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I am sick and tired of hearing the GOPer charge that Democrats have no ideas and I think it is up to all of us to spread the word about those ideas.  

On Meet the Press this past Sunday, Rahm Emanuel (head of the DCCC) laid out a clear program:

The Agenda

  • Encourage Universal College Education
  • Fix the $3 Trillion in Debt Put on the National Credit Card by Republicans
  • Create A Hybrid Energy Economy
  • Expand Science & Technology
  • Everyone Deserves Health Care
Here's a transcript of what the Congressman said that put meat on the bones:
"One, we make college education as universal for the 21st century that a high school education was in the 20th.

"Second, we get a summit on the budget to deal with the $3 trillion of debt that's been added up in five years and structural deficits of $400 billion a year.
"Third, an energy policy that says in 10 years, we cut our dependence on foreign oil in half and make this a hybrid economy.
"Four, we create an institute on science and technology that builds for America like, the National Institutes has done for health care, we maintain our edge.
"Five, we have a universal health-care system over the next 10 years where if you work, you have health care. That says fiscal discipline and investing in the American people by reputting people first. The policies that the Republicans have offered have gotten us in the ditch we have today."
An Auction House, Not the People's House
Congressman Emanuel on the differences between Democrats & Republicans:
"[O]ver the last five years, we've added $3 trillion to the nation's debt, health-care costs have gone up for middle-class families, uninsured have gone up and poverty's gone up. That's the failed policies of [the Republican] party. Now, I've offered an agenda and I asked you--I started with political reform. Join Democrats in literally changing the culture of corruption that exists here, that affects all the institutions of the people's House. You know what's happened? When you look at the energy bill, you look at the prescription drug bill, the Congress has gone from the people's House to the auction house."

Originally posted to stumpy on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:37 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  With hopes this gets taken seriously... (4.00)
    I give myself a 4 to start the ball rolling.

    "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

    by stumpy on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:34:10 AM PDT

    •  What do the initiatives you listed.... (none)
      .... have in common?

      Why do you believe we should encourage Universal College Education?

      Why do you think we should reduce the $3 Trillion in Debt Put on the National Credit Card by Republicans?

      Why do you believe we should we create A Hybrid Energy Economy?

      Why do you believe we should we Expand Science & Technology

      Why do you believe Everyone Deserves Health Care?

      You could just as easily put these issues on you list:

      • Protecting a woman's right to choose
      • Seal of the revolving door between Congress and K Street
      • Verifiable voting
      • Real campaign finance reform
      • Fixing public education
      • Making corporation play by the law.

      WHY do we believe in all these measures? I have my answer and I bet its the same as your's and every other Democrat. That answer is our platform. Everything you listed is a culmination of our ideals. I'm not saying we won't get political mileage from these issues, just that they don't tell you in plain terms who we are.

      "When the Nationals took over the NL East lead in early June, Frank Robinson should have declared: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

      by crazymoloch on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:38:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually (none)
        the Dems came out with a whole laundry list of social issues -- including women's (reproductive) health -- last fall.

        As usual, the MSM ignored it.

        We have to start somewhere the press will actually report Dem positions/initiatives --

        •  Not just MSM (none)

          -- but how frequently and vociferously these ideals are addressed by our leaders themselves.  Frankly, I feel that they donot sing this stuff from the rafters like they should.

          Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

          by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:28:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It seems to me that a primary problem is (none)
            that the MSM has been so intimated by the Bush Administration that they were afraid to do anything but say, "yes sir" to anything the Bush Administration put forward.  Without a reliable way to spread the word, no matter how good our ideas are and our platform is nobody will hear it and they will think it does not exist.  Even here on DKOS I have heard over and over that we do not have a plan.  That is not true.  It is that we do not have the megaphone to talk about our plan.  That is one reason why Air America Radio is so important.  What the vast majority of the American people have been listening to in their cars as they drive to and from work for the last fifteen or more years is Right-Wing-Talking Points over and over and over and over.  It is not that the Republicans are so good at it.  It is that they were the only ones who had a way to be heard.  You do not have to be good or to be smart if yours is the only voice that is heard and they are both good (entertaining, disgustingly so) and smart.  

            We need to applaud every voice in the Democratic Party and to buy all of the products that are advertised on Progressive stations because as our message is heard more often, more of the general public recognizes that they were really Democrats and Progressives all along but just didn't know it until they listened to Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartman, Stephanie Miller, The Majority Report, The Young Turks, and all of the others who are so varied that there is someone to suit everybody's particular taste in radio entertainment.  Now if we can get a television station that is just as successful, we will take the country by storm.  In fact, it is shocking to me that we do as well as we do with what has been an almost "underground" movement over the past few years.

            •  Partially correct (none)

              --you seem to let the Democrats themselves completely off the hook.  Kerry ran a campaign for example that did not once mention the environment and that advocated for tax cuts for business rather than pushing for repeal of the Bush tax cuts.  He also got totally tied into a knot about Iraq - a knot that he remains in along with several other key democrats.  

              While I recognize that the Democrats are not the majority and have difficulty with the media - they have not always been the best promoters of their own values when given the opportunity.  Those are just the facts so to just bemoan the MSM and imply that its just up to us, their nominal supporters is just not accurate IMHO.

              Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

              by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 01:22:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do not think it is the responsibility of (none)
                Democrats to talk other people into being Democrats.  What I am saying is that when the media was NOT under the thumb of the Republican power brokers, there were MANY more people who understood that their personal interests were served better by Democratic ideals than by big business ideals.  However when talk radio became popular, ubiquitous, and totally right-wingnut propaganda machines, people were divided not between left and right but between the haves and the have-nots.  (Of course, most of the people who think they are a member of the "haves" really are not but just want to be.)  Democratic ideals did not change but the American people were flooded with propaganda, 30-second sound bite tag lines like "welfare queens," etc.  Almost overnight, lots of people began to think that Democrats were tax and spend liberals.  It isn't true, of course, but that is the sort of information that flooded the airwaves.  It does not take Democratic domination of the airwaves, television, newspapers, etc., in order for the majority of the American people to know that they are Democrats.  It just takes NEUTRAL media and neutral media is exactly what we have not had in a very long time.
                •  I agree with your statement (none)

                  --but you did not respond to mine - the fact that many democrats have not really advocated well for their/our ideals, values when they have had the opportunity.  That is part of the nub even as you say correctly, that the media has a firm bias against progressive ideas and values.  I just don't think that our leaders have been effective in that way and that has added to the damage done by the Media - IMHO.

                  Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

                  by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:01:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm sorry, I did mean to respond directly. (none)
                    I do not believe that all Democrats in public office speak with one voice.  I certainly hope they do not because I think we need people who come to their own point of view independently so we have a variety of ideas.  I agree with much that is said by Democrats but they do not all satisfy me.  Does that mean that we do not have leadership.  In my opinion, we do have leadership but it is leadership by many.  We have some who say, "Bring everybody home now," and others who say, "We must leave Iraq in a way that protects the Iraqi people from civil war."  I do not feel that means we lack leadership.  I feel that means that we must evaluate all points of view and come to the best solution to a very complicated problem.  My personal view is LEAVE NOW.  But I know that my view is selfish and short sighted.  So what I am saying is that with a media that honestly reports all points of view, the American people will see that many points of view are fairly and honestly represented in the Democratic party and that is far healthier than for all of our Democrats who hold public office to speak with one voice.  If I could choose one voice, it would have been Howard Dean's voice because it says what my heart feels; however, other Democrats did not agree with my choice so I remain an active Democrat who participates even when the titular head (i.e. Kerry) has different views from my own.
            •  Simple Reply/Retort... (none)
              "Just because the conservatives and the national media ignore the Democrats' common sense plans for improving the lives of every American -- whether rich, poor or middle class -- doesn't mean the Democratic plans don't exist. They do exist and they will work for all of us, not just conservative croneys or the filthy rich. They will work better than the failed GOP plans of the past decade which have left us in this garbage heap full of corruption, kickbacks and crushing debts."

              Or, more simply, "Just because the GOP ignores the Democratic plans doesn't mean they don't exist."

              There's your soundbite(s). Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

              Repetition is the key to overcoming media ignorance... If they don't listen the first time, say it and say it again.

        •  So, PICK a core principle! (4.00)
          Too often, I hear progressives bemoaning the lack of ideas and a core principle upon which the Democratic party can launch their initiatives. I'm starting to think of these complaints as very like that commercial that's been airing lately on many TV stations, a bunch of people standing around a piece of paper on the sidewalk, complaining to each other that someone really aught to pick it up and throw it away.  PICK SOMETHING!

          A fellow named Hunter had a splendid idea the other day for a core principle upon which the Democrats can hang their laundry list of ideas. It's simple, and it has the added benefit of being honest. Here it is: Strong Families, Strong Communities, Strong Nation. Splendid. We've got a core principle. Now lets build on that foundation.

          I share no man's opinions; I have my own. -t

          by tergenev on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:29:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK (none)
            But if the Dem leaders pick one that ignores whatever your pet issue/principle is, are you just going to say, "OK.  I'm with you" or are you going to complain that they got it wrong?  

            I think the difference between Rs and Ds is that Republicans just accept whatever their leaders choose as the most important principles, while Democrats are always striving to encourage their leaders to be better/more complete/more perfect. It's the great paradoxical challenge of being a Democrat.  

            •  Short answer: NOPE (none)
              I'm a iNtJ type on the Myers-Briggs thingee. I'm interested in results and justice. So, to quote, "Pick a damn FEATURE!"

              I share no man's opinions; I have my own. -t

              by tergenev on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 01:55:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, and to appease the Justice side (none)
                When the Dems do get back in power, prosecute the hell out of Tom Delay, Bush, Cheney, Nordquist, Frist, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and for good measure, Jennifer Love Hewitt, just because we can.

                Vengeance is fun.

                I share no man's opinions; I have my own. -t

                by tergenev on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 01:58:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You misuderstand at least MY concerns (none)

            -- It is not that no core Democratic principles exist - they very much do.  For me its that our representatives have not advocated these views and principles either at all or effectively.  There is no doubt that progressives and liberals have many many good and sound ideas and principles.  Its getting our people to advocate and assert them rather than quietly avoiding the issues.  For example, was there a hue and cry after Katrina about how the storm exposed decades worth of poor policy and advocacy for the poor and underclass?  Did you see Democrats lined shoulder to shoulder making that case?  For that matter did you see ANY elected Democrat standing with Cindy Sheehan down in Texas? Well - uh - NO!
            And for those of us who you characterize as constantly whining - well those are examples of why we whine and will continue to whine about Democratic lack of spine.  Only the most gullible think that the Democrats have a fine clear message that they own and promulgate with vigor and determination.  That just aint so and you know it.

            Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

            by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 01:16:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree that these are in the same league (none)
        Other than choice and education your other stuff is really wonky. Cleaning up the political system is interesting but it does not affect the average american day to day. 4 of your 6 points have to deal with that.

        Actually if I have complaint with Rahm's stuff he should have made only 3 points and perhaps only 2.

        Healthcare (We care)
        Energy Conservation and Independence (We care for the long term)
        Budget (And we are fiscally responsible)

        Choice is hard to ignore, but I think people are just tired of the debate. When Roe really gets flipped then add it to the debate till then people don't believe it will happen. Education is seen as local, and people don't want the real solution, spend more money in poor districts.

        Take the top three and just keep repeating them or even better just take the top one and repeat it over and over.

    •  Security Opportunity and Responsiblility (none)
  •  You forget (4.00)
    to mention that Dems here at kos have the same rant, that Dems don't stand for anything.  This is total horse excrement, of course, but it serves to remind us that we don't control the MSM and its message.  We even buy into it to some degree.
    •  A list is not good enough (4.00)

      The Dems have continually relied upon an ever-changing litany (or list) of things they stand for.  They sound good on paper but what comes out of the Official Democratic Party is ever the watered-down, lobbyist-retooled, corporate-friendly crap that has lost them election after election.  The simple fact is that the Dems have been played and played again by the Rethugs and they are now set to run against the Rethugs in 2006 merely on the criminal crap and corruption leaking out of the GOP.  That isn't a proper strategy.  It is a weapon to wield but it is not a strategy: "We are not as corrupt as the Republicans but in most other ways, we're the same as they are (on things that poll best in our focus groups)."

      When they can actually define themselves in clear terms without merely playing defense after being defined by the Rethugs, then we'll talk.  Until then, they are set to snatch yet another defeat from the hands of victory.  They just can't help themselves.

      "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

      by praedor on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:00:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What the items on the list have in common (4.00)
        These are all common sense proposals.

        The GOP is run by nuts.

        The Democratic Party of is the party  of common sense.

        endeavor to persevere

        by wetzel on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:07:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  where are the bad guys? (none)
          All these programs are win-win. No one could be opposed to them, except on how to pay for them.

          Republican manifestos always demonize some group and polarize the electorate. Not everyone will accept that (pick one: public school teachers, gay couples, welfare moms, trial lawyers, illegal immigrants, Hollywood producers, Satanist babysitters, flag burners) are to blame for all our country's problems. Polarization -> hype -> energy.

          When Republicans say Dems don't have any ideas, what they really mean is that the Dems aren't demonizing anybody. Progressives don't try to make people feel weak, helpless, and victimized by the "Others."

          "Can we all get along?"

          by hotspur on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:42:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I missed the part (none)
      Where Kerry promoted universal healthcare and universal college education.  

      Frankly, not everyone needs a college education.  Who will clean our schools and stock our shelves?  Instead we need to respect all work by paying living wages and improve our K-12 system.  Everyone who qualifies, however, should be able to go to college with little or no expense.

      Beyond that, this platform does nothing to address unfair overseas labor competition that exploits both foreign labor and the global environment while dismantling our nation's manufacturing infrastructure.

      •  Or technical education (none)
        Maybe college isn't the answer for everybody, but there are a lot of people that could go far with a trade. We need to teach our next generation of plumbers, electricians, car mechanics, etc. to be excellent at their endeavors. Is a liberal arts education the best choice for everyone? Probably not, but if we don't give the chance for people to learn beyond 12th grade because it is priced out of their ability, we are going to have a country full of shelf stockers who long for a good job.

        America works best in spreading democracy when people over the world see something they want to emulate. Richard

        by Mlle L on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:10:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Same as now. (none)
        Who will clean our schools and stock our shelves?

        The English and Art History majors.


        Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -Isaac Asimov

        by justme on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:15:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually Universal Healthcare (none)
        done right, would help with foreign worker stuff. Alot of jobs go overseas because American companies are the only ones paying for their employees healthcare.
    •  I don't think people here... (none)
      .... think Democrats are out of ideas. Without a standard bearer and without a voice in Congress it is hard to market Democratic initiatives. The bigger problem is that if you ask ten people for three things Democrats stand for, you could get 30 different answers - all of them true.

      A lack of agreement on core initiatives looks, on the surface, like a defecit of ideas. We live in a Republic and many Democrats seem to forget this. The reason you see many Americans ticket split is because they would rather vote for someone they trust than someone they agree with. People don't want to worry about the intricacies of legislation and governance. Instead they prefer to place their trust in elected representatives to work towards the public good. People don't want to know know WHAT we will do; or even HOW. They want to know WHY! If we answer they WHY, the voters will not need to hear the WHAT. Once Americans understand our MOTIVATIONS, we will regain their TRUST AND their VOTES.

      I'm not a Democrat because of any single issue. I TRUST Democrats with education, security, the economy and healthcare. I vote for them because I TRUST them because I know they are motivated to create a FAIR, FREE and EQUAL America. If they are guided by these ideals, I KNOW they will do right by me. TELL AMERICA WHY! THEY WILL TRUST US WITH THE WHAT!    

      "When the Nationals took over the NL East lead in early June, Frank Robinson should have declared: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

      by crazymoloch on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:26:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Use policy to articulate these values (none)
        I agree with the premise that principal is important. You can make a single issue (say healthcare) represent your take on the American family, American business, American security. Both FDR was great at this. He could have called Social Security, "Pay As You Go Pension Plan", but I think we can all agree that Social Security has a better ring to it.
      •  Democrats stand for effective govt, not less gov't (none)
        I agree that giving the people a reason to trust the Democrats is the key.  When you are not willing to clearly talk about the values and ideas you stand for, that increases distrust, because the public frankly imagines the worst.

        The bottom line is that the Democrats stand for effective government that actually tries to help people.

        There, I said it.  Ever since Ronald Reagan, the Democrats have been afraid to say anything close to that.  But saying those words doesn't mean that you are a far left-winger.  It just means that you are commited to truly governing.  

        By saying that you are for government that solves problems and get results while being fiscally sound,  you right there draw a contrast to the Republicans who are currently accomplishing neither.

        An example, you ask?  Well, how about FEMA.  Democrats believe in FEMA's mission and will support it.  The Bush administration clearly did not believe in FEMA, and is regularly denying funding.  Their appointment of a crony shows their total disdain.  

        You can look anywhere in government and find other examples.  It is their entire strategy, especially for agencies like the EPA.

        So if you want a party that actuals believes in making government work for you, elect a Democrat.  If you want a party that will constantly shrink, cut, and make government ineffective, vote for a
        Republican.  But if you do the later, look out when the next disaster hits!

    •  The reason why.. (none)

      some of us have made that claim is that when there have been large scale well publicized opportunities for Democrats to step up - like the War in Iraq, the time after Katrina hit, or during the current energy shortage to give some easy, high visibility examples, they havent exactly promoted democratic values of anti poverty, energy conservation or advocated for questioning about the war.

      Now, I recognize that some individuals have - but not in a coherent organized way and we have seen a lot of clay feet on stands.

      Now it is absolutely fair to insist that they do have ideals and views.  But clearly, when the people who support you aren't clear what they are or that they indeed have them - then there is a problem at least of perception.  There is way too much "smoke" for you to complete attribute our complaints to just "Horseshit", as you put it.

      Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

      by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:43:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Republican on Press the Meat (4.00)
    actually said, "Well, that's the first time I've heard a plan from the Democrats."

    I believe this is a critical time right now.

    Liberals have been dicredited, and now conservative ideas aren't worth a plugged nickel.

    It's time for the Progressives--and that means us here at KOS--to create a detailed agenda.  Then we have to repeat it endlessly until it is enacted!

  •  Even my Mother (4.00)
    a died in the wool democrat, bought into this whole "Democrats don't have any ideas of their own" sort of framing.  We need to frame a response to this, because this message is pervasive and does much damage.

    There are bagels in the fridge

    by Sychotic1 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:40:03 AM PDT

    •  Unless your mother is dead... (4.00)
      ...the phrase is "dyed in the wool".

      Not singling you out in particular, it just so happens that I've seen this misused 10 times today on dKos and couldn't control my inner pedant.


      (-3.00, -5.28) -- I'm a libertarian capitalist Democrat

      by AlphaGeek on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:36:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem isn't... (none)
      that Dems lack ideas, rather we lack a cohesive, cogent plan to implement all of the great ideas we do have.  This party could be so much stronger if it just created a bit more discipline and used our great ideas effectively.

      "The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." -RFK

      by apmiller on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:46:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't vote for the platform yet (4.00)
    so I Recommended the diary.

    Universal college education will (eventually) fix every problem this country has.

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

    by RequestedUsername on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:42:19 AM PDT

    •  asdf (none)
      Universal college education will (eventually) fix every problem this country has.


      •  Knowledge is power (none)
        Informed voters make better decisions.  Countries with good educational systems are better off in all ways than countries without them.

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

        by RequestedUsername on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:36:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I wish I were that optimistic (none)
      about the long-term benefits of a college education.

      Apathetic (non) voters will still be a problem.  And my big fear is the insecurity of ballots and electronic voting.  I know lots of people with college degrees who don't consider voting fraud to be a major issue.  They still think Bush was legitimately elected in '00 and that other than some long lines there weren't any instances of fraud or intimidation in the '04 election.  Now, these people don't post on Dkos, but I don't expect perfection from everyone.  :)

      If I had a nickel for every president who lied the country into war.... Oh, wait....

      by deep6 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:31:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can help to secure the vote (none)
        I diaried on this the other day and as of right now, the House is getting ready to mark up what is, in my opinion, the most important piece of legislation currently out there.  HR 550 is an amendment to the Help America Vote Act of 2002 that closes the major loopholes left when that passed.

        Sorry to pimp my blog, but this is really important:  Your Vote Won't Matter In 2006

        Another Kossak, ms in la, put a year's worth of research into the problems with the US voting process and created a great website you may also be interested in:

        Call or write your Rep to support!


        By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. --Benjamin Franklin

        by Jennifer Clare on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 02:02:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have to say... (none)
      ...I don't think everyone should or wants to go to college. I agree with whoever above said that trade school should be an alternative - we'll still need plenty of carpenters and auto mechanics and electricians and... I could go on.
    •  Disagree slightly (none)

      --There are many vital trades that do not require college but would provide a great deal to our country such as electrical contracting, plumming, carpentry etc.  It is unfortunate that we think that they only way people are "educated" is to have a college education.  The US is filled with college educated dummies.

      Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

      by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:46:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with you 100%, But the Democratic Party (4.00)
    ideas do not seem to get out there into the public consiousness due to the media.  However, they are getting out the message of the Republicans being corrupt and I love it!
  •  "You have no ideas" (4.00)
    it's just Repub trash talk.

    The progressives have always had the best ideas, the ones that were actually good for people.  All the policies that pulled us out of the depression, civil rights, etc.

    And if this is really their platform for the next century then I will totally sign on with the Democrats.  Because this is highly progressive.

    "Really," said the Scarecrow, "you ought to be ashamed of yourself for being such a humbug." -- L. Frank Baum

    by kismet on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:54:30 AM PDT

    •  Agreed! (none)
      We do have excellent ideas, but we need to do a better job talking about them (t.e. framing).  The MSM isn't doing us any favours, and sometimes actually carries water for the Republicans, so we need to stress these ideas everytime a Dem is on TV!
  •  This is a must recommend diary. (none)
  •  But why hasn't the DNC sent this out? (4.00)
    I get all kinds of event-driven, issue-specific e-mails from them (as well as, of course, fundraising pleas), but I haven't seen from them a "Here's what we officially stand for, right here, right now, on all the issues of the day" e-mail.

    They have a MASSIVE database of loyal Democrats. Seems like if they have a message to get out, that's the place to start. Please don't assume we're all watching Meet the Press. Believe it or not, a lot of us go to mass/church on Sunday morning.

    •  It doesn't (and wont) get out... (4.00)

      Because it is the political agenda of this one particular Democrat, not the Democratic Party.  The Party is run by the DLC who is busy running nauseating focus groups, whispering to lobbyists, and rubbing shoulders with Corporate America so they can be instructed what an "acceptable" platform is.  An acceptable Dem/DLC platform includes continuing the Bankruptcy Bill, continuing the Patriot Act, continuing the illegitimate war in Iraq.  It in no way includes bills and an agenda favorable to labor, or that reconfigures taxes so that they are properly and fairly progressive with the wealthiest paying their fair share, doesn't include knocking HMOs and pharmaceutical companies down a few notches.  The nice list above is merely a wishlist from a single representative.  Nice and hard to argue against, but then, just as much the Democratic agenda as my own personal list of "things to do to make the country better".

      "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

      by praedor on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:09:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think Howard Dean planned to talk about (none)
      the new agenda this fall, but then Hurricanes Katrina and Rita delayed their announcement of the 2006 agenda.

      I suspect that the DNC will talk about the agenda more starting in January or at least closer to the midterm elections.

      Also, I don't think Emanuel Rahm planned to talk about the 2006 agenda. It was only after Russert and the Republican guy ganged up on him and started on the meme that Democrats have no ideas where Rahm laid out the new agenda.

    •  You need to talk to Harry Reid and (none)
      Nancy Pelosi.  The DNC is not a policy maker.  Does the DNC contribute to the discussion?  Probably, but don't count on Dean issuing anything until the Minority LEADERS are on board.
  •  Even though I do not work in education, (4.00)
    I find myself always quite interested in public education.  It is truly th great equalizer in America.  Well, it is suppose to be.  But it seems like we need some grand changes in our schools to help the great equalizer along.  Not George's No Child Left Behind bullshit.  It was a sweeping change.  But change for the sake of change only and then not funding the change is completely ridiculous policy. Bush want to have a policy he could point to.  Good job, Mr. President.  You have a policy and a motto.  

    Talking points and underfunded policies may be good politics but it isn't what is good for the children.  Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has a plan for schools and announced it today. The plan includes universal preschool for children across the country, a standardized curriculum for all 50 states, full-day kindergarten and year-round schools.

    Some of the recommendations:

    * Extend the school year in low-performing schools, expand after-school programs, pay for universal preschool and full-day kindergarten and increase federal college grants.

    * Develop a uniform, but voluntary, set of nationwide student learning goals, or curriculum, for core courses.

    * Improve teacher training and offer financial incentives to entice teachers to work in high-poverty schools.

    * Link neighborhood schools with their communities and families by providing such things as social services, English classes, parenting skills classes and home visits.

    I love each of the recommendations.  There is an abundance of research suggesting the children learning capacity is great during the years prior to attending kindergartern.  Parents who can afford it are often already sending their children to pre-school.  Pre-school needs to be provided to every child in America.   We do not need the poor children in this country to be attending kindergarten a step behind.  It could easily be a factor in continuing the cycle of poverty.

    Extend the school year for low-performing schools. Absolutely.  I know the kids in the older grades would complain and it may affect some vacations.  I don't care!  We are talking about the future of our country right here.  We need to provide them with best possible education.

    And we are currently not providing our children with the best education because other things are more important to our society as a collective whole.  

    I am thrilled to see this plan for education reform.  I hope Democrats take heed of these suggestions and use them in their campaigns for 2006 and 2008.

    He that chooses his own path needs no map. Queen Kristina of Sweden.

    by Boppy on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:59:04 AM PDT

    •  Standardized Curriculum and NCLB (none)
      I do work in education and while NCLB is underfunded, there are good and bad parts to the legislation (in fact it is leading to more standardized curriculum). The problem with fixing education as policy platform is that the real solutions, nationalized education, more funding for poor kids than wealthy ones, real school choice, turn our current education system on its head in way that the infrastructure will not support. Hopefully over the next 10 yeats the data collection will improve (because of NCLB) so that we can just tag 15k to each student from age 1 - 22 and see what happens. But it will 30 years till we really know.
  •  Probably not for the platform (4.00)
    but I personally never want to see another "vanity war"
  •  Reframe - rough stump speech idea - ticket up (4.00)
    You ask where our ideas are?  We got them and we've been trying to get them through the most corrupt and obstinate Congress in this century. We've met a some hardcore, expensive resistance, but you can help us over the wall.  We just need a little hand up to make it, and we need you to make our ticket your ticket too.  We got your ticket up.

    Here are the DEM ideas - they're all about getting everyone a piece of the ticket up.  Your GOP leaders have been preventing congressional action on your ticket up, that party of "No way" if it helps the average guy.

    Universal college education: if you can make the grade you should be there. No teen left behind, no adult left behind.  We know how horrendous it is to juggle trying to get more schooling in while trying to work and meet your family's needs.  If you need training to work or improve your job, we're your ticket up.

    Fix budget and national debt - real fiscal responsibility means cutting extravagent ways of doing business and correcting the errors of the last 5 years. Cut military excess spent on useless programs, and put the money into troop armor and supplies.  Bring home every National Guard unit where they belong and let them earn in a real job and help us at home.  End the very expensive anti-competitive no-bid contracts. Pay down that horrendous $9 Trillion in debt. The rich have kept coming back for more and more taxbreaks because they don't want to pay for what it takes to make America strong.  Undo all the giveaway taxbreakss to ultrarich, dead or alive.  They didn't spend a dime to help us, they export our best jobs to China and India.  If you want America to rise up strong and free of debt, in firm control of her future, unbeholden to anyone, we are your ticket up.

    Create a National Institute of Science and Technology - NIST, supporting real science and innovation, what a great idea!  The rest of the world is investing heavily, trying to catch up and beat us. They're pulling even, perhaps ahead in biosciences.  We need to get ourselves organized and back in the game, from grade school through PhD programs, to maintain and expand our technology with even better science.  The best technology means best jobs and standard of living, and the best defense.  America will get the best information research can find and this won't be hidden in some corporate vault.  It will be shared with all Americans for our benefit. We are your ticket up!

    Universal Health care: it's tought to face it, but a growing percentage of America is sickly.  In order to improve all our health we need to pick it up for all, for at least basic coverages.  The time to walk away from those suffering in illness and disease is over.  These Americans need our help.  Time to quit playing games with the VA.  It's high time we responded and got everyone onto the ark of good health.  Investing in everyone's health lifts up all our boats.  In this ticket to health, everybody can see a doctor for help getting well, staying well and becoming more fit.

    When you look at America now, the options before you, with basic common sense, you'll understand how much you've been beaten down in the last few years and how much you need that ticket up.  We've got your ticket up with all the great ideas we need to fix America and make your dreams for life happen.  It's time to make sure everyone is on board with this ticket.  It's time to work on the average man and woman's dreams for life and make them as far above average as we can go.  If you just want to learn, work and play with your friends and family, we've got the plans to give you that time and the real opportunities and chance we all deserve to become our best.  Don't let the old rich opportunity blockers remain in your way.  You've got the ticket up and America, and what a mighty middle America it is, will not be denied.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis.

    by antirove on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:04:41 AM PDT

  •  It bears mentioning... (4.00)
    ...that we on the blogs will have a tremendous impact on how successful the party is in getting the message out that yes, the Democrats have a plan and yes, you can have some details.

    Go forth and talk about it.

  •  this is old news (none)
    what's not old news is people are starting to listen.

    and it's a force of habit/ if it moves then you fuck it / if it doesn't move you stab it -- MacManus

    by BiminiCat on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:07:22 AM PDT

  •  All great ideas, but (4.00)
    where's our 6-word platform? You know, the Democratic equivalent of "Smaller Government. Strong Defense. Family Values".

    I do think we have great ideas, but we need to give people a compelling philosophy of progressive gvernment before we offer them anything else.

    As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

    by sidnora on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:10:59 AM PDT

      •  Do you mean this... (none)
      •  I just know (none)
        that you meant to say, "Security, Opportunity and Responsibility" <g>.

        Kidding aside, I'd say it's a start. I don't want to seem like I'm nit-picking, but it actually seems too vague to me. There's just no mental visual formed from these three words. When I think of the GOP slogan, I see an image of: troops marching proudly by, fat lazy bureaucrats being kicked down the steps of a government building, and a "Father Knows Best" family posed in front of their house. What mental pictures do the Dems' three words bring to your mind?

         My personal preference is "We're all in this together". And the mental image it evokes in me is very like the photo on the web site.

        As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

        by sidnora on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:52:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Does good government fit in a sound bite? (none)
      And does modern republicanism match their soundbite?

      Government is getting bigger, terrorism and natural disasters are getting worse, and wasn't Bennett the republican's paragon of virtue?  I think the republican platform is a sugar-coated lie that leads to this pork-stuffed plutocracy that charges its taxes to the future.

      I think freedom, effective government, and necessary taxes is what democrats stand for, and it is exactly why we we are less popular.

      Freedom is untidy -- Not enforcing religious mores lets consenting adults trade blow-jobs in the oval office.  Effective government is making the government work for people, not corporations.  Taxes are certain as long as we have a government.  We need to make sure that the taxes (that will not ever really go down) get spent on useful things.

      So hey, soundbite-wise, I'm a pro-tax libertine.  But the republicans, upon mis-hearing "Nothing's certain but Death [or] Taxes", choose death.

    •  6 words (none)
      Universal Healthcare, Energy Independence, Balanced Budget
  •  Democrats have so many ideas... (4.00)
    ...that it's taken the Republicans 25 years to get rid of them all.  And they're still not done.  It's hard work, dismantling a functioning and prosperous nation, but they're making good progress.
  •  Hammer away. (none)
    As others have noted, we can have the biggest impact getting the Democrats message out. If we all can make a point of getting the agenda out as often as possible it will stick.

    Take this url and get it to everyone you know on both sides of the aisle. It's what the Republicans did so well, now it's our turn.

    Get the message out. Security, Opprotunity, and Responsibility.

  •  We on the left have lots of ideas... (none)
    ....the problem is that they are having a hard time being heard...all four branches of government are in GOP control...Congress, the judiciary, the executive  and the MSM branch are all GOP strongholds.
  •  Excellent (none)
    This is a great list, very clear and concise.  Democrats in office would be wise to take a play out of Bush's playbook and repeat this list ad infinitum.

    Welcome to Bizarro World. Please check all rational thought at the door.

    by starkness on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:24:35 AM PDT

  •  When every democrat starts talking the talk (4.00)
    - in other words mentioning these five items in every interview-

    People will start to associate the democrats with a plan.

    Odds are tho, you won't hear another democrat mention these ideas together, or attribute them to a democratic plan for weeks or months.

    I like the points in this plan. It's short and easy to remember. Now, just get everybody on the same page, and start talking about it.

    Also, the plan needs a name that can be associated with democrats and brings all the points to mind when the plan is mentioned.

    The New, New Deal

    The Real Deal

    Apollo Program

    Project America

    Mythology is what we call other people's religion-Joseph Campbell

    by Sherri in TX on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:26:36 AM PDT

    •  Talking the talk is not the problem (none)
      It's standing up and walking the walk that our Dem politicians have troubles. They talk Dem principles all the time, but support GOP agenda items from the floors of Congress.

      I'm tired of rhetoric and diaries like this. The GOP wins because they act. They don't just talk.

      Dems need to put their rhetoric into actions, the first of which is to oppose the destructive GOP agenda.

      I am I and you are you, and we are both each other too -- Clair Huffaker, The Cowboy and the Cossack

      by xysrl on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:50:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget the Square Deal (none)
      ok, Teddy was a Repubilcan but I think we can adopt him.
  •  Yet another fabulous (4.00)
    Illinois politician...

    These are really good...nice and succinct...and then well-explained. In addition to that, easily explained!

    Nicely done...we need to get this message out everywhere. This should be something that goes to EVERY elected Democrat...and they should ALL start repeating this agenda over and over and over again until it sticks.

  •  this will not make me popular, but (none)
    I have serious doubts that universal college education is desirable or possible. Free access to college education - absolutely!! I teach at a public university and am very committed to access (too bad that the state's share has fallen from 90% in my dad's day to 17% today). But I definitely see students who even when they are trying as hard as they can do not succeed in academic courses at the college level. The solution is not to water down the courses - it is to be sure that there are alternatives that are equally attractive and that have the potential for marketable skills.

    Universal free preschools will undoubtably reduce the number of students who are not able to benefit from a college education. But we take all students in the top half of their high school class, and some of them don't make it. No preschool is good enough to prepare all of the bottom half of those classes for college.

    Our black humor joke about state support is to say that we used to be state supported, then state assisted, and now we are state located.

    Boethius: Empires fall.

    by Wee Mama on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:34:28 AM PDT

  •  Opportunity, prosperity and sustainability (none)
    I like that slogan.  Plus it's SUPER positive.  :)

    If I had a nickel for every president who lied the country into war.... Oh, wait....

    by deep6 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:37:31 AM PDT

  •  Dems are full of great policy ideas but... (none)
    ..there is to this day no unifying vision for a Democratic led country.

    Ask ANYONE and they will tell you that Repukes stand for 1)small gvmint 2)low taxes 3)strong military 4)"moral values".

    The interesting thing in this list is that it incorporates the red meat of the core parts of the conservative coalition. Low taxes for the business crowd. Small gvmint for the libertarians. Strong military for the flag wavers. And "moral values" for the American Taliban.

    I challenge you to give a similar list for our side. It doesn't exist. Period. No unifying vision to hold our coalition together. No message consistency that transcends individual candidates. No "brand D".

    The vision thing wins out over good policy hands down.

    •  Effective government & necessary taxes (none)
      Effective government & necessary taxes is what democrats stand for, and it is exactly why we we are less popular.

      We're never going to reach the conservative dystopia of a no-tax tiny government, we're always going to have a government and government spending.  Democratic ideals guide us to using that social spending for social goods (infrastructure, health care, education) while the Republican view of all government spending as illegitimate guides them into  plutocratic pork projects that divert the spending into their own pockets: If we have to steal the money and give it to someone, it might as well be our friends.

      If we view government spending as a legitimate activity, we also see that paying for it is necessary and we look for ways to pay for it, thus necessary taxes.   If the spending isn't legitimate, then paying for it isn't legitimate either.

      Democrats are for effective government and the necessary taxes to support it.  It isn't popular, compared to the pork for free republican platform, but it is more sane.

      Death or Taxes? - Republicans choose death.

  •  Too bad *other* Dems aren't listening (none)
    the ones who want to increase the size of the US Army instead (the better to facilitate 'doing' Iran?)

    Dems aim to increase army size

    A team of Senate and House Democrats today are planning to introduce legislation today aimed at significantly increasing size of  the U.S. Army.

    Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services (SASC) airland subcommittee, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), a SASC member, and Reps. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), both members of the House Armed Services committee, are pressing for the passage of the United States Army Relief Act.

    The legislation seeks to  raise the cap of the Army's end strength, said an aide to Tauscher.

    That won't do one thing to lower the debt, or provide health care to anyone. All it will do is hand over more cannon fodder to Bush.

  •  They keep spinning (none)
    the no agenda piece.  This is how far they're taking it.  I saw a speech that John Edwards gave a few weeks ago;  He had great ideas on rebuilding the Gulf Coast, poverty, and education.  It was reassuring to see a politician going point-by-point against the Bush machine while at the same time offering some alternatives.  He didn't address Iraq or the war on terrorism though.  That's another place where the Rethugs try to get us.

    Here's more assurance that the Dems do have a platform.


    "I wish the world was run by love, and absolutely nothing more." I'm 19, but I care.

    by eliasjames on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:51:22 AM PDT

  •  Meh (4.00)
    It's a good program - now all we have to do is find a country that needs it.

    Encourage Universal College Education

    Take a look at where the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( expects job growth to be in the next 10 years. Most growth areas (janitor, truck driver, waiter, landscape worker and similar) barely require a high school education. There may not be enough jobs to go around either, but you'll be able to discuss Proust with the other dumpster divers.

    Fix the $3 Trillion in Debt Put on the National Credit Card by Republicans

    Good idea

    Create A Hybrid Energy Economy

    Reduce oil imports 50% over 10 years - that seems unambitious to me, kind of like "half way to the moon by the end of the decade or a few years after that".

    Expand Science & Technology

    Yeah, cuz we need to create new products for Chinese factories to produce.

    Everyone Deserves Health Care

    In 10 years, IF you have a job.

    I'm sorry - I don't want to attack Democrats, but I don't think this addresses the real problems we have now. It's strictly faith-based to believe that more education and more research will create more jobs or help the economy, for example. That simply ignores the major structural economic changes that have been going on for the last 40 years.

    If the jobs aren't there, apparently the health care won't be either, and without the jobs and some changes in how we treat the wealthy in this country, the tax revenues to fix the deficit won't be there either, and that's assuming the situation in energy allows us to be capable of addressing any of these problems over the next 10 years.

    This is just too little, too unambitious, and much too timid to either make me happy or make me think Democrats are going to be electorally successful over the long run (ie - when the GOP quits handing us elections, like they're doing right now).

    We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

    by badger on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 11:55:38 AM PDT

  •  Emanuel was a star on Sunday (none)
    And not just with the agenda, which was great.  He was more on message than Ken Mehlman.  I think he said "a culture of corruption and cronyism" 6 times in referring to Republicans.  He hammered that point and Tom Reynolds couldn't shake it.  He also nicely looked back at the 11th anniversary of the Contract With America, and adeptly showed how it all turned out to be a pack of lies (restoring honor and integrity), while calling for a common sense agenda of his own.  The REAL agenda item, which wasn't in the list, was lobbying and ethics reform.  He challenged Reynolds to be the first Repub to sign onto a standing bill that covers lobbying and the ethics committee, and Reynolds wouldn't do it.  He wiped the floor with the guy.  He answered the Iraq question, laying forth the false choice the media has set up between "stay the course" and "pull out now."  He discussed the hidden, endlessly inflating prices in payouts for the Medicare bill, for the energy bill ("The Congress has gone from the People's House to the auction house").  He even tied the tax cuts to the culture of cronyism.  Everything had that header.

    As the head of the DCCC, this tells me that this will be the theme of the 2006 campaign.

    Completely off topic, does anyone know how he came to be missing half of his middle finger?  I noticed that for the first time on Sunday.

    "I don't like our government using official state secrets as opposition research." -me

    by dday on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:05:26 PM PDT

  •  I appreaciated Rahm's points (none)
    I just wish he was better in the public forum. I agreed with everything he was saying, and still found him difficult to trust.

    It's kind of that slick-talking used car salesman thing. Meanwhile, the Republican next to him did the thing they always do - show disrespect and contempt, make disapproving faces, and help convince the viewers that Rahm had nothing respectable to say.

    Not dissing Rahm, just tsaying we need to be able to match the on-TV skills.

  •  This is a great agenda ... (none)

    or a great start on a policy agenda to talk about.

    The problem is that the Democrats always want to escape talking about a broad narrative, a 40-foot view of the United States -- that ties this all together.    

    As a result, they open themselves up to charges of where are you going to pay for that with and the idea that you can just keep feeding the War Machine beast and still do all these other things.

    So, what is the broad narrative?

    Well, we have to speak to the subject that trickle-down government has failed our society as the broad framework by which Universal College Education & Health Care and Tax fairness then become the public's choice over the current alternative of tax cuts for the rich and runaway corporate welfare.

    Second, we cannot escape talking about foreign policy and the terrible mistake & tragedy of the Iraq War.   We spend some 500 billion dollars a year on the War Industry and yet still do not have enough money to do the basic things .. such as provide our troops with proper safety equipment.   Furthermore, our War policies and Foreign Policies are warped by our dependency on Foreign Middle-East Oil and this must be put to an end -- for the sake of our own National Security.   So, yes -- we need to create a hybrid energy economy but this must be fit within the broad framework of cutting wasteful Military spending and stopping War profiteering.  

    The broad narrative here is that we cannot continue to survive & maintain a robust and growing middle-class society and high standard of living by becoming a nation is that organized for War and where the vast majority of our government spending is for War.  

    Such a nation, is a nation with no soul, no human challenge, no vision, and no future.  

    We need to reorganize the priorities of our society on putting people first and on the reinvention of our energy sources, and to return our country to it's former role of inspiring and providing an example to the World -- not trying to control it by the tactics of bloodshed.

    So, yes this agenda is a great start, but the Democrats cannot run away from speaking to the big picture -- and that includes the War, Defense Spending, the Poverty Gap, Tax Policy, and the both the role of government and the purpose of our nation.  Is it to be a War Machine first?  or is it time to reorder our Nation's priorities -- thereby making clear how these new programs will be paid for and who wins and who loses.   The people win and it is now time that Halliburton loses.

    Until the Democratic Party learns to put their policies into a broad narrative & framework that the Country can wrap it's collective conscience around and understand -- they will always win on specific policy position polls yet continue to lose elections.

    You do not win elections on a grab bag of issues while leaving major conflicting priorities uncriticized and unaddressed.

    They have to put all this together into a big-picture narrative that dismantles the policy making of the past 5 years and shows just how wrong it has been -- and presents the new priorities that our society can be reborn around.

    •  Integrity vs Corruption (none)
      Responsible Government vs. Irresponsible Governement

      Defenders of The Middle Class vs. Cronies of The Rich

      works for me.

      "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." - George W. Bush

      by 5oclockshadow on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:46:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Putting the middle class first (none)
      or, as Kos terms it, "government for people who work for a living," is the core of Democratic identity. You can't get away from it. If you mention it to people, no one thinks it's a bad value--they simply point to the many times Congressional Dems have failed to live up to it.

      Valuing the middle class has so many benefits. First, it's the right thing to do. Second, it correctly devalues the uber-rich, whose tender sensibilities have been the only real concern of the GOP for years. And it puts "poverty" programs in context. God, I'm so sick of Dems always talking about the poor to the exclusion of the middle class. Those same social programs they tout aren't really about the poor anyway. They are a safety net under the middle-class--under all of us--if the vagaries of life mean we need them. And they're the tool to pull the poor into the middle class, where everybody wants them to be anyway.

      The simple statement everybody understands: "Republicans are for the rich. Democrats are for the middle class."

  •  Some French dudes had it right about 218 years ago (none)
    Liberté, egalité, fraternité!

    And we'll all float on okay - Modest Mouse

    by Linnaeus on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:29:42 PM PDT

  •  I love this post! (none)
    Reading through this I feel like the little bumblebee kid in that blind melon video.

    Anyway:  Here's my personal agenda:

    And here's my writeup on Emanuel!

    I think the best thing about this is that it moves towards Sterling Newberry's idea of UNIVERSALIZATION.  Found here:


    Thank God for people like Rep. Emanuel.  We need more like him.

    "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." - George W. Bush

    by 5oclockshadow on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 12:44:19 PM PDT

  •  For What It's Worth (none)
    I'm an idealist so lookout!

    An American, as defined in our founding documents, has yet to be born.  It's an extremely high standard.  That's not to say everyone is un-American, rather we're all over the scale in between the two states.  The founding fathers had their un-American faults as we all do, and have un-American moments as we move through time.

    I believe the Democrats are supposed to represent all Americans:  an America within America.  In a way, I'm surprised the organization of Democrats isn't more parallel to the organization of the U.S.  The U.S. is organized to manage diversity and foster common cause.

    So I'm thinking why not use the definition of American as the basis of Democratic policy.

    -the deficit limits the liberty of future generations
    -racism limits liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness.
    -education same...
    -science same...
    -religious freedom, spiritual freedom same...
    -affirmative action is not a redress, but an imperfect indicator more investment in education is needed so both people have equal opportunity
    -health care same...
    -regulation same... because we know for a fact when a small guy and little guy are thrown together, the small guy gets pommeled.

    Democratic principles should be logical extensions of a well-defined set of very American ideas.  Republican principles amount to extensions of "what's mine is mine and oh, BTW, yours is mine too."  That's no way to run a country.

  •  Emmanuel Did Precisely the Wrong Thing (none)
    Emmanuel did exactly what Democrats have been doing for a very long time that creates the bogus charge that we have no ideas.  They are good suggestions, and we should not cease talking about them, but while the charge is that we don't have ideas, that's not really what they mean.  We don't express our ideas with coherency.  We must create a frame that drives our entire discussion, and until we do that nothing we say has any meaning, too many people miss the policies themselves for the frame, and a frame we are definately lacking.  We are the party of ideas, but we don't know how to express those ideas with coherence, and until we learn to do that people will continue to believe that we have no ideas.

    "You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free."-Clarence Darrow

    by cwech on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 01:05:15 PM PDT

    •  Cultural vs political revolution (none)

      -- the reason that republican ideas seem so primal and easy to characterize is that many have been codified as part of their "cultural" not just "political" revolution since the early 80's when "law and order" was codified to mean keep the nigras out and in jail and "busing" meant shipping black kids that you don't want into your schools.  Its hard to replicate those quick code words unless you have a cultural short hand that you are trying to communicate as well.  And Democrats don't in the same way anyway.  Democrats have our own codes: fairness and equality - meaning everyone has opportunity and a fair shot - but the republicans have rejected that since they don't want fairness for anyone except themselves..

      Our task is to reframe self interest in a way that is meaningful to middle class whites and does not make them feel that they have lost face under Bush.  If they feel that they were wrong or stupid, they will not like being made to feel that way and will defend him -even knowing that he is wrong.

      We need some solid, plain spoken progressive populist candidates who are thick skinned but afable to deliver our message.  Also, candidates who can give as good as they get...  

      Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

      by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:24:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The biggest issue is missing (Dirty Money) (4.00)
    Campaign finance reform and stopping the flood of lobbyist money. Until we stop (or at least slowdown) the influence on legislators,  all we have is democracy for sale to the highest bidder. This applies to both parties.  

    Until this is on the list, I don't believe the rest will get fixed (at least not in a fair way).

    Bush, the modern day Ahab, "Death to Moby Dick! (aka Evil Doers) ". Dibs on the floating coffin, called it.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 01:12:20 PM PDT

    •  Wrong (none)
      Fixing the polictical system can not be everything, while it might help to get more good people elected, it is a meta issue. It is an issue that effects the everyday issues. It is an inside the belt-way issue.
  •  Must Keep the Message Simple (none)
    Republicans "don't believe" in government. The Bush agenda has been to dismantle as much of it as possible and pocket the dollars, misrepresenting themselves as they go.

    I am thinking of a mantra for Democrats such as "CONSTRUCTIVE, AFFORDABLE AND RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT", a positive message that leaves plenty of room for elaboration without being overly complex and diffuse up front. More is needed than saying Dems are opposed to the Culture of Corruption. Providing a list that gets beyond two or three points seems to alienate and bore people unfortunately.

  •  I have one minor complaint (4.00)
    Even though I understand why he framed it that way.

    we have a universal health-care system over the next 10 years where if you work, you have health care.

    That is an oxymoron. Universal means everybody.

    "If you work" means a reverse means test. How dumb is that?

    "If you work your children get health care", a logical extrapolation form this position, is offensive at best.

    Call me dogmatic, but lets stand up for the fact that health care should be as much of a right of citizenship as the right to bear arms.

    We should be gunning for a constitutional amendment, not backdooring it.

    Maybe something like this...

    we have a universal health-care system over the next 10 years where if you are an American, you have health care. And we will enshrine that in the constitution.

    "you can't beat them on the rink if you can't beat them in the alley"....Conn Smythe

    by PeteyPuck on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 01:35:01 PM PDT

  •  Security Opportunity and Responsiblility (none)
  •  Democratic Blueprint for the Future (none)
    Senator Kennedy gave this address earlier this year, and I find myself referring to it from time to time - not just because I work for him, but for some reminder of the ideals we should be trying to achieve.  This isn't a dollars and cents breakdown, but a "big picture" assessment of where we should be headed and how to get there.

    "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die." - Senator Edward M. Kennedy

    by Crystal Patterson on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 02:06:55 PM PDT

  •  The view from the kids' table (none)
    Over at, we talked about this same interview right after it happened.

    The thing is, the discussion thread there is almost diametrically opposite to this one.

    One of the reasons CP members are upset about this interview is, when Iraq came up, Rahm Emmanuel had no good answer to give.  The lack of a coherent party position was apparent, and it shifted the entire tone of the segment.

    An important point: the author of the CP post is the student who spearheaded the "Filibuster Frist" protest last year.  We're talking about the next generation of Democratic activists (many of us are already in the fight one way or another), and they're becoming rapidly disillusioned with the party leadership.

    We're at risk of distancing our party from our party's future: you think the Republicans would overlook something that important to a long-term strategy?

    Florida Democrats: Learn how to WIN at the polls!

    by JR on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 02:11:55 PM PDT

  •  I'm glad someone's talking about it BUT (4.00)
    I think the list is incomplete and unprioritized.

    For me, I would like to see:

    1. Everyone deserves healthcare (period)
    2. The working middle class is the backbone of the economy and jobs need to be kept in the US
    3. Safety first: ensure accountability and efficiency in protecting Americans from disasters both man-made and natural
    4. Create a hybrid energy economy to reduce the burden of high gas prices on the middle class
    5. Fix the $3 Trillion in Debt Put on the National Credit Card by Republicans
    6. Encourage universal college education
    7. Expand science and technology

    I feel strongly that the issues raised have to be aligned closely with pain people are feeling every day.  The jobs question and the safety question can't be omitted and, like it or not, move some of the others down the priority list for me.

    Just curious - are other Democratic leaders saying the same things?

    HEY - why haven't you visited my blog?

    by RenaRF on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 02:20:11 PM PDT

    •  and (none)
      2b.  Expand early education to full-day kindergarten and 1/2 day preschool for 3 and 4-year olds (ala Montessori).

      Move debt to #7 until economy is booming.

      5b.  Light rail for moving people around major metropolitan areas and between major coastal cities.

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:15:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  PS: Edwards (none)
        See John Edwards' "Restoring the American Dream -- Combating Poverty and Building One America"

        in short:

        "Work Bonds" to Help Families Save. Edwards described a new proposal to help all Americans save, invest, and get ahead. His "work bonds" would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to help low-income, working Americans save for the future.

        "A New Savings Plan" to Help Families Buy and Keep a Home. Homeownership promotes economic security and, for most families, is the top generator of wealth.... Edwards called for a crackdown on predatory lenders and proposed a new deal to poor families entering the workforce: for the first five years they work, his plan would set aside up to $1,000 for future home payments. After five years, American workers will have up to $5,000 for toward their first home.

        Home-to-School Vouchers for the Working Poor. Edwards outlined a major effort to give poor working parents housing vouchers so they have a chance to move into neighborhoods with better schools, expanding opportunity and building healthier communities....

        Make Work Pay. America was built on the idea that anyone can work hard and build a better future for themselves and their children.... Edwards proposed raising it to at least $7.50 an hour. He also called for strengthening labor laws to give workers a real opportunity to organize and ensuring Americans can enter the workforce and change jobs without losing their health insurance.

        College for Everyone. Edwards proposed a College for Everyone initiative that would offer a new deal to young people: finish high school and stay out of trouble, agree to work or do community service in your first year of college, and you will pay no tuition and fees for your first year at a public university or community college.

        Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

        by philgoblue on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:20:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Substance? Great. (none)
    Title? Crappy.

    I don't believe that framing is a be-all, end-all. But it is important to how issues are discussed, and the general impression of positioning.

    How about the title of:
    One Democratic leader's bold new ideas

    Just one suggestion from this experienced candidate.

    "To love G-d is to love justice." - Paul Wellstone

    by JK Minnesota on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:13:57 PM PDT

  •  how 'bout (none)
    we call it "A New Deal for the American People"

    God, I can't believe I just thought of that!  It's sooooo original.  It's time to kick it Old School with the American people.  Let's give people jobs, equal access to education, free ride to community colleges with full academic scholarships available to state schools afterwards and cheap national healthcare.  Forget all the godamned theories and explanations, give people a dollar figure.  How much will it cost per month? Per year?  People need a simple figure and what they will get for it.  Cliinton did present a health care card at his state of the union some 10 odd years ago.  That's what the American people need now.

    I take political action every day. I teach.

    by jbfunk on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:25:39 PM PDT

  •  I had a similar thought train this morning (none)
    The Republicans say we don't come up with ideas.
    They leave out the part where our ideas somehow have to keep them and their constituents rolling in dough.

    Its true that we don't come up with any unfunded draconian mandates to punish the poor and working class. We also don't' come up with ideas that involve pissing billions of dollars away on pet projects for Halliburton.

    What do members of the Repub. leadership say when they bump into Pres. Bush? "Pardon me."

    by mungley on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:25:59 PM PDT

  •  "Encourage Universal College Education" (none)
    This is a terrible idea.  There is already far too much of a sense of entitlement out there.  The result is that there are large numbers of unmotivated people in colleges who really ought to be working in factories or in the fields somewhere.  Granted, we don't really have factories in this country anymore and most of the farm work is done by undocuemnted workers, and that's a problem.  But when you give something away for free, it has no value and that is how it is treated.  Why study at all in high school if you have a guaranteed free ride to party college?  A much better plan would be to fix the public schools that we have now, and destigmatize tradeschools for those who want to earn a living by working with their hands.
  •  What about labour? (none)
    The universal health care "plank" is the only one I see there for them.  How about raising the minimum wage, supporting the right to organise?

    And frankly, I don't think universal college education is a good idea, and even the suggestion is kind of a slap in the face to people who work in other honourable and important blue collar fields.  In the building trades, there's already a labour shortage because instead of passing the trade down through the generations as used to be done, the previous generation has bought into the propaganda that it's better to send their kids to college.  But do you know what a good carpenter makes?  A lot more than someone who went and slogged through at a mediocre university because it's what their parents thought they had to do to "better themselves".


  •  Know thy enemy (none)
      I have read alot of good ideas in this diary. Most democrats would agree with most of them. But, I keep asking myself why the Republicans and Rove, have been so successful in getting their message out. I stare at the tv screen watching the repug talking heads in total frustration , wondering how anyone could believe such bullshit.
    Are they indoctrinating their followers or are they simply going after the lowest common denominator. On these talk shows they simply drown out any debate with noise, keep talking no matter what you say. I believe that has been Rove's strategy all along, attack with lies, drown out any decent ideas with loud and vitrolic condemnation any opponent that seeks an audience.
    Mud slinging can be especially painful to watch over time , and yet, it works. People, seem to agree with who can scream the loudest, throw the most dirt.  I believe Pelosi is on the right track, when she points to the republicans as a culture of lies and corruption.
        David mamet in the L.A. Times, talked about politics needing to be more like poker. Well, in poker, you must know your opponent and seek any tells that reveal his hand. You must keep your own hand hidden, saving the " best ideas " for the right time. Timing can be everything, just ask any decent comic. We need to penetrate the large layer of bullshit that spews out from a largely republican mass media. We need to attack their bullshit, and show the people what is really underneath, in simple terms for the largest effect. Since the republicans are now imploding, then that is what is attacked without mercy.
         I believe that blogs need to evolve to the point of being "political consultants" to the powers that be. We need to know how do the democratic leaders read these political blogs. There is a great deal of information out there that can easily drown out good ideas. Then we can find conduits to these leaders making sure they get them. uses software to tailor to the needs of its customers, by matching the customer with his interests and buying habits.
        The republicans dominate the conversation and fool most of their base by using "misdirection" just in the same way the magician uses it. Misdirect our attention away from the "trick or the truth"  We need to expose their "tricks" so there is no longer any oohing and aweing. Once the trick is known , then the magic collapses. Their hold on power is now collapsing, and people are now seeing the corruption, the greed for power, the endless bullshit. Katrina did more for democrats unfortunately, than the most expensive poltical campaign could of.

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