Time to Talk Seriously About Dean

By now I'm sure you've seen the latest news today about Dean's run for the DNC Chair:

Governor Howard Dean was endorsed today by several state Democratic Party chairs and vice chairs, adding to his broad, diverse and growing list of support both among the members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The list of voting DNC state party chairs and vice-chairs supporting Governor Dean include:

Florida: Chairman Scott Maddox, Vice-Chairwoman Diane Glasser
Mississippi: Chairman Wayne Dowdy
Oklahoma: Chairman Jay Parmley, Vice-Chairwoman Debbe Leftwich
Utah: Vice-Chairwoman Nancy Woodside
Washington: Chairman Paul Berendt
Vermont: Chairman Peter Mallary

This list of supporters signifies that people in every region of the country approve of Dean's vision and structure that he wants to bring to the DNC.

I remember when Dean was endorsed by Al Gore. It was one of the happiest days I can remember from 2003. But I also remember what happened next. That's why my fellow bloggers, it is time to talk seriously about Howard Dean and discuss the baggage we fail to acknowledge due to our hopes for him.

Truth be told, I am leaning very much toward Howard Dean for the Chair. But let's all stop with the "Dean's the man" talk right now and sing his praises loudly another time. I want to openly discuss what the GOP, The Right, the SCLM, the DLC and the Wurlitzer will say and will do should he be named the head of our party. It's a discussion long overdue in my opinion.  

I think the need for such a discussion has deep roots the Blogosphere. In all our good intentions we have glossed over Dean's faults, either real or perceived, based in hopes that a DNC Chair victory would vindicate the slanders and mischaracterizations visited upon the man in the primaries and beyond. Hopes that in such a victory,  our belief in the man would be vindicated as well. Hopes we must put aside in order to see clearly the path to assure that Dean is not only elected Chair, but more importantly that he is successful in the position.

With this in mind, I'd like to have a serious discussion of the following bits of baggage that will immediately dog Dean in the Chairman's role:

The Scream
What I want to know is how does Dean propose to overcome the image of the crazy man that has been painted upon him by the SCLM and the right. I know all about the untruth behind that video tape. I defended him for weeks and weeks from my GOP friend, neighbors, coworkers and relatives. I don't care about the truth here. Remember, Al Gore invented the internet, right? Howard Dean is viewed as an object of derision by many outside of the Blogosphere. How does he overcome this, both personally, and as the head of the party?

Just as I commented about Frost being confronted by Russert with his commercial praising his backing of Bush, you can bet the ranch Russert will get at a minimum three or four replays of that speech the first time Dean is on MTP. Saying it ain't true won't cut it. I know it isn't accurate. You know it isn't accurate. Russert knows it isn't accurate. They don't care. I want to know what we and the party will do to cut this attack off at the knees. And I'd like an answer from Dean on this as well. To me, this is the white elephant in the room that no one to my knowledge has asked him directly yet.

Volvo Driving North Eastern Liberal
Next, I'd like to hear how Dean and the party will combat his image, again falsely painted, that he is another North Eastern flaming liberal somewhere to the left of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. I know this is again far from the truth, but remember the truth doesn't seem to matter much in the SCLM or to The Right. I think he's answered much of this with his record with DFA. The endorsements above also help to douse this fire. But the question will come from the Russerts of the dark side, so I'd like to be prepared.

Resistance from the inside out
Finally, and probably most importantly, Dean's fever for reforming the party from the ground up is often one of his foremost selling points. It is one of his greatest positives in my mind. But it is also this drive for reform that will raise the most obstacles from those who might be reformed. How will Dean as the head of the party deal with a party machine that might not see eye to eye with his views, resist his changes, and work to undermine his leadership from the inside out? It is obvious Dean is looking to clean house. I think many of us agree with this greatly. But we're not the one's who stand to get cleaned. How will he deal with the Fainthearted faction and the Lieberman's of our party who will not agree or support him?

I think the world of Howard Dean. The questions I've raised above are not new, but I have yet to see any meaningful dialog on them around the Blogosphere or from Dean. I could care less if Dean pisses off the status quo and the GOP. Actually, I think that would be great for a change. But today for the first time I again see victory nearly within Dean's grasp. But unlike last time, I've seen what happens to front runners. I honestly believe if we do not blunt these issues now, and address our reaction to them preemptively, Dean will again face an onslaught from all directions aimed at taking him down. I rather not witness that again.

I yield the floor....

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Comments

67 Comments

DFA gets results
I was browsing some of the county-by-county maps from 2000 and 2004.  One thing struck me: wherever DFA was in red territory, it turned purple very fast.

Clearly the DFA folks sell in middle America.  The DFA model needs to be grafted onto the DNC immediately.

It's the only way we'll gain ground as post-Rovian wannabes vie to see who can push the "Amway model" the hardest for the GOP in 2008.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-18 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: DFA gets results
Are you really trying to make such a serious causal statement?

Tell me- what's the DFA model and where and why was it successful?

Let's see some real results before tootin that horn...

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 05:39AM | 0 recs
Toot your own horn, but read first
"Let's see some real results before tootin that horn."

You didn't even read what I said, did you?  Let me refresh your memory: on the county-by-county map, red counties that had DFA HQs performed better for Kerry than neighboring counties that did not have DFA HQs.

The DFA model is simple (that doesn't make it bad, in fact, quite the opposite):

You contest all races.  You develop a strong upper ticke this way, because the more voters feel their party is fighting for THEIR county and local races, the more they feel their party is fighting for them.

This means you let lower levels organize politics.  It means using groups like Meetup.  It means letting average people do more than just canvassing.

It is, in fact, the GOP model.

And right there is the #1 reason Dean deserves a second chance. Unlike Kerry and Edwards, he didn't just chicken out when he lost; he got off his ass started working on fixing the problem that caused the loss in the first place.

---

"Are you really trying to make such a serious causal statement?"

Are you really trying to be a condescending douchebag in such a casual manner?

Oh wait, let's quote you, again:

"Al-X is not just the minister of truth, he is also the (ad)minister of ass whoopins."  

Wow.  May I see the verdict?

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
jcjcjcjcj are you just a conservative on here posting a caricature of a Dean supporter?  Because your posts are not helpful and exhibit the very kind of knee jerk "Deanisgreatism" that this discussion is designed to get around.

Many of us like Dean, but don't see him as the right leader for the party as a whole.

I'm telling you. I live in North Carolina, which has a healthy and aggressive Democratic Party at the state level.  We pick Dean, and it's over here.  Over.  The Dean forces in this state are the folks who are ready to throw the party overboard because it won't take a stand on freeing Mumia.  They are not the road to a majority.

What has bugged me about Dean from the beginning is not really about Dean - it's the supporters on the web who take any criticism of him as a personal affront and turn to the name-calling tripe thaty you have put up in this thread.

by DrFrankLives 2005-01-19 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
"name-calling tripe thaty you have put up in this thread"

So, when he initiates it by talking down, calling my statements "casual", it's OK?

But, when I call him out for being intentionally condescending in that wonderfully Internet faux-snarky shit that people try, it's not OK?

Whatever.  

I see Dean as the right leader for one reason: he's direct.  He's not full of bullshit.

He is the anti-Kerry.

Democrats need to get a grip on the fact that we don't lose on policy.

We lost because Kerry is a joker.  Because he in fact is a flip-flopper.  The guy said some seriously dumb shit during the campaign.

We lose because we keep trying to game the system instead of win votes.

Dean gets that.  

That, and that alone, is the reason Dean ought to lead the Democrats, whether as DNC or as the candidate in 2008.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
Hey jcjcjc...
I'm sorry, I see now what the problem was, I meant to say causal, not casual... My bad...
by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
Wait... I did say causal... You're bad...
by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
DrFrank-
this is off topic, but can you point me to some good NC Dem blogs? NC is to me one of the most intruiging states in the South, and probablly the one most ripe for the pickin...
by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
Monkeytime.org is awesome when Todd is writing.  He's in a downtime now.

Orangepolitics.org is a good local blog.

Stinging Nettle rocks, if I do say so myself.

if you go to http://www.ncblogs.com/
you'll find a slew of 'em.

by DrFrankLives 2005-01-21 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
Why would it be over in NC and yet OK's chair just endorsed him? Are you saying that NC is more conservative than OK? Warning: I grew up right across the border in VA. So this is going to have to be good for me to believe it. There is so much hyperbole on both sides at this point it's getting silly.  
by bruh21 2005-01-19 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
Because the Democratic party is a dead, rump organization in Oklahoma.  In North Carolina, the party is still alive and kicking.

It is not surprising that the Chairman of the OK party has no qualms about endorsing such a polarizing figure as Howard Dean.

Again, I like Dean too.  But he's not the right guy.

I don't want a celebrity chair.  I want a hard-working, ass kicking chair.  I also want a chair who is open to reforming the primary process.  That's Rosenberg.

by DrFrankLives 2005-01-21 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
You didn't even read what I said, did you?  Let me refresh your memory: on the county-by-county map, red counties that had DFA HQs performed better for Kerry than neighboring counties that did not have DFA HQs.

OK, so let's see how this reasoning works (from my intro psych class).
Ice Cream sales skyrocket in the summer.
Cases of rape skyrocket in the summer.
So Ice Cream sales cause rape.

There's a big difference between corrolation and causation.

Are you really trying to be a condescending douchebag in such a casual manner?

I don't have to try, it comes naturally to me. I guess you could call it a gift.

And right there is the #1 reason Dean deserves a second chance. Unlike Kerry and Edwards, he didn't just chicken out when he lost; he got off his ass started working on fixing the problem that caused the loss in the first place.

I'm not saying that Dean shouldn't be one of the foremost leaders of our party and the growing grass roots movement. I'm saying that this is not the right place for his skill set. He needs to be in front of a camera, or our rallying the troops, not behind the scenese fundraising and managing the day to day operations of the national party.

May I see the verdict?

No. Not unless you pay me. (I take mastercard and diners club only)

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
Which candidate would you support and why? Can we start from there? The truth is, at least for me (not that I got a vote here), I am more interested in any candidate who has shown a track record of trying to reform the Democratic party as an organization. Y'all are stuck on this liberal-conservative axis, when the real debate should be about reform v. more of the same. Trust me from what I saw as a poll monitor, the Republicans were running circles around Democratic organization. I will be honest from what I have seen I don't expect you to answer any of this in that your primary purpose seems to be to that of a flamer. But, I think the question has to be asked- who do you support? Because all I see is who you don't support, and that tells me nothing about how you think the party should move forward. Please stick to the candidate actually running for this position. In a perfect world we can all get a perfect candidate. But, in the real one, we got to choose from what we go. You are faced with the Kerry issue which is where Bush got Kerry. It's not enough to criticize. You have to provide people with a positive vision. What's your positive vision?
by bruh21 2005-01-19 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
Well, since you asked, I want Simon Rosenberg for DNC Chair.

And, no, I'm not a 'flamer', though I do like anoying people who belong to cults, whether they be of the far-right-Christian sort, or of the lazy thinking leftist sort...

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
Who did you support in the primaries?

BTW -- I apologize.  I read "casual" not "causal"  Boy . . . there's a classic study in how we read the shape of a word and not the word itself!!

My apologies.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
I was a Clark supporter...

no problemo, apology accepted...

;)

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Toot your own horn, but read first
I was a clark supporter until i got on the electability bandwagon. Never again. Do what I think makes sense from now on
by bruh21 2005-01-19 11:07AM | 0 recs
Here's the thing...
The party Chair's don't get that much press.  It is just a fact.  They are probably the least famous national party figures.  A lot of people remember Dean, but they don't care.  So, I think these pitfalls only seem to make sense to the hyper-informed, which is a bad way to approach the issue.  

Take a cue from the Repugs here and it will ease your mind.  Look at all of the shady characters that have employed and ressurected from John O'Neil of the Swifties to Pryor to Gonzales. Hell, Newt and Bill Bennet have never suffered for their shadiness.  This is nothing to sweat.  Hyper timidity is one of the signs of consultocracy.  

The problem I have with the anti-Dean arguments is that they slide easily between reasons why Dean is a bad presidential prospect and reasons why he is a bad DNC Chair prospect.  I have yet to see a good argument for the latter that doesn't rely on evidence of the former.

I am not saying that your post is wrong or accusing you of being anti-Dean or anything.  I just don't think this is much of an issue unless you are hyper-informed.

Corked Bats.

by Garemko 2005-01-18 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
Good point. Hyperinformed I think I am on this on.
by michael in chicago 2005-01-18 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
My guess is that the most opposition is going to come from the Kerry people, HRC's people, and whoever else want to win the 2008 nomination. I just wonder if the Kos/MyDD stuff wasn't generated by some of these parties to try to stuff Dean and his "bloggers".

I seem to remember that George H. W. Bush was GOP chairman as a stepping stone to the (vice) presidency. This could be solid resume stuff if Dean leads the party out of the woods to a majority somewhere. That's something Kerry, Gore, HRC and Feingold wouldn't have going in.

I agree with the original reply in this thread that this isn't a very high-profile position. McAulliffe was the first DNC chair who I can name in my lifetime (41 years).

On a completely unrelated note, I bought the Brian Wilson Smile CD, and cannot stop listening to it. For God's sake, somebody help me! I've been throwing Dizzee Rascal and OutKast at my
CD player to no use. It's just too infectuous.

by JohnGor0 2005-01-18 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
Yeah but Bush 41 was not RNC chairman when he ran for President in 1980 and was selected VP after losing to Reagan in the Primaries.  He was RNC chair during 1972 and Nixon's re-election (yeah he knew nothing about Watergate.) and served several other posts after that point.  If Dean is DNC chair I think his Presidential aspirations may be done.  He won't be able to run in 2008 and if the Dems lose (unless it is to McCain) I can't see the majority of the party getting behind Dean in 2012, especially with some of the big stars such as Obama being mentioned for runs unless he can help take back one or both houses of congress.  If we win, then he won't be able to run until 2016, where he would face an incumbent VP, party stars such as Obama and the additional liability of being 69.  I know this isn't as big of a liability these days, but it could be an issue.

He would have made a good President, but I think he will be able to do the party more good as DNC chair.  However, we never know what the future holds and it is just possible he could set himself up, provided the cards fall in the right places.

by yitbos96bb 2005-01-19 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
Personally, my oppostion is to the cult of personality that surrounds Dean. What can he do, organizationonally, better than Rosenberg or Frost?
by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 05:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
"cult of personality that surrounds Dean"

Worked for Reagan.  Come to think of it, didn't Reagan lose in the primaries in 1976?

What happened to Reagan after at that?  I guess you'd have to be a real political buff to know that one.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
He sold his soul to the devil?
by donkeykong 2005-01-19 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
Yeah. Exactly, it worked for a presidential candidate- NOT a DNC chair. This is not a vote for the face and voice of our pary, it's a vote for the central organizer and fundraiser.

Me thinks that this cultish following is clouding the reasoning of a lot of smart people...

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
Popularity equals rejection? You are trying to turn ardent support into a disqualification. Sounds like a recipe for more white bread centrism.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-01-19 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
Not at all- but why would you want someone with such a following to be placed in a backroom position and not someplace where he can get more exposure?

Why not Dean for Senate (maybe he could try and run against Lieberman or Stowe- if Hillary can move and run, why not Howard), or for President in 08?  

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
"You are trying to turn ardent support into a disqualification."

Thank you.  I was wondering if I was on an island on this one.

Geez.  God forbid some guy would be "loved" instead of "electable".

How'd that work out in Bush vs Kerry?  Did the electable guy get elected?

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
"This is not a vote for the face and voice of our pary, it's a vote for the central organizer and fundraiser."

And Dean would be bad at that?!

All DFA did was change how fundraising is done.  And improve the final take.

Hell, this was the first year Dems have been in the game.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
And Dean would be bad at that?!

Not necissarily, though he did seem to waste away his money pretty fast in the primary. Besides that I understand that he's a pretty fiscally conservative guy, but I'd be a little worried about the type of waste that was evident in his campaign.

That said, I agree that the Dean campaign changed grass roots politics for the better (much better), and for that Dean (or Trippi) should be commended.

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
"Dean (or Trippi) should be commended"

But will they ever have a role again?

Obviously, Dean has to fight for legitimacy.  Any later run (2012?) is incumbent upon two things:

  1. A DNC on his side.  Obviously 2004's big lesson isn't lost on him.

  2. Some visible role that prevents him from just disappearing like John Edwards will over the next few years.

But, I would agree with most views that this whole citizen-candidate thing Dean tried to propagate needs some tuning to adjust to the fact we are talking politics.

Even the true reform candidates end up having to swim in the sewage of politics until it makes them just as sick.  

Dean can always be glad he didn't get further.  Then they would've had the CIA blow his face off.  Ask Bobby Kennedy.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's the thing...
You shut your trap on cults. Some of them are really horrible, don't go around calling Dean supporters members of cults.
by sam89 2005-01-19 11:37AM | 0 recs
Pick Up A Dictionary
Really, they can be fun.
Here's defenition 5 of cult from Merriam-Webster

5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

I realize that I'm being a little extreme with the term "cult of personality" when I describe Dean's support and supporters, but I do feel like people's adoration for the guy clouds their ability to measure his abilities and skills.

And just so that there's no confusion, here's what I mean by cult of personality.
"a derogatory term for what is perceived to be excessive adulation of a single living leader."

Obviously, I'm not comparing Howard Dean to Mao or Stalin, but I get a little frustrated sometimes that his followers seem to think the dude's shit smells like roses...

And I didn't mean to upset you if you've had some bad cultish exeperience...

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:25PM | 0 recs
Excellent topic
I guess I've been over compensating for the plastic criticism of Dean. I even compared him to Sen. Wellstone this morning, which is quite a stretch. Here's my take on your key points:

The RWCM is going to go ballistic. For me this is one of Dean's strongest suits. The more O'Reilly and Limbaugh disapprove the better. Dean is actually a moderate conservative and comes across as a moderate. I'm hoping Dean can take on a more public persona that McAullife did. The right demonized McAullife and they will attempt to do the same to Dean. I think their attacks on Dean will discredit the socialist radical liberal sophistry.

The Scream - I don't think the scream was ever as big a factor as its been cracked up to be. Dean is said as much and I don't think it has legs. It never would have gone anywhere if the DLC minions in the party hadn't dogpiled on this issue.

The latte drinking, Volvo driving, maple syrup lovin', whatever - same analysis. I have as much confidence about Dean being able to disarm Russert than I do about any other candidate. I'm sure Roemer would have no trouble, because the RWCM would love to see Roemer as DNC Chair. I suspect Rosenberg would do OK, but I'm not aware that he has ever been tested. The rest of the field, who cares?

Resistance from the DLC - I think this is Dean's biggest problem. The Zell Lieberman/McAuliffe DLC will not give up power gracefully. No politician ever has or ever will. It goes against their nature. I don't have the inside knowledge to evaluate how much residual power the DLC will have if Dean wins, and I don't know what resources his position would make available to him to counter their efforts to undermine him.

The bottom line for me is that the DLC has had their turn and then some. If a very moderate liberal like Dean isn't acceptable as Chair of the DNC, then there isn't any place for me in the Democratic Party.

I think the DLC believes that the left will not abandon them in '08 and I think they are wrong. Instead of worrying about triangulating to pick up red state votes, they better start worrying about losing their most loyal and hardest working foot soldiers. I say that as a sunshine soldier who was complacent enough to sit on his duff and mail in contributions before the election. The massive effort I watched from the comfort of my living room was astounding, and I didn't believe Kerry would lose for a minute.

That delusion was shattered and I'm getting off my dead and dying butt and pitching in. I won't keep pitching in for another centrist DLC approach to the '06 and '08 elections. I don't know the numbers, but I suspect somewhere between 10% and 20% of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party feel the same way. I don't know how many of them are as willing to walk away from the party as I am. I hope I don't get the chance to find out.

I think this is a choice between trying to pick up a small percentage of red state votes or making a concession to the people who are the heart and soul of the Democratic party. If Sen. Zell Lieberman and Sen. Nelson are driving the bus, you can drop me off at the next stop.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-01-18 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent topic
No matter what, whoever we put up will be tagged as "too liberal." I might argue that putting up moderates helps us slide rightward faster, as the definition of "too liberal" moves towards the republicans. I say we find the most liberal candidate for DNC chair, president, and a boatload of far-left talking heads for the sunday shows, and move the debate back our way.
by matt w 2005-01-18 09:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent topic
He has a point.  If we made Newt Gingrich, DNC chair we would suddenly see awards naming him as the most liberal member of Congress during his time there.  

The scream was a little creepy, looking at it as someone who was not a Dean supporter in the Presidential campaign.  At the time it was a bigger deal then the BLOGs want to believe.  Yes it got dog piled on, but it came out badly and that is what the media does.  As a politician, you have to expect it.  As most of the BLOGs did, I understood what he was trying to accomplish with the pep talk and scream.  However, those who don't follow as closely saw a man who came as crazy.  It is as much about perception in politics as anything else and we lose site of that sometimes in the Democratic party.  Truthfully, IMHO, It wasn't the fact he screamed, it was the fact it wasn't a macho war cry scream.  It was a gutteral, I killed someone and will start to eat body parts scream.  I think I heard a killer in a low rent horror movie make the same sound.  Is it unfair?  Absolutely.  But that perception was placed out there.

Now, that being said, I think it means NOTHING now.  Old news, especially if he can laugh about it.  One thing you have to give W, he can laugh at how much of an idiot he is.  I am sure Dean can laugh off the scream, which makes him warmer and more likable.

The liberal tag is fine.  Those who despise liberals (not the DLC who seem to be afraid of them) have no say in our Party Chairman and him being liberal would be assumed by them anyway.

Internal fighting will be the biggest issue.  When Dean wins, as I am confident he will, he needs to reach out to the those who were his biggest opponents and give them a small little consolation prize.  Afterall, they are part of the party; their opinions need to be taken into account as Dean drives the party in the future.  I mean this more on Policy...There nuts and bolts running of the party has been horrible.  I am thinking Clinton was a lucky abberation, a guy who ran against an unpopular president, was young and energetic, and had a 3rd party guy to take away some votes from the incumbent.  Add to the fact, he is an incredible speaker and you get a great candidate.  Then again maybe things have changed and this is why the old strategies don't work.  But a 50 state strategy is critical if we are going to not only win nationally but take over state level as well.

by yitbos96bb 2005-01-19 05:25AM | 0 recs
All you have to do is look at OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma is the kicker here...and VERY TELLING of things to come.

Rosenberg and NDN (the candidate fundraising branch of the DLC) spent a ton on money in Oklahoma on a typical DLCer Democrat Carson.

Like Frost, Carson hardly uttered the word Democrat or Democratic and his appearance on MTP was abysmal leading to his sudden drop in his poll numbers. Carson was trying to out right a wingnut Republican and in the process disenfranchised the little Democratic base he had in Oklahoma instead of trying to build a "bigger" Democratic base.

That fact that both Chair and Vice Chair of Oklahoma is going with Dean and not Rosenberg is another death knell of the DLC (good riddence). The DLC triangulations never worked and never did.

by Parker 2005-01-18 09:48PM | 0 recs
Buying the Repub frame
[Disclaimer:  I am a fervent Howard Dean supporter and had the joy of voting for him in the primary!]

Your post raises many of the "talking points" that so many people used to "discredit" Dean, sadly.  You've hit them all, Michael, and I'm not suggesting we shouldn't acknowledge that this crap will be used against Dr. Dean.   In fact, it can be healthy to examine the "objections" of those who will oppose and smear the Good Doctor.

However, many of the points of discussion you've listed are carrying the Repub/Rove frame.  Dean supporters must stop buying into this frame. If frames are new to you or other MyDD bloggers, then please get George Lakoff's book "Don't think of an Elephant" and give it a thorough read.  My degree is in Speech Communications/PR and Government and Lakoff was required reading, I'm happy to report.

Framing IS important.  It isn't just a method of using progressive-friendly language.  It is a way to literally frame the issue at hand.  Framing reaches beyond mere debate and wording: it SETS the debate and defacto changes the wording.  It won't win the day for Doctor Dean or any Democratic candidate alone, but it is a powerful tool for message delivery.  To summarize Lakoff, "Don't think of a scream!"

To answer your specific concerns, here's my two cents:
*The Scream - is old news.  Even ABC News "backpeddled" after the gangbang on Dean was exposed;
*Volvo Driving Northeast Liberal - with people from all the "red states" supporting him, i think this is a non-sequitor;
*Resistance From the Inside Out - Dr. Dean cannot win this alone.  Indeed, no DNC Chair candidate can.  WE have to help with this.  WE have to take action and take over our local party operations from the people who oppose change.  This will not be easy.  Change never is because of the human inclination to cling to that which is known - even when its awful!!

Thanks for brining these topics to light.  In order to beat the frame, you have to know what it is first!

by chrispadem 2005-01-18 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Buying the Repub frame
I love what Kos has been doing to Mr. Frost of Texas. Fuck him and his W. fetish. The DNC certainly doesn't need a Southern Dem who has a (not-so) secret crush on the Liar-in-Chief. We need to oppose the administration at every turn, Gonzalez, Rice, Judge Moore, Satan.

Frost doesn't seem up to the task of crushing the GOP under our jackbooted thugs' ... jackboots as we force them to drink Green Tea and let dogs vote.

by JohnGor0 2005-01-18 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Buying the Repub frame
Frames are not new to me. Good points.
by michael in chicago 2005-01-18 07:51PM | 0 recs
Misdirection
So many RWingers insist that Dean would destroy the Dem party that I'm convinced they must be terrified of him.

"Dean is a truth-teller, and Reeps fear truth. That's why they spend so much time trying to distract people from what he's saying."

by catastrophile 2005-01-18 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Misdirection
you hit the nail right on the head, but the Democratic Party needs to stop worrying about what Republicans think.  They sure as hell don't give a damn about what Democrats think.
by LionelEHutz 2005-01-18 07:36PM | 0 recs
One correction
"stop worrying about what Republicans think"

Let's keep worrying, but use it to scare the hell out of them.

Remember all that crap from Rove about how he desperately wanted Dean to win?

Then after this election, Rove sits there and calls Kerry "the gift that keeps on giving".

Guess what kids?  Dean wouldn't have been the gift that kept on giving.

Dean would have been a strong anti-war candidate whose vies could have amplified the rising casualties and the decline of Iraqi society in general as the insurgency grows larger than anything we can control.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 06:12AM | 0 recs
meeting in New York City the 29th...
I live in Philadelphia and would be willing to travel
to NYC to show support for Dr. Dean. Who could
I contact to attend?
by cybermome1207 2005-01-19 01:03AM | 0 recs
Re: meeting in New York City the 29th...
Driving Votes is organizing trips, drop them a line...
by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:55AM | 0 recs
My arguments for selecting Dean as DNC Chairman
http://66.39.111.188/demvoices-05-dean_party_leader.html

Dean Should Be The National Democratic Party Leader

While every declared candidate for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee would do a good job, Howard Dean clearly offers some unique qualities and insights that would help advance both the Democratic Party agenda and future electoral prospects. Dean created in 2004 an energy in the grassroots activist base of the Democratic Party that was unmatched by any of the other Primary contenders. He would be a great public face and manager for the national Democratic Party.

Howard Dean understands the power of the Internet as a tool for matching the Corporate Media dominance of the rival Republican Party. Dean understands the threat to American democracy posed by media concentration. It is clear that Dean would act aggressively to support the creation of an alternate Democratic media outside the control of Corporate Republican interests. His list of roughly 3 million Democratic activists email addresses, developed in his Presidential race, would be an amazing asset for the Democratic Party and rivals closely the entire existing list currently being used by the national Democratic Party.

More than any other contender, Dean has a unique ability to take often fairly moderate positions on issues, in order to help Democratic candidates win elections based on local conditions, without alienating more liberal activists within our broad Democratic Party coalition. He has a strong record as Governor of Vermont when it comes to balancing government budgets. His appeal as a fiscal conservative stands in stark contrast to the fiscally radical and reckless policies of the Bush Republicans. While often being unfairly criticized for comments taken out of context, Dean has reached out strongly to rural, working class and Southern voters currently being seduced by Republicans using social wedge issues and Republican Right-Wing spin into voting Republican. He makes the argument that these voters have strong economic reasons for becoming solidly Democratic voters. Dean believes strongly in civil rights, civil liberties, economic fairness, environmental responsibility, trade unionism, honest elections, personal freedoms and listening to the average citizen. Former Governor Howard Dean could help bridge the divisions between the grassroots activists, Party leaders and elected Democrats. He has the ability to mend the traditional, FDR- New Deal created, winning Democratic coalition.

Dean connects with college students and working class youths in an exceptionally strong way very much like the Kennedy brothers in the 1960â€<sup>TM</sup>s, Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in the 1990â€<sup>TM</sup>s. Dean understands that getting young people involved in the Democratic Party at an early age helps create lifelong Democratic voters. It has become clear that the Democratic Party at every level needs to concentrate more on creating lifelong Democrats instead of just trying to elect individual candidates in expensive last minute TV based advertising campaigns. The rival Republicans have been using this approach for the past 30 years and gaining advantages over the Democrats as a result. Dean understands this problem. Republicans and their Corporate allies will almost always be able to afford to out advertise Democrats in these last minute TV based campaigns.

In fundraising, Dean can build on the impressive record of our current DNC Chairman by using his Internet lists and grassroots connections. While Democrats will likely never be able to outspend the Republican-Corporate alliance, we can remain competitive in financial terms. Dean has an excellent record when it comes to raising funds especially from small donors.

On the very important personal level, Dr. Howard Dean has exceptional intellectual abilities. He is a warm, witty and compassionate man. Dean shows a real commitment to and passion for making life better for the average guy. His deep love for America shows in his every word and action.

In conclusion, Howard Dean would offer some unique new approaches to building the Democratic Party at the national level while integrating it with local activists everywhere. He would restore many of our traditional strengths while developing new ones. Out of the many good choices for a new national Democratic Party leader, Howard Dean should be the next Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Written By Stephen Crockett.

by SCrockett 2005-01-19 04:00AM | 0 recs
Dean comes with Baggage
Up until a week ago, I was an impassioned Dean supporter.

His losing the primary hit me almost as hard as Chimp winning this election.  It took me ages to get over disliking Kerry for beating Dean.

I didn't think that Dean had quite the low-key "guy in the background" persona for the DNC chair, but I felt that in order to be a viable candidate, he needed a position with visibility.
In truth, I thought that the chair position would not be his cup of tea.  Dean is a brilliant,  limelight guy.

At this point, I realize now that Dean's major drawback in any position is the very blog that empowered him.

It has become clear that Daily Kos is a Frankenstein.

It is an unwieldily mass of mob droids.

They cheer whoever is in the graces of the leader, and stone anyone out of grace, and anyone with valid comments that rub the leader wrong.

I've seen the mob catcall and jeer and gangbang.

The blob has grown to the point of 300,000 hits a day (so they claim).

This gives the lead writer tremendous power and influence.  To make or break a career.

Dean has nurtured along something that he will find himself at the mercy of.

He owes too much to the blog.  He is in too deep.

When Dean rises, the blog leaders will be attached at the hip.

I'm not so crazy about that idea.

by zinc7 2005-01-19 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
In fairness, dKos is going to hell in a handbasket very fast.

When was the last time you saw an intelligent run-down of ideas on there?  Definitely before the election.

Everything now is the far-far-left rabidly defending their turf and screaming at others about how centrist they are and how the centrists are just all GOP shills.

I somehow doubt dKos will be relevant come 2008.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
This is funny. Where is this "rabid" left you are talking about? I keep reading about a rabid left that is a threat to the Democrats, but where are they? Give me example of one in power right now- just one. Specifically about Kos- what far left arguments have been made over there? Is that referring to the war? Or, is it that they questioned Kerry? Is it far left on social security? And, from what I keep reading, Dean isn't far left- so who exactly are you talking about who is far left? I have chatted with a few folks over there who are far left- and they aren't that big on Dean's actual policies. So who are you talking about?
by bruh21 2005-01-19 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
"Dean isn't far left"

Thank you.  No one ever points this out.  

As for dKos, yes, it is just my opinion.  But, I quit commenting there because the view on dKos has become "well, we've got our view and you've got yours, so leave us the hell alone".

Which is, truthfully, pointless.

More than a few folks are of the view that anyone out of the dKos main (which is leftie) has to hunker down and hide while the army of popular posters rakes everyone over the ratings coals.

Why communicate if all you're looking for is an affirmation of your views?

That's what's wrong with dKos.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
Stop whining. Don't take this the wrong way. It's just what you are doing. It's like some guy the other day whining to be me on Kos b/c some girl at his college argued and lost against her professor regarding his advocacy of affirmative action. If you have a strong position, argue it. But no one ever said arguing a minority view would be easy. I am called all sorts of names over there. And, I am familar now with the games. I don't whine. I defend my position against all takers. If there is one thing I don't like is thin skinned whining. So- just buck up, and say what you want to say.
by bruh21 2005-01-19 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
You really are a right-wing operative, aren't you? I still find Kos as informative as before the election. I'd ask you for proof that what you were saying was true, but I don't want to seem condescending...

Oh, fuck it, yes I do, show us some proof...

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
OK, this shit has to stop.  It's immature.  

Either you want to hear differing views, or you just want to engage in circle jerk with a bunch of like-minded people.

Which is it?

Because frankly you're being an ass for no better reason than to troll me.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
Are you serious? I want to hear differing views, but not illogical ones. I thought I seriously responded to your above post, but you read "causal" as "casual" and went off...

I still want some actual evidence of DFAs success, not just pretty maps showing corrolations.

That's not trolling, or being an ass, it's asking for proof of a causal assertion that you made. If it gets you mad when people ask you for proof of your statements, than you really need to exit politics, because it gets a whole lot worse than this. Take a breath and take this is- we're on the same team, we just disagree on who should be our coach...

And let me set one thing straight- I'm not anti-Dean and I will support him full-heartedly if he becomes DNC Chair. I just don't think he's the best candidate (and if you're really interested you can read why here). Is that too asinine for you?

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
" not just pretty maps showing corrolations."

What counts as evidence by your standards?  

I'm all for hearing it, because I don't see how anyone can ignore the relationship between DFA's presence and increased likelihoood of votes for the Democratic candidate.

Besides, my evidence sucks.  You just said so.

Any evidence I present to you is going to suck, because you don't actually want to hear the evidence.  

My evidence is just "pretty maps".  Well, I hope you don't drive a car into an unfamiliar area.

You never know when your only aid might be a "pretty map"!!

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
Any evidence I present to you is going to suck
Well, since you have provided none so far, save a map that shows a corrolation, I would say that any evidence would be better than none. What I am saying is that we need a way to Measure Success, other than  maps, and I think that Rosenberg can settup the DNC to act as that measuring device.

And again dude, chill out, there's no need to burst a blood vessel over this. We both want the same thing- The Repugs out of power.

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 08:13AM | 0 recs
I just going to apologize
I read your Rosenberg bit.  Really, I like Rosenberg, too.  I'm not gonna be suicidal if Rosenberg wins.  Hell, I've stumped for him on myDD.  

My personal view is that Dean would be a "statement" candidate.  Just a way of putting the world on notice that in 2006 it's going to be full-court press.

Rosenberg, though, is excellent as a traditional chair, and has dropped hints he may be a reformer.

And you are right: "And again dude, chill out, there's no need to burst a blood vessel over this. We both want the same thing- The Repugs out of power."

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: I just going to apologize
Cool man, I totally understand the want and need for a "statement candidate". I guess I just don't see how it helps us out if that statement is made in the DNC race and not a race against the thugs...
by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: I just going to apologize
I tend toward the argument that the role of the chair is changing.

Terry McAuliffe was on TV a lot.  Before him, Ed Rendell was on TV a bit.  Before that, the chair practically never went on TV.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
Let me be clear, anyone who reads Kos is a mindless drone? The funny thing is you don't do yourself any favors with someone like me who keeps saying although I am now leaning Dean the truth is that several of these candidates seem acceptable so long as they are truly about reforming the party so that it can be more well organized, run a 365 day-non-stop organization and keeps it eyes on the prize. The reason why you don't do yourself any favors is that I don't believe you. Your credibility was shot the minute you over played your hand. I disagree all the time on Kos. Until yesterday with a few posters who didn't like my opinion about how spineless Kerry was as a candidate, I have no had any major problems. I was even one of thos people vocally arguing for looking into the voting rights isssue when Kos was sort of MIA.  I also don't fully believe you are Dean supporter- or a feverent one at least. I have no idea if he is the right choice. But, I will tell you what. The more the naysayers come on with their ill founded statements that are then shot down by actual clear arguments, the more I am convinced he is as good as anyone else running in turns of reform.  Especially, the stuff above about the DFA's efforts in red states. I didn't really know that, and wouldn't if the heckler above hadn't forced the original poster to argue for why Dean is the guy.
by bruh21 2005-01-19 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
"Until yesterday with a few posters who didn't like my opinion about how spineless Kerry was as a candidate, I have no had any major problems."

So, there's one probem.

Where my problem occured was asking the dKos posters to confront any centrist or right-wing views.

I didn't even intend it as MY view.  I just tried to point out that the whole world doesn't see things their way.

What I got was no effort to look at what I said.  Every post was "well, if you don't see it our way, why are you posting here?".

That's a useless approach.  It bothers me.

As for fervent suuport . . . no one should be too fervent about anything.

No, I support Dean because at some point someone has to just stand up and fix the problem.

Continuing to game the system isn't working.  The GOP runs the system.  They've built the latest version.

The Democrats need a Gingrich-type revolution, where they define themselves clearly and directly as an opposition party.

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
It's the problem with a minority of emotionally retarded people. This happens when you open things up. The crazy and the stupid also will tag along with the intelligent and capable. I live in NYC- trust me I see crazies all the time. It used to shock me too- I am from the South. Now, it's old hand. Democrats are no less likely to have them. I accept this as a reality, and defend myself against them. I don't assume that it is everyone so that also makes it easier.
by bruh21 2005-01-19 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Dean comes with Baggage
dKos users have a hair-trigger mouse-click for that rating system.

Plus, the mooching and hamming for ratings does not amuse the hell out me.  I'd rather hear a good idea poorly articulated than a dumb idea touted for its "snarkiness".  And the whole vibe at dKos is ass-deep in that approach right now.

I like myDD, because you have to say something exemplary to get a thumbs up, or severely brain damaged to get a thumbs down.

I stopped wasting my time at dKos because folks don't want to even humor outside ideas.  Why do it if they're only going to flame you for providing an alternate view?

by jcjcjc 2005-01-19 05:33PM | 0 recs
my thoughts
first, great subject for a diary.

i gotta say i support dean, but i'm starting to get a bit wigged out.  while DFA has demonstrated success, i worry about the guys in charge.

longtime deaniacs will remember how bad our ads were during the primaries, and will also remember how all that money was blown in iowa.

well you know what?  the same guys who made those ads and those bad decisions are in positions of leadership at DFA.  i worry about them failing upwards, if you get my drift.

i wonder if dean will take the DFA team with him - if so, i'm a bit wigged out for sure.

by annatopia 2005-01-19 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts
longtime deaniacs will remember how bad our ads were during the primaries, and will also remember how all that money was blown in iowa.

well you know what?  the same guys who made those ads and those bad decisions are in positions of leadership at DFA.  i worry about them failing upwards, if you get my drift.

This is exactlly why I support Rosenberg for Chair, because he wants to ensure that as we nurture the grass roots, and all the various organizations that have popped up, we can measure our successes and hold people who work for the party/campaigns accountable for their actions.

We need an organizational leader not someone who makes us feel good about ourselves.

by Reverend AlX 2005-01-19 07:02AM | 0 recs
Simon has baggage too
He said some pretty supportive things about Bush and his war. I also am concerned about his ties to the DLC even though he did split with them.

I'd be fine with him as DNC chair, but he's a distant second to Dean right now in my opinion.

by michael in chicago 2005-01-19 12:33PM | 0 recs
Thanks Anna
I agree. The people in charge at DFA deserve some credit, both good and bad. The ads were terrible. I remember all of us on the blog screaming for better ads, even coming up with better ad ideas. We were ignored.

I don't know if that will transfer to the DNC though. But every candidate has baggage. Maybe this is another part of Dean's baggage. I wasn't privy to the inner workings, so I can't tell for certain.

Thanks for the complement.

by michael in chicago 2005-01-19 12:31PM | 0 recs

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