Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Two endorsements for Howard Dean

Having just declared this week, Howard Dean may only officially have just gotten in the race for DNC chair, but he's already got two endorsements: A Winding Road & Interesting Times.

A Winding Road is firmly in the Howard Dean camp when it comes to who should be DNC chair:

To hear Senator Reid's comment last week regarding Howard Dean's candidacy for the Chairmanship of the DNC was to cringe and realize afresh that the Senate Democrats have put themselves into the hands of exactly the wrong person. Reid said words to the effect that Dean only appeals to the Progressive wing of the party, and the chairman should appeal to all the people in the party.
Excuse me, Senator Reid, but what you're really saying is that you want someone who appeals to YOUR wing, the NeoLiberals, the Republican Lites.
Someone, perhaps, like the newest candidate, former Congressman Tim Roemer, who like Reid is Anti-Choice. No doubt he's right up Reid's alley when it comes to someone who doesn't 'just' appeal to the Progressive wing of the party.
Since when were Progressives a 'wing' of the Democratic party? That's the problem right there, actually. Democrat and Progressive should go hand in hand, but the party has been hijacked since the Clinton era by people who just do not get it. People who rush to jump into bed with Corporate American and pay what is increasingly just lip service to Working Class America.
And now, in the year 2005, there is actually a real debate about whether the Democratic party should support Abortion Rights in its platform!
Say what you will about those of the far right who have taken over the Republican party (and believe me, there's plenty to say!), one thing they've proven themselves to be very good at is taking control of the dialogue.
So much so that they've got a lot of foolish, half hearted Democrats truly believing that they have to start playing the game on Republican terms to win.
It should be clear that if you take it to their level, they're going to completely destroy you. You cannot out-Republican the Republicans. You cannot appeal to the voters by becoming more like them, because the voters who want what the Republicans stand for are going to vote for Republicans.
The only way to win is to re-embrace the true base of the party, the progressive, liberal tradition that had Democrats on top in this country from the 1930's through the 1960's. Even the one Republican Administration in that era, the Eisenhower Administration, was a form of Moderate Republicanism that is an endangered species today.
The Democrats need to recognize that they're losing because they've driven voters away with their increasing drift to the right. They're not marking themselves as any different from their opponents.
. . .
At any rate, the last thing the Democratic party needs right now is someone like Roemer at the DNC. They need someone who understands the progressive grassroots movement that made the Democrats what they once were is still very much alive in this country and looking for an outlet, a party that will truly embrace their ideals.
I think Howard Dean is actually what Harry Reid says he's looking for. He does appeal to the Progressives, he does understand what I just mentioned. But he's also a career politician, someone who, prior to his awakening to the grassroots movement during his Presidential campaign, wasn't considered to be the most liberal guy out there by those in his own state of Vermont.
So he gets the moderate view, he may even be a bit more comfortable within that framework. But he's also come to understand and recognize the power of the progressive view, and it's ability to revitalize the Democratic party.
Just going by what Harry Reid said, Dean is actually the perfect candidate. Of course, Reid didn't say what he really meant, so no wonder he's working against Dean.
What we need to do, we progressives (and that means all of us, Democrat or third party) is make our voices heard on this to the DNC. Write in and let them know how odious a choice someone like Tim Roemer is to you. Let them know you don't want to see the Democrats move further to the right.

Checking my email this morning, I found two things of importance that I thought I would let you know about. The first was an email from Governor Howard Dean. I'm sure anyone who was signed up to his newsletter either for his Presidential campaign or his Democracy For America organization receieved the same thing, but for those who didn't, I thought I'd include it here. It's his official announcement to his supporters that he is running for the DNC Chairmanship, and why.
As you know, A Winding Road fully supports and endorses Governor Dean's candidacy. I stated my reasons in my last post.

Also coming out for Howard Dean is Interesting Times, which notes these important characteristics:

The next DNC chair has to "get" the internet. But he also has to "get" the grassroots. He has to "get" the labor unions. He has to "get" the Democratic party leadership. He has to "get" the establishment media. He has to "get" framing. He has to get "get" a whole host of other issues.
And, finally, I think he needs to be something of a superstar. He needs to immediately get the media's attention when the party wants to push something. Dean has the visibility right now. In fact I would say he is probably the most recognizable Dem after Clinton, Clinton and Kerry (and Kerry's star is fading fast). He will certainly get more attention than either Reid or Pelosi. Do any of the other candidates have that kind of immediate draw?
Howard Dean is a renaissance man for a renaissance party. That's why I'm supporting him.