In the days following the Democratic National Convention, President Obama gets a ratings bump, Democrats unite and Republicans fight. The Democratic National Convention did what it set out to do—unite the Democratic Party. From fiery speeches by the most diverse group of men, women, young and old, entertainers, politicians and activists to veterans and former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic National Convention electrified and united its entire base for the November 6 home stretch. It’s very important to peak at the right time. And judging by the 55 or so days left, Democrats are peaking at exactly the right time.
In contrast, Republicans are still trying to find their footings—while tripping and falling all over each other. Republicans just don’t seem able to agree on anything about their candidate—Mitt Romney. And worse yet, some are even fighting and bickering over how the GOP campaign is being run.
Everyone from Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh differ as to what is wrong with the Republican campaign. Sarah Palin wants Romney to come out swinging more, attack and call President Obama a “socialist”. Palin, who helped Senator John McCain to lose the 2008 race, is no expert on winning presidential elections. Karl Rove who does know a thing or two about winning presidential elections has seen his playbook used against the Republicans. And Ingraham and Limbaugh agree that if the Republicans can’t beat the black dude in office with the high unemployment rate, they might as well disband the Republican Party. Ingraham said on her radio show “if you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party.” Meanwhile Vice- Presidential nominee Paul Ryan is running for his Congressional seat while at the same time running for vice president. It shows where his heart and priorities lie.
Revamping the Republican Party to include some people other than primarily old white men just might not be a bad idea. The GOP is not known as the Party of diversity or inclusivity. It’s more like exclusivity. That’s why they had to come up with their game plan of disenfranchising voters. They needed to lie, cheat and steal their way to November 6. First they lied about voter fraud being the reason for voter ID laws. Now Republican Pennsylvanians and other elected officials admit there is no voter fraud as the reason for voter ID laws. The stealing of registered voters through so-called purging of voters was also on their hidden agenda.
What Republicans fail to understand or perhaps even underestimate is the difference between the two Parties is the Democrats’ strength. Adding as many people to the pie as possible will help to solidify the base. Fueling the fire with voter ID laws will help to intensify the ground game for the Democrats. As former President Bill Clinton said on Tuesday, September 11 to a crowd in Florida, the voter ID lies should make Democrats, and particularly blacks and Hispanics, more ready to fight for President Obama. Clinton is using the race voter ID card as a means to get voters out. Despite the GOP’s vast right wing efforts to disenfranchise voters, in the final analysis, it could actually help get some apathetic voters out in November.
And President Obama seems to have more pep in his step since the Democratic convention. It even energized the Commander in Chief.
While the election is still too close to call, even with polls showing President Obama ahead, it does appear that in this final stretch that the Democrats have finally reached their stride. Enthusiasm is catching on—finally. It won’t be easy but the end appears in sight. And it looks cautiously optimistic.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a former prosecutor and founder of LegalSpeaks, a progressive blog on women and race in law and politics. As a legal and political commentator she has appeared in national and local media including the Michael Eric Dyson Show, NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, RT TV, CBC- Canadian TV, NPR, XM Sirius radio, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Black Enterprise among others. She also writes for the Huffington Post and the Women’s Media Center.