Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

March 22, 2004

by J

Ineffective Democrats

This unity pledge that Carville is pushing over at the Kerry blog is pathetic and ineffective. This is the best that a major party Presidential campaign can come up with in a year when it's base is rightfully more motivated than it's been in ages?

My decision to remain an independent is reinforced time and again.

I mean, honestly, what is the point? At the very least, get people to pledge to do something. Get people to pledge to register 5 new voters between now and November. Hell, even get people to pledge to vote for your guy. There's some action. But to get people to pledge to "show their support"? What is that? Is that Democratic kum-ba-yah?

Bob Johnson over at Kos keeps wondering where the Democrats are. It's really, really as if the Democratic party establishment has become so complacent that they don't actually believe that Dubya is all that dangerous. "Hodeehumhum. I'll still have my job even if Bush wins again." I find their behavior baffling. Hagel and McCain defend Kerry. Biden and Lieberman defend Bush! What is going on with the Democratic party? Have they not been paying attention? Are they slipping back into their pre-Dean malaise? If I might paraphrase an old gambling man: Where is the outrage?

And, tell me again, why do they want me to click a little web button for Carville? What do they think that will accomplish?

On another note, I talked to one of my local Dean Meetup people who's trying to transition his Meetup into a new grassroots organization. I've been arguing for more inclusive language towards independents and unaffiliated folks. Well, guess what? The local Democrats don't like these upstarts. They were hoping the Dean people were temporary and would go away. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Democratic message sans Dean: participatory democracy is for looooosers.

Posted by J at March 22, 2004 10:26 PM

Yeah, "Feh". I've had it, and knew I would have had it a month ago. I don't know how you are motivated to keep writing. I couldn't do it anymore over at DI Which is gone now (at least we don't have to keep deleting all the spam in comments... what would we have done if Dean had won?).

Posted by: Todd at March 23, 2004 03:44 PM

I don't know. It's more outrage needing an outlet somewhere than any particular motivation, and better here than forcing my spouse to listen to me rant on and on and on. At least this is quieter. Although more than once I've been told: "Your typing sounds mad." Ha!

And, I've been weblogging for years, so it's kind of a habit now, too.

Readers and comments help, as well. :)

Posted by: J at March 23, 2004 08:08 PM

I was pissed off by that "pledge" as well. Coming at a time when a lot of national Democratic leaders seem to be AWOL from the fight against Bush I found it particularly galling for Carville to come out and say I should pledge myself to Kerry.

I AM going to work to get Kerry elected. But it's the Democratic leaders who should be pledging themselves to me. Not the other way around.

Posted by: Chris Andersen at March 23, 2004 10:56 PM

About the question of complacency among the Democratic establishment... I'm of the opinion that there are two things driving it. 1. Constant checking to see which way the wind is blowing with one hand while blindly feeling about with the other to try to find their misplaced backbones, and 2. Many of them have enough skeletons in their own closets that they're afraid to stir the hornets nest to vigorously lest they get stung.

What a miserable excuse for political "leaders" they are. Their conservative opponents at least have the courage of their convictions and take a stand from time to time. The Dem establishment is contemptable. The outrage is here... among Joe and Jane Citizen.

Posted by: Kevin@TIV at March 24, 2004 12:45 AM

Their conservative opponents at least have the courage of their convictions and take a stand from time to time.

That's as may be, but often the stands that Republican leaders take tend to be hypocritical or outright harmful to the nation. They hope to get points for being "forceful" when their forcefulness masks weakness -- either of character or of seriousness, or both.

Posted by: J at March 24, 2004 07:21 AM

I completely agree with your criticism of conservatives, J. I wasn't suggesting that conservatives are better or worse on anything... Just that many of them at least have the chutzpah to take a stand. Frankly, I think it's a serious PR issue for the Dems. A great deal of Nader's success - such as it was - in 2000 is directly attributable to the wishy-washy "leadership" coming from the Dem establishment IMHO.

Posted by: Kevin@TIV at March 24, 2004 10:24 AM

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