Dispatches From the Democratic National Convention

The Democrats Are Going To Rev Up Their Base in Charlotte
Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Sept. 4 2012 2:38 PM

Dispatches From the Democratic National Convention

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Get ready for the Democrats to parade their ideological allies across the stage.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Gentlemen,

Now that we've seen the convention schedule, we better know what the Democrats are trying to tell us. There were no notable conservative or Tea Party leaders onstage in Tampa—the closest we got was Ted Cruz, who is not yet a senator (he will be soon), and who is beloved by both the secular Tea and Teavangelical wings of the party. But the Democrats' ideological allies are all over the Charlotte stage. Just tonight, we get Mary Kay Henry (SEIU), Nancy Keenan (NARAL), and Doug Stern, a firefighter who sometimes served as the compelling spokesman for the ballot initiative to overturn Ohio's new labor reforms. Democrats won that battle—actually it was probably the biggest labor victory of the Obama years.

Oh, and we get Lilly Ledbetter. I went to the women's caucus this morning and noticed which names/lines got applause. Not much applause when Obama was credited with doubling wind energy. Very solid applause for ending “don't ask, don't tell.” But roof-raising peals of joy when speakers mentioned Sonia Sotomayor and Lilly Ledbetter. This is what we expected, right? That Democrats would try to reinflate the bellows that they filled in 2008? That they realize they're not going to by going after the independents who have given up on them?

Advertisement

I think that the "worst campaign ever" arguments imply that this sort of base-rousing is uninspiring. Sure. It's not inspiring. But it's substantive. People elected Barack Obama and some Democrats. Barack Obama and some Democrats passed a series of laws that put burdens on employers to give birth control to employees, to raise pay, et cetera and et cetera. Lots of white male voters dislike this stuff, understandably. It goes to what John was saying—this is an interesting campaign, and whoever wins it has to confront the costs of the welfare state.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

But I'm saying this before Democrats go in front of a big TV audience, aren't I? Maybe they'll water down the cream to 1 percent milk.

Dave

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in the New Yorker. It’s Not Good.

Brow Beat

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.