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View Diary: Walter Cronkite's Letter to the NYT: An Idea for Dems (281 comments)

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  •  I have great respect for Cronkite, but... (4.00)
    I have a major disagreement with one of his premises:

    "coming up with a campaign that does not concentrate on the Bush administration's failures"

    It's wrong to assume that a campaign can't simultaneously point out the failures of the people in power AND offer alternative ideas.

    Besides, it's good and necessary POLITICALLY to hammer BushCo hard.  The country wants to know if the Dems can stand on their own two legs and fight, not simply offer policy wonk solutions.  Because if the latter were true, Kerry would be President now.  

    Bush's popularity is abysmal, and the GOP has let itself be completely ruled by him.  So it would be foolhardy not to come out swinging.  And then, sure, offer strong alternative ideas.  But I fear this is yet another warning in disguise that Dems should be "civil" and above the fray while getting slimed as traitors by the GOP.

    However -- a midterm convention IS a good idea.  I just think it's a myth that good aggressive politics -- including taking the fight right to your opponent -- is somehow antithetical to good strong platform ideas and themes.   Successful Democratic candidates do both at the same time.  It ain't impossible.

    •  Excellent point (4.00)
      However, I think that Cronkite was specifically addressing one of the major flaws in Kerry's campaign:  the constant repetition of "I have a plan."  He never seemed to get around to articulating that plan fully and clearly.  The Republicans of course jumped on this.

      "I'm not interested in that same liberal claptrap. That meow, meow, meow, ironic detachment." -- Stephen Colbert

      by SneakySnu on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 05:39:14 AM PDT

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      •  Kerry and Edwards (4.00)
        ...had plans; they just were longer than ten words.  Thoughtful, serious plans do take longer than ten words to explain.

        It would be nice if we could return to discourse rather than bullet points.  I naively think it could happen if the media got off their lazy asses, ditched the false equivalency, stopped being accomplices to the current destruction, and allowed some breathing room for the opposition.

        Yeah, yeah, the flying pig thing.

        You can blame Kerry/Edwards for many things, but  what might have happened if the media hadn't given free reign to the Bush enforcers.

        We have a President that was elected because the majority of Americans wanted to have a beer with him.  Those are some impossible odds.

    •  Message vs. campaign (4.00)
      I agree that the campaign MUST point to the failures and excesses of the Bush administration.  I use the word campaign here though in the traditional election race sense.  However, the message that is conveyed by an open convention and a declaration of goals and principles needs to be hopeful and take a higher road.  It can't simply be "they suck, vote for us."  
    •  hey chumley, I wonder if it's possible to (none)
      hammer BushCo. as hard as possible anytime and anywhere possible, except reserve the midterm convention for focusing on Dem. plans and values.  Does it have to be either/or?  I think you could have one and the other.

      Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors. Mister Rogers

      by station wagon on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 05:49:21 AM PDT

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    •  What Cronkite means: (4.00)
      Don't do this: "My platform is that Bush sucks."

      Do this: "Unlike Bush and the Republicans, I plan to address issues A, B and C.  I also intend to right the wrongs of the Bush Administration by doing X, Y and Z."

      The most important lesson of Katrina is that there are things that are worse than taxes.

      by RequestedUsername on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 05:51:28 AM PDT

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