Hillary's contempt for the left is shared by the entire Democratic Establishment. When was the last time any one of them said anything good about the left or the activists outside the Beltway? They tell us to shut up, to forget what we want, to stop embarassing them with our noisy demands that they oppose Bush and the radical right Republicans.
Not only was Dean elected, he was elected with a mandate to change the culture at the DNC. That mandate came not from the netroots, though it was supported there, it came from state party people who wanted a less Beltway-centric, less presidentially-focused national party.
Dean is going about the business of changing the DNC culture in a measured way, with the support of the state party people and with the continued support of a large portion of the netroots. He has that support because he is earning it.
Can anyone recall a more closely watched DNC chair? Other than the occasional tired and tiresome kvetching from the Loser Dems, we read and hear nothing but positives about Dean's work.
I don't expect that Dean can single-handedly revolutionize the DNC. Dean spoke of the difficulties in effecting change from within before he announced he was going for the DNC chair job. Those difficulties are real and institutional. So long as we continue to do what we have been doing, all of us are part of the problem, whether it is Beltway Insiders hanging on to the old ways or 'grassroots' people refusing to join and energize our local and state parties.
I don't think Dean is perfect or always right, but he has been right or close to right on nearly every question of importance in the last four years. The Beltway Insiders have been wrong and they have lost elections. What are the chances that any of these Loser Dems will acknowledge that?
There are no really useful comparisons when you are dealing with special elections. Each tends to be its own creature, animated by a very specific, very local set of issues and candidate personalities.
The run-off gives us the opportunity to explore answers to an important question: how can Democratic candidates win, or even contend, in very Republican CDs?
North County San Diego is a very Republican district. It would be an amazing thing if Busby can win in June and November. It will take more than extremely effective GOTV. It will take a candidate and set of ideas that resonate with what is on those voters' minds.
The Democrats in the House are even less organized and less effective than their colleagues in the Senate. They either cannot or will not play national politics. They must be so submerged in the world of Beltway consultants and other DC people that they have no clue what people who are not in politics think or hope for. They are just bad, really bad.
I completely understand the "vote for a Dem you don't like in order to promote the party" theory of voting. I have even advocated it. But the only problem with that approach is that, in the last twenty years or so, it hasn't resulted in Democratic Party victories.
On the contrary, it has helped to promote the image of the Democratic Party as a collection of unprincipled politicians who stand for nothing in particular and who will do anything to get elected.
This helps the Republicans win in two ways. The bad image is backed up by the facts and a significant portion of the electorate that might vote Democratic remains disaffected.
Why not try it the other way for a while and see what happens?
How is Lamont going to prevent the national and state party organizations from destroying him?
What have we learned from the last ten years?
If a progressive or even a moderately progressive candidate runs for office, the Corporate Democrats unite with the Republicans to destroy him. It doesn't matter if he is not really a socialist-leaning, America-hating, gay/lesbian celebrating crazed maniac. The Big Shots will tell the world that he is one anyway. Just ask Howard Dean.
We will know, I guess, when and if Lamont's campaign starts showing up in the polls as a genuine threat.
Otherwise, it will be just another cautionary tale.
I wonder if this episode might wake Obama up to the fact that Republicans are at war with him and everything he claims to believe in. Will he be so eager to spread the Republican talking points next time he appears on the Sunday talk shows? Will he ever realize what is going on in America right now?
Questions for Jack Shafer and all who hold with him:
The large press/media enterprises do not consider determining truth or fact to be their mission. Representatives of these enterprises have admitted as much in public statements and, more importantly, demonstrated it by their conduct. So, therefore,
What purpose is served by large press/media enterprises?
Other than printing and broadcasting what government officials say, officially and unofficially, what service do they perform for the public?
Is a lie made more palatable when it is stated in a graceful manner?
Is the truth made odious when it is put forth in a rude manner?
Howell published a lie under her name. She either told it deliberately or with a callous disregard for the truth. When that was pointed out, she attacked not just those who exposed her, she attacked the truth.
What good is any press/media person to the general public if they are attacking the truth?
We need to do this, we need to take down a DINO. And we need to explicitly take him down for being a DINO.
By "we" I mean both the left end of the Democratic Party and those more toward the center who nevertheless hope for and work toward a Democratic majority. We, the people who spend our time, money and energy supporting and promoting the Democratic Party, we the people for whom the Democratic Party ostensibly exists, need to make sure that our brand stands for something.
Lieberman is the best choice and not just because he is so odious. He did as much or more than any Republican to help Bush get elected in 2004. But what really matters is that in Connecticutt, we can still win the general after a hard fought primary.
And note to Hillary: You best steer clear of Joe Lieberman. You have enough problems of your own.
Sharkey did not 'seem to' have a personal animus against Celeste, she had it. She as much as admitted it to me one night at Don's Lighthouse.
Celeste had the political guts to raise taxes to keep the state and its schools going.
Sharkey wrote columns about Celeste's daughter's boyfriend living in the governor's mansion. Sound like standard right wing stuff? It was.
Celeste won by running against Reagan. He used a "Main Street not Wall Street" theme.
He did leave something of a legacy, there are a few Celestials still around. But the generation of young Democrats from that era have all gone into the corporate world, like Dennis Eckhart, or to parts unknown.
Sherrod Brown used to be Sec'y of State. I always thought he wanted to run for Governor and was surprised he didn't.
The only thing I can really say about the Brown v. Hackett situation is: diagnostic.
The myth that Dean's volunteers cost him Iowa, or anything else, is part of the package of bullshit about the Dean campaign.
Remember, it wasn't enough for the Democratic Old Guard to defeat Dean the candidate, they have to defeat Dean the idea of a candidate, along with anyone who might look for someone or something outside of their system. Believe me, they are still working on it.
Just how many Iowa voters were you in touch with during the campaign?
Did you know that 'voters' and 'caucus attendees' are two very different groups of people?
Have you ever been to Iowa for the presidential caucuses? Have you ever worked on a presidential campaign?
Every campaign in Iowa has people from out of state. John Kerry had firefighters from Chicago, for example. There are not enough volunteers in the state to do the job. The vast majority of people have nothing to do with the caucuses.
Every campaign that fails gets slammed, and often for things that didn't really happen. Every campaign that wins is praised as skilled and well-executed, even when the reasons it succeeded are nebulous.
And once TV reporters get an idea in their heads, or once their news directors give them the script, they don't have a problem finding some one to interview who will support the script.
There are posts and comments bitching about 'the Democrats' all over the left blogosphere.
I don't see too many posts stating, "this is what I am doing in my town," or anything similar.
We took two big hits in 2004, Dean getting slammed by the Democrats, Kerry getting the same old result with the same old campaign. A lot of people are discouraged and disillusioned.
But we can't have that, we can't back down now.
The energy that was unleashed by the Dean campaign, and to a slightly lesser extent the Clark campaign, needs to be reanimated toward taking over the Democratic Party at the local level, in every city, in every state.
If we keep working, we will win.
The signs of the decline and fall of the old guard are everywhere. They completely misread and mishandled the Paul Hackett situation. Bush, his war and his attempts to reconfigure the country along right wing lines are increasingly being rejected and stalled by the American public. The 'leading' Democrats are completely absent.
There is an emptiness at the heart of the party. It's up to us to fill it.
So come on, let's stop looking around for a messiah. Let's save our country ourselves.