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Friday, May 2, 2008

Will The Real Ctrl-Z Platform Please Stand Up?

Less, I stand by my characterization of your list of content-free metaphors as "vapid imagery", and I stand by my "testicular fortitude" challenge -- not an insult, a *challenge* -- for you radicals to stop hurling specious blanket characterizations and to *start debating specific Platform principles and language*.  I asked three very reasonable questions about the Platform Committee's work.  You radicals can either answer them or you can't.
What's "inappropriate" is for you to suggest that the delegates did anything in Portland other than play by the rules.  I (as far as I know) coined the terms "amputated platform" and "Portland crater", so please don't pretend that I have something to defend about the state of the Platform.  Going into Portland, the Reform Caucus had voted to recommend deletion for only 15 planks, and none of us three Reform Caucus members on the 2006 PlatCom even tried to get those deletions into the committee report.  I myself voted to delete only the 13 most extremist planks.  And yet, the delegates rose up and voted to delete 55 of the platform's 62 planks!   The fault for this mass deletion lies as much with those who bloated the Platform as it does with the delegates who saw (more clearly than I did) that we should build for the future from a new foundation.
Speaking of "Ctrl-Z": 15 other planks survived by being consolidated down to 8, so only 40 planks were actually deleted.  Restore04 is *not* proposing to simply undelete those 40 planks.  Instead, they are mutating the 14,000-word 62-plank 2004 platform into what was before this week a 10,000-word 31-plank platform with a completely new platform outline and undisclosed large swaths of novel language. This week's draft is even shorter, but my analysis of the previous draft showed hundreds upon hundreds of words of novel language never voted on by any PlatCom or NatCon, about 5000+ words of missing 2004 language, and at least 40 specific policy positions from 2004 that have been summarily left on the cutting room floor.  Do you know which ones?  Restore04 ain't sayin' -- except to say "trust us".  In addition, despite all the Restore04 talk of an illegitimate "rump" Portland convention, the "Restore04" draft in fact chooses 2006 language over 2004 language more often than not.
The Rob Power platform is not "Ctrl-Z".  It's the work of (as far as is publicly known) only two or three people, who couldn't find the time to assemble and submit it before the PlatCom meeting in Vegas.  Even now, three weeks before Denver, it is changing rapidly and still has basic editing mistakes.  By contrast, what became the PlatCom's proposal has been evolving in plain public view for a year, has no sentences not approved in a previous platform cycle, was subject to grueling word-by-word markup by the full PlatCom over two long days in Vegas, and was published for delegate consideration nearly three months in advance of Denver.  Only 6 of our 30 recommendations attracted more than one nay for adoption, and only 3 of them more than two.
The PlatCom's proposal is a thus a well-considered unity platform that rejects both the Reform Caucus next-four-years approach and the discredited verbose Atlanta format.  In a sense, our proposal is the true Ctrl-Z here, as it reverts back to the length and tone of the original 1972 platform.  Delegates who read it will agree with the surprisingly favorable reviews it's received from the radicals who have dared to actually read it.  That's surely the reason why Restore04 dares not link to it from their site.  They're afraid of what fully-informed delegates will decide to do.  Delegates who want to see what Restore04 won't show them should get the whole story -- which is only available at