If the RNC tried to act like a multi-headed tent revival, the DNC seems to be fighting a bitter struggle against its own Godlessness. According to reports from the Huffington Post and Fox News, a mini-floor fight erupted over an attempt to reinsert “God” and Jerusalem back into the 2012 Democratic platform.
When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for a voice vote on two measures, the reinsertion of language supporting “God-given potential” of working people, along with language supporting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, loud dissent roiled the convention. After three unclear voice votes, Mayor Villaraigosa declared the measure passed, to a chorus of boos from the floor.
According to Fox News, the new “God language” restores the 2008 platform. The party now claims,
“‘We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.’
“The initial 2012 platform language said this: ‘We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth — the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.’”
What does this mean? First of all, it is unclear what conventioneers booed. Was it the recognition of Jerusalem as an Israeli city? Or the return of the God language? Both? Or just the heavy-handed tactics steamrolling over their opposition? It is hard to tell.
Second, this mini-episode demonstrates the political power of God. President Obama had maneuvered to get the God language back in. Republican party hacks circulated the video immediately as proof that the Democrats hated God and the Jewish state.
In America, not just Fundamentalist America, it is good politics to get an endorsement from God. And it is bad politics, apparently, to fight over it.