Saturday, August 9, 2008

Platforming It.

Earlier this week a draft of the 54-page 2008 Democratic National Committee's platform was sent to its committee members. Since the 80's, the real writing of the platform has been done by the campaign of the presumptive nominee. Certainly the document reads more like a stump speech from the Obama campaign than cutting edge reform. This is not surprising.

An Obama aide, Karen Kornbluh, has been designated by the Democratic National Committee as the "Principal Author" of the document. Kornbluh is on leave from Obama's Senate office, where she serves as policy director.

Indeed the platform contains a section on fatherhood, a definition of patriotism, a section detailing Obama's economic stimulus plan, a call for more service, through an expanded AmeriCorps and Peace Corps, and several mentions of hope. The draft's preamble uses the wording "It is time for a change."

The document did however include nods to both Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards.

A pledge to elevate poverty eradication as a policy goal. "Working together," the platform states, "we can cut poverty in half within ten years."

Health care

In return for the guarantee, activists dropped a tougher platform amendment seeking a government-run, single-payer system and another amendment explicitly holding out Clinton's plan as the one to follow.

The party now declares itself "united behind a commitment that every American man, woman and child be guaranteed to have affordable, comprehensive health care."

Under any system in play, most people would still put out money for health insurance as they do now, but they would get help when needed.

Despite loud rumblings to amend, there were no changes made to the caucus system. However an extensive section on women's rights was included that uses highly anticipated language many yearned to hear.

We believe that standing up for our country means standing up against sexism and all intolerance. Demeaning portrayals of women cheapen our debates, dampen the dreams of our daughters and deny us the contributions of too many. Responsibility lies with us all.

The Democratic National Convention will vote on it in Denver later this month.

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