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Friday, May 16, 2008

Chances For Platform Repair

JRE, you're the first to accuse us reformers on PlatCom of not following rules to the letter.  In fact, we do so because it's the only way to minimize the amount of fiction that will inevitably be concocted about our process -- fiction that is a weak substitute for substantively criticizing our product.
I disagree on the chances for PlatCom's unity platform-repair plan.  Most of our planks get 85+% approval from likely delegates surveyed.  Even before seeing our February report, 59% of likely delegates surveyed in January said we should start with a clean slate, 71% favored a shorter platform covering fewer issues, and 77% favored little to no implementation detail.  Unless the delegates have changed their minds or lied on the survey, they seem very likely to take "yes" for an answer from the PlatCom.
The Portland plank deletions were an unplanned delegate revolt that deleted more than twice as many planks as the Reform Caucus had voted to delete.  The Platform Committee is proposing that in Denver we work with a safety net.  Our Report calls for our new planks to be pushed onto the front of the Platform, and only toward the end of the floor debate when we see which of our planks have been adopted will the delegates vote on our recommendations to delete the redundant 2006 legacy planks. 
Thus we are following to the letter the rule that the previous Platform is the basis for the next.  There is no rule about the format of the planks, and the Atlanta format was widely considered a failure.  It had "transition" actions like 1) immediately remove all immigration restrictions and 2) be sure not to re-instantiate some obscure New Deal agency that hasn't existed since the 1940's.  Quite the "transition" plan, that.