Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

November 10, 2003

by J

Interesting Times x 2

Interesting Times has several interesting items up recently. First, something for the anti-Dean supporters to think about
Those who are hoping that the Anybody-But-Dean forces can get organized enough to stop the Doctor from getting the nomination should consider this: these are the same group of people who have been so successful at stopping Bush.
I supported Dean early because he strikes me as the only one who has a prayer of a chance against Dubya and Rove and their complicit media. (It's a bonus that like many Vermonters, I now just really like the guy.) If someone can out-campaign Dean, then bully for them, go beat Bush. But if they can't beat the big mouthed, short, old-suit-wearing doctor from Vermont, then they have no chance against Rove. Now, I've also said that if the Dems decide to cheat to bring Dean down (either through behind the scenes nastiness at the convention or through unholy collusion in the early states or some other anti-democratic behavior I can't conceive of yet), that I will wash my hands of the Democratic party for at least another 10 years. We'll see though. Anyway, also interesting from Interesting Times -- expenditures in early primary states.
Spending through Q3 - first number IA, second NH & MA
Edwards $715,920.31 $535,872.17
Gephardt $357,881.63 $263,794.56
Kerry $349,747.27 $694,615.78
Dean $237,989.17 $241,818.16
Walking the walk of fiscal responsibility. Go Dean, go.
Posted by J at November 10, 2003 07:37 AM

Shame to you for this deeply troubling, deeply paranoid posting on what is normally a fantastic site. I am a Democrat, J, and Iím quite proud of that. There is a wide field of candidates in the Democratic primary to choose from this time around, and we should be proud of that, too. There is a far reaching talent pool in our Democratic party. Weíll have primaries and caucuses and the best candidate will emerge from the pack, get the nomination, and we should all stand united as Democrats, J, no matter who that nominee is, united behind him or her to defeat George W. Bush.

I say ďourĒ Democratic party, because I believe we have more in common than what divides us, no matter who might win the nomination. I believe it is *our* party, together. Iíve been involved in politics for a little while, now, J, and I think that Dean is well on his way to the nomination. While I havenít picked a candidate yet, I will strongly Ė strongly Ė support Governor Dean if he wins the nomination. Other Democrats should expect the same of Dean supporters were another candidate to win the nomination. Itís not just Democratic, J Ė itís American.

"...if the Dems decide to cheat to bring Dean down?" J, I must tell you that this is a terrible notion and, to put it a fine way, not very cool. Youíll ďÖwash your hands of the Democratic party?Ē I read comments like this and realize itís no wonder why Republicans have been consistently beating us again and again Ė if your comments are truly reflective of Dean supporters, J, then our failure in 2004 will be the price of our cowardice. If the Dems decide to cheat, J? Just who do you think Howard Dean is? Iíd expect Dean supporters to know better.

Dean is most likely going to win that nomination, J, whether non-Dean supporters like it or not. Part of the price of that victory is acting like a leader, and not only leading his loyal supporters, but welcoming other Democrats in as well. Itís who we are. Wash your hands of the Democratic party? ĎItís our guy or nobodyí doesnít strike me as very united or very democratic or even a very good strategy for defeating Bush next year. Itís no wonder we lose all the time. Please donít let Dean supporters be the spoiled brats of politics. Please donít let these new Democrats be the whiney children of the political playground.

I imagine Karl Rove looking at a printout of this posting and just having a belly laugh for hours and hours. Sitting in the Oval Office with W, Cheney speakerphoned in from an undisclosed location, five or six other bigwig GOP operatives and money men lighting cigars with 100 dollar bills, and the spirit of Lee Atwater permeating the room. They'd look at this, raise a humored eyebrow and say, "Boss, you don't have a thing to worry about -- this guy Dean is well on his way to the nomination, but by the time he gets there, his supporters are going to be so rabid fighting off Kerry and Gephardt and whoever else, they'll have forgotten about us. Heck, we'll never have to leave the West Wing!" Evil laughter ensues.

Dean is more than about to become the nominee. He's about to become the new standard bearer for the Democratic Party. Find the faith and strength to rise above the fray in this new standard bearer of your party, J. Itís called leadership. Save the paranoia for other campaigns. Like the LaRouche people.

Posted by: Benjamin at November 10, 2003 10:37 AM

First, I'm not a Democrat. As stated clearly in the sidebar, I'm an independent voter.

Second, I've made this statement, although with more context, previously on this site. Dean is the only Democratic candidate who's made me reconsider being an independent. For the last decade I have always voted for Democrats and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. But I have not given to the DNC, DCCC, DSCC, and have not been involved with local party politics (even though, to put it less than humbly, I have superb organizational skills and believe I would be an asset) because of the behavior of the party as a whole.

That could change, but not if they cheat. And lest you think I'm off my rocker for suggesting such a thing, spend some time with the Kerry and Clark fanatics who are salivating at the thought of a brokered convention and lining up all of the superdelegates behind the DNC candidate of choice because "someone has to stop Dean." That kind of attitude is revolting. The behavior of the DLC has also been appalling and I don't see Terry M. doing a whole lot stop it.

Please read carefully, I never said "my guy or nobody." Whichever Democrat runs against Bush in '04 will get my vote. If they win the nomination fairly, they may get my time and money too (even if that person is not named Howard Dean). If the Democratic party shapes up, I might even register as a Democrat and get involved locally. But that's an awful lot of ifs.

Posted by: J at November 10, 2003 11:00 AM

I take each of your points above well, J -- the DLC comment, the Terry McA comment, the DNC, DSCC et al comments, the convention issue comments -- and apologize for not reading the sidebar more carefully. Perhaps I was overzealous in my plea for party unity.

Although, I wonder if this whole point doesn't speak to something larger that I think we both might've missed. Dean is the only Democrat that's made you reconsider being an independent. That's extraordinarily powerful, and the party as a whole should not be dismissive of that as we make our way through this primary season. My guess is that there are many thousands, maybe tens of thousands, out there just like you. I think it is incumbent upon us -- indeed, vital to our future as a party -- to ensure that voters like you (Independent in the past, Democrats today) stay with us.

There's a good way to do this, and I think it is beneficial to everyone (except Republicans). Dean, as I pointed out, has done a fantastic job and who among us will dispute that? But as he has risen through the ranks and signed on the true believers, he has morphed into something different: a new standard bearer for the Democratic party. The trick to being a leader is not just holding one's self to that higher standard, but holding your opponents to that standard as well. Lead, and they have to follow.

Howard Dean is becoming something new, and I think better. If he -- and his supporters -- can live up to that new thing, that new standard, then I don't believe it will matter what the other candidates do, dishonest or not. And that is the real faith of leadership, J.

Posted by: Benjamin at November 10, 2003 11:29 AM

Dean is the only Democrat that's made you reconsider being an independent. That's extraordinarily powerful, and the party as a whole should not be dismissive of that as we make our way through this primary season.


So far, they do seem pretty dismissive.

I, and my wallet, await their enlightenment. ;-)

Posted by: J at November 10, 2003 11:38 AM

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