You know, I do try to not be so cynical. I really do want to believe that somebody, somewhere, someday will speak plainly and truthfully. These little glimmers and sparks of hope are very hard to keep shiny in the face of reality. Columnist Michael Kinsley seems to feel much the same. Here’s the first bit of his Op-Ed piece in the NYTimes.
THE purpose of a party platform is pandering, but it is pandering of a particular sort. The Democratic Party’s platform committee has produced its 2008 edition, and now this draft awaits approval at the Democratic National Convention later this month. Like all platforms, it is not an outreach document. It is aimed at the faithful, under the assumption that only they will read it.
The platform is Democrats’ assurance that the party still loves them, their reward for supporting a candidate who may not have been their first choice and their consolation for betrayals yet to come. Much of it is written in code, lest it fall into the wrong hands.
Translating the document is no simple task. First, an alarmist note. Democrats favor “tough, practical and humane immigration reform.” And, “We will provide immediate relief to working people who have lost their jobs, families who have lost their homes and people who have lost their way.” It’s not clear what that third item refers to. Tax credits for G.P.S. devices? Presumably, “people who have lost their way” doesn’t mean illegal immigrants trying to find the border.
As a general rule, platforms of both parties avoid the word “people” in favor of “the American people” or “families” or “American families.” And platforms traditionally follow the rhetorical rule that there are three of everything. This year, though (in a development that will, I fear, reinforce prejudices about liberal profligacy), the Democrats have replaced the Rule of Threes with a Rule of Fours: “policies that are smart and right and fair and good for America,” or “a government as decent, candid, purposeful and compassionate as the American people themselves.” Or sometimes even Fives or Sixes (I’ll spare you).
He goes on and it’s worth the short read. The rest can be read at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/opinion/10kinsley.html?ex=1376020800&en=30470925f0e2e13c&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink