Douglas Bloomfield's blog

Let's Abolish Party Platforms

One of the lessons of both 2012 conventions is it's time to consider doing away with party platforms altogether.  Maybe the conventions as well, but that's another story. The platforms are just a bad joke.  Rank and file are told that these documents represent the policies and positions of the parties, but they don't and all but the terminally naïve know that.

If I Forget Thee O Jerusalem, I Have An Amendment

Let's get this straight about the dust-up at the conventions over Jerusalem:  Whatever the two parties say in their platforms about Jerusalem will change nothing regardless who is elected on November 6.  The future status of the city will depend on an agreement negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians, which could be years away, and when it comes the United States will follow their lead and open embassies in both capitals.

Debbie Does Damage

It was a four Pinocchio performance for Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, when she claimed the Israeli ambassador had said "what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel," according to the Washington Post Fact Checker.

Wasserman Shultz was quoted in the Washington Examiner telling a training session in Charlotte for Jewish Democrats, "We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel."

Auditioning for 2016 – Democratic Version

Just as Republican speakers were doing in Tampa last week, ambitious Democrats in Charlotte have been auditioning for 2016.  Unlike the Republicans, they know the nomination will be open four years from now.  It was uncomfortably blatant at the GOP convention because it seemed to be saying that we don't think Romney can win, so start thinking about me for the next time.

Democrats Repair Jerusalem Plank In Platform

After taking withering fire over omission of a plank declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel from their platform, Democrats were ordered by President Barack Obama to retreat and restore language that had been in their 2008 platform.  The 2012 document now reads:

 “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”

New IAEA Report Ring Bibi's Alarms

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported last week that Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges producing enriched uranium at its Fordow underground facilities in recent months, moving it closer to being able to make a nuclear weapon.

In other words, the tough economic sanctions, political pressure and diplomatic isolation may be causing a great deal of pain for ordinary Iranians but not for their government, certainly not enough to slow down the nuclear program.

Some Things Never Change In Egypt

Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, seems to be taking a page from his predecessor's playbook.

You may recall that Hosni Mubarak celebrated what proved to be his last election as Egypt's president by tossing his opponent in jail on trumped up charges.

Ayman Nour finished a very distant second in the 2009 vote but that didn't deter Mubarak, who was overthrown last year in a public uprising that was soon taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood following a brief period of military rule.

Convention Notes

NEWT GINGRICH  has a Ph.D. in history so you'd think he'd be able to get a famous historical quote correctly.  Like tonight at the Republican convention when he and his wife delivered a tribute to Ronald Reagan and attributed to the 40th president the quote "There is no substitute for victory." 

Auditioning In Tampa

Anyone watching the Republican convention this week couldn't avoid feeling that for many speakers their appearance on the Tampa stage was more of an audition for their own future ambitions than an endorsement of Mitt Romney.

Call it a lack of confidence in Romney or just the usual naked ambition of politicians, but many speakers sounded like they were running for president themselves  should Romney fail, or a cabinet post if he wins.

What Chris Christie Didn't Say

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave a stemwinder of a keynote speech to open the Republican convention; depending on your point of view it was either brimming with passion or dripping with anger. 

The star of the evening was Ann Romney, who spoke so warmly and effectively of the importance of love.  Christie took the opposite tack, citing his mother's advice to "choose respect over love."  

Christie had a lot to say, but there were a few things conspicuously missing:

-- No mention of the Republican Party platform.

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