- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 6, 2012

The most memorable moment of the Democratic National Convention was when the delegates denied God three times from the convention floor. It was the latest blunder in an Obama re-election effort that increasingly looks like it doesn’t have a prayer.

The deity issue arose when conservatives slammed Democrats for deleting references to God and a united Jerusalem that were in the liberals’ 2008 platform. The slap must have stung because the Obama campaign quickly orchestrated a floor amendment to stuff the clauses in the previously approved 2012 platform. It should have been a pro-forma matter, but when convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, called the vote, the floor responded with a vigorous “no” twice. In a fit of procedural integrity, Mr. Villaraigosa tried to get the required two-thirds to amend a third time, but the “no’s” were louder than ever. Finally, visibly frustrated, he announced the motion had passed even though everyone in the hall knew it hadn’t. It was amateur hour.

It’s not surprising that Democratic delegates were generally hostile to God. According to the latest Gallup numbers, President Obama has a 46 percent advantage over Mitt Romney among those who profess “no religion” and lags 23 percent behind Mr. Romney among those who say they are “highly religious.” Asking a group of Democratic true believers — or in this case, true nonbelievers — whether they want God in the platform is their secular equivalent of blasphemy.

Democrats compounded the platform blunder by not getting their story straight. The Obama campaign claimed omitting God and Jerusalem was a “technical” error, whatever that means. It was reported that Mr. Obama had seen and signed off on the original godless platform, but then the campaign denied he had approved it. Either way, the platform bears the mark of Mr. Obama, who is mentioned by name 38 times and cited more than 200 times in the 40-page manifesto. Voters are left with the conclusion that either Mr. Obama saw the platform in advance and thought it was fine or the president simply isn’t on top of things.


The Obama campaign also bungled the Jerusalem issue. The inserted language pledges support for a united Jerusalem, which is not administration policy. The campaign said this reflected Mr. Obama’s personal preference, in which case it has no place in a party platform. The hedge, of course, was designed to appease the Democrats’ strong pro-Palestinian faction, which nixed the Jerusalem language in the first place. Mr. Obama’s clear message to them was, “I support your vision of a divided Jerusalem, but I have to say some things to shore up my sagging support among Jews.”

Getting down to brass tacks, these convention snafus expose serious flaws in Mr. Obama’s operation. In 2008, the liberal media ran with the story line that the Obama campaign was a well-oiled machine that could do no wrong in its inevitable march to victory. Times have changed. The money isn’t rolling in; the crowds aren’t showing up; and Democrats can’t even pull off a rigged voice vote to amend their own platform without causing a major embarrassment for their nominee. Forward, indeed.

The Washington Times