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

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  •  Gets my vote, too (4.00)
    I'm going to send this to DNC and ask for Gov. Dean to seriously consider this.

    There is a massive power vacuum in Washington (hear that giant sucking sound?)...we need to get it filled immediately.

    •  i pledge $100 to the dnc (4.00)
      If this goes forward
      •  me too (4.00)
        and my poverty sticken single mom butt has never given to the dnc
        •  I'm not even a democrat... (4.00)
          and I will give money to the DNC if they would attempt something like this.

          They could even present the plan shortly after the convention to keep themselves in the media spotlight for a good while.

          Cronkite's suggestion is brilliant!

          •  Is the DNC separate from the DLC? (4.00)
            If so, this sort of convention might make sense, but why limit it to 2004 conventioneers?  These were the bozos who lost to the Worst President Ever, and tiptoed around the Iraq quagmire so much that they never spoke clearly against one of Bush's worse actions, invading Iraq.

            Forget the 2004 DINOs, have a convention of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, don't invite DINO Joe Lieberman, or anyone else who has kissed or sucked up to Bush and his fellow Bushite scum.

            Can the Dems be a real opposition party?

            I doubt it, Lieberman isn't even being primaried.

            •  Well said... (none)
              How about Boxer as the host?
              •  love boxer, (4.00)
                but not here.  how about trippi or the google guys or ron reagan, jr?  someone who can interface with the blogs simultaneously?
                •  Reagan Jr... (none)
                  is a good choice for his views, but he isn't a Democrat.  I'm fairly certain hes a registered independent like myself.
                  •  give him an idea like this (none)
                    and he'd be one.  open process, open democracy, open door policy --is just too tantalizing.  hey,that reminds me of my husband's senior class motto from 1970:  "open minds, open doors."
                  •  not all independents are created equal (none)
           i'm sayin is, that shouldn't in itself be a disqualifier from participation.  considering the pandering the democratic party has done to the right, alienating their base, it would stand to reason they've created a lot of independents therefore needing to do a bit of outreach to those individuals whose ideals we share.
              •  Cronkite as moderator..... (4.00)

                Walter Cronkite is inspired.   His presence in the American psyche was born from dedicating his life to journalistic integrity.  I would think he has been experiencing some gestation of this idea for some time.  He should be encouraged to participate in the construction of the format.

                I would suggest it be structured as a public exercise in the formulation of a new American mission statement.  Not .. 'mission' .. in the sense of being a people blessed by God to bring light to the darkness ... but rather .. 'mission' in the sense of exploring within our selves and collective imagination what it is we can do to grow a healthy civilization and protect this sacred planet.

                The dedication of a cable channel to the experiment ... with a different topic addressed each night in a symposium like atmosphere with an audience and live participation encouraged through telephone and internet.  Similar to C span.  

                It is time to hear from other cultural, educational , spiritual leaders to share their thoughts on the future of our country.  Inove the best minds of our times.  Transcend political borderlines.

            •  If you don't know (none)
              the difference between the DLC and the DNC, you've got some spadework to do. Suggest Wikipedia.

              "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

              by Kestrel on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:56:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I suspect (4.00)
                that the poster does know the difference but was facetiously suggesting that the DLC agenda is dominating the party's policies, ergo there is no difference. I personally do not agree, I think that with opposition to the war and to Bush's policies growing, the DLC is becoming more marginalized from the Dem mainstream.

                What we always have to keep in mind is that it's the greatest total number of votes that's win (not counting the 2000 pres election!)so we need the DLC, peaceniks, greenies, farmers, cityfolk, workers and intellectual effete liberals to unite around a core set of shared values and vision to offer as an alternative to what the Repugs have given us.

                •  Separate the DNC from the DLC (4.00)
                  You are correct, I hang out here way too much to not know about the DLC, but I think the big-money influence of the DLC has led to defeats in just about all of the recent elections.  The past DNC head was congratulating his crew on "all the money they raised" in 2004, while the Dems suffered a humiliating defeat to the Worst President Ever.

                  Howard Dean is a breath of fresh air at the DNC, the more he can distance them from the DINOs at the DLC, the better in my opinion.

                  DINO dems like Joe Lieberman have hurt the party badly, the "war-monger wing" of the Dems has prevented a clear message on Bush's Iraq disaster.

            •  the bozos (4.00)
              I agree that Joe Lieberman is one of the bozos.

              But I think the way to marginalize his off the wall, crazy policy positions is not to shut him out.
              I like Walter Cronkite's idea to somehow have input from citizens around the country as to policy goals.
              But in order that this doesn't then deteriorate into something that is not rigorous but actually creates some "can do" goals, we need to have  people who have good critical thinking to:

              1. summarize the goals that have been expressed.
              2. and most importantly articulate how to achieve those goals.
              IMHO there are very few people with the critical thinking necessary to define where we are, point "A" and HOW TO GET FROM POINT "A" TO POINT "B".  
              People who I think have this critical thinking and should do this job at the convention include:
              Wes Clark
              Russ Feingold
              Barack Obama
              In order for this convention not to deteriorate into a mush but instead become a "can do" policy format that appeals to voters as responding to our needs and goals, we need these problem solvers.
              If you go back to November 2000 and consider how the Democratic leadership failed in Florida one can see why critical thinking is so important.
              It was IMHO foolish for Gore/Lieberman to call for a partial looked partisan because they called for a partial recount that included only some Democratic-leaning districts. They should have known that the only tenable position they could have taken was a state-wide recount and let the chips fall where they may. They would then have owned the high ground position, even if they then lost or failed even to get the statewide recount. Instead they failed to get any recount and gave ammunition to the other side who complained about their partisan strategy. (What a mess that election was.)  
            •  Because we need EVERYONE on the same page (4.00)
              A split Democratic party does us no good in '06 and '08
      •  Send a message to the DNC (4.00)
        Use this link, copy-n-past the Cronkite letter above, tell them exactly what you just said, that you'll commit monies if they follow through.

        I just sent it, also posted it in the open thread blog at, asked for consideration.  (If you want to post there, you'll need to register if you don't already have an account or get the email newsletters from DNC.)

        •  Just Did! here's THE PLANK (4.00)
          The DNC is going to be deluged for support and more importantly, promises of more money.   This can be a phenominal boon for rookie congressional candidates to get airtime and cash.   The convention should be hosted by "The most trusted man in America" to avoid the daily Dean bashing from the right.   Daily internet tracking polls can help to create a real contract with America with input from real americans.  
          HERES THE #1 PLANK: Most importantly, the convention can end with all of the 2006 congressional hopefuls marching off the floor with pledges to immediatly call for house and senate hearings on Iraq and corruption in both the congress and the White House.   It is important that Dems make clear that our corruption net will be cast broadly and will surely bring in Democratic pols.   However know that any vigorous investigations will bring in Republicans tenfold.
          •  FABOO!! (none)
            That's the coolest idea!!  Why didn't I think of that???  Uncle Walter as the host!!!

            You know, that is so zen-ly circular; it was Walter who really transcended the line between journalist as observer and journalist as participant when he stated his personal opinion on Vietnam.  It would be the next emergent level for him to not only suggest a solution, but to be part of that solution.

            Damn, I think I have another email to send to the DNC!

        •  I did too (none)
          Here's my letter:

          Walter Cronkite wrote a letter to the editor today that posed an excellent idea.  The DNC should hold a convention to develop a 2006 platfrom.  The need for such is justified by the consistently high "wrong direction" poll results over the past year.  The RNC obviously cannot govern-- the DNC needs to hold a special event to focus the nation's attention on solving our problems in 2006.

          I will personally donate $100 to the DNC if you do initiate an effort to raise money for the event Walter Cronkite described.  You should engage him to see if he would moderate the event and more fully flesh out his vision.  It is an idea on par with the Republican Contract With America of 1994.  Since Cronkite and people like me are asking you to do it, you can tell the media it is a grassroots movement in reaction to the complete failure of Republican leadership on all fronts.

          Drill the Republicans while they are down-- don't let them up.  They're drowning, THROW THEM A GODDAMN ANVIL.

      •  When the DNC Releases their platform I will donate (none)

        hear that DNC?

         - listen to Walter. Unite and give us all your platform asap. We NEED it. Save the USA.

        WWOFFD? What would our founding fathers do?

        by leftout on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:56:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, I'll buy that. (none)
        I'm currently giving $15 a month to the DNC. If they do something as proactive and visible and positive as a midterm convention, I pledge to up it to $25/month.
        •  Getting the Attention of the DNC (none)
          Part of Dean's campaign was The Bat.  Is there a way to use the same concept, except it would track PLEDGES, not actual money donated?  I think that would get them to notice.  A nice graphic on the front page tracking how much money is pledged ONLY IF they do a midterm convention would certainly grab my attention.  
        •  I'm doing the same, (none)
          And would also increase my pledge.

          Stop mad cowboy disease!

          by wrights on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:17:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i'm down for a hundred (none)
        if they actually pull something like that off. Something to coalesce nationally before '06 is a primo suggestion.

        I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees

        by tinfoilhat on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:13:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Me Too! (4.00)
      Sending a letter to the Alabama Dem party and the DLC, the DNC, the PDA, and as many other organizations with a (D) in them that I can think of. Great idea, Mr. Kronkite. I think the DKos community can make this happen if we spread this idea far and wide.
      •  Me too, we could use this at grassroots (4.00)
        We could do this at state and local level, too.

        In Michigan we've got a massive problem with jobs, Repugs thwarting any efforts to stem the hemmorhaging.  We have entire cities impacted by Delphi's bankruptcy and threatened by GM's potential bankruptcy.  Yet Repugs -- who created a multi-billion dollar deficit in this state -- sit on their hands and do nothing about it.

        Time for Dems to get in their face with real solutions.

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