Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP Photo

Today the DNC launches their convention in Charlotte, NC. This also marks the 4th anniversary of this blog which was launched at the 2008 DNC convention in Denver. Different kind of convention and energy. isn’t boycotting the conventions this year, just taking care of business closer to home. Even the blog has to ask itself, “where do we go from here?” is attracting over 1,000 unique readers each month. That’s a real convention bump from where this blog started.

The DNC released their 2012 platform in a tidy online format that you can read in its entirety or just the bits you want. I’ll post some bits from the platform here.

Arts and Culture. Democrats are proud of our support for arts funding and education. We are committed to continuing the policies and programs that have already done so much for our creative arts industry and economy. Investment in the arts strengthens our communities and contributes to our nation’s rich cultural heritage. We will continue to support public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and for programs providing art and music education in primary and secondary schools. The entire nation prospers when we protect and promote the unique and original artistic and cultural contributions of the women and men who create and preserve our nation’s heritage.

Labor should be pleased. BTW there was a Labor Day parade in Charlotte yesterday.

Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value; every American should have a voice on the job and a chance to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work.

The platform is built around the nice ideas goals (including the ones from 2008), lessons (now scripted into goals), and policies of the party’s undisputed and unchallenged candidate, President Barack Obama. If there’s any lesson the DNC has learned over the years is to know when to gather under the big tent. But protest and descension are also part of the party culture in their post-Dixie-crat incarnation. It’s not that Tampa didn’t get their share of protesters and party crashers (The Ron Paul people pulled it off from the inside.) Weather conditions will make it easier in Charlotte for demonstrators and the media. Plus the party who has the power at the top of the chain, has to expect a response to policies enacted, and promises delayed/unkept during President Obama’s first term.

Where is this party going? Who are the party’s new faces? The next generation? We’ll see tonight. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will give the keynote. He is the first Hispanic American to deliver the keynote at a Democratic convention. But you have to ask if being a “first” in 2012 is something to stand up and cheer about.

BTW Julian has an identical twin brother, Joaquin, who is a state Representative. This could get interesting.

Will the real Julian Castro please stand up?

Rule #1 for a political convention: kick it off with a diversity theme. The Hispanic vote is a hot topic with non-Hispanic pundits every four years. First Lady Michelle Obama has women and maybe military families (omitted from the RNC convention) covered. Hopefuly, there won’t be any empty chairs inside the convention hall.

*in photo, Julian Castro is on the left (striped tie); Joaquin is on the right (blue tie).