Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

December 10, 2004

by J

Another Thought on the Dems

You know, I know this has been said before, but it just struck me again. In Howard Dean the Democrats have someone with a rock-solid pragmatic, "centrist" record of balanced budgets, bipartisanship when necessary, and even actual progress on the health care mess. They also have someone who managed to find a way to bring a bunch of Naderites and Independents (and even some Republicans) towards the Democratic party. And what do they do? Instead of wondering how he did it - they assume that because some Nader-fans and anti-war folks like him, that Howard Dean must have become such himself.

It's so stupid. And it makes no sense. And it completely reinforces for me the idea that establishment Democrats are not interested in serving the country, in upholding the Constitution, or in serving the people. They are interested in maintaining their own precious place on the proper party invitation lists in Washington. Either they're lying about Dean or they're too stupid to have figured out what he's actually doing. Either way, they are not acting in the interests of the country and they need to go. Chris at Interesting Times has a bit more on this, wondering if any of the Democratic elite have ever actually attended a Dean MeetUp, what with all the stereotyping and nonsense they continue to spew.
I have seen the Dean movement from its beginnings, at its highest and at its lowest, and I can say without a moments hesitation that Dean's constituency DOES NOT "consist largely of antiwar liberals". Yes, the anti-war crowd gravitated to Dean during the election, but anti-war has never been the defining issue of the Dean movement. The defining issue, at least as I see it, is that Democrats have been allowing themselves to get rolled repeatedly by the Republicans and we are SICK AND TIRED OF IT!

Dean demonstrated that the Democrats could act like an opposition candidate and actually achieve some measure of success. Dean may not have won the nomination, but he went from being a vanity candidate to a real "threat" to win the nomination, shattered previous Democratic fundraising and volunteer records, and managed to come the closest to defining a viable alternative course for the Democratic project.
Have they become like the Republicans? Afraid to let a few actual facts get in the way of their pre-conceived notions of how the world is? Once again, I will wander through my day wondering wtf is wrong with these people.
Posted by J at December 10, 2004 07:42 AM

I don't think they have become like Republicans. I think they have just become establishment, which means they have lost touch with the rest of the party. There is nothing Republican about that. It's just human nature.

I think we should avoid the reflex to label anyone who disagrees with us as "Republican". I think Dean went to far during the primary campaign when he started saying that.

Note: "Republican-Lite" is not the same thing as calling someone a Republican. The essence of the "Republican-Lite" charge is that Democrats are willing to sell out their principles in order to achieve quick victories by simply stealing Republican thunder. Dean's message is that Democrats don't need to steal Republican thunder when there is plenty of Democratic thunder lying around. The potential is there if only Democrats would use it.

Posted by: Chris Andersen at December 10, 2004 12:10 PM

If the democratic establishment hoses Dean again by denying him the chairmanship, I will leave the party. Fuck 'em.

Posted by: Nanovirus at December 10, 2004 12:15 PM

Chris: I did not call anyone a Republican. I pointed out a manner in which they seem to be behaving *like* Republicans. It wasn't because they disagree, it's because they seem to be acting as if facts don't matter. And, I put it in the form of a question.

Nano: I don't actually want Dean to be DNC chair - I think he and we will be better served if he sticks with DFA. But, I agree with you that if there is yet another concerted effort to smear him by his own party, then fuck 'em. (I'm not a Democrat anyway, so I don't actually have to leave.. ;-) )

Posted by: J at December 10, 2004 01:32 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
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Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
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Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

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