Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Barbarians at the gate

Some of you may be wondering why I haven't commented on the recent Howard Kurtz dish on what was really going on within the Dean campaign (at least according to some).

Frankly, I'm just not interested in getting into the details of petty disputes. It is always useful, when stories like this come out, to remember that all large organizations have their share of back-biting and insider-gossip. The problem is only exacerbated when the organization falls apart. Everyone starts looking for someone to blame and all those little petty disputes can get blown all out of proportion.

Were there problems within the Dean campaign? No doubt. But there are also people out there who get a vicarious thrill out of pouring salt on the wound and then watching people squirm in the process. I'm not going to give them that pleasure. "Let's you and him fight" style of journalism has no appeal to me.

I'd rather marvel at what the Dean campaign did right then wallow in others emotional turmoil.

NYCO has a good diary post over at the DailyKos that says it better.

ASIDE: I've received some comments of late that I seem to be to critical of the Dean campaign and not critical enough of those who attacked it. I agree with them that there are many external reasons why the Dean campaign collapsed, not the least of which was a political media that puts to much focus on trivialities. I have railed against media failures and the failures of the Democratic establishment for years. No need to tell me not to ignore these factors.

But, regardless of the external obstacles that Dean faced, the fact that he failed to overcome them should not be dismissed as irrelevant. All politicians who attempt to truly weed out the cruff within our system are going to face the same obstacles and will have to overcome them if they are going to ultimately succeed. Dean must share in the blame for his ultimate failure and examining where he went wrong will help us to determine how best to proceed in the future.

Don't ignore the barbarians storming the gate. But don't blame them when your defenses are to weak to keep them out.

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