Party powers-that-be decided they’d screwed up in forgetting to mention God and Jerusalem in the platform; so they scheduled a vote to fix it. A two-thirds majority was needed to change a platform already adopted. But delegates didn’t follow the script, and it seemed that more shouted “no” than “aye.” In consternation, Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa called the vote a do-over. And when he got the same result, he tried a third time. And while the “no” votes still seemed the louder, he then simply announced that the required two-thirds had voted yes.
In Iran’s 2009 presidential election, the ruling gang, clearly having lost, said, “We counted the votes, and our guy won.” That’s the Iranian version of democracy. The Soviet version. I didn’t think it was the American version.
And this is the party that calls itself “Democratic,” the party of voting rights, with “disenfranchisement” a favorite buzzword. This is the party that (wrongly, in my view) insisted Republicans “stole” the 2000 election. This is the party that (rightly, in my view) insists Republicans are using voter ID laws to disenfranchise people.
But what do you call it when elected convention delegates, in a formal vote on official business, vote one way and the party falsely declares that the vote went (by two-thirds) the other way? I call that disenfranchisement. I call it a violation of democracy. I call it Orwellian and un-American.
Democratic convention speakers repeatedly accused Republicans of lying. But what do you call it when delegates vote one way and the party declares that the vote went the other way? I call that lying. And it’s not just a rhetorical lie. It’s a consequential lie, depriving people of a tangible right – perhaps the most sacred of all rights in this free country – the right to vote, and to have your vote properly counted.
I’m not laughing.