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News :: DNC
Dennis Does the Deal: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq - NYT
11 Jul 2004
So much for the 'anti-war voice' inside th DNC.
Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq

by David Rosenbaum, New York Times, July 11, 2004

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Senator John Kerry's representatives avoided a Democratic Party platform fight over Iraq on Saturday by persuading platform committee delegates supporting Representative Dennis J. Kucinich to withdraw their proposals for a quick withdrawal of United States combat troops from Iraq.

Instead, the committee agreed to present a platform to the Democratic convention in Boston this month that reflects Mr. Kerry's position. The statement of party principles promises to seek help from Western allies and Arab countries in bringing Iraq under control but says nothing about how to accomplish that goal.

The critical paragraph was worked out in negotiations between Mr. Kucinich's delegates and Mr. Kerry's supporters, led by Samuel R. Berger, who was President Bill Clinton's national security adviser.

It pledges to remove American troops "when appropriate so that the military support needed by a sovereign Iraqi government will no longer be seen as the direct continuation of an American military presence."

Ana Dias, the chief sponsor of the pullout proposal, said Mr. Kucinich of Ohio, who was not here, had called off his forces. Ms. Dias, a delegate from Hawaii who described herself as a peace advocate and political novice, said she was "terribly disappointed" not to get a vote on the issue, but added, "We do want to be unified."

Mr. Berger characterized those he was negotiating with as "a group of people who want to win."

"We didn't give up anything," he said.

The platform retains a sentence that the antiwar delegates originally found objectionable stating that "people of good will disagree about whether America should have gone to war in Iraq."

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll found that, by a margin of 56 percent to 38 percent, people who identify themselves as Democrats say United States troops should "leave Iraq as soon as possible, even if Iraq is not completely stable" and not "stay in Iraq as long as it takes to make sure Iraq is a stable democracy."

But the platform to be adopted in Boston takes the second view. Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, a platform committee chairman, said it was clear that American troops must "stay there until the job is done."

The platform reflects Mr. Kerry's policy rather than President Bush's, Mr. Vilsack said, by "recognizing the need for international partners."

By avoiding a platform fight, Democrats escaped divisions like the one over civil rights that led to a walkout at the convention in 1948 and the one over Vietnam that involved riots outside the 1968 convention in Chicago.

Although a few of the more than 100 platform committee members are prominent elected officials or people who held high office in the Clinton administration, most are rank-and-file party workers who are not widely known.

Mr. Kerry's representatives were so completely in charge that, in some respects, the meeting here had the feel of a student council meeting, with portentous issues earnestly debated by people who have little influence. Unlike the situation in parliamentary democracies, party platforms in this country are not binding on anyone, not even the president.

But at least on domestic policy, the document serves to distinguish Democrats from Republicans. It advocates raising the minimum wage, guarding Social Security and Medicare against privatization, enacting new environmental protections, making health insurance available to all, raising the taxes paid by the wealthy, advancing research using embryonic stem cells, banning the commercial sale of assault weapons and protecting abortion rights.

The Republican platform, to be drafted next month, will almost certainly take opposing stances.

In a conference call with reporters on Friday, Ed Gillespie, the Republican Party chairman, said the Democratic platform masked Mr. Kerry's true record and policy proposals. It portrays "a more moderate and centrist image" than displayed in the campaign, Mr. Gillespie said.

And many of the speeches here were unlike what would be expected at a Republican gathering. For example, another committee chairman, Antonio Villaraigosa, a Los Angeles city councilman, spoke of how much he personally had benefited from affirmative action programs.

Nearly half of the platform is devoted to national security, much more prominence than these issues were given in recent platforms. The calls for overhauling intelligence agencies and rejecting Mr. Bush's "doctrine of unilateral pre-emption" drew no challenge.

The platform offers an "optimistic vision" for America at home and abroad, said Terry McAuliffe, the party chairman.

"Democrats are strong on national security," Mr. McAuliffe said, and "confident of winning the debate on who can keep America safe."

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Re: Dennis Does the Deal: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq - NYT
11 Jul 2004
Most telling paragraph in this article:

'By avoiding a platform fight, Democrats escaped divisions like the one over civil rights that led to a walkout at the convention in 1948 and the one over Vietnam that involved riots outside the 1968 convention in Chicago.'

Kucinich anti-war delegates going to the DNC should walk the fuck out and join the rest of us in the streets.
Re: Dennis Does the Deal: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq - NYT
13 Jul 2004
Time to Come Home
14 Jul 2004
Modified: 05:28:27 PM
Well kiddies, it is time to realize once and for all just how much the Democratic Party has betrayed us. That the stategy of working with-in to create change has failed. It failed with Kuchinich/Peace in the Pricinctss/Dean/Mosley-Brown/jerry Brown/Rainbow Coalition etc etc. That is the bad news. The good news is that we are ready and waiting for you. As David Cobb correctly points out there is a discernable difference between the dems and the repugs. The repuglicans are the bad cops while the demorats are the good cops. How bout fighting police brutality on a global scale for a change?

We Greens will actively help build the greater movement, not sacrafice it at the alter of electoral politics like the dems and the Rainbow Coalition. if history has taught us anything, it should be that the democratic party is where progressive politics go to die.

Come home, where you belong. We have been waiting for a long time and it is so good on this side of the railroad tracks. True, not as much corporate money or glitz but, oh wait that is precisely why it is nicer and more ethical here.
See also:
Re: Dennis Does the Deal: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq - NYT
14 Jul 2004
While the Green Party may be better than the Democrats, why do we need people to make our decisions for us, to tell us what to do and how to act, to rule over us? Why can't we work collectively and use consensus and work locally? Why must we give our power to anyone (even if they aren't as rich, old, male, Christian, fat, or white as regular politicians)? ALL power to the people. I also agree, the Kucinich people should walk out. Stand up for what you believe in instead of being a pushover.
Re: Dennis Does the Deal: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq - NYT
15 Jul 2004
Come home to Green Party? What a crock. What our erstwhile Green Party advocate neglects to mention is that you are more than welcome to vote for their Presidential candidate David Cobb, - provided you live in a 'safe state' - one where Kerry and the Dems maintain a comfortable lead. Otherwise, please hold your nose - and close your eyes and pull the lever for Kerry.

Rest assured that Cobb and Green Party values are not for sale. They are, however, available for short term lease..depending on where you live.

For more interesting reading on the topic, check out:

Chronicle of a Nomination Foretold - The Green Deceivers by Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch

The Green Divide: Conflict, and No Consensus
by Walt Contreras Sheasby, CounterPunch

How to Steal an Election - The Green Version, 2004, by Michael Donnelly.

( Donnelly, of Salem, OR was once the Green Party candidate for Oregon's Fifth Congressional District. )
Re: Dennis Does the Deal: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq - NYT
15 Jul 2004
A walk out by the Kucinich delegates could truly energize the demonstrations outside the Convention, and possible garner international attention -- shattering the myth that a consensus exists to accept Kerry's formula for continuing the war and occupation of Iraq. It would be a historic gesture -- if the delegates have the courage to make it.

As for the Greens. What a hoot. Cobb pledges to follow a 'strategic State' strategy which calls focusing most of the Greens resources on on those states where the Electoral College votes are not "in play." Read his campaign strategy below:

Green Party 2004 Presidential Strategy
By David Cobb


The Green Party is the electoral arm of a growing worldwide movement for peace, social justice, ecology and democracy. The fundamental question facing us is one of sovereignty. Who shall rule - "We the People" by shared public decision-making or unelected and unaccountable corporate executives in private boardrooms?

The seriousness of the question cannot be overstated. Unrestrained corporate power is literally destroying the earth, and creating an unjust and ultimately unsustainable world with the plunder. Against this somber backdrop the Green Party must consider how we can continue to grow, and evolve beyond our current role as the party of opposition to the party of transformation of politics, culture, and economics.

Growing Our Party

I propose that the Green Party run a strategic presidential campaign in 2004 that establishes concrete goals to build the party at the local, state and national levels.

Specific Goals

Increase Green Party membership
Build and strengthen our internal infrastructure
Help local candidates and initiatives
Create state and local chapters were they do not yet exist
Hone our skills as citizen organizers by providing trainings to local chapters
Cobb Pledges
I commit that all actions of a Cobb Green Party campaign will work toward that end. If I seek the Green Party nomination for President, I make the following pledges:

I will publicly support the Green Party Platform as adopted at the Green Party national convention.
I will immediately share all volunteer lists generated during my campaign with the respective local and state Green Party.
I will share (at no cost) all donor lists generated during my campaign with the Green Party National Committee by January 2, 2005.
I will coordinate all hires at the national level with the Green Party National Committee, and at the state and local level with the respective state and local Green Party.

I will hire Green Party activists to work on my campaign at the national, state and local level.

The Proposed Overall Strategy

The Green Party stands at a crucial moment in our history. The unelected Bush regime has deeply divided the American people. It is unacceptable to claim that there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. If we want our party to grow, we must demonstrate to the American people (and especially progressive voters) that we hear their concerns of the danger Bush poses.
I propose the following strategy for the Green Party Presidential campaign in 2004:

. We consistently articulate Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) as the only solution to the question of Greens as "spoilers."

. The candidate should publicly state that if Dennis Kucinich or Al Sharpton wins the Democratic Party nomination, we will withdraw from the race. Greens know that the DNC leadership and their corporate funders will never allow a Kucinich or Sharpton nomination. By publicly making this statement we demonstrate our willingness to work across party lines with genuine progressives, and when Kucinich and Sharpton are rebuked by the Democratic Party leadership (as were Jesse Jackson and Jerry Brown), it will continue to illustrate that the Democratic Party is not the progressive party in the US.

. The candidate should publicly state that if Joseph Lieberman wins the Democratic Party nomination our Presidential campaign will be run so as to prevent his election. We will not back away from an absolute rejection of such a corporate conservative candidate.
. The candidate should publicly state that if a marginally "moderate" (but still woefully inadequate) candidate wins the Democratic Party nomination, we will follow a Strategic States Plan for our campaign. Most of our resources should be focused on those states where the Electoral College votes are not "in play."

The Green Party can run a strong campaign in 2004 that grows our party, garners millions of votes, and culminates with George Bush losing the election. The Green Party has grown larger, stronger and better organized with every election cycle. With such strength comes a responsibility to exercise it wisely and effectively.
Re: Dennis Does the Deal: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq - NYT
15 Jul 2004
Your sentiment I respect 100%. That goes to the heart of the Green no Candidate position. I may disagree, tactically but I respect your position 100%. And if the kuchinich delegates have any balls at all, and not just demorat hacks, they should walk.

As for former Green, my God in heaven, what part of democracy do you folks not like. While I am a committed Cobbite, I along with the No candidate folks all held that even if we disagreed with our perties position on the presidential candidate, we would respect the Green Party decision. If you do not like our decision then please feel free to join the Nader-Populist Party and I wish you luck. Of course, of the myriad reasons that many of us joined the Cobb fer prez campaign is because we did not want to see the Greens become like the Ross Perot/Reform Party. After the "celebrity" goes away, so does the Party.

As for the "safe states" straw man arguement, it is crap. What David Cobb ACTUALLY SAID is, that he will leave it up to the state Greens in question to decide on how to run his campaign. Ya know, that whole decentralization of power thing.
David Cobb won the nomination because, to quote Nader himself "each vote is earned and not just expected". David earned his nomination while ralph sat off on the sides, seeking our endorsement but would REFUSE our nomination. He expected to be coronated just like Kerry. On the floor it was heard over and over, Ralph would have easily gotten our nomination, if he had have asked for it, plain and simple. In fact part of the reason that kent mesplay did so well is that he, like David is a FUCKING GREEN and said that "if you pick me, I will run aggressively, regardless" Unfortunately Kent came across as a little too timid IMHO, other than that, he prolly woulda gotten it.

And bad news for all the ABB folks. I am pretty sure that both Minnesota and Wisconsin both "battlegrouns states' are gonna wanto to run David aggresively. As for the "but Nader had name recognition arguement", well folks this is the Greens and other likeminded people. Folks who vote, act and think Green do NOT get our source of info from corporate media. Sure, the "soccer mom's who get their little Ashley and Johnnie to the soccer matches in their SUV's and dont give a fuck for those little brown people in Iraq" wont vote for us, but then who cares?

Quite frankly I am sick of the attacks from both ABB or Nobody but Kerry and those Naderites who are bitter over their candidate who lost. To both, it is democracy get the fuck over it. I am proud of us Greens, not just for voting to run a candidate but more importantly HOW we did it. It was as close to a concensus decision as we could have done it, never mind the sour grapes and belly aching. If you wanna see a report from a Delegate who was ACTUALLY THERE then feel free to visit the twin cities indy media site It was a blast to be there folks. Counter Punch and Mr Donnelly were not there but they report their slant, just like corporate media. However, the beauty of Indy Media is that activists who were there report how it happened, free of corporate entanglement and now political sour grapes.

"Keep it tuned, right here folks"
Radio Free Cascadia
Re: Dennis Does the Deal: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq - NYT
16 Jul 2004
Micahel. Sick and tired of the criticism? Here's a news flash. Expect lots more. The Green Party is currently circling the drain, and all th self congratulatory bravado of the Cobb leadership won't change that. We'll see the vote totals in November. And how many state Green Parties lose ballot access.

So let's see David Cobb and Pat La Marche come to Boston during the Convention, call a press conference and announce that they're willing to stand up and run against Kerry - anywhere and everywhere...irregardless of the electoral college votes in play.

Or make the same declarative statement while campaigning in battleground states like Wisconsin or Minnesota. What are the chances? Indeed just when are they supposed to appear in Minnesota? How about some dates?

Meanwhile, disillusioned Greens, former Kucinich supporters, unaffiliated progressives and lefties of every stripe need to begin talking about what it will take to re build a progressive, antiauthoritarian and democratic alternative to the two corporate parties in the wake the Green Pary's suicide.