[From the diaries by susanhu, who digs mlr701’s excellent round-up on Dean, and this quote: “Well, you don’t do it softly. No great change agent in American political history has worked softly.”]
I’ve noticed a couple of good Howard Dean articles this afternoon. It looks like some people are finally starting to understand what Howard Dean is trying to do for the Democratic Party. The first article is from Reuters, and the second is from a web site called Corante.
The Reuters article, Democratic leaders back Dean, don’t want ‘wimp’, first lays out the criticisms Dean has faced this week, both from the national media and from fellow Democrats. The author, John Whitesides, contrasts the inside the Beltway view of Dean as a loosed cannon with the opinions of Dean expressed by members of the DNC executive committee.
The contrast is stark. While Joe Biden and Barak Obama, along with other Congressional Democrats, distance themselves from Dean, executive council members embrace him. Why? Because they want an aggressive, outspoken leader. They also understand that the DNC desperately needs someone who knows how to mobilize and grow the Democratic base.
My favorite bit of the article:
Western Democrats said they were thrilled Dean attended a regional meeting in Helena, Montana, last weekend. “How many Democratic chairmen have gone out to Montana?” asked Steven Alari of California.
I wonder when Joe Biden or Barak Obama were last in Montana, working to build the Democratic base?
The second article is from a web site called Corante. The article is called A Master Politician at Work, and it’s fascinating. The author, Dana Blankenhorn, points out that Dean is doing exactly what he needs to do in order to make the minority part the majority party:
Well, you don’t do it softly. No great change agent in American political history has worked softly. They have all had enemies. They have chosen these enemies carefully. They have deliberately made themselves the victims of these enemies until events moved their way.
They have often made enemies within their own political party. A minority can only become a majority after it grows a spine and tosses aside the spineless. This is how Republicans did it 40 years ago. It’s what they did to the Rockefeller Republicans.
And it’s what Howard Dean has been doing to the Washington Democrats.
What else is Dean doing? He’s telling the truth, and it’s killing establishment Democrats. He’s winning over people on the Internet, who support him with money and publicity. Eventually, Blankenhorn predicts, Dean’s vision for the party will win:
No Democrat on Earth has Howard Dean’s political brilliance. No one else has his instincts. He’s not crazy, he’s not angry, he’s not mad. He’s giving people the truth, and those who hear it are responding.
Those who feed and depend on the current system, both Republican and Democratic – they just think it’s hell. Because when the time is right, and the inevitable contradictions between our assumptions and reality occurs, they’re all going to be thrown out of their Washington paradise.
Please read these articles, even if you don’t like Dean. They’re very interesting, and might just give you a different perspective. For those of us who do like Dean, it’s good to have a deeper understanding of what’s going on in the Democratic Party right now.