August 31, 2003

Walter Cronkite's 10 Point Plan to Destroy the Democrats

One of the most distressing things about our retired pundits is that they fail to retire. Just when you'd hope that somebody who made millions blathering into a camera would just finally fade away to a robe, slippers and a hot, steaming cup of STFU, here they come again telling you to "leave your delusions at the door, sit down, open up wide for a big ole' slice of truth, with a side of wisdom."

Today we have Walter Cronkite with his mind-numbing "Ten propositions for the Democrats." It would seem that Uncle Walter is yet another of those crazy aunts in the Democrats’ very crowded attic who just can't stop doling out the platitudes about what exactly is wrong with the Democratic Party these days -- other than about nine walking, talking, stump-speaking examples. Walter's got a ten-point plan.
Oh, do not ask what is it.
Let us go and make our visit:

Not the least of the Democratic Party's problems in the presidential election ahead is the electorate's confusion as to just what the party stands for.
You've just got to watch that darned electorate. Those little people. They are confused, you see, while the Democratic Party is only suffering from a "failure to communicate." It doesn't seem to dawn on Cronkite that the people may not be the least bit confused about the Democratic party and, indeed, see it for what it has become: a collection of looneys choking on the collective hairball of George W. Bush. Not a pretty sight.
If the Democratic Party is to have hope of recapturing the White House, it will be helpful if its candidates for the presidential nomination agree on some basic objectives that will clearly define the principal policies and goals of their party.
Translation: We will expect the achievement of ovine aviation soonest.
Those basic goals still would leave plenty of room for the candidates to debate how best to achieve them and to display what they have in charisma and leadership.
Certainly. Wouldn't want to cut back on that Gephardt charisma or the leadership abilities of Sharpton. Dean could keep repeating how much a man of the people he is while Keary could dazzle us with those sharp suits and the ever evolving resemblance to Abe Lincoln without the beard and with the JFK haircut.
Let me dare suggest 10 propositions to be put before the candidates.
Okay, proceed with the daringness, Walter. Let it rip. Let it all hang out. Get jiggy with it.
1. That the purpose of a powerful military and a huge defense budget is not to wage war but to preserve the peace -- on our own shores and abroad.
How an army that does not wage war preserves peace is beyond me. Perhaps they simply run military exercises in Antarctica that are televised on MTV's Real World.
However, our foreign policy and our military strength shall leave no doubt that we will answer promptly and decisively those who would challenge our democratic freedoms.
Answer promptly? How? A candygram? But it will be decisively, I guess.
Memo to Al Queda --
Hurts. Make it stop.
Your Pals, The US State Department.
P.S. Need any more mad money for those schools? Just ask.
2. That we would match defense dollars with peace dollars to promote democracy abroad, and that we would conduct our foreign affairs in such a manner that other nations would wish to emulate our example and need not be bludgeoned into accepting our leadership.
Seems to me he's calling for either an immense increase in foreign aid or a drastic reduction in defense spending -- either way he needs to focus more clearly on "deficit financing" as in ....
3. That deficit financing is bad business, and that taxes must be fairly imposed, with the heavier burden placed on those most able to contribute.
Well, you have to spend money to make money. More importantly, you have to keep yourself and your society alive and secure to make money. Wars and recessions seem to me to be the time that you need to spend more in order to get out of wars and recessions. Taxes fairly imposed? No question. Heavier burden placed on those most able? Seems to me that the top tax rate is already on those most able. I guess Cronkite's already got his estate in a trust and his heirs are covered. The rest of you need to open your wallets more.
4. That our Social Security and health services would be reformed so that no American need fear that mismanagement in Washington will bankrupt his or her pension funds, and equally that every American is guaranteed not just adequate health care but care worthy of this nation's medical profession.
No argument here. I note that stopping mismanagement in Washington has been an ongoing project for over two centuries. We're certainly due for a breakthrough. As for "care worthy of this nation's medical profession" that would be the care from Cronkite's personal doctor, I imagine. Very expensive and not easy to get an appointment.
5. That in all federal programs no excuses will be tolerated and all citizens will be treated equally as we know they were created.
I surrender! I have no idea what this means.
6. That we realize that the success, indeed the preservation, of a democracy depends on an educated citizenry, and that teachers, on education's front lines, must be paid commensurate with their responsibilities.
Teachers on the "front lines" of education. Seems that in Walter's World (tm), teachers fight and armies teach. I'd prefer to pay teachers commensurate with their work load, too. The last time I looked they got three months off in the summer, plus all legal holidays, plus two weeks at Christmas, plus another two or three weeks at winter and spring break. That would make their total time off about five months out of the year. Is an average salary of, say, $44,000 for seven months work really that terrible. Works out to a bit over 5K a month for time on the job. Plus benefits, plus a pension for life of about 80% of top money earned after 25 years. I know that even the kindergarten teachers "work ten house days," but who doesn't? I must confess I just don't get the impoverished teacher meme. Perhaps, like many of the students they teach, they could get a summer job.
7. That "no child must be left behind" is a commitment, not a campaign slogan.
Now that's a snappy slogan.
8. That our environment shall be fully protected, and that the fortunes of no industry or special interest shall interfere with that mission.
Okay, everybody out of their cars and onto bicycles. That includes you, grandma.
9. That in the pursuit of a cleaner environment and a more rational economy, the government will undertake the massive program required to develop substitute fuels that will relieve our dependence on foreign oil and diminish the environmental danger from the byproducts of fossil fuels.
Say what? So far you've got us a budget that includes a global peace funding equal to military spending, universal health care, full environmental protection of everthing, and a "massive program to develop substitute fuels. Plus we need to eliminate the deficit. Might as well tack on progams to colonize the inner planets while we're at it. We all know Walter's got a special place for space in his heart and in his head.
10. That Democrats will lock the door against the naysayers, pessimists and political cowards who will maintain that these Democratic goals are only the dreams of idealists.
Brilliant. I'm for #10 since it would ensure that the Democratic party would be reduced to about 20% of its present size and no longer be a threat to the free world.
There is nothing impractical about seeking the best for this nation's people, and the restoration of America as a beacon of freedom for the world.
I'm not clear on what the other beacon of freedom is, Walter, but then again neither are the millions elsewhere in the world who would just love to come here and bask in the light of this dim beacon. But I'm sure you'll let us know the name of that far-distant country in a future article which, I trust, will be datelined from there.

Posted by Vanderleun at August 31, 2003 7:38 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Good one, but not entirely fair. After all, shouldn't you be picking on someone closer to your own age?


Posted by: Spart at August 31, 2003 8:43 AM

I'm curious, Spart, what age do you assume that would be? And why would it make a difference?

Posted by: aka Monique at August 31, 2003 11:22 AM

We all listen to you because you are so cool and famous for your insightful views, unlike the looney news anchors-----what's your name again punk?

Posted by: phil at October 20, 2003 8:50 AM

there are 45 million americans without health insurance whose lives are being prematurely aborted.

what's the priority...sniffing cronkite's butthole and blowing him out of proportion or attempting to lengthen the lives of 45 million americans?

isn't it fun blowing cronkite out of proportion to feed your inflated ego? isn't it fun painting him as the bad guy to make yourself the good guy. sure as hell beats addressing bigger priorities (45 million uninsured americans).

if the ruling class in this country cared about it's soldiers in uniform, the u.s. army and marines would have had bullet proof vests for all of them in both iraq wars. what, the marines and army aren't going to be sent in harm's way wherever they're sent? the LAPD had them for all their officers several years ago.

if the ruling class in this country cared about the working class, they wouldn't be in the military...they would be in colleges, trade tech's, etc.

i trust you wouldn't have a problem if i bought bullet proof vests for soldiers with the money i owe the i.r.s. i trust you wouldn't have a problem if i paid my taxes that way.
get a clue jerk-off, military expenditure has to do with bolstering and creating fake economies...not preserving the lives of americans.
now go back to sniffing cronkite's buttcrack and leave the real world to us working class stiffs.
have a good life, you superpatriot, you.

Posted by: viav at June 20, 2005 10:35 PM