Scripting America’s Priorities: The Democratic Party Platform


The above forum features Susan Rice, who serves as Barack Obama’s senior foreign policy adviser and is a fellow at Brookings; Karen Kornbluh, who the is principal author of the Democratic Party platform and is on leave as Obama’s Senate office policy director; Steve Coll, President of the New America Foundation; and Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. I chaired the meeting.
I hope to host and organize a similar session with drafters of the Republican Party platform.
The Democratic Party platform is available here as a pdf.
A HUGE thanks to USTREAM-TV who helped support the live streaming of the event. I know that in some places the audio was challenged and the system crashed once. But overall, we had an enormous positive response from viewers around the world about the streaming. We had 4,763 unique views online through The Washington Note, UStream, and Pam’s House Blend.
More later — and for those who will be either in Denver or in Minneapolis for the conventions, send me a note at and I’ll invite you to a couple of cool forums I’m helping to organize.
— Steve Clemons


7 comments on “Scripting America’s Priorities: The Democratic Party Platform

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  2. Don Bacon says:

    Warren, your anarchistic words would make Edward Abbey proud: “No man is wise enough to be another man’s master. Each man’s as good as the next — if not a damn sight better.”
    The new Decider needs to benefit from the “Scripting America’s Priorities” platform process which, in the foreign affairs area at least, has been euphemistically called “progressive internationalism — the belief that America can best defend itself by building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy.” That was written by Will Marshall, the DLC deep-thinker who has give the neo-liberals their philosophical base in pursuing essentially the same goals that the neocons promoted in their Project for a New American Century.
    It has little to do with security, and a lot to do with maintaining the establishment.
    This leads directly, given the increased recent anti-Russia and anti-China fervor, into the “Concert of Democracies — an alliance of true democracies to advance effective and legitimate global governance” suggested by the neo-liberals, or it might lead to John McCain’s “League of Democracies,” it matters little which.
    So the new Decider won’t actually decide anything at all, rather he will follow the script being offered up by the establishment, eager as they are that essentially nothing must change, the people be damned. That’s constancy you can believe in.


  3. Warren Metzler says:

    Why oh why do intelligent people continue to believe the
    “leadership” is relevant in the world today. It ought to be crystal
    clear that all of the world’s citizens are now able to direct their
    own lives.
    PLUS “security” doesn’t exist, never existed and never will exist. It
    is a figment of imagination in the minds of people who live in a
    world of self-imposed paranoia. In the real world, you strive for
    being optimal and eventually life is great, or you pursue personal
    preferences and experience progressively increasing limitations.
    The fact that the Democratic foreign policy is filled with concerns
    for security is a sign that eight more years of increasing chaos lies
    in our future.


  4. SassySuzy says:

    Your comment and question to Susan Rice got covered in the
    news….you know what the news is that’s for sure Mr. Clemons


  5. lurker says:

    Thanks for organizing an interesting meeting Steve.


  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Whats with this “America’s priorities” bit, Steve? Is it your contention that these weasels intend to work for our the citizen’s best interests? Thats nonsense, Steve. Any reasonably sentient citizen should be able to discern that the “priorities” being pursued by the United States government have nothing to do with any sort of patriotic motives or agendas designed to reclaim our global status or address the trevails of the general populace. We have been sold out to special interests, megalomaniacal pursuits of power and imperialism by the Washington elite, and pure and simple corporate greed.
    While we bicker and mewl, enthralled with this divisive and corrosive system of “us against them” partisan politics, these sons of bitches in Washington, at the highest levels of both parties, have shed any intent of “representation”. “Representation” has become a pretense, little more than a carefully choreographed charade, while partisanship is used to keep the populace divided and powerless.


  7. Don Bacon says:

    The Dem Platform looks like the same-old, same-old, and more of it.
    More attempted American hegemony:
    “The Democratic Party believes that there is no more important priority than renewing American leadership on the world stage. This will require diplomatic skill as capable as our military might.”
    The occupation of Iraq will continue:
    “To renew American leadership in the world, we must first bring the Iraq war to a responsible end.”
    The bogus “Iran nuclear weapons program” is a target:
    “We will present Iran with a clear choice: if you abandon your nuclear weapons program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, you will receive meaningful incentives; so long as you refuse, the United States and the international community will further ratchet up the pressure, . . .”
    The Afghanistan war will be expanded:
    “The central front in the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was. We will defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where those who actually attacked us on 9-11 reside and are resurgent.”
    The phoney “War on Terror” will be continued:
    “We need a comprehensive strategy to defeat global terrorists–one that draws on the full range of American power, including but not limited to our military might.”
    More Pentagon spending:
    “We support plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 troops and the Marines by 27,000 troops. Increasing our end strength will help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families. . . We will rebuild our armed forces to meet the full spectrum needs of the new century.”


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