As a policy document, one could get lost in the weeds about NATO, North Korea and loose nukes, but the wonky bits in the 2012 Democratic National Platform don’t start until halfway through the forty page document. The first twenty pages of the platform, which the party will approve at their convention in Charlotte, Tuesday night, is all about one thing – growing the middle class.
On the very first page, they write:
“This has to be our North Star – an economy that’s built not from the top down, but from a growing middle class, and that provides ladders of opportunity for those working hard to join the middle class.
“This is not another trivial political argument. It’s the defining issue of our time and at the core of the American Dream.”
“Moving America Forward,” the platform’s title, is not just about their ideas for improving the economy and addressing unemployment. It also is another way to distinguish them from the Republicans, who the Obama campaign is painting as wanting to return to the trickle down economics of the past. “They still believe the best way to grow the economy is from the top down,” they write, “the same approach that benefited the wealthy few but crashed the economy and crushed the middle class.”
Compare that to the stump speech President Obama gave in Norfolk, Virginia, Tuesday, where he warned against embracing the GOP’s economic policies, saying, “[T]hey know you saw that happened when we tried it. You’ve lived through it, and you know we can’t afford to repeat it.”
While it doesn’t exactly scream Vice President Biden’s line, “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” it does spend more than two pages talking about “President Obama and the Democrats boldly rescu[ing] America’s auto industry,” and it points out that “Republicans… opposed saving the auto industry.”
And it makes sure voters know, “As a consequence of the President’s decisions and the brave work of our military and intelligence professionals, bin Laden can no longer threaten the United States and al-Qaeda’s senior leadership has been devastated,” while making certain you remember that the Republican “Bush administration shifted its focus to Iraq, [allowing] Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda [to establish] safe havens across the border from Afghanistan, in Pakistan.”
The platform contrasts Romney, specifically, as being as out of touch as saddle shoes. “Republicans like Mitt Romney want to turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made, telling people whom they can marry, restricting women’s access to birth control coverage, and going back to the same economic policies that benefited the wealthy but crashed our economy.”
In fact, the GOP nominee’s name is mentioned twenty-two times in the Democratic Party document, included in lines like:
– “Mitt Romney and the Republicans have opposed commonsense [immigration] reforms and pandered to the far right.”
– “Mitt Romney would raise taxes on low- and middle-income Americans to fund his tax breaks weighted toward the wealthiest.”
– “Mitt Romney, would have preferred to leave tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq in an open-ended commitment.”
– “Mitt Romney has been both for and against our timeline to end the war in Afghanistan.”
– “The Cold War mentality represented by Mitt Romney’s identification of Russia as ‘our number one geopolitical foe.’”
Reading the platform, the Democrats seem to be saying, will lead you to one conclusion: even if you’re not better off than you were four yeas ago, the Republicans aren’t going to help you.