It is hard to think of a Democratic National Convention anywhere as strange as the one that is now taking place. There was the Democratic Convention of 1864 in Chicago where the traitorous Copperhead Democrats passed an anti-war platform during the Civil War and McClellan, their nominee, rejected the platform but ran as the Peace Candidate anyway.
Resolved, that this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of military necessity, or war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities.
Then there was the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, which also went the same way, except this time on Vietnam, and may be one of the bloodiest conventions on record.
Still the current 2012 Democratic Convention by the candidate from Chicago may top them all for sheer strangeness. The 1864 and 1968 Chicago Democratic conventions at least addressed the major issue of the time. While the 2012 convention addresses… abortion.
The idea that a national party would dedicate its convention to abortion would have been strange enough even if there wasn’t a major economic crisis on everyone’s minds. It’s even stranger since no one seriously thinks that Mitt Romney, who at one point supported abortion, is about to outlaw abortion or affect it significantly in any way.
DNC 2012 isn’t just a distraction, it’s a distraction on an issue that isn’t even on an issue. It’s as if the Democrats in Chicago in 1864 had decided to ignore the Civil War and hold their convention on the urgent issue of access to Phrenology.
So why do it? Because Obama is now more unpopular than popular with female voters. And that is very bad news for a party whose vote is cobbled together by frightening black people about a return to slavery and women about a ban on abortion.
Mitt gained seven points and Obama lost five among women after the convention. Even in the CNN poll, where O’s numbers among women are rosy, Romney gained five points on the question of which candidate is more in touch with the problems facing women today. (He still trails Obama on that point by a wide, wide margin, though.) So maybe the GOP’s efforts to “humanize” Romney, capped by Ann’s speech on Tuesday night, did some good after all and improved his image with women. That probably moved some women’s votes towards Mitt too, although WaPo/ABC doesn’t say. CNN’s poll today found O still leading Romney by 12 points among women, although another ABC poll taken last week — before the convention — found him ahead among that group by just six points.
It doesn’t matter if the economy is underwater, the convention will still go after abortion like it’s 1968.