Democratic National Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa is claiming that there was no controversy surrounding reinstating God and Jerusalem language into the 2012 Democratic platform.
According to Democrats all references to God– and a statement affirming a commitment to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel— were left out by mistake. To revise the platform, two-thirds of the delegates would have to be in favor.
At the convention, Villaraigosa was forced to ask the delegates three times whether they wanted to reinstate the language, presumably because he could not hear which group was shouting louder.
However, the L.A. Times relates:
“It was a lot of ado about nothing,” [Mayor Villaraigosa] said Friday. Villaraigosa said that when reporters told him after the vote that they did not clearly hear two-thirds support, he responded, “That’s nice to know. I was the chairman and I did, and that was the prerogative of the chair.”
Villaraigosa noted that any delegate who objected to the process could have made a formal challenge within 10 minutes of the vote.
“Not one person objected. It’s more a media concern than a delegate concern. I can tell you this — the president of the United States said, ‘Wow.’ The president said, ‘You showed why you were speaker of the California Assembly,’” Villaraigosa said. “The president, the vice president, Mrs. Obama, all of them acknowledged the decisive way I handled that.” [Emphasis added]
Here is video of the vote, via Buzzfeed, where it seems there was a bit more controversy than Villaraigosa indicates:
The contentious vote on the floor of the Democratic National Convention has been widely seen as an embarrassment for Democrats, particularly due to the nature of the controversy.
Allen West (R-Fl.) released a scathing campaign ad without delay, stating: “three times they said no to God.”
Democratic strategist Paul Begala agrees in the video that it was “embarrassing” and stupid,” while commenters are noting that the marginalization of dissenters is also troubling.
A Huffington Post commenter wrote: “We preach democracy to the world and then in front of the world the Democrats hold a sham vote with a sham outcome…”