Monday, November 22, 2004

The Dean draft

Joe Trippi, the old Howard Dean hand, posts the following at MSNBC:
Finally the Democratic Party seems to be in complete denial that it needs to reform itself from the bottom-up. Forget about putting anyone in the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee who is carrying water for any of the potential 2008 nominees. Forget about putting anyone in as Chair of the Party who is a figurehead, a symbol, or a placeholder. What the Party needs is someone who is committed to building a vibrant, energized party from the grassroots up to make gains in the House and Senate in 2006, and who will continue to build a party of ideas so that whoever wins the 2008 nomination is leading a modernized Party that can win the Presidency.

In other words -- stop the gamesmanship, and the politics as usual -- and put some outside the box thinking in place to build a new party from within.

The first and most critical step in reclaiming the Democratic Party is going to involve wresting it out of the hands of the clearly incompetent and out-of-step DLC folks and giving some fresh blood a chance -- and the first battle on that front is going to be naming a new chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I think we all have a pretty good idea who Trippi has in mind for this role: his old boss.

And you know what? Trippi is right.

There are a number of non-DLC people who might make better DNC chairs than Dean from an administrative or even ideological standpoint. But none of them are capable of unseating the DLC figureheads. None of them have the proven ability to put together a grass-roots organization and voter base. And none of them would have the ability to create a new coalition that crosses ideological lines.

I liked Dean in the primaries even though I figured he would get steamrolled in the general. Among other things, he remains the only candidate among the Democrats who articulated a vision of revitalizing the party's rural roots and finding a way to speak to working-class people again.

More to the point, that fact suggests the extent to which Dean is inclined to reject the stale approach to politics that has made the Democratic Party is moribund as it now finds itself. He's clearly the best first step in changing that.

To that end, please spend the time to visit the Web site created by Driving Votes featuring an online petition to encourage Dean to step up to the plate.

There's also a Draft Howard Web site that provides the latest on the effort to enlist Dean's leadership.

Democrats need to start from the ground up. Dean's the guy to do it.

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