Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 10, 2004

by J

Daschle Still Doesn't Get It

So, this week Howard Dean sent out an email asking for contributions to Daschle's re-election campaign. Things are getting nasty up there, it sounds like. As usual, I appreciated Dean's straightforward description of what the struggle is about.
The invitation went out from George Allen, the right-wing Senator who once told Republicans at a state convention that their job was not just to beat Democrats but to "kick their soft teeth down their whiny throats". They're taking that money and putting their hate on the air in South Dakota. This week they launched a $2.4 million smear campaign [...]

I am tired of crackpots with corporate backers polluting the airwaves. Ads like these make people with real problems tune out from politics. People quickly believe that our political process cannot produce serious solutions to our common problems. And if we let people like George Allen and the Club for Growth win, those people will be right.
Because I am interested in lending support to Howard in the eyes of the Washington elite, I tossed in a few bucks in response to the email. Many others did as well, and apparently DFA raised $160,000 in 24 hours for Senator Daschle. Good for them (us). Senator Daschle wrote a thank you note that was posted on BFA. It was gracious and perfectly nice. However, his closing remarks demonstrate to me that Daschle, like so many others, still has never really understood the Dean campaign.
Dr. Dean and all of you who have been involved in his efforts have changed the way that many of us in politics view the Internet. I want to applaud this community for the energy, enthusiasm, and support it has offered to the Democratic Party, and specifically to my own campaign.
Senator Daschle, like so many others, thinks the Dean campaign and DFA's ongoing efforts are all about "the Internet." He's wrong about that and it's a shame that senior Democratic leaders are not tuned in enough to understand what's really going on. I suppose I'll give him a pass until the election while he focuses on beating back the rightwing orcs, but after that, the Democrats really need to wake up and get smart. I've spent a fair bit of time arguing and disagreeing with people who lament that politicians and civil servants in Washington are "out of touch," pointing out complexities and realities of governance. But if Tom Daschle can look at DFA and see only "the Internet" then I'm at a loss as to what it will take to make any progress.
Posted by J at September 10, 2004 09:54 AM

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