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Friday, May 9, 2008

Absence of Platform war crimes is not peace

Alex, if the Restore04 petition is simply asking that we not start with the 2006 Platform as the baseline for the 2008 Platform, then the petition was unnecessary, as only one or two members of PlatCom ever defended doing so.  If the Restore04 petition is just endorsing the idea of a platform that covers the whole spectrum of issue areas, then I'll repeat what I've said elsewhere -- that the petition helped the cause of Platform repair, by disabusing some holdout moderate PlatCom members of the hope that they could pass a Contract-With-America-style platform.  It was only after Restore04 was announced that the moderates came together around the current draft.
Your admissions that you -- one of the most fair-minded and and self-informing radicals -- have not read the PlatCom's draft and are unfamiliar with the 2004 platform's extremism confirm my optimism that the minority who have signed Restore04 are themselves mostly unaware of the contents of the two alternatives that will come before them.  The PlatCom's draft did NOT simply begin with 2006 and start writing new planks.  Rather, it throws out 2006 and restores a comprehensive platform with entirely recycled language -- two thirds of which comes from 2004.  The only disagreement among informed people is not on principle, but rather on the empirical judgment about how much implementation detail the Denver delegates will have the stomach and time to adopt.  It's the ignorant people who are calling names like "Republican lite", and I'm pleased that you're an exception.
I'll not press you on your non-responsiveness to my core point of platform ecumenicism.  If you think that the Platform is ipso facto ecumenical as long as the Platform warriors all follow the rules, then we just have different concepts of ecumenicism.  I don't merely want the Platform warriors to avoid war crimes; I want the Platform wars to end.  But we moderates will keep fighting them as long as radicals think the Platform needs to contain statements that moderates disagree with on principle -- even though we moderates aren't proposing any statements that radicals disagree with on principle.
I don't see why such an obvious principle of fairness can't win assent from you and most other radicals (aside from Tom Knapp, Chuck Moulton, and Henry Haller).