You'd have a hard time believing that the DNC set records for an off-year quarter given the shots Howard Dean has taken of late from insiders and "anonymous Democratic sources." (See Dave Weigel's diary
highlighting a new article from The Hill
under the headline, Fundraisers jilt Dean
And this weekend, Joe Biden and John Edwards fired shots at Dean on the Sunday morning shows, needless exchanges well-documented here by many including in my own diary.
What we are witnessing is a coordinated effort by recent Democratic Party "insiders" to undercut Dean's chairmanship. Yep, the same folks who took on-the-record and anonymous potshots at Kerry and his campaign are now running an organized effort to get Dean dumped from the party chairmanship.
How ironic. Biden, Lieberman, Carville and numerous "anonymous party sources" spent the better part of the general election campaign undercutting Kerry and his campaign/campaign staff.
Oh, if only these (so-called) fellow Democrats had been as concerned about beatng Bush as they seem to be about crushing Dean...
The Hill article points out that the Clinton-era big donors feel dissed by Dean. (Thus, Al From's and Carville's endless harangues.) Their complaints are as whiny as "not getting enough face time."
And one can rest assured that the Beltway consultants and sycophants are not at all happy that their high-paying clients can't get long audiences with the party chairman -- who has been busy meeting with state-level party officials in an effort to rebuild the party from the ground up.
So while the Beltway insiders attempt to take Dean down, his popularity at the state level continues to rise, according to a June 2 article on AlterNet:
It's no wonder then that Dean has avoided the national spotlight, with criticism being launched at him from all sides and media-jealous Democratic colleagues muttering about his inability to stay "on message." But perhaps the main reason that Dean's been AWOL from the Sunday talk show circuit is that he's been busy traveling the country, learning about the state of politics at the local level. Since he began as chair on February 12, Dean's priorities have been set less on cultivating a perfect, all-encompassing message for the Democratic Party and more on "showing up."
In the last three months, Dean has visited 18 states, where he has met with Democratic officials at the state and local level and promoted his plan to build the party infrastructure from the bottom up. Unlike McAuliffe, Dean isn't arriving in limousines; he's flying coach, paying for his own bus tickets, and carrying his own bags. And if you listen to the people that Dean has spent most of his tenure thus far speaking to -- people in some of the Reddest states of the country -- Dean is doing a fantastic job.
Dean ran for chair on a platform promising to radically depart from the previous DNC strategy of targeting specific states during crucial election cycles. His plan was to focus on all fifty states, cultivate candidates at all levels of government, and get paid grassroots organizers on the ground immediately. "I'm not much of a Zen person," he remarked upon accepting chairmanship, "But I've found that the path to power, oddly enough, is to trust others with it. That means putting the power where the voters are." Judging from my conversations with state and county leaders, Dean is doing exactly that.
Dean's "Red, White, and Blue" tour through the South was initially met with trepidation, not only by Democratic insiders, but also state party leaders who feared Dean's aggressive "northeastern liberal" style wouldn't fly in their states. When Dean showed up, for the most part, those impressions were shattered. The Dean they saw was not a firebrand, but a pragmatic leader determined to build the nuts and bolts of the party. "I was nervous before Governor Dean came to town," said Gabe Holmstrom, Executive Director of the Arkansas Democratic Party, "but I found that Dean had a lot of insight into local politics and a real interest in taking a much more aggressive role in organizing from the grassroots. His commitment was clear." Party leaders described crowds at Dean events in their states as "electric," "ecstatic," and "very excited." Nick Casey, West Virginia's State Chair told me people were driving in "three hours from the south, five hours from the east, just to hear him."
After years of being virtually ignored by the DNC, state party leaders are extremely enthusiastic about Dean's state partnership program. On April 8, Dean announced the first round of his investments in the states, half a million dollars that would be spread among the state parties of Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, and West Virginia. Since then, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Wyoming, and Kansas have received DNC funding. In Nebraska-which received ten times the $12,000 they got from Terry McAuliffe last year-the state party is putting organizers in all 93 of their counties. In West Virginia, Casey is excited about using the additional funds to recruit teachers to serve as mentors for Young Democrats clubs at high schools, and energizing long-stagnant groups like the Federation of Democratic Women. "In 2004, we started campaign after the May primary," says Casey. "We just started our coordinating campaign a month ago for 2008. That makes a hell of a difference."
Finally, I note that Dean's supposed controversial comments have all been directed at Republicans. Note that his detractors spend more time bashing Dems than they do bashing the criminals curremtly occupying the Executive branch and the majority of the Legislative branch.
NOTE TO STATE PARTY OFFICIALS: The time to back up Dean is NOW! Don't wait, don't hesitate. The insiders are seeking to take him down because he threatens their gravy train.
Imagine the audacity of a Democratic Party chairman deciding that the states are more qualifed to spend party monies than the consultants in Washington.
What a bastard.
And imagine a party chairmen dissing the heavy-duty corporate donors of the Clinton era...
Now the Sunday "Dean rips" by Biden and Edwards have some context. Biden, the same guy who undercut the Kerry campaighn at every opportunity on the Sunday morning shows during the run-up to the general, now is training his sights on Dean.
Figures. He kisses Alberto Gonzales' ass but takes swipes at our standard bearer in the general election and our new party chairman.
Oh, if only some on our side were as focused on taking down the real enemy...
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