Well, whaddaya know? Looks like the Democrats decided 2012 would be the year they ran as Democrats.
Sure, they tried that in 2008, and to a certain extent succeeded because the country was just so tired of the ruin of the Bush administration. But even then-candidate Obama was clear that he saw his candidacy as one that transcended partisan politics and would, hopefully, carry this country to an age of post-partisanship. Of course, that didn’t happen, in large part because the right decided that rather than a post-partisan world they would shoot for a post-factual one.
That left the Democrats with a choice: join the right in its cynical drive to make political debate meaningless or, as Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick implored convention-goers on Tuesday night, grow a spine.
Democrats have chosen to grow a spine.
Illinois Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth set the tone, fully wresting the scepter of patriotism away from the right in a moving speech and presence that made it clear our military and our world has changed.
Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL, displayed this spine with full bravado, in her fire-and-brimstone speech on the necessity of abortion rights and the link reproductive justice has to economic justice, delineating a clear choice between the right and the left for women. Lilly Ledbetter soon followed with her powerful speech on equal pay and the economic terrorism that women and families live under in a country where employers are not only free to discriminate against women in how much they pay them, a conservative Supreme Court doesn’t believe those same women should be able to pursue their claims in court.
Finally, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro tied it all together in one beautiful, funny and moving speech all grounded in the power of the personal narrative. He spoke of his grandmother, an orphan and Mexican immigrant who never completed fourth grade but, through hard work cleaning homes and caring for others’ children, was able to build the foundation that would ultimately help launch Castro’s career. Castro took on Republican white privilege with class, humor and, importantly, truth, reminding the delegates and those watching that, this election especially, Democrats are the party of opportunity and equality, of innovation and growth, and of liberty and justice for all.
Photo from stevebott via flickr.