Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

July 4, 2003

by V


Interesting links and quotes yesterday from Doc Searls, including this chunk from Ant's Eye View:
...over the last fifty or sixty years we've seen this type of [ground-up] party activity disappear in the United States. Parties today are really nothing more than funnels to route money, either to officeholders or to people who want to be officeholders.

Don't believe me? Try this -- ask your friends if they are registered members of a political party. Odds are that many of them are. Now ask them when the last time was that they went to a party meeting. For that matter, when the last time was that their party asked them to do anything except give money and vote on election day.

Parties were born as ways to harness the power of grass roots; today, though, the grass roots have dried up and politics has become a game of the elite, by the elite, for the elite.

It's looking more and more, though, like Dean is succeeding in building an insurgency within the Democratic Party, fueled by party members' desire to have a say in the future of their own party. Regardless of whether or not you think he's a good candidate, he's definitely energizing the ants on the left like nobody else is.

Will this be good for the Democrats in 2004? In my opinion, probably not. The reason is precisely because these ants have been stepped on for so long; when that's happened to you, you don't think clearly, you think in terms of emotion and anger and teaching the S.O.B.'s a lesson. And then you throw your support behind whoever best gives voice to that sentiment -- and that's a sentiment that plays better in party primaries than it does in a general election.
I disagree with his last point, only because it's still so early in this election's timeline. This smart-mob will learn more quickly than you expect, and Dean's fundraising has given it plenty of time to do so.

We've begun with at least an eight-month head start on John McCain's attempt last time. This time we can go all the way.
Posted by V at July 4, 2003 09:06 AM

Recommended Reading:

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