Friday, December 17, 2004

Howard Dean: Reformer

There's a nice interview with Howard Dean at Peopleforchange.

His goal: to remake the Democratic Party. Maybe “remake” isn’t really the right choice of words. And the focus on the Democratic Party, even that is too narrow. We are talking about no less than a Renaissance of the populace. Reinvigoration of long moribund participatory democracy free and unfettered by corporate lobbyists. A return to Core Values of the American Ideal. For Howard Dean and his legions, this is the goal. I march with them.
If we can reform politics in this country, reforming it through the major party is worth a try. If we can’t do it, then we can’t do it, but I think it’s worth doing. I think the Democratic Party will be, can be a vehicle for real reform, it has in the past .and I think that’s what the public wants. I think the common agenda that we have for the American People is reform. DFA [Democracy for America, which Dean leads] is made up of all kinds of people from the progressive end of the spectrum to the moderate Republican end of the spectrum, and what we all have in common is we want progressive reform.
You know, I don’t think we should dwell on [the DLC]. ... Instead of worrying about that there’s some other groups that want to move to the right, I think we ought to keep going straight forward. I think we are the moderate folks. They can tag us with the word “liberal” or whatever they want, and there’s nothing wrong with “liberal”, believe me, but I don't think we should pay attention to that any more. That’s one thing I would do differently if I were ,if I had to go back and do it over again, I wouldn’t  bother with the DLC or the retrogrades, their forces in the party, I would try to move forward on our own agenda. You get sucked in to letting somebody else frame the agenda, that’s a problem. We shouldn’t let the Republicans do it nor should we let the DLC or anybody else like that do it.


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