Before I start, I'd like to thank Dr. Strangelove to injecting new vigor into this blog. After the election we kind of got a flat tire.
OK, here is why I think Howard Dean is the wrong choice for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee:
I just saw Howard Dean on what used to be This Week with David Brinkley but is now hosted by George Stephanopolis. Dean was thoughtful, intelligent and correct about the bizarre kind of "embrace your role in the process" culture in Washington, D.C....but wrong about how to get the Democratic party into power. Dean's vision of what the Democrats need to do is give more power to the activists who would then be more willing to do the grass roots organizing the Democrats need to out mobilize the GOP. I have two points of disagreement with Dean.
First, he assumes that the cause of the defeat in 2004 was due to insufficient mobilization. But the Democratic party got more people to the polls than ever before and exceeded all of their goals for mobilization. The problem was that rural, religious conservatives voted in record numbers too and since the electoral college over represents those interests they won. Ultimately the battle for the White House was a battle for the hearts and minds of the suburban residents of Ohio and Florida. The Democrats NARROWLY lost that battle and narrowly lost the White House. Had Kerry won another 2% or 3% of the vote in the suburbs of Columbus or Orlando we'd have a different President right now.
Second, he assumes that giving power to the activists (which means a shift to the left) would increase support for the Democratic Party. He fails to consider that it is likely that such a move would alienate the suburban voters who ultimately decided the 2000 and 2004 elections. A shift to the left is not what is needed. It would be the end of the Democratic party for the next decade. Its the mistake the British Labour Party made in the early 1980s. Its the mistake the Republicans made with Goldwater in 1964.
I've repeatedly suggested on this blog that the Democratic Party should present itself as an alliance of progressives and libertarians against the religious authoritarianism of the Republicans. The vision Dean laid out on TV today (Sunday) would not lead to such a coalition.
OK all you Deaniacs out there, let the debate begin! ;-)
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 9:05 AM