Things are looking up for Democrats, whose national convention presented strong speeches by Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Rep. John Lewis condemned the Republican assault on voting rights. Zach Wahls talked about his two moms. Sandra Fluke defended women’s reproductive rights. Sister Simone Campbell of Nuns on the Bus criticized the Romney/Ryan budget plan. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords brought the hall to tears simply by leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
But let’s look past the highlight reel to savor some not-ready-for-prime-time moments.
Rep. Barney Frank called the Log Cabin Republicans Uncle Toms. They responded by calling him a partisan hack (as if they have a problem with that). Frank and Log Cabin have been sniping at each other like a divorced couple for decades. Log Cabin accused Frank of “trying to silence us.” Several LGBT leaders disavowed Frank’s insult, but Stonewall Democrats suggested that Log Cabin shut down. I got no answer when I asked Log Cabin why they equated criticism with censorship. As to Stonewall giving unsolicited advice, well, I advise against it.
The Log Cabiners defended their relevance, noting that they got GOP votes in the House to repeal ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and got the Republican Senate leader in Albany to allow a vote on New York’s marriage-equality bill. I sympathize. Though a Democrat, I made small donations to the four Republican state senators who provided crucial votes for that bill. (One of the four, Mark Grisanti, has been targeted with an anti-gay flier bearing homoerotic photos.) Back in 1994 I even wrote policy papers for Republican Carol Schwartz during her run for D.C. mayor – though, let’s be fair, she was running against noted crackhead Marion Barry.
Mr. Barry was part of this year’s D.C. delegation to the DNC, where he tweeted complaints against the party for not letting D.C. Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton speak, and for relegating the delegation to nosebleed seats. I tweeted back, “I’m sure we all agree that the best way to get DC’s concerns taken seriously is for @marionbarryjr to attend #DNC2012 and gripe about it.” As for recent scandals involving D.C. officials, no state has been denied representation in Congress after similar or worse scandals; but there is the law, and then there is politics. The cause of voting rights for D.C. is hard enough when we’re not a source of embarrassment.
Since I mentioned gay Republicans, I should note that the homocon provocateurs at GOProud slammed Log Cabin for publicly involving itself in the Republican platform debate. GOProud spent its time throwing a party.
Speaking of platforms, the Democrats went off-message with a platform fight over boilerplate passages on God and Jerusalem. American pols have postured for decades over making Jerusalem the capital of Israel, which is nothing but troll bait, but some on the left thought it vital to pick that fight in the middle of a high-stakes election.
As to the Democrats initially leaving “God” out of the platform, it’s a wonder a sinkhole did not form under Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena and swallow up the entire wicked assembly. God’s name was restored, to a chorus of boos. Pat Robertson called the Democrats “the party of gays, godlessness and whatever else” (Godiva Chocolate would have ended that phrase better). Gary Bauer said God wouldn’t want to be in such a platform. Whenever I watch Bauer speak, I expect an alien to burst out of his face. (Question for religious bullies: How is faith upheld by having politicians invoke God’s name like they’re hawking soap?)
The DNC ended on a sour note as Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s closing prayer took shots at gay marriage and abortion. Unfazed, the delegates scattered across the land to elect their candidates.
Richard J. Rosendall is a writer and activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.