Democrats offer virtual vision for an inclusive America. Your turn, Republicans

It turns out the crowds, the balloons and confetti were merely froufrou, just window dressing. Stripped down, it was even easier for the themes of this week’s Democratic National Convention — and the party’s vision for the future — to break through.

The Democrats’ unity on display could be a bit ripe for parody, for sure, a little like seeing Sylvester and Tweety Bird declaring a temporary truce before the inevitable chase continues. The scenes of comity — Republicans crossing over to extol the character of Joe Biden, progressives vowing to work with moderates — would most certainly be replaced by the usual infighting and struggles for policy influence even, or especially, if Democrats win big in November. That’s the Democratic and (small “d” democratic) way.

Sometimes a “big tent” gets awfully crowded, and messy. And with Democrats, the mess can sometimes overwhelm the message or, as in 2016 when Bernie Sanders’ supporters were still complaining loudly on the convention floor, consume it.

But that oft-used expression, that diversity is America’s strength, so often mocked as cliché, still has the ability to provoke a sentimental misty eye if offered with sincerity. And when a loud segment of America obviously rejects it, captured on way too many angry viral videos — well, that’s when it becomes more important to protect the promise.

“Uniting America” has been the message of the Democratic National Convention and the party’s campaign, virtual and otherwise, moving into the fall. Democrats are betting the country is exhausted and pushed to the brink by challenges that an entertainer in chief is ill-equipped to handle.

POLITICAL WRAP: DNC Preview; Mail-In Ballot Concerns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The virtual Democratic National Convention gets underway on Monday.

So what will the message be?

And how will Democrats keep the excitement up at a virtual event?

And the debate over the post office and mail-in voting.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more in the video above.

Opinion: African-American Women Call Out the Democratic National Committee

We crave the hard-to-get while ignoring the one who has stuck with us through thick and thin. In a letter to the DNC chair, a group of black women — activists, community leaders and elected officials — has accused the Democratic Party of falling into that too-often-true cliche. Who can blame them?

Shades of “Moby-Dick” in the narrative that took hold after the party’s 2016 losses, with white working-class males replacing the elusive white whale of Melville’s imagination. Will the results for the Democrats be just as tragic as Captain Ahab’s if the party doubles down on that strategy for election cycles to come?

 

DNC 2012 Notebook: Southern-fried pessimism intrudes on the party

Meet the new South, which has some of the same problems as the old South.

It’s undeniable that a black mayor welcoming a black president into a city can tout skyscrapers, sports and a thriving arts scene. But despite those signs of growth, in the region that has gained political prominence — both parties chose the South for their national conventions — some intractable challenges remain, especially for the poor and the young.

Let’s put it this way: Despite the goodies, a weekend brunch for journalists, with a lineup of experts, was demoralizing. Held at the Charlotte Observer, the topic was “The South and Presidential Politics 2012: Red States and Purple States.” The moderator was PBS’ Judy Woodruff, a Duke grad. The panel was UNC Chapel Hill all the way.