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!