Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

March 18, 2004

by J

Sneak Preview DFA 2.0

An intrepid websurfer over at Kos found the staging site for DFA 2.0. A version of the speech Dean will giving today is available. Looks like good stuff to me.
To do our part, we will create out of the Dean for America campaign a new enterprise, Democracy for America, committed to important core principles.

First, Democracy for America will be committed to strong, sustained grassroots involvement in democracy. Today, half of Americans don't even bother to vote. People see what the problems are, but they are cynical about the system and prospects for change. Only through doing will people recognize the power they have to change this country.

Second, Democracy for America will be committed to promoting an America where candidates and office holders tell the truth about policy choices and stand up for what they believe. The era when politicians equivocate about matters as fundamental as war and peace must end.

Third, Democracy for America will be committed to fighting against the influence and agenda of the two pillars of George W. Bush's Washington: the far right wing and their radical, divisive policies, and the selfish special interests who for too long have dominated politics.

Fourth, Democracy for America will be committed to fighting for progressive policies, like health care for all; investment in children; equal rights under law; fiscal responsibility; and a national security policy that makes America stronger by advancing progressive values.

To help defeat George W. Bush and his agenda in 2004, Democracy for America will focus on key battleground states, mobilizing our supporters and the groundbreaking organizing tools we developed during our campaign -- planting seeds on the Internet, meeting face-to-face at the grassroots, bringing new people into the process.
All good stuff, and much of it contradicting Jerome's attempted demoralization over at Kos with its implications that Dean would completely abandon his grassroots and Internet-based supporters.

NYCO pointed out something interesting in a separate thread: Kerry is going on a short vacation this week, just as Dean launches his new organization. Coincidence or coordination? Remains to be seen, I suppose...

Update: Oo. The text has changed a bit since I first found the link. More concrete plans:
In the coming months, we will:

1. Recruit and encourage progressive candidates to run for office at every level. We will help them find the resources to campaign successfully with small donations from grassroots supporters, to begin to break the stranglehold special interests have on the political process.

2. Raise funds for Congressional candidates for whom financial support could be the key to winning, and whose election will be key to winning back a House of Representatives that has become the tool of the Republican right wing.

3. Develop strategic partnerships with other progressive organizations to maximize resources for candidate recruitment, training, and organization.

4. Build relationships with other political initiatives to focus on the failed, destructive policies of the Bush administration.

5. Harness the power of the Internet to enlarge and support our grassroots organization committed to taking back America from special interests that control the right wing leadership of our Congress and the White House.

Posted by J at March 18, 2004 06:16 AM

I was at the Seattle event this morning, and it went pretty well from where I sat. I'm really happy he's keeping the heat on like this. It looks to me like he's somewhat setting himself up to be both the conscience of the Democratic party and the target for the Republicans. He'll stand there and keep the focus on the issues that built his campaign: health care, environment, civil rights, honesty, justice, fiscal responsibility, accountability, and so on.

If he says it, Kerry doesn't have to, and he'll take most of the heat instead. But he also made it very clear that he intends to be the voice of the grassroots in holding the Democratic party accountable to its voters. I'll bet they're just sick about how he refuses to die so they can stick it to all his supporters.

Posted by: Fish at March 18, 2004 11:32 PM

That's cool that you got to be at the event, Fish. I think you're right about a tacit (or perhaps explicit) agreement between Kerry and Dean that Dean will be a lightning rod for some issues that Kerry "can't" speak candidly about.

Posted by: J at March 19, 2004 10:23 AM

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