Ken Connor
According to the breathless reviews of MSNBC correspondents and the like, the Democratic National Convention was a smashing success. With celebrity cameos, notable speeches by Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden, and a grand finale oration chock-full of the "hope and change" rhetoric that won Obama the White House in 2008, it was by all accounts a great week for Democrats.

If you tuned in into your favorite cable news outlet on Wednesday afternoon however, you witnessed a moment that the President and his surrogates would prefer you forget. In an attempt to defuse growing criticism over the removal of "God and Jerusalem" from the Democratic platform, a motion was made to reintroduce these elements and a voice vote was called to authorize the change. A 2/3 majority was required for the amendment to take effect. After calling for the vote three separate times and discerning scarcely any difference between the number of "ayes" and "nos", Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa finally declared that a 2/3 majority had voted in favor the amendment. The arbitrary ruling provoked a chorus of "boos" throughout the Time Warner arena.

Despite attempts to dismiss this procedural phony baloney as a mere blip on the screen, its significance cannot be overlooked. While a party's platform hardly determines how policy is crafted, it does stand as a symbol of the principles and goals that guide it. An acknowledgment of God, no matter how brief or in what context, communicates a posture of humility and gratitude to a higher power for the blessings of liberty and opportunity that America enjoys. And mention of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel sends a message to the rest of the world that America's commitment to the security and sovereignty of the Jewish state is unwavering.

Prominent Democrats have tried to assure the voting public that the omission of these elements and the vote to reinsert them were no big deal, but this begs the question: Who decided that these two little words needed to be removed when they had been part of the Democrats' platform for years, and why was the platform amended to reinsert them if their removal was inconsequential?

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.