Rome was not built (or destroyed) in a day:

Love him or hate him, Howard Dean and his approach to campaigning laid the groundwork for Barack Obama to be nominated Thursday night.

And the party appears on the cusp of solidifying gains in the midterm election and perhaps winning the White House.

Dean has built his tenure as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ‑ the ultimate insider’s job – on antipathy to Washington insiders. “This is a line that I probably shouldn’t use in Washington, but I will. When I came to the DNC we fired all the Washington consultants because we paid all of them a lot of money to tell us how to lose every four years,” Dean said earlier this month at a stop to rally party workers in Washington.

This was the direct result of the activists’ revolt after the loss of the 2004 election. Most of you have been with us and all our blogging allies for the duration of this journey. We followed up our victory over who would run the DNC with a victory in denying the nomination to the DLC-centered candidacy of Hillary Clinton. In retrospect, I don’t think there is much more we could have accomplished with our limited resources and with the powers that were arrayed against us. Yes, there are still problems within the party, but the next few days should be days to celebrate and concentrate on finishing the job. The job is to elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden to the White House, win significant gains in the congressional elections (particularly for candidates that are allied with our movement) and to prepare to move some of our most talented people into positions of power within Congress and the new administration.

For the rest of us, we must continue to work at the state and local level to take back the Democratic Party and make it a vehicle for progressive change. Anyone who is still moaning over Democratic weakness at this point just isn’t interested in a goal that requires being satisfied with incremental and imperfect change.

We must win this election. We have better people in place than we had any realistic reason to hope for. Now is not the time for hand-wringing and complaining. Moments like this do not come along often. We should take some time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished together and then it is time to work as hard as we’ve ever worked to get the immediate job done.

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