Sunday, November 28, 2004

Howard Dean for DNC Chair

Set aside the issues of Dean as a personality (because the DNC Chair is fundamentally a real job rather than a celebrity position) and whether he's too liberal (he was, recall a darling of the centrist DLC).

The case for Dean, as I see it, is that a long series of Establishment Democrats have failed to articulate our party's core values, and as a result our coalition is missing some of the people who would naturally join it. Howard Dean's internetcentric campaign offers a model for how to fix this: a model of how, in the current age, to raise funds in record-setting amounts, to keep our base linked together and activated, and to do much of our business in the open, so that good ideas can get from the grass roots of the coalition to the top. We want to develop core values with explicit input from thousands of people, in the manner of We want coalition-building to take place in this sort of public fashion. Following Matt Stoller's suggestions, we want focus group results from swing voters and polling data to be public, we want policy discussions to emerge through wikis culled out of blogs, and we want the internals of ad campaigns to be open. We want to fix the primary system so that voters in swing states pick our presidential nominees.

Only with a Reform DNC Chair like Dean can we hope to begin winning elections like this last one by 20 points like we should be. Inasmuch as there are other candidates who looked like reformers, I'm looking at them too, but the pickings are mostly Dean. I see two immediate sorts of action that are needed.

I. Contact your DNC Members and ask them to vote for Howard Dean

This can be done by phone using the up-to-date (8 November 2004) list at Phraxos or by email using the email addresses that have been collected for many of the members here.

II. Money

I haven't seen a discussion of this, but it seems likely to me that what we do with our money between now and the January election of the DNC Chair matters a great deal.

Where do we put that money if we want it to help get Dean in? It might be that making a contribution to (formerly deanforamerica) is helpful because it makes clear that he is a prodigious fundraiser. It might be that key DNC members would have their heads turned if they recieved campaign contributions from Dean advocates. I'd be interested in your thoughts.


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