I know because our platform was adopted yesterday.
What?! How can someone stand there, look you straight in the eye, with a smile on their face, and be this dishonest?
This is way beyond political parties. This is disgraceful. Simply unacceptable. It is the equivalent of someone punching you in the face and denying they even have the arms with which to hit you, while they are standing right there before you.
There was a bit of news in the middle of that train wreck of an interview. Apparently, this whole catastrophe was orchestrated by President Obama himself. If so, to say it backfired would be the understatement of the year.
But then again, Miss Schultz could have been making that up as well.
God help us.