Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Saturday, July 12, 2003
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The Dems and Dean

Today's Salon has an article about The Democrats' brewing civil war:

Even as the Democratic Party seeks to unite against George W. Bush, many of its grass-roots activists are in mutiny. The rift is less about issues than an argument about the way politics works in America and the role of passion and anger in stirring the electorate, and its resolution will determine the Democratic strategy in 2004 and the direction of the party thereafter.

Tired of running toward a center that has moved sharply right since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, many in the party's left wing want a candidate who can mobilize the party's base and inspire non-voters to join. The [Democratic Leadership Council] rejects this approach -- and sometimes seems to mock it. Noting that liberals are a small minority in America, its Web site says: "No matter how excited, energized, stoked and psyched you are, you only get to vote once."
Many grass-roots Democrats are convinced that the DLC's middle-of-the-road strategy led the party to defeat in the 2002 midterms. "Over the last 22 years that we've been following this poll-and-move-right-plan, we've lost the governorships, lost the Senate, lost the House, and lost the presidency," says [Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi]. "We used to control 40 of the state Legislatures. Now Republicans control 40 of the state Legislatures."

The fight between the two sides isn't so much ideological as tactical. Howard Dean, after all, isn't really a leftist, or even a traditional liberal. He's the most fiscally conservative of the nine candidates running for the Democratic nomination and supports gun rights and the death penalty. Certainly, his antiwar stance has won him a great deal of liberal support, but his pugnacious style has been almost equally as important.

I do envy the GOP's apparent unity of purpose and message, but I still believe that diversity provides strength. I just hope the Dems can leverage that diversity, rather than have it rip the party apart and weaken it in the face of our Campaigner-in-Chief's war chest. Nice to see that as Dean gets more press, more about his moderate/centrist credentials gets revealed. Again, he is no McGovern, despite what John Judis said in Salon just the day before. Kos and Jerome Armstrong at MyDD do a good job debunking Judis' piece.

Rock on,

June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 April 2007


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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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