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The Colorado State Democratic Party Convention in Colorado Springs (2 – The Convention and the Middle East)

May 18, 2008

Today, I ran into a friend at work who was a delegate to the state Democratic Party Convention in Colorado Springs. I asked her how it went. She liked the whole meeting, was impressed with the numbers (I’ve seen different states on it – some friends saying 8,000 attended, the Denver Post saying 6,000). Regardless it was the biggest Democratic Party state convention in the state’s history, an indication almost for certain how serious Colorado dems are about giving Bush and McCain the boot in November.

One of the reasons I wanted to talk to people who attended is because the Denver Post story on the event in the Sunday newspaper was insipid beyond belief, leaving a reader with little more than a clue as to what transpired at this historic event. Another reason I sought people out was to hear their version of the debate over the two Israel-Palestinian planks that were presented at the meeting.

In terms of the more general tone of the meeting, the Post essentially described – in terms that could not have been more trite – the Obama-Hillary tit-for-tat. From the article you’d think that was all that happened in Colorado Springs.

Hardly historic. Indeed since Coloradoans voted on this issue a few months ago, it was also hardly newsworthy.

Today’s reporting was somewhat better but still sketchy, as if the paper did not want to delve too much into the details. Still it reported the following:

• Iraq: The party called for “the immediate, safe and responsible withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq” and “the closing of all U.S. bases in Iraq, the end of funding for the U.S. occupation of that country and the recognition of the United States’ obligation to reduce the suffering of the Iraqi people.”

• Health care: Colorado Democrats called for the “implementation of a quality universal single-payer health care system, independent of employment.”

• Reproductive rights: In addition to traditional support for abortion rights and contraception, the party opposed the “personhood amendment,” which would declare a fertilized human egg to be a person, being proposed by anti-abortion groups.

• Impeachment: Colorado Democrats said President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney “have abused their power and appear to have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They should be investigated, censured, and, if appropriate, impeached.”

If the party’s elected officials even came close to following these platform planks, the Congress and the nation would be in a far better place today.

Of course the article failed to mention that the call for impeachment didn’t just evoke support, but nothng short of a collective uproar of consent from those present – in contrast to Nancy Pelosi’s `impeachment is off the table’ position.

Also left out of the Post’s reporting was the political wrangling over the Israeli-Palestinian Middle East position. In fact, other than a KGNU interview with Harvie Branscomb, one of the movers of what is referred to as `the minority plank’ on the issue, to date at least there has been no mention of the issue at all.

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