Cleaver rouses crowd as Black Caucus members address Democratic convention

mosads}"President Barack Obama has been lampooned for speaking of hope; hope for a better America," Cleaver said, to great applause. "I want to encourage him and all of us to continue to hope for an America that remembers, recognizes and fervently protects its greatness. Yes, President Obama! Continue to have hope. Hope on!"

Cleaver is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Tonight, I cannot speak to you without acknowledging that the bickering and brinkmanship we see too often in our politics is advantaging no party, but weakening our nation,” Cleaver said. “We can be fervent in our disagreements without being factitious with our beliefs. Congress is unable to do the work of the American people because too many politicians believe that compromise means capitulation. This must change, because just as bees cannot sting and make honey at the same time, members of Congress cannot simultaneously make passionate enemies and expect political progress.”

Before he spoke, Bass brought up the issue of voter right’s, which Democrats say are being compromised in several states because more restrictive rules, such as voter ID laws and limiting earlier voting, negatively affect minorities disproportionately, they say.

“Today, one of the darkest shadows of the past century is creeping into this one, one of our most basic rights — the right to vote, a right that we fought for and won — is under attack,” Bass said. “Throughout the union, governors and legislators have proposed or passed laws to make it more difficult for individuals to cast their ballots. We must build and be part of a nation where ‘justice’ isn't just a catch phrase, but embodies the equality and fairness that our nation's founders envisioned.”

Some states controlled by Republican majorities made it a priority this year to pass voter ID legislation, among other things criticized by Democrats.