1/11/2005

He's Running

After many weeks of speculation, Howard Dean has made it official...

Today, I'm announcing my candidacy for the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

The Democratic Party needs a vibrant, forward-thinking, long-term presence in every single state and we must be willing to contest every race at every level. We will only win when we show up and fight for the issues important to all of us.
The statement is about a page long and mostly consists of why Dean thinks he's the right guy for the job. There is one interesting paragraph, though.
But most of all, together, we have to rebuild the American community. We will never succeed by treating our nation as a collection of separate regions or separate groups. There are no red states or blues states, only American states. And we must talk to the people in all of these states as members of one community.
I think that Dean is going to have a hard time selling this concept to his most ardent supporters, like...
  • Those who think that only ignorant hillbilly homophobic redneck Nazis would vote for Bush, or
  • Those who think that we should cut off all government programs in the red states so that those brainwashed fools will come to their senses, or
  • Those who think that JesusLand is funny.
Those people have made it all too clear what they think of Middle America, and I can't imagine they're going to be receptive to the idea of reaching out to people they consider morons.

More to the point, I think that a Howard Dean chairmanship would be disastrous for the party. Taking the party hard a'starboard does not strike me as a reasoned and well-thought-out response to the electoral defeat of '04. Democratic prospects for '08 look good; there will be no incumbent and Senator H. Clinton can probably crush anyone who challenges her in the primaries (not to mention the general election). Dean's isolationist pacifism is not the way to convince Americans that Democrats are credible on the topic of national security.

I'm a conservative and a Republican, and so it's understandable that I would root for Democrats to lose elections. What troubles me about a Dean chairmanship of the DNC is the possibility that the Democrats get thumped so badly in '06 and '08 that the GOP finds itself with supermajorities in one or both houses of Congress. Neither party can be trusted with that much power.

Stop Howard!

Update: SlowPlay follows up with "For Dems, Dean a new kind of poison" where he says that Dean can't compete on the national stage.
Dean has no national credentials and is from a sort of obscure place. As a state pol from Vermont, there is a good chance that Dean won’t have the national clout and experience neede to go into places like New Mexico and round up support for candidates. Some may also think that Vermont is out of touch. You may remember that it was often noted during Dean’s run for the roses that his state has almost no minorities in it. Dean was able to come up with good quips to deflect this criticism ("if number of minorities in your state had anything to do with it, Trent Lott would be Martin Luther King” or something like that), but it is a valid concern as a good chunk of the Dem base is comprised by ethnic minorities.
Give SlowPlay a visit when you get the chance.