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View Diary: The legacy of McCain-Feingold (174 comments)

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  •  Kos' point (none)
    Claiming he didn't lay the tracks his train ran on misses the point. The blogosphere was the medium, but it was the message that showed the Democratic Party's leaders that Bush could be confronted.

    about the context having also to be in place is a vital piece that was missing from any of the discussions before.  Absent McCain-Feingold, no one would have paid attention.  Dean and Trippi didn't concoct the strategy because of political altruism but because it was necessary, and because the time was right: look at all the things that came together to make this strategy both effective and attention-worthy.

    Dean and Trippi deserve the credit for having the smarts to recognize that the time was right (since the rest of the Democratic Party did appear to be behind the eight ball on this), and for assessing the historical moment.

    This also sort of supports what I have been commenting on for a while: that the fundraising strategy may not have been about "bringing the party to the people" as those who saw Dean * his campaign as the new populist piper, but that it was equally likely that if not the goal then the outcome of the strategy would be to expand the DNC's notion of fundraising, to bring the old fundraising system to a new audience (i.e. the small donor).

    This is why "campaign finance reform" is not nearly enough to fix the problems in US electoral politics.  

    "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Martin Vanbee

    by a gilas girl on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 07:21:56 PM PST

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    •  You've hit on it (none)
      I find it ironic that after hearing for months from Dean about how "it's about you, it's not about me" his followers seem determined to say it's about him after all.  The Dean campaign made the means the message; the campaign itself was part of the policy message.  This was a mistake in my opinion, but it does illustrate that this is a method of raising money and gathering support, but Dean himself knew it wasn't Dean-only.  

      It's also interesting to note that Dean, a moderate centrist with a couple Republican leanings (like guns) used this method to become the person "representing the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party".   Anyone with a lick of sense knew that Dean was no Wellstone (and that's not a slam on Dean); he wasn't nearly as liberal as the man who coined the phrase.  But that campaign made people part of a community and that made man of the most liberal among us follow a man who didn't directly represent their interests, such as Kucinich, who was really the guy to support if you're on the far left.  

      In short, Kos is right.  And so are you.  

      "Every city is two cities, a city of the many poor and a city of the few rich; and these two cities are always at war."--Plato

      by Eclectic on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 09:06:43 PM PST

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      •  The power...and all that (none)
        Your claim that it's all about Dean rings most hollow.  

        Yes, there are many odes and debts of gratitiude paid to the man at the front of the campaign who gave may of us a reason to be politically active again--more active than merely showing up to vote, anyway.  We can all thank Howard Dean, his message, and his campaign for coalescing at just the right time (post Bush 2000) and in just the right manner, but the mere fact that so many are willing and committed to taking this messgage and the greater goals of what can loosely be termed "the Dean campaign" far beyond the presidential race of 2004 is testament to the fact that this is most assuredly not all "about him after all."

        We acknowledge and thank Dean (and all associated with his campaign and his message) for getting us this far off our collective asses, but where we go from here is up to us, not him.

        The Democratic Party is so afraid to lose they're willing to say whatever it takes to win. Once you're willing to say whatever it takes to win, you lose. ~Dean

        by GOTV on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 09:56:43 PM PST

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        •  I think you've misunderstood my intent (none)
          I don't believe it's all about Dean at all.  I never did.  I always thought DFA was a great campaign needing a better candidate.  

          I give Dean great credit as well for being the early voice that let everyone realize it was ok to go after the Liar-in-Chief.  It's become trite on the networks to say he gave us a vertebrate transplant, but there is some truth to it.  But making the campaign the message rather than the candidate was a mistake, if their intent was to elect Howard Dean.  For a movement that allows for Howard to lose the nomination, this works fine.  

          The methodology is sound; it just takes the right candidate and the right efforts designed to facilitate a community.  

          "Every city is two cities, a city of the many poor and a city of the few rich; and these two cities are always at war."--Plato

          by Eclectic on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 11:02:57 PM PST

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