Thursday, July 26, 2007



I live in California-- so I'll have the luxury of seeing Hillary elected president without having to compromise my integrity soil my soul by actually voting for her. She'll be a shoe-in in California no matter which of Gingrich's 9 pathetic pygmies is the nominee of his discredited and thoroughly reviled political party. That way, when she immediately turns around and fires Howard Dean as DNC Chair, I'll be able to say "I never voted for her."

And make no bones about it. The worst of the self-serving Insider Democratic establishment-- firmly entrenched as the Hillary for President campaign-- is already maneuvering to oust the grassroots hero they fear and hate most. A.P.'s Beth Fouhy is a cipher for Inside the Beltway slime Rahm Emanuel. The meat of her hit piece on Dean today comes right from Emanuel.

The attack starts out nonsensically with a reference to the fact that many states-- especially the big, powerful ones-- are sick of having presidential nominations determined in small unrepresentative states like Iowa and New Hampshire. More than anyone, it was Hillary's own operative who encouraged the big states like New York, California and Florida, where no one can effectively compete against her, to jump into the process early. Now the very same bags of trash you manipulated that behind the scenes are blaming Dean.
Critics contend that a stronger chairman might have persuaded Florida Democrats to abide by party rules not to jump ahead of Feb. 5 and refuse to participate in the January primary, which was championed by the state's Republican governor and legislature. Others say Dean did what he could to fight the change, including lobbying Democratic legislators. Ultimately, they said there was little he could do to alter the outcome.

There's also carping and finger-pointing about the convention being in labor-unfriendly Denver as though this were-- or will be-- also Dean's fault (if anything should go wrong). But the meat of the matter goes right to the real divide. Dean is the champion of the Democratic grassroots which is feared and hated by the self-entitled Inside the Beltway power-mongers. His vision for an open Democratic Party, responsive to people rather than Big Money special interests and insiders, is anathema to the Rahm Emanuels, James Carvilles, Harold Ickes, and Terry McAuliffe's and to the whole repulsive crowd around the Clintons.
The former Vermont governor is widely popular with state parties and many grass-roots Democrats, who helped fuel his insurgent 2004 presidential candidacy. But he's still viewed skeptically by much of the Washington-based political establishment, which challenges him both privately and publicly.

Some of Dean's most vocal detractors are former advisers to President Clinton, potentially complicating matters between the DNC and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the party's presidential front-runner. They include strategist James Carville, who once called Dean's leadership at the DNC "almost Rumsfeldian in its incompetence."

Dean's focus has been on strengthening state parties, irking those who believe the DNC's chief function is to help fund competitive races. The disagreement broke into open warfare in 2006, when Dean clashed over money and strategy with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who ran the party's successful effort to win back control of Congress.

Dean's so-called "50-state strategy," which has sent paid organizers in state parties across the country-- including heavily Republican stalwarts like Mississippi and Indiana-- has been mocked by some as naive and ineffective. And his effort to create a national voter database within the DNC has been challenged by operatives, including Hillary Clinton adviser Harold Ickes, who have created a for-profit company building a competing voter file.

We may celebrate that Dean "has taken a much-needed sledgehammer to a calcified Democratic establishment" and helped Democrats win both Houses of Congress, as well as governorships and state legislatures in every part of the country. But the people whose 6 and 7 figure annual incomes is dependent on the hold they have over that calcified Democratic establishment are busy sharpening their knives. It will be up to us to defend him. If Hillary is the nominee, I doubt it will matter. She'll put a hack in there before anyone can say peep-- and that will be the harbinger of the kind of administration she will run.
"Among DNC members, there's just wild enthusiasm for Howard," said Elaine Kamarck, a former Democratic strategist and professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "The people he's upsetting are the Washington-based political class, who make a lot of money making television ads."

Earlier this year, Kamarck produced an analysis testing whether Dean's 50-state strategy had helped Democrats win closely contested House seats last year. She concluded that in districts where the DNC had placed operatives, Democratic voter turnout went up measurably beyond the "bounce" Democrats were getting nationally.

Dean hired three new staffers for the Indiana party, for example, including field organizers in two congressional districts that changed hands from Republican to Democrat in 2006.

"We've never received the kind of attention and investment from the DNC as we have since Howard Dean became chair," said Dan Parker, the Indiana Democratic Party chairman. "Before, the DNC only cared about states important for presidential races. Indiana is a very red state, so they ignored us."

Now if only Obama or Edwards would embrace the grassroots for real-- even more than this-- I'd get behind one of them instead of just sitting back and watching Hillary seep into the nomination and the presidency.

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At 11:51 PM, Blogger Darren said...

us Florida dems are pretty much powerless with the entire state government secured for the Republicans, thanks to Jeb! Bush. They had our legislators screwed when they tied the paper trail bill along with it. Believe me, you can ask Clint Curtis and Christine Jennings how important that bill was.


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