Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Is the Democratic party about to make the biggest mistake of its entire history?

There's a rumor going around in the comments section of the unofficial Dean blog that the DLC and the DNC have decided that they should work together to destroy the presidential campaign of Howard Dean before it gets any bigger. If they do this they will prove themselves to be the biggest group of imbeciles we have ever seen in American politics, dwarfing even that king of imbeciles, Tom DeLay. If they do this they will affirm forever that they care nothing about the rank-and-file of the Democratic party. If they do this they will destroy ANY chance the Democrats have to win ANY kind of electoral victories for the next couple of decades. And I say this not just as a Dean supporter. I say it because I see, as these idiots do not, that Dean is the ONLY candidate that is lighting a fire under the rank-and-file of the party. If that rank-and-file see their own party leadership going out of their way to destroy the only candidate that says what they want to hear then they will demoralize Democrats more effectively then Karl Rove and the leaders of the Republican party could have ever dreamed (and all without them ever lifting a finger). This has, since I became interested in Dean, always been my single greatest fear. Bush CAN be defeated in 2004. But he cannot be defeated if the Democrats in charge are more interested in protecting their privileges and their egos than they are in actually working on behalf of the people they allegedly represent. If the Democratic leadership is going to do this, and I have a strong feeling they will, then they are an even more immediate threat to the welfare of our nation then is George W. Bush. They must be stopped. Update #1: Even Bill Clinton doesn't seem to buy into the idea that Dean is a threat to Democratic efforts to retake the White House. If the current crop of candidates is judged on what they accomplished before running for president, the field is strong, Clinton said. And some of those accomplishments contradict the image candidates have earned in the presidential race, he said. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is described as very liberal by many following the presidential race, Clinton said, "but look at what he did as governor of Vermont." Clinton described Dean's accomplishments with health care in his home state and his proposal to promote a national health care plan with a modest price tag as "New Democrat" positions. He was referring to the moniker the Democratic Leadership Council puts on Democrats who can blend moderate ideas that appeal to swing voters with traditional Democratic themes. And Clinton didn't hesitate when he was asked the overriding question: Can Bush be beaten? "You can always be beaten," Clinton said with a smile. "I could have been beaten in 1996." So, according to Clinton, Dean is a "New Democrat" in the same mold as himself and he certainly doesn't seem to be ruling out the idea that he can beat Bush. Update #2: Looks like the rumors are true, at least as far as the DLC is concerned: In case there was any doubt, the New Democrats don't like former Vermont governor Howard Dean and they definitely don't want him to win their party's 2004 presidential nomination. More than 50 centrist Democrats, including Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner, met here yesterday to plot strategy for the "New Democrat" movement. To help get the ball rolling they read a memo by Al From and Bruce Reed, the chairman and president of the Democratic Leadership Council. The memo dismissed Dean as an elitist liberal from the "McGovern-Mondale wing" of the party -- "the wing that lost 49 states in two elections, and transformed Democrats from a strong national party into a much weaker regional one." "It is a shame that the DLC is trying to divide the party along these lines," said Dean spokesman Joe Trippi. "Governor Dean's record as a centrist on health care and balancing the budget speaks for itself." Amazing! These guys gather and sniff their noses at Howard Dean and then accuse HIM of being an elitist! The sooner Al From and the rest of these bastards are drummed out of power the better. Update #3: Looks like the Dean campaign is coming out all guns blazing against the "Divisive Leadership Council" (heh). They have formed a mailing list called the Dean Defense Force through which they will distribute suggestions for things Dean supporters can do to counter the kind of bullshit being put out by From and company. They point out, like I did above, that Bill Clinton, the most successful New Democrat, thinks Dean qualifies for that label. They also point out that Jim Jeffords, a model held up by the DLC, has endorsed Howard Dean. This is something I did not know until now. Great news! I am really impressed with the responsiveness of the Dean team on this. Good job guys! Update #4: There's also a great posting over on the official Dean blog about all this crap. Howard Dean has said the Democratic Party needs to stand for something. Under his leadership, it will. His executive experience, common-sense policies, and proven record on tough issues are exactly what the Democratic Party needs to come together and, with the help of independents and Republicans, defeat George W. Bush. But Democrats don’t have to stand for people who want to divide this party to advance their narrow agendas. We don’t need to take this any longer. This is our Democratic Party, and we want it back, and in 2004, Mr. From and Mr. Reed, we Democratic “elites” as you call us are going to be at the Democratic convention, and we’re going to defeat George W. Bush in November 2004 because we have brought the party back together, because we have brought the progressives back into the party and the working people who don’t have health insurance back into the party and the senior citizens who want sound Social Security and not just lip service back into the party and the Independents who would like their 4th Amendment back and the Republicans who want some fiscal responsibility back – and yes, even Third Way Democrats such as yourself will be back—because we’re the party that stands for openness and inclusiveness, we’re the party that stands for peace, prosperity, and hope instead of war, recession, and fear—we’re the Democratic Party, and we’re not going away, so shred the memos and the polls, fellas, because we’re going to win the White House in 2004 with Howard Dean as the Democratic Nominee. Huzzah! Now that's the kind of fighting spirit I like to see in my political leadership! It is about time that the Democratic party expel the cancer that From and Reed represent. Let the bloodletting begin! Update #5: To be fair, here's the original DLC memo.


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