ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dean Admits Democrats Are Not a National Party

At least, that's the most important point I got out of this story (heh):

The Democratic chair plans to fight in every one of the 50 states. Is this shrewd strategy or a recipe for disaster?

By Dan Gilgoff
Posted Sunday, July 16, 2006

DIAMONDHEAD, MISS.--Here's what the front line of Howard Dean's revolution looks like: two dozen senior citizens seated inside this gated community's clubhouse listening intently as operatives from the state Democratic Party pitch them on becoming precinct captains. A rep named Jay Parmley approaches an oversize easel and flips to a page showing John Kerry's share of the 2004 presidential vote here in Hancock County. "28%" is scrawled in magic marker. "Kind of scary," Parmley says.

But he flips the page to show former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove's share of the vote here in his unsuccessful 2003 re-election bid: "43%." The discrepancy, Parmley explains, shows that the better Mississippians know a Democrat, the more likely they are to vote for him. Which is why he's here recruiting precinct captains. If Democrats can define themselves on a "neighbor to neighbor" basis, Parmley says, their candidates can win again, even here, in a red county in a red state.

If that doesn't sound revolutionary, consider this: Mississippi's Democratic Party hasn't trained precinct captains for more than a decade. Until recently, the state party consisted of a single full-time staffer. In 2004, the Democratic National Committee invested so little here that activists shelled out thousands of their own dollars to print up Kerry yard signs. That all changed last summer, when newly elected DNC Chairman Howard Dean began rolling out his "50-State Strategy," a multimillion-dollar program to rebuild the Democratic Party from the ground up. Over the past year, the DNC has hired and trained four staffers for virtually every state party in the nation--nearly 200 workers in all--to be field organizers, press secretaries, and technology specialists, even in places where the party hasn't been competitive for decades. "It's a huge shift," Dean tells U.S. News. "Since 1968, campaigns have been about TV and candidates, which works for 10 months out of the four-year cycle. With party structure on the ground, you campaign for four years."

The strategy is also a reaction to the past two presidential cycles, when the shrinking number of battleground states the Democratic nominee was competing in left no room for error. Both elections were arguably determined by a single state: Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Says Dean: "We've gotten to the point where we're almost not a national party."


Great strategy, Howard... and yes, voters in Mississippi are probably more inclined to vote for a Mississippi Democrat than say, a Vermont Democrat. Or a Massachussetts Democrat... or a Democrat pretending to be from New York.

Of course, it's great that they're trying to be competitive in all 50 states and not just focusing on their enclaves on the coasts. Unfortunately, their platform doesn't exactly sell well with voters in the heartland of America. If they open their ears and eyes when they visit these foreign (to them) places, perhaps the party will be less likely to listen to the Moonbats (like Markos "Screw 'Em" Moulitsas ZĂșniga). I for one would welcome such a change...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (8)
The Game said...

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Stupid Country said...

I get why people are so upset over Kos's comment -- wives and families and all that.

I just like to see even-handedness. I can't help noticing that a lot of the ultranationalistic stuff I've been reading lately in the comments on neocon blogs shows none of those sorts of concerns for the wives and children of the Iraqi civilians we have dragged through the bloodbath we've created there. I don't care that Iraqi insurgents and some foreign terrorists are doing a lot of the killing; fact is, we generated this hell to further our own objective of rebuilding the Middle East to make it safe and comfy for Americans and American interests. We bear responsibility -- not just the guys who wigged out at Haditha and places like that, but everyone who weighed the risks and benefits of the Iraq occupation and voted yes. (You too, Hillary.)

When you read things like this (among the more literate examples):

"...the 'actual perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks' are only the latest names to surface out of a noxious swamp that's been breeding such deranged killers, large and small, for some decades now -- before Bin laden there were others, and after him there'll be more. At some point, that swamp has to be drained, and, as we've seen with this sort of thing before, the longer we try to avoid it the worse it gets..."

as someone commented at Neo-Neocon recently, do the innocent bystanders in and around that swamp cross your mind? Are you spoiling to drain the swamp, regardless of what happens to those families who will become collateral damage statistics in the process? Can you wait to see the eviscerated children in full color online?

I have to say, the tone of discourse at this site has been tamer and more thoughtful. But I also have to say that, Kos's outburst aside, I read a lot more bloodlust on the right's blogs (where I'm spending a lot of time these days) than I do on the left's blogs. Frankly, I find it all nauseating.

St Wendeler said...

Seems to be a lot of bloodlust here, too... such as this

Of course, no one died in Iraq before the US appeared on the scene... why, it was all so peaceful, with children flying kites in the Baghdad sky... except for the firing squads, rape rooms, and industrial plastic shredders put to different uses.

And who causes the killing is certainly something to take into consideration. While the US attempts to avoid civilian casualties, the twisted islamofascists purposefully target civilians, knowing that guys like you and Eric Blumrich will eat it up.

Stupid Country said...

You're so very right. And having funded and equipped our boy Saddam for a decade prior to his invasion of Kuwait, we might have had something to say about the violence then too. At least we weren't all online day and night reveling in it. But that was someone else's killing back then, not something in which we had any stake. Kind of like this annoyance we keep hearing about in Sudan.

I don't read Eric Blumrich, and don't quite get your last point, SW.

St Wendeler said...

If we're the ones who tolerated Saddam for the sake of realpolitik, then don't we have a greater moral responsibility to remove him?

Stupid Country said...

I suppose there's a kind of logic to that, but we also have to take responsibility for the consequences of removing him. It was easy on us, watching from 8000 miles away and well out of range of shrapnel, enriched uranium, IEDs, abductions and whatnot. It was very, very tough on street Iraqis, some unknown number in the tens of thousands of whom died of those things. If we chose to depose Saddam, we had a responsibility to protect them. The best protection, the protection most of them would have chosen, was for us just to leave them alone to sort out Saddam in their own way.

If they weren't sorting him out, they were getting by as best they could and waiting him out. Maybe to you that was the wrong decision, the cowardly decision, but it was theirs. Not ours.

Brian said...

I believe that was the strategy at the end of the first gulf war. The Scowcroft "realist" way. The Clinton "keep him in his box" way.

Leaving Saddam his helicopters and hoping the Kurds could overthrow him without throwing the regioin into too much "turmoil". 10 years later, and 100's of thousands of Iraqi's dead.

And you'd just have us "stay the course".

Just admit that your weak for the tough decisions. You only like decisions where you get to choose between two good things.

Unfortunately for you, and the democratic party, foreign policy isn't like that.

Stupid Country said...

Brian, I'm not really following your train of thought, but I will point out that what you refer to as the "Clinton 'keep him in his box' way" actually was the brainchild of, among others, Colin Powell and George H.W. Bush.

As for "tough decisions," I have merely been pointing out that the real question is, tough for who?