"That behavior not only nearly destroyed the financial system, it cost our economy millions of jobs, hurt middle-class and poor families, and left taxpayers holding the bill." True. But that being the case, why hasn't the Obama administration taken a single action against the perpetrators of "that behavior" who worked for the major banks?

Perhaps it doesn't matter that the word "derivatives" doesn't appear once in the platform. Perhaps the important thing is that the Republicans would try to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley and roll back, if not dismantle entirely, the Dodd-Frank reforms. The Democratic platform is correct when it says that "Mitt Romney and the Republicans would roll back financial reform," and it would have been wise to end the sentence right there. But to say that the GOP candidates would "let Wall Street write its own rules again" implies that there has been a fundamental change in the rulemaking process. And there hasn't been.

Just like the Republican platform, the Democrats flick at China, whose aggressive trading tactics, such as keeping its currency at an artificially low rate of exchange, have made a mockery of the concept of free trade. "Both publicly and privately, the President has made clear to the Chinese government that it needs to take steps to appreciate its currency so that America is competing on a level playing field," the platform says.

That's a whole lot feebler than Mitt Romney's strong stance on this issue, and raises the obvious question: OK, if the Chinese government doesn't stop manipulating its currency, what is the Obama administration going to do about it?

The answer seems to be "not much," and that same phrase can be applied to pretty much this entire predictable document. The Democrats have titled their platform "Moving America Forward," but what they really mean is "We're Not Romney."

Gary Weiss's most recent book is AYN RAND NATION: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul, published by St. Martin's Press.

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