Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

July 8, 2003

by J

Whose Side? More DNC Screw-Ups

E.J. Dionne had a decent editorial in the Post this morning about grass-roots fundraising a la the Dean campaign.
Ah, but won't this benefit Democrats on the "extremes" by empowering the frequenters of Web sites that drip with contempt for President Bush? The Internet has certainly provided a powerful outlet for Bush's opponents. Mark Karlin, the editor and publisher of BuzzFlash.com, a liberal Web site, sees it as becoming "the progressive or Democratic alternative to right-wing radio," a place where activists can congregate and exchange views.

Given how much Rush Limbaugh and his imitators have done for the right and the Republicans, it's hard to see how progressives or Democrats will be hurt by having an outlet of their own. But Karlin, Rosenberg and Wes Boyd of MoveOn question the assumption that left-wing ideology is the sole motivator on the progressive Internet.

[...] Imagine replacing the lust for big money with a yearning for the small donor. By making that once wistful idea plausible, Dean has already done his party a favor.
The party, however, seems disinclined to pay attention. In the same editorial, Dionne quotes Debra Deshong, communications director for the DNC as saying:
"It's all we talked about all week[. ...] How can we get to the people who are energized by Dean? How can we get them over to our side?"
Excuse me?! Whose side? Are you all Democrats or are you not? Wasn't your precious DLC praising Dean to the high heavens just a couple of years ago as the epitome of centrist, Democratic leadership? Crap like this is one of the reasons why I won't register as a Democrat. My state has open primaries, so I can still vote in the primaries, and not a penny out of my pocket is going to the DNC or the DLC or the DNCC or any of the other party organizations until they stop being such jerks.

I should note that I got a survey from the Democratic National Congressional Campaign Committee (or some such acronym) the other day. It was full of loaded questions as these types of surveys are wont to be. I answered it. Then in the (small) space where they left room for comments I wrote. "Support Howard Dean! No money from me to DNC until you support Howard Dean!" That doesn't mean endorse, of course, it just means, work with him to build your party, already! As Janis over at Marshmallows and Bile wrote:
They have a viable, popular candidate who's golden at raising money and who people love and will clearly work hard for. And what do they do? They try to tear him down! What the fuck is their problem? How much strategic advice are they getting from the Republican party, anyway? Who the fuck do those people work for?!

Update: Cynthia in MA confirms in a BlogForAmerica comment thread that the DNC claims the quote included a typo and they were talking about how to get people over to their "siTe." It's plausible. The editorial online has been corrected. I have a suggestion for them though: Work with the Dean campaign!
Posted by J at July 8, 2003 10:01 AM

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