Thursday, June 23, 2005


Dean And The DC Establishment

Steve Perry of City Pages has as good an article on Dean -- and his enemies -- as you're likely to see (and will never see in a daily paper, much less on TV). The short version: Dean's verbal "gaffes" are minimal and in any event a) true, and b) nowhere near as bad as Bush's. Dean's real "gaffe" is working to wean the party from big-time corporate donors, and the fact that Dean's actually doing very well at this, while increasing the amount of money the DNC's getting, threatens the DC Democratic power elite -- which is why they are trying to destroy him while they still can. Perry, cynical third-party guy that he is at heart, doesn't think Dean will win the struggle. But I already think that Dean has. He's planted the idea into the state party leadership -- a leadership that has been increasingly ticked off at the arrogant antics of the Beltway types -- that they don't need the Beltway (or Corporate America) as much as they think they do. Dean gives them money, and helps them to raise money, but he also gives them autonomy. And they're liking it. Howard Dean could get hit by a truck tomorrow (Heaven forbid!), and that wouldn't unring this bell. Bear in mind that thousands of Dean campaign staffers and volunteers, reared on the "You have the power" principle, are now a big part of local Democratic politics. If the DC types give them lip, they'll give the DCers a big fat lip. As they say, in a retort to Joe Biden, the Senator from MBNA, "Howard Dean speaks for me."

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