Delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte today booed, jeered and shook their fists when the chairman at the time, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, declared that an amendment to the party’s platform – adding a mention of God – had been adopted.
It took him calling for the vote three times before he could make the declaration that in his opinion, the ayes made up two-thirds of the vote.
After the first vote, which sounded like a dead heat between the yes and no votes, he said, “In the opinion of the …. Let me do that again.”
The second vote sounded the same, and Villaraigosa looked offstage for help and advice.
A woman is seen coming up behind him, and says, “Let them do what they’re going to do.”
On the third vote, Villaraigosa was prepared and launched into the statement that in his opinion, two-thirds of the voters said “aye,” apparently without considering the volume of the voice vote.
Shaking fists and jeers followed erupted even as he was speaking.
The platform of the party drew nationwide astonishment just a day earlier when it failed to even mention God. It also failed to mention Jerusalem.
The amendment, proposed by former Gov. Ted Strickland, chief of the platform committee, added the notation that Americans were encouraged to reach their “God-given potential.”
It also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Strickland didn’t offer an explanation for why God and Jerusalem were not in the original platform, explaining only that “our belief in God is central to our American story” and “the president recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party’s platform should as well.”
Radio host Michael Savage said the scenario could be the turning point in the 2012 presidential campaign.
“This is a big moment,” Savage said. “America is disgusted with this party of atheists and America haters.”
David Brody reported on the Brody File in CBN,“This has become a disaster for the Democrats and a boon to the Romney campaign. The DNC has now added God back into their platform language after originally taking it out. They have also added language back in that says Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. When they tried to change the language on the convention floor, there were boos! Oy-Gevalt.”
He said notwithstanding any corrections the Democrats have tried to make, “The Romney campaign can now argue that the Democrats don’t know what they believe on two very important topics. They can also argue that the Democrats only did this because of the pushback. That’s true.”
Romney told Fox, “It’s a very sad say when we have our best friend in the Middle East …. for us at a stage like this to take an action of that nature, to cease calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel, this is a very troubling development.”
He also said the Democrats’ initial decision to remove “God” from its 2012 platform “suggests a party which is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of American people. I think this party is veering further and further away to an extreme wing that Americans don’t recognize it.”
The AP described the Democrats as “embarrassed” over the issue, and explained that the language resurrected simply said, “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.”
Several Democrats said the attempt to fix the platform was a mistake. Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim from Salt Lake City, told AP, “There are people who don’t’ believe in God and you have to respect that as well.”
Another delegate from Utah, Angela Urrea, told AP, “The majority spoke last night. We shouldn’t be declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.”
The Foreign Policy column at The Cable said Obama himself intervened to push the changes.
And CBS New York said of the president before today’s reversal, “Obama handed the Republicans a new avenue of attack on a silver platter when he supported a Democratic Party platform change that does not state that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”
The platform earlier had been adopted with the statement, “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.”
GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan told Fox, “I guess I would just put the onus and the burden on them to explain why they did all this, the purges of God.”
At U.S. News, Peter Roff accompanied his commentary with a cartoon of a car carrying a “What Would Jesus do?” bumper sticker. Only “Jesus” is crossed out and “Obama” written in.
“There are no doubt other examples but the message is clear,” he wrote. “One candidate, Romney, stands for the proposition that religious freedom is paramount to American liberty. The other, Barack Obama, seems to believe it is subservient to the desires of the state. For most of us, this would seem to be the more important issue upon which to base a vote for president.”