This week, we go from playing Liar’s Poker to Hold ‘Em. The Democratic National Convention begins today and one prediction that could be made is that there won’t be an empty chair in the house…or on stage.

Mitt Romney received no real bounce out of the Republican Convention (or “Titanic II” as many refer to it) so President Obama and Democrats are set up with the possibility of moving past Romney in a meaningful way if they play their cards right.

This raises the question, “What do you think they should do in their convention?”

We already know that there will be a strong emphasis on women and minorities and respect for them and their rights. We know that Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton will be speaking and of course, Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

What do you think they should say?

Should they be aggressive in knocking down the many lies the Republicans spouted at the RNC? Should they go after the Republicans as chauvinists, enemies of the middle class and tools of the wealthy? Should they focus instead on a more positive tone and focus on the future and what they want to accomplish? What agendas should they focus on most?

What I would like to see:

1. Debunk the Republican Lies and Present the Big Picture View of the GOP

This is a prime and critical opportunity to blow up the lies that R&R (Romney and Ryan) and the GOP have predicated their whole campaign on. From “You didn’t build that” to the GM plant closing to “Ending work for Welfare” and on and on, the Dems and Obama should rip up this platform of lies because if they do, there is nothing else for R&R and the GOP to run on. That’s all they’ve got!

Additionally, I think it’s important to paint the entire picture of what the Republicans have done and intend on doing. Drive home that they have damaged the nation and the lives of millions of Americans by blocking everything Obama and Dems have tried to do to rescue America from an economic crisis…all to regain the power of the Presidency, as their only concern. Also, hammer home the Republican crusade to control women and attack minorities.

I would like to hear a description of the America we would be living in under a President Romney and a Repub controlled Congress (and SCOTUS). Not a Dinesh D’Souza paranoid fiction but based off of their statements of what they would do if elected and the Republican Platform. If that doesn’t scare indie voters straight, I don’t know what could.

However, I don’t want to see this as the primary or even equal focus of the DNC. It needs to be said and done effectively and forcefully but shouldn’t be the theme of the DNC.

2. Affirm the Democratic Party as the party of all Americans

We saw the nauseating pander machine at the RNC, trying to tell women and minorities, “Don’t judge us on chauvinism and racism by the speeches we give and the laws we pass before and after our conventions, just judge us by the parade of minorities on our stage and subtext-free ‘We Love Women!’ speech by our candidate’s wife during our convention!”

So, I hope we’ll see more recognition of women and minorities than pandering in the DNC. A positive theme about inclusion, community (We Build Together!) and coming together as Americans despite our differences would seem to be just what the doctor ordered after the poisonous hatefest, blame-a-thon and lie-o-rama at the RNC.

3. A Main Focus and Details on How Obama and Dems Want to Make Things Better in America

One thing that not even Romney’s biggest fans can say about him and his campaign with a straight face is that he has anything resembling a “vision”. His supporters may say in general terms how Romney wants to make everything better (as their noses grow) but the only details we know about what Romney would do is make sure the wealthy and powerful become wealthier and more powerful.

So I think it would be meaningful for President Obama and the Dems to keep the inspirational speeches to a minimum and spend the majority of the convention on the one major area where R&R and the GOP are incapable of competing, in the arena of specific solutions and proposals that they will pursue if elected. You know, the “vision” thing.

Much as Romney has hinged his entire campaign on making this election a referendum on Obama and the economy, this is in fact a contrast election so it is important for Obama to contrast with him. There are two ways of doing so, explicitly and implicitly. Though there does need to be some explicit contrasting, laying out how terrible Republican policies will be for America while how constructive Democratic policies will be, I would like to see the majority of the DNC as a platform for promoting the approaches and causes they support and trying to positively inspire and enlist people into that vision.

There is a strategy here, in impressing a positive perception about the Dems and Obama and passively inferring a negative perception about the Repubs (even just by inspiring people to compare the two parties) that can be more powerful than explicitly stating to the public “We’re on your side and they’re your enemies.” Even though, for 99% of Americans, that is actually true, once you use such divisive rhetoric, it is discounted by many voters whether or not it is true.

There is no escaping that Romney and the Repubs have huge negatives. Their campaigning and commercials (including their SuperPACs) are almost completely negative and since the GOP Primary, have cemented the feeling of negativity around them as they have sought to inspire higher negativity about Obama.

Their lies should be exposed and confronted but at the same time, by presenting a positive and doable agenda and connecting with Americans’ stubborn optimism that things can truly get better, Obama and the Dems could build an unassailable advantage with voters.

So what would you like to see the Democrats and President Obama say at the DNC? What issues do you want to see discussed? What strategies would you like to see exhibited? What are you thinking about what you’ve seen?

Share your thoughts about the Democratic National Convention right here!

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Olderandwiser55
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Olderandwiser55

I’m seeing EXACTLY what I want. Dems are hitting it out of the park. The first night with Nancy and the Dem women of Congress-“where are the women?”-there is your answer. Cecile Richards, president of Planned parenthood and daughter of the great Ann Richards-omg. “It’s like we woke up in a bad episode of ‘Mad Men.'” she said.

Ken Salazar, the older 12th generation Mexican-American, San Antonio’s Julian Castro-a younger 2nd generation rising star, Jared Polis- Polis is one of the only openly gay people elected to the House as a freshman and the first gay parent in Congress.

Sandra Fluke ” An America in which our president, when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters — not his delegates or donors”

Michelle Obama brought the house down “Barack believes that when you work hard and done well and walk through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you.”

Elizabeth Warren warming up the crowd for Bill Clinton “No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance, they live, they love and they die and that matters. That matters because we don’t run this country for corporations — we run it for people and that’s why we need Barack Obama.”

And President Clinton “The most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility — a we’re-all-in-this-together society — you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

I could not be more impressed! Everyone had a voice. Women, Hispanics, old, young, liberals, moderates, independents. Just excellent-can’t wait for today!

Rocky Mountain PBS is doing a nice job of covering all the speeches with less punditry.

And I forgot to mention important veterans support! Tammy Duckworth was unbelievable.

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funksands
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I thought Chris Hayes made a very interesting point in the post-speech coverage at the convention last night:

He basically laid out the observation that the good things that Clinton got done during his time in office also led to a series of compromises with the Republicans on a host of issues. Bad policy that had far-reaching impact on our government and society far into the future.

Repeal of Glass Steagall, DOMA, DADT, NAFTA, GATT, Crime and Prison legislation….

While Obama’s really had to sacrifice little or nothing of lasting consequence to accomplish his victories.

I thought that was an interesting observation.

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AlphaBitch
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AlphaBitch

Sorry, but the change to the platform has me FURIOUS. The rights of Palestinians are important, too. WTF? I wrote Obama for America and stated no more money, take me off the lists and I will not walk, call, drive any more.

I will vote for him, but it is a lesser of two evils for me at this point.

Did Obama not hear Deval Patrick? Grow a fucking backbone.

Sorry guys, but I am furious and off for a while now until my head reforms….I admire you all, and your passion. My passion just doesn’t match it right now.

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funksands
Member

AB, I share your frustration. Like Susan below, I’d like to know the whole story behind the change, but its disappointing regardless.

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AlphaBitch
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AlphaBitch

Hi Funkman.

I’ve spent the day sulking and pouting.

Had a call from a very dear friend who is an Imam. We shared our pure disbelief. So Romney is “advised” by the neo-cons (Dan Senor most notably) and would attack or allow Israel to attack Iran. N-I-C-E.

Then we have the current President, whose middle name can’t be spoken, acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel.

NO, it ISN’T. Just because you say it doesn’t make it so. If I went to the bank, and stated that I had Mitt Romney’s money to play with, would it be true? As Republicans have proven, just saying it doesn’t make it true.

The Israelis declared Jerusalem their capitol in 1950, shortly after arriving and displacing the Palestinians. Only two nations ever formally recognized Jerusalem as the capitol; the U.S. has its embassy in Tel Aviv, which is where most are headquartered.

Now imagine if Palestinians declared Tel Aviv to be the capitol of Palestine, and moved into the city ruthlessly displacing all the others.

Bah.

There are two stories I know well: one is the story of Afghanistan. The other is the story of Palestine.

I always believed in Israel’s right to exist – but in concert with those who had tended the land while they wandered the world. I’m losing that belief quickly these days.

What my friend and I both commented on is how very, very sad it was to – on MONDAY night – see dozens of Arab Americans for Obama, only to watch their hopes dashed because of the need to chase AIPAC. Pam Geller is a witch, a bitch and an abomination on humankind. Siding with those people (and for me it is becoming an us vs. them mentality) speaks volumes about who you are.

So that’s my story. People can rationalize all they want about how great the DNC is in all other issues, how inclusive, blah blah blah. But it was Obama himself, from all indications, who demanded this clause be put back into the platform, as it was in 2008.

Grow a backbone. In the words of Stephen Bruton, “If you buy an ally (we pay Israel $3B a year), you can treat them like a whore”. There’s something backasswards here. We should own Israel, not the other way around. We pay them to be OUR friend????????

Again, the Planet has always been the source of rational conversation, deep thought, respect for others. I admire all the good work you guys do and have done. For myself, I’ll sit this one out, thank you.

May the force be with you, and I mean that. The farce is all I can see at present, so I need a “time out”. -AB

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SueInCa
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AB I am halfway there with you. In my opinion Jerusalen belongs to the Palistinians. Netanyahu is using the religious right as much as they are using him. I know what he did to Palistinian Christians he tried to demand 60 Minutes not tell the story. And the RR is using the Jews and Israel as some mechanism to make their fantasy rapture happen. I read where a Rabbi said “We know what the religious right wants and we know why but we also know their ActV does not end well for us in their fantasy” And that is all it is. I agree God should be out of the platform but what puzzles me is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in charge why would she agree to such a change? this whole thing just doesn;t wash with me.

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SueInCa
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AB

I may be dumb but I have been trying to figure out what it all meant. I still do not get it, probably because I cannot find a credible source to read what happened. At least you are honest with your feelings and I better try to find a good source to figure it all out.

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AlphaBitch
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AlphaBitch

Hi Sue, and thankee ma’am. You are so sweet and kind. See my elongated response to Funksands above.

I am now totally pro-Palestinian. It’s a lost cause, I’m afraid, but I live in the shadow of the Alamo so I’m familiar with those.

Maybe I’ll try beading………eating chocolate is all that soothes me at present…..-AB

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glenn
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glenn

I thought Michelle Obama’s most powerful line was:
“When you walk through the door of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you.”

I also liked:
“Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are.”

All in all, it was a very powerful speech, and I’m not ashamed to say I cried through most of it. (Of course, it didn’t help that the last time I listened to President and/or Mrs. Obama speak at a convention, my beloved husband of 43 years was still alive; I missed him greatly last night.)

Her words and emotions were very stirring, and brought me back to why I voted for her husband in the first place. I never understood why President Obama let republicans/tpartiers/foxnews define him over the term of his presidency. Finally, we are getting back to defining the President from the people who know him best.

I hope that the Democrats and the convention stay from as much negativity as they can. I do agree they should call out R/R on their lies.

But, instead of telling us what the republicans are going to do, tell us how your policies have already worked, such as Obamacare, and what policies you will continue/institute to keep the progress going. I am listening to Sister Simone Campbell speaking right now. I’m glad to see/hear these stories, such as this one, and the mom who spoke about her child last night, that humanize President Obama’s policies.

I would also like to see not only tax policy addressed, but how that tax policy and other policies, will help reduce the deficit.

Contrary what the right keeps parroting, as a Democrat, I am concerned about the deficit. I just don’t think we can reduce it on the backs of the poor and middle class.

I am also looking forward to Bill Clinton’s speech tonight.

Peace

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kesmarn
Admin

glenn, I think you’re not alone in having shed some tears during Michelle Obama’s speech. So far, she seems to have been the star of the convention — and deservedly so. But not having someone you’ve been with for 43 years by your side is also very, very difficult. Many condolences.

Sr. Simone’s comments, on the fact that Ryan’s budget doesn’t line up very well with the faith values that she and many others hold, were especially powerful because he’s been campaigning — in part — in his so-called strict Catholicism.

Now, on to Bill Clinton’s speech, which I’m sure will be a wild ride!

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glenn
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glenn

Your condolences are appreciated; thank you.

I just don’t understand how R/R can “parade” their faith and talk about how much their religion/faith means to them, yet demonize the President; lie about the President’s policies (and theirs); and put money over people.

Again, Mrs. Obama’s line, about not shutting the door of opportunity behind you (my paraphrase), succintly and precisely sums up President Obama’s philosophy, while exposing R/R’s mindset. It is a powerful statement, and is much more of a faith-based statement than any R/R have made.

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kesmarn
Admin

Right, glenn. I see that Ann Coulter has been posting nasty commentary on Twitter about the speakers at the DNC (especially Sandra Fluke). She ostentatiously wears a cross on her necklace. She’s published books critical of liberals; books entitled “Godless” and “Demonic.”

If that isn’t classic projection, I don’t know what is.

She and other RWers dwell in a world of fury and terror. Those don’t seem to be Christian values to me.

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funksands
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I was hoping they’d put Jerusalem back in the platform. Next maybe they’ll bring back trans-fat frying oil for my damn french fries.

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funksands
Member

Must be nice to be a former President and be invited to speak at your party’s convention

Must be nice to be a former President that can travel freely around the world without dodging international arrest warrants

Must be nice to be a former President that is not treated as if he is already dead by his party.

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kesmarn
Admin

Now why would the Repubs want to distance themselves from this?

[img]http://visionthenet.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/bushturkey.jpg[/img]

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funksands
Member

Or this?[img]http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/7/V/b/1/bush_groping_merkel.jpg[/img]

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funksands
Member

Or this?[img]http://thedailybackground.com/media/images/blog//ZZ24AE8608.jpg[/img]

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kesmarn
Admin

What’s not to love?

I must say Clint Eastwood was a superb stand-in for him, though.

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SueInCa
Member

Ok look to the future for a minute:

If I were a birther and Julian Castro were elected as president – President Castro-I would say I had it on good authority that Fidel actually sent his grandmother to the US to raise a Fidel’s daughter who would raise a son who is the grandson of Castro(Fidel). Bear with me now. He sent his wife to the US so her daughter would have a son who became President. They faked his birth certificate to say Father – None but all the while Fidel did this so he could take over America. And any day now President Castro is going to sign an executive order to change our country’s name to Americuba. BECAUSE I have it on good authority but I can’t tell you who because he might get thrown in Guantanamo where Raul Castro will kidnap him and torture him.

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kesmarn
Admin

I can see it now, BFF. Millions of us laboring for bread and water only in cigar-rolling sweatshops, toiling under Julian’s red dictatorship. Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

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SueInCa
Member

I just could not resist BFF. Too funny I am lol. Man I can see why Ohio is sad now. Strickland was a for sure barn burner. He is not getting as much attention as the others but he was redhot last night.

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kesmarn
Admin

I’m watching it right now, BFF! Hah! He really went after Romney, didn’t he?

“He’s so economically unpatriotic that even his money needs a passport. It winters on the shores of the Cayman Islands, and summers on the slopes of the Swiss Alps.”

“If Mitt Romney were Santa Claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.”

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SueInCa
Member

More like last night:

“Let’s go tell everyone we meet when the American dream is on the line, Obama is the man who should be in charge” Duvall Patrick

“Our troops have come home from Iraq, it’s time we do some nation building here at home” Rahm Emanuel

“Start a business? But How? Borrow from your parents.Wow why didn’t I think of that?” Julian Castro

More of this.

“He was more interested in having the job than doing the job” DEval Patrick

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funksands
Member

Wow, what a start to the Convention! The mood and tone couldn’t have been more different. It’s like everyone participating was champing at the bit to get at it. Much different than the forced death march that Romney’s campaign has been.

The second day is always a bridge and often gets forgotten in conventions, but I hope that today Democrats talk about what they learned over the last four years. Talk proudly about the victories, and yes admit a few mistakes too.

I’m very curious about Warren’s speech today. I think it could go a lot of directions with different tones. I hope she comes out and lays out the groundwork of how we re-align how business gets done in this country.

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AlphaBitch
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AlphaBitch

So….before I dash off to work (having slept in to watch the DNC last night) – what did y’all think of my mayor???? I actually went to his fundraiser (I know his mom) when he ran for City Council – we had breakfast tacos served in a parking lot. Big changes, and big things. Thank you Rosie, thank you Julian and Joaquin. ALMOST makes me proud to be from Texas!

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kesmarn
Admin

AB, I hafta find an archived vid of Julian’s speech since I was earning my daily tortilla last night. But I’m hearing good things about it!

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kesmarn
Admin

Nearly 3 a.m. here in corn country, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one on the Planet at the moment.

I just watched the Michelle Obama speech after work and I have to say that if Barack weren’t already president, Michelle would have to be. She is a superb orator. She makes a difficult task look easy.

A beautifully written speech — even more beautifully delivered. Flawless.

And that dress — I’m green with envy — that dress didn’t hurt a bit, either.

One of the smartest things that a very smart man named Barack Obama ever did was to marry Michelle.

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Questinia
Member

That sea-foam and coral, fractal McQueenesque number was like wow.

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kesmarn
Admin

I wasn’t the only one on the Planet! Hi, Q!! (I wandered off to bed after posting that.)

Aren’t you glad she doesn’t do powder blue with pearls?

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Questinia
Member

I wonder why the GOP women use a color palette from Travolta and Saturday Night Fever.
Michelle is like the nectar of the American spirit borne from over two hundred years of FORWARD.

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Questinia
Member

That fractal comparison was a nod to your son 😉

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kesmarn
Admin

Merci, dear Q! He’s as happy as can be in Madison. Yesterday, he posted a pic of the huge statue of a seated Abraham Lincoln in front of Bascom Hall– solemnly clutching a pink plastic flamingo in each hand. First day of class merriment.

😆

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kesmarn
Admin

Well said, Q!

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Questinia
Member

The story! Obama dropped the narrative nearly as soon as he assumed office. As a leader he can’t assume everybody will be with him without a steady diet of narrative and inspiration. The GOP is very good at this, especially spinning yarns about the other side.
It was a jolt to see Michelle resume the narrative with the openness. generosity, and oxygen that we were starved for after the Bushkrieg. She embodied the quintessential American spirit. One feels that anything is possible… but the message and the inspiration cannot again go down the insularly wonky wormhole of DC politics.

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lynettema
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lynettema

“There is no escaping that Romney and the Repubs have huge negatives. Their campaigning and commercials (including their SuperPACs) are almost completely negative and since the GOP Primary, have cemented the feeling of negativity around them as they have sought to inspire higher negativity about Obama.”

Yet the candidates are tied in the polls. How can this be? We need to exploit the negatives.
I want the convention to address ALL the talking points that the Cons are throwing at the Dems.

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Nirek
Member

I want the GOP lies exposed by the President and I want the media to start being honest.

Is that too much to ask for?

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