The Democratic Convention kicks off, its greenness in the eye of the beholder
Remember how much fun America had last week when the Republicans were marching around Tampa, Fla., beating on their chests and talking about politics and such? I think we can all agree that it was the best thing that ever happened, entertainment-wise and politics-wise. After seeing how cool the Republicans looked with their balloons and elderly celebrities, the Democrats just decided to do the same thing, except in a place called Charlotte. (To get there, call your travel agent and say, “gimme the US Airways.”)
Today, the Democratic Party will officially approve its 2012 platform. The platform is meant to embody the purest articulation of what the party stands for, but it reads much more like an extended white paper from the Obama campaign. Mitt Romney had at least one (mild) objection to his party’s platform; I suspect that President Obama won’t have any. Here’s a word cloud of the platform:
The Democratic Party’s most important political topics are “President” and “Obama.”
The Washington Post‘s Brad Plumer did a good job tracking the party’s evolution on environmental issues since its 2008 platform. You will be unsurprised to learn that they basically mirror President Obama’s own softer tone on the issues. Plumer notes four ways the 2012 platform is different from the 2008:
- A less-apocalyptic take on climate change.
- Less-ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions.
- Still sounding upbeat on clean energy.
- A warmer embrace of fossil fuels.
Still, no need to worry that the Democrats are going soft. The Democratic National Convention (or “DNC,” pronounced “dink”) is still hella green. The (very conservative) Washington Examiner whines:
The Democratic National Convention takes its mission to be green so seriously that reporters, delegates and others are being scolded for dumping their garbage in the wrong recycle bins.
Throughout Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena are special garbage cans marked “Compost,” “Recycle,” and “Landfill.” Each come with signs showing what is to go into them, though most of the errant garbage tossers seem to be using the “Recycle” bins since they don’t have special covers. …
One reporter said that a consultant scolded her for not paying attention and using the wrong bins. Another said that one of the consultants — who were barred from talking to the media — pulled his plastic cup out of “Recycle” to place in the “Compost” bin, explaining that the cup was biodegradable. “How am I supposed to know that? It’s plastic,” he said.
The post is accompanied by a photo of the offending receptacles. And — if I may do a little fact-checking — the recycling container indeed does not have a lid on it.
And thus is the American political divide on climate and the environment laid bare. Despite the fact that the party’s actual platform has become more lenient since 2008, the Democrats are being mocked as a bunch of dumb donkey hippies who are zealots about composting. And it’s the latter argument (“argument”) that wins the day.
I think we can all agree that we should make the Democratic convention one night long, with only Michelle Obama’s speech and Julian Castro’s speech and I guess the president’s acceptance, and then we can just sit quietly with our computers off until Nov. 6.