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Douglas Andrews / August 24, 2020

The DNC’s Bait-and-Switch

The Democrats tried mightily last week to show us a party that no longer exists.

Pity Washington Free Beacon Founding Editor Matthew Continetti. But he did the rest of us a great service.

“I watched all of the convention,” he writes, “and the word ‘China’ was not uttered until 10:57 p.m. on Thursday. Nor did any of the Democrats mention the violence that has erupted in America’s cities after the protests against the killing of George Floyd. Biden talked about jobs, but the American worker made only guest appearances in the four days of programming.”

The editors at National Review noticed the same thing: “If you watched Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the other big, headline speeches at the Democratic convention, you might be forgiven for thinking that you had stepped into a meeting of old-time Democrats. There was less woke, radical rhetoric than in the primaries, more invocations of old-fashioned patriotic Americana, and more efforts to sound conservative themes and reach out to small-businesspeople and churchgoers. What you might have missed was the far-reaching agenda of the Biden-Harris Democrats.”

So it was at last week’s Democratic National Convention, where denial was the order of the day. Yeah, there were plenty of American flags, plenty of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, but nary a mention that murders are way up in Chicago, New York, and numerous other Democrat-controlled urban centers. Nor did participants mention Biden’s plans for an additional $7 trillion in spending, nor the Green New Deal, nor a “public option” for ObamaCare, nor their unconstitutional push for DC statehood, nor their gun-grabbing agenda, nor their monstrous abortion extremism.

Nor was there any mention that the party’s base considers Mount Rushmore to be a racist monument and our nation’s founding to be a blight on civilization.

The concealment of these radical notions is, of course, the work of the convention’s planners; they know that the party’s animating forces are virulently anti-American, and they know that such beliefs are repulsive to moderate and independent voters. The question is: Were the American people paying attention to the Democrats’ whitewash? And the answer is: It’s hard to say.

“Joe Biden’s speech Thursday night accepting the Democratic presidential nomination was the highest-rated event of the week for the Democratic National Convention,” writes media reporter Joe Concha. But it was still down 21% from Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the Democrats’ 2016 convention, and down a whopping 38% from the audience Donald Trump drew for his acceptance speech that year.

Starting tonight, when Republicans begin their convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, we’ll get a better sense of whether these dismal Democrat numbers are due to a lack of enthusiasm for the Biden-Harris ticket or to the lack of a live audience, or perhaps both.

A party’s convention typically gives its nominees a polling bounce, but a funny thing happened on the way to this week’s RNC: The Democrat convention actually gave President Trump a bounce. Today’s Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that 51% of likely U.S. voters approve of Trump’s job performance, while 47% disapprove. Those numbers climbed steadily all last week, and they’re the best this president has seen since the pre-COVID, post-impeachment days of late February.

Expectations were certainly low going into the Democrat convention, but this low?

“Time and again,” writes Continetti, “Americans have elected Democratic governments only to find themselves shocked and appalled two years later. … It happened to Bill Clinton. It happened to Obama. Is there any reason to think a Biden presidency will be different?”

The Republicans would be wise to remind us that what we saw last week was merely the first stage of a classic bait-and-switch. Come November, it’ll be Donald Trump or the Mob. That’s the choice.

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