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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:26 AM
Original message
Rahm Emanuel has produced "The Plan".
For some time we have been told the Democratic "Contract with America" was under production. It appears it has now been released. I know that many dislike Rahm and the DLC. I personally respect Rahm but have no affinity for the DLC in particular. The purpose here is not to debate Rahm or the DLC, but to look at "The Plan". As condensed in this article, I find the plan to be acceptable and see the need for some consensus going forward. Your thoughts?

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-plan20.html

Snip>Two lifelong Democrats who have spent most of the last 20 years navigating Washington, D.C., politics, have come out with a new book, The Plan, a bold agenda for how Americans can change America with five strategies that can be put into motion immediately.<snip

Snip>America has plenty of unfinished business, and all of the reforms we'd like to see -- some of which appear in this book -- would make for a very long list. But if we're going to turn the country around, we need a bold agenda that can be counted off on one hand:

1. A new social contract -- universal citizen service, universal college access, universal retirement savings, and universal children's health care -- that makes clear what you can do for your country and what your country can do for you.

2. A return to fiscal responsibility and an end to corporate welfare as we know it.

3. Tax reform to help those who aren't wealthy build wealth.

4. A new strategy to use all America's strengths to win the war on terror.

5. A Hybrid Economy that cuts America's gasoline consumption in half over the next decade.<snip
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. universal childrens healthcare?
so between 18 & 65 you're on your own? Not good enough.

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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. It starts with the children.
Snip>We need to cut the cost of health care so that every business can afford it and every child in America at last can get it. We can save hundreds of billions by adopting electronic medical records, rewarding outcomes instead of procedures, providing incentives for personal responsibility, and starting a National Cure Center to cure chronic diseases. As we achieve those savings, we should use them to give small businesses access to the same health plans as members of Congress<snip
Much of this will benefit others in time. I believe this is based on what has been done in Illinois. You have to start somewhere, and children seems to meet common ground.
I agree the ultimate goal is universal healthcare.
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. We need to cut the cost of health care so that every business can afford i
My question is and has always been, Why should business have to pay for people's health care? Taking care of it's citizens is a Government's number one responsibility. Why is it the USA is the only industrialized country that doesn't take care of it's citizens. The main reason is PROFIT. Republicans put PROFIT before America or it's people, and that is soooo short sighted. If we are a completely healthy country our Profits and Productivity will only escalate...
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. I agree with your idea.
At the present time, however, most healthcare is provided by the employer. Until the business community comes on board, which seems to be likely sooner than later, how do we reach the transition? We saw the demonization of universal heathcare during the Clinton administration. Granted that some of that was due to process, I think it would have been demonized anyway.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. Why wait for the business community?
Most of them are shedding health care plans and dumping their employees and retirees on the publicly funded health care programs.

The only businesses that the DLC'ers are concerned about when it comes to health care are the insurance companies themselves.
The insurance companies can read the handwriting on the wall and have begun giving lots of money to Dem candidates. So far, the policy that has resulted from this marriage has been less than stellar and transparently so.

The proposals they're coming up with only provide health care coverage when you're employed (what happens when you get sick and can't work for a while?);

they don't have any consumer protections built in;

they have poor tools for promoting quality care (what's the point in rewarding doctors and hospitals that perform well? How do you plan to fix the ones that don't and how do you care for the people who don't have a choice about using another provider?)

they have little or no mechanism for cost controls

Most employers would like to have government take over the job of providing basic health care plans for their employees. Its time to get on with reforming the system instead of catering to the health insurance industry.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #11
33. The business community doesn't WANT to pay for health care. You mean the
insurance industry? The insurance industry lobbies folks in Congress mightily to produce pointless plans like this one which will solve nothing and only make things more complex but will keep the insurance companies flush with cash.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #7
28. BIG BIZ should DEMAND UNI HC...they don't want to administer
health plans either!

WE CAN WIN ON THIS. We can't compete w/ Europe without a flat field for our citizens AND our businesses.
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Moochy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
46. Who will think of the children??
Everyone knows those sick adults without healthcare just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and into a free clinic! After all, if they were good citizens they'd have gotten a good job with health benefits right?
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Pandering
Its the cheapest and easiest part of health care reform. There are already programs out there that cover most kids, its just a matter of getting parents to enroll in them.

It almost looks as though the insurance companies helped write this one.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
34. No kidding! This is for the absolute benefit of the insurance companies.
What else would you expect from the DLC? It will only complicate and exclude and ultimately enrich the insurance companies in the end.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
47. I agree
low standards and expectations will never get us where we really need to go.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
2. howard dean's book from 2004 is still as valid as ever as a manual
for the 2006 election cycle - tho it needs updating on the electoral fraud and theft issue.

Msongs
www.myspace.com/msongs
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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
3. they should call it a "Promise to America"
The contract on america has been a nightmare.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
5. Devil in the details
#4 is a little vague. Maybe not if I read the whole book.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
8. Dean has already developed a good strategy
Rahm Emmanuel needs to set his gigantic ego aside and start working with the rest of the Dem party.

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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I don't think this is a strategy.
This is a set of goals that is designed to appeal to the majority of voters. As I wrote, I do not intend a debate on Rahm. The question is whether The Plan is viable.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. I disagree
and if Emmanuel has a problem, he needs to take it up with Dean.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Where do you see a problem?
Do you believe Dean would not support The Plan?
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. Dean already has a plan
and he's in charge of the party. Emmanuel needs to sit down and work something out with him. The party needs to be united, not put under pressure to divide by leaders who are influenced by outside interests.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Then Dean needs to get his plan before the public.
The media has silenced him except for the "scream" which they could not let go of.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. You just demonstrated
that you're not at all interested in advancing the Democratic Party by using a reference to the mythical "Dean scream".

That's normally something only Republicans bring up.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. Maybe you don't understand
what I've written. The media gives scant coverage to Dean beyond that. It was not a criticism of Dean, it was a criticism of the media. Beyond the 50 state strategy, we hear little of any Dean plan.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #24
29. So making Dem policies more like the GOP
will help them get more coverage in the news media? No thanks.

The only reason the DLC thinks their policies will get more media coverage is because they've tailored them to meet the requirements of the same corporations who own the news media.

That's not good public policy.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #29
35. Which of these policies are like the GOP?
If these issues are good for the public, they are good public policy. If they harm the public, explain.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #29
49. You literally have NO IDEA what you're talking about. Dean himself
has endorse this plan on talking head shows etc.

There is no difference between Rahm's 5 Point Plan and the 5 Point Plan Dean discusses.
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DemPopulist Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #19
25. Um, Dean hasn't presented a plan
If you're talking about a policy platform for Democrats to run on. That's not his job anyway. If you're talking about the "fifty-state strategy" - where Emanuel and Dean have argued over the allocation of funds - that's a plan for getting Democrats elected. But that's not what this is about.

Dean's in charge of the party from the organizational and fundraising end. He's not in charge of crafting the message of Democratic candidates. As an elected Democrat, and head of the Democratic Congressional Committee, that really is more Emanuel's job.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Its no secret
that Emmanuel is butting heads with Dean, that the DLC Dems are working against the DNC. Until they sit down with other Dem leaders under the umbrella of the DNC, they're not helping the party.
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DemPopulist Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. They have sat down
They just have a disagreement over where the DNC's money should go. It isn't about the "DLC Dems" undermining the DNC. That's the simplistic way it's been cast on the blogs but that's not it. It's an internal debate over resources, which parties tend to have during the heat of a very important election season.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #9
39. Does "Universal Retirement Savings" mean saving Social Security or
does it mean what Bush has just done with his "Pension Security" (or whatever cutsey name he gave it) that was just signed...forcing employees to go into 401-k's and take whatever advice their company gives them about how to allocate the savings.

I hope Rahm isn't in favor of the Bush plan. Allowing the Stock Market to determine folks savings with "paid Wall St. Investment managers" hired by the companys would be the Privatization that Bush and his backers always dreamed of.

Hopefully they will explain this in the book. I have to admit this was my initial reaction just to reading your snip.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #39
51. WHo knows? It means nothing.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #39
53. I don't know for sure, but based on history, my guess is Social Security +
This has been advocated under Clinton and often repeated by Dems on talk shows. The general consensus is that Social Security is an insurance policy, not a pension plan.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. Anything to keep our failing Stock Market Pumped....I guess...
CNBC's Larry Kudlow and Steve Forbes are obviously drooling at this. A new Savings Plan for the 21st Century. Where one uses one's credit card to the max and can just take it out of that 401-k when one needs it. Unfortunately when when needs the money when one is older...there's nothing left...and it's "UhOh!" Duhhhhhhh.....what did I do with that money?

I think that's the plan... :-(
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Donna Zen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
10. Curious?
2. A return to fiscal responsibility and an end to corporate welfare as we know it.


Emanuel has been one of the leading "Hacks" is spearheading trade deals that sold out American workers to the multinational corporations. After leaving DC and before running for congress, Emanuel picked up a cool 16 million plus in two years from his corporate masters.

Furthermore the best strategy in fighting the "war on terror" is to stay out of Iraq. Oh wait, Emanuel voted for it.

While the thrust of this plan sounds "okay" and not "great," the devil is especially in the little detail: you have to mean what you say. Without a history that supports Emanual's story, the "Plan" sounds like more snake oil.

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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. The Plan?
As I wrote, I am not interested in debating Emanuel. Is the plan, as summarized, viable? Cetainly, the Contract that helped the GOP proved to be snake oil. The advantage to Newt is that we have no "Press" to spell that out.
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FlavaKreemSnak Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
40. Yes it is viable because it won't make the big companies mad

Nobody can say it is against the war on terror or against business or that it is socialism and it does not try to have drastic changes in the policies or programs that would take profits from big companies so it will not make them mad or make them give all their money to the Republicans.
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DemPopulist Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #10
23. Emanuel wasn't even in Congress when the war resolution passed
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
15. As was said above, this is not a plan...
This is a list of overall goals. I'll wait to see more information on how they propose to achieve these goals (which by the way, I don't really have any issues with). The difference between the repukes contract from 1994 and this one is that the repukes were campaigning on a series of concrete, readable bills and proposals. They were able to show the legislation they were going to introduce to achieve such goals. I think that's what we need to do here, otherwise this will be seen as some as just a series of common campaign promises, where the disagreements on implementation after the election may prevent anything from getting done.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. The book might actually be better or worse.
Without reading the book it is hard to tell if The Plan is just a wish list or more concrete. I tend to believe that without media coverage, this is not going to inspire the voters.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
16. to create a viable plan, you must first accurately define the problems . .
here's what Emanuel sees as the most pressing problems facing us today . . .

"America faces three great, urgent challenges. We need a new social contract for economic growth that enables Americans to get ahead again. We need a new strategy to make America safe again. And we need a new sense of patriotism and responsibility that unites us in common purpose again."

um . . . shouldn't addressing the issues of environmental destruction and global warming be at the top of this list? . . . and wouldn't honest and secure elections be a prerequisite to pretty much everything else? . . . along with a foreign policy that explicitly favors diplomacy over war, and explicity rejects American imperialism? . . .

like most public officials (past and present), Emanuel isn't addressing the real issues, and is perpetrating some of the most egregious phony issues (e.g. the "war on terror") . . . when he starts talking about, say, how to end corporate control of Congress, then I'll start listening . . .

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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Your points are quite valid.
These are things that I would like addressed also. However, I would think that Emanuel has identified these through polling, as the things voters see as concerns. This is not leadership if that is the case, but which politicians are leaders today? Your points would have to be addressed by someone trying to lead. How would they get their message out?
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #16
27. i agree with you. i can hear kkkarl laughing
"The place to start is by ending corporate welfare and the hack-ridden government that fuels it."
pot, meet kettle.
pr. nothing but pr.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #16
30. It's all too vague and number 3 means nothing whatsover, imo.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
31. "We'll fight the war BETTER, it's not the IDEA of the war that we disagree
with!"

More repuke-lite.

No Thanks.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
36. this plan is "sounds nice" but "going nowhere"
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 12:03 PM by welshTerrier2
i don't like Emmanuel and i certainly don't like much of what Bruce Reed has to say ... but you asked to put all that aside and comment specifically on the plan ... and so i will ...

would i like to "end corporate welfare"? sure ... but that's where, at least what's been posted about the plan, fails to provide the necessary framework ... what exactly is meant by corporate welfare?

for example, if i told you that 99% of American foreign policy is defined for the sole benefit of mega-corporations with almost total control over our government, do the authors plan to address that problem? if i said we went into Iraq to benefit Big Oil, do the authors agree? because that's the kind of corporate welfare that is destroying this country ... if what they mean are a handful of subsidies here and there, they've badly missed the big picture ...

and they talk with reverence about Teddy Roosevelt's trust-busting ... well, that's great ... where is their plan to bust up tyrannical corporations controlling US foreign and domestic policy ... they mention Roosevelt but i see nothing in their "plan" ... where's their mention of busting up Exxon-Mobil or Verizon or the badly over-centralized media industry? are they planning to go to war and restore real competition to the marketplace? i didn't get that from their plan at all ...

and speaking of corporate welfare, Rahm didn't mention the military-industrial complex at all ... is this too "lefty" to be given serious consideration? where exactly does he think corporate welfare is most prominent? i'm totally supportive of ensuring we have all the defense we really need ... it is nonsense to ascribe to "the left" that we do not support protecting ourselves and protecting the country ... but you are weakening the country when you use the pretense of national security to give away the store to defense contractors ... Rahm didn't mention that in his article ...

and they want to devote all our strength to fighting the war on terror ... they talk about a multilateral approach - i support that ... building alliances is critically important ... and they want a larger army and they want better intelligence ... well, that's fine too ... but again, their plan stinks ... it completely misses the most important ingredient in the war on terror ... give up? well, the most important ingredient is to understand why terrorists want to fight the US in the first place ... Rahm didn't even mention that ... and just why are all these bad guys so mad at us? we have projected American military and economic and even cultural power into their countries ... we take; we exploit; we topple democratically elected governments; we prop up dictators; we sell weapons to pretty much anybody who will buy them ... in short, we have been imperialists ... there is no amount of military budget or troop strength or multilateralism or intelligence services that will ever protect us from a world that hates us for our immoral foreign policies ... Rahm just doesn't get that ...

and Rahm wants to cut gasoline usage in half over the next 10 years ... that's great ... count me in ... of course, until we as a country wage war against the corporate stranglehold on Washington and the abuses of our country by Big Oil's agenda, that is just pie in the sky ... we need to confront the issue of big money poisoning our democracy head on ... until the Democratic Party makes a directed effort to rally Americans against the hidden powers that "influence" policies, nothing will change ... Rahm didn't seem to mention that either ...

so, what do i think of Rahm's "Plan"? ... i think it's shallow ... i think it contains lots of "sounds nice" and "wouldn't it be neats" ... but i also think that it fails to join the real battles that need to be fought ... of course, engaging the American people in a dialog about imperialism and exploitation and the corporate "shadow government" and our poisoned democracy involves political risks that the fraidy cat political hacks are just not ever going to take ... and so, in the end, America's real problems will not be addressed by either major party until new voices emerge to seize control ...
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
37. A plan?
A wish list perhaps. A plan is a series of steps that is used to gain those goals. I write "A million dollars", thats not a plan, that's a pipe dream, just like that alleged plan of Mr. Emmanuel's.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
38. those looking for a winning strategy...
...should go over to american prospect and read the strategy paper set out by Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin. It's in four parts, and explains why Democrats haven't won landslides and how we CAN win landslides.

Here's the strategy Dems have been using, called the politics of innoculation, along with a strategy of GOTV:

.............
"The second major strategic approach advocated today is one we label the politics of inoculation. The basic parameters of this approach are as follows:


Appeal primarily to the median voter;

Downplay or repudiate liberal policies;

Create distance from the progressive base;

Anticipate criticism and move to shore up perceived weaknesses, primarily on social, cultural, and national security issues; and

Push a clear centrist agenda focused on fewer governmental and more market/individual solutions to problems; fiscal discipline; common sense cultural positions; and a Truman-like national security posture that puts the war against terrorism at the core of the progressive project."
...........


Those failed strategies won't win in the way we need to win -- numbers big enough so the election is impossible to steal through vote tampering.


What they propose instead is something called the Politics of Definition: a promise of raising the Common Good. You really must go read the whole document, but here are some of the points proposed:

...................
The politics of definition is grounded on five postulates that we believe can serve as the basis for making sound decisions about how best to organize progressive campaigns and present a coherent identity to voters. We then provide an overview of core progressive values and beliefs that can serve as the organizing principles of long-term campaigns and then sketch out how a politics of definition approach would like in terms of economic, social, and national security policy.

The five postulates for the politics of definition -- the guideposts, questions, and lines in the sand, so to speak, that need to be drawn out in order to craft better politics -- are as follows:

(1) The starting point for all political organizing and campaigns should be: What are my core beliefs and principles and how do I best explain them to supporters and skeptics alike?
(2) Every political battle, both proactive and defensive, should represent a basic statement of progressive character and present a clear, concise contrast with conservatives. Do not blur lines.

(3) All issue campaigns and agenda items are not equal. Progressives should focus their efforts on issues that can simultaneously strengthen the base and appeal to centrist voters. Progressives must be willing to make sacrifices and tradeoffs -- in terms of coalition building and budgetary concerns -- to achieve their most important agenda items.

(4) Escalate battles that expose the extremism of the right or splinter their coalition.

(5) Every political action should highlight three essential progressive attributes: a clear stand on the side of those who lack power, wealth or influence; a deep commitment to the common good; and a strong belief in fairness and opportunity for all.


These recommendations are based on harnessing the best aspects of mobilization (primarily the need to speak with conviction, clarity of vision and, deeply held principles, and to fight hard against conservative tactics) with the best aspects of inoculation (recognizing the importance of more independent, centrist voters and the cultural, social, and security issues that drive them) in order to produce a political framework that is decisively progressive in orientation but with broad appeal.

What are progressives core beliefs?

Common good progressivism

From our perspective, the basic philosophical argument that should guide our strategic process and inform our politics is clear: progressives seek to secure the common good. Securing the common good means putting the public interest above narrow self-interest and group demands; working to achieve social and economic conditions that benefit everyone; promoting a personal, governmental and corporate ethic of responsibility and service to others; creating a more open and honest governmental structure that relies upon an engaged and participatory citizenry; and doing more to meet our common responsibilities to aid the disadvantaged, protect our natural resources, and provide opportunities rather than burdens for future generations.

After years of conservative dominance defined by rampant individualism, corruption and greed in American life, the public is ready for a higher national purpose and a greater sense of service and duty to something beyond self-interest alone. The common good represents a clear break with the conservative vision of America as an aggregation of individuals pursuing their own needs with little concern for what unites us a people or for the impacts of our actions on the whole of society. It marks the end of a politics that leaves people to rise and fall on their own without considering the consequences of such actions on peoples everyday lives. The common good approach recognizes that government is an essential tool for helping people to pursue their dreams while providing a solid safety net for those left behind. A focus on the common good requires citizens and their leaders to pursue policies and programs that benefit everyone, not just a select few with disproportionate access to the levers of power and influence over decision making.

Common-good progressivism has both personal and governmental requirements. People must assume responsibility for their actions, treat others with respect and decency, and serve their families and communities. Businesses need to assume responsibilities beyond securing the bottom line. They need to take into consideration their communities, workers, and surrounding environments as well as their shareholders when making decisions. Government needs to pursue policies that benefit all and require sacrifices from all. Government should not serve as the defender of narrow group or corporate agendas and should instead seek to protect public goods that promote the national interest.

A primary goal of government in this approach is to ensure basic fairness and opportunity: the civil, legal, and economic arrangements necessary to ensure every American has a real shot at his or her dreams. Common-good progressivism does not guarantee that everybody will be the same, think the same, or get the same material benefits in life; it simply means that people should start from a level playing field and have a reasonable chance at achieving success.

Internationally, common-good progressivism focuses on new and revitalized global leadership grounded in the integrated use of military, economic, and diplomatic power; the just use of force; global engagement; new institutions and networks to deal with intractable problems; and global equity. As in past battles against fascism and totalitarianism, common-good progressives today seek to fight global extremism by using a comprehensive national-security strategy that employs all our strengths for strategic and moral advantage. This requires true leadership and global cooperation rather than the dominant my-way-or-the-highway mentality of the conservative majority today.

Progressives should not forget that the common good is a powerful theme in the social teachings of many major faith traditions -- Catholicism and mainline Protestantism, in particular, but in moderate evangelical denominations as well. The principle of the common good is drawn upon in these faiths to guide people towards more thoughtful consideration of their own actions in light of others; to compel political leaders and policy-makers to consider the needs of the entire society; and to check unrestrained individualism that frequently erodes community sensibilities and values.

The goal of the common good in both the secular and faith traditions is a more balanced and considerate populace that seeks to provide the social and economic conditions necessary for all people to lead meaningful and dignified lives.

Building on these common-good values, progressives in the 20th century sought to improve conditions for Americans by harnessing the power of the national government to assist the disadvantaged; to regulate and balance a rapidly developing capitalist economy; and to challenge totalitarian forces across the globe who threatened to undermine democracy and freedom. Progressives relied on strong intermediary forces like labor unions and civil-rights groups to press for reforms. The American business community was pressed by progressive reformers to accept economic regulation and intervention as part of the grand bargain that would ensure profits and provide for a solid middle class with a steadily rising standard of living.

A common-good vision today must be properly updated to meet emerging challenges and institutional arrangements. Common-good progressives understand that the private sector in todays economy is far better positioned than government to ensure strong growth and job creation. The primary role of government should therefore be to provide the legal, regulatory, and financial incentives to stimulate growth and protect workers and citizens from corruption and abuse. At the same time, many of the issues that led early progressives toward stronger government action in the past remain areas of concern for government today in securing the common good: increasing access to quality health care, improving public education, providing a safe and sound retirement for the elderly, dealing with the effects of stagnant middle-class wages, and protecting the environment.

Common-good progressives also recognize that government alone will not solve the nations problems. Strong moral values, personal responsibility, and entrepreneurship are critical assets that help individuals and local communities address many of the societal problems government should not or cannot get involved with. Securing the common good is as much about altering peoples internal moral compasses as it is about shifting the overall political discourse in society. Above all, common-good progressivism seeks to restore a common American purpose as a means to ensure shared prosperity and a more peaceful, stable global order.

The common good is not only a concise and clear organizing principle for progressives but also a potentially potent political theme for appealing to voters across the partisan and ideological spectrum. March 2006 research by the Center for American Progress reveals that 68 percent of Americans strongly agree that the government should be committed to the common good and put the publics interest above the privileges of the few (85 percent total agree). Seventy-three percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents, and 67 percent of Republicans strongly agree with a common-good focus. A common good progressive theme scored well above typical conservative values themes: for example only 54 percent of Americans strongly agree that Americans have gotten too far away from God and family, and just 41 percent strongly agree that religion is on the decline in America. Importantly, the study reveals that liberals/progressives hold a 22-point advantage over conservatives on which ideological approach most represents the common good. 1

And then they break it down into various aspects of "common good" -- economic, personal, global, etc., with very specific recommendations. That's in part IV.


part one: http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=V...

part two: http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=V...

part three http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=V...

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=V...

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
41. Self delete
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 01:29 PM by Husb2Sparkly
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Stinky for Speaker of the House!
Stinky speaks for me, somewhat. I have an immature affinity for muscle cars. Oh well, I guess since street racing is illegal anyway, I can pass on that too. Beyond our liberal circus, could Stinky play in Peoria?
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. dogman ... sorry about that!
Stinky thought otherwise of his posit!

But if that Speaker job's still open ...... I'll take it!
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
44. The "base" will never swallow such practical Clintonista stuff. (eom)
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
45. It can now be said
the Democrats have a plan when the notion that they don't is being pounded into the heads of America courtesy of the GOP.

And although idealistic to be sure (we are cynical folks), the five points listed above sound pretty good to me. I have no problem getting behind my team on this.


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Moochy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
48. 2. A return to fiscal responsibility and an end to corporate welfare....
From the link:

A return to fiscal responsibility and an end to corporate welfare as we know it

We'll never be able to build a new social contract if we don't repair the broken contract between the American people and their leaders. We can only achieve universal service, college, pensions, and children's health care if we're willing to cut and invest to pay for it. The place to start is by ending corporate welfare and the hack-ridden government that fuels it.


Ok, anyone more familiar with "The Plan" know if this means they advocate changing the corporate tax laws?

Also, what the heck is this double plus good passage about?
Universal Citizen Service

If you forget everything else you read in these pages, please remember this: The Plan starts with you. If your leaders aren't challenging you to do your part, they aren't doing theirs. We need a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us by establishing, for the first time, an ethic of universal citizen service.


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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
50. #1.This Plan has been out for MONTHS! #2. It's exactly the same one Dean
has been talking about whenever he's on a talking head program.

#3. the strategy differences between Dean & Rahm are most likely not that significant... just trumped up bullshit embellished by Mediawhores specifically to get Democrats like DU'ers to form circular firing squads.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #50
52. Curiouser!
Seems like the origin is more a point of contention than the content. That is why I asked the merits of the plan be debated rather than the author. Seems that disconnect is difficult. I'm sure your statement that they are more in tune is correct.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #50
54. Another impossible, un-passable, distraction based on 3 false "problems"
America faces three great, urgent challenges. We need a new social contract for economic growth that enables Americans to get ahead again. We need a new strategy to make America safe again. And we need a new sense of patriotism and responsibility that unites us in common purpose again.


"Social contract for economic growth" - Since when has any social contract ever resulted in economic growth? Oh yea, never. What has, and will, create economic growth is getting more money into the hands the people on the lower end of the spectrum. But we can't promote that because our corporate masters wouldn't like it.

"...a new strategy to make America safe again" - Baseless bullshit further feeding the fear, we are in no more danger than we were in 2000 or 1990 or 1950. We are a global empire that has stolen from, and killed, millions of people and, for some reason, they have taken it personally, They just don't understand that it's "just business", the ignorant fools.

"...a new sense of patriotism and responsibility that unites us in common purpose again." - Just code for sacrificing more of our rights on the alter of "safety", and lowering expectations of what should be provided for the taxes they steal from us.
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