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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman
December 3, 2008
Team Dean's Dream
"I think if (Democrats) have a true death wish, he'd (Howard Dean) be the perfect guy to go with,"
-former House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich (REPUBLICAN-GA)
The statement above by Gingrich was half-right: Howard Dean was the "perfect guy to go with" for the Democrats. After the loss John Kerry loss in 2004, the Democrats had the look of a party in need of an identity transplant. And although Dean might have been considered to "Liberal" (a dirty word in 2004) back then to become the Democratic Presidential nominee, it turns out that he was the perfect guy to turn his party inside out.
"Republicans wandered around in the political wilderness for 40 years before they took back Congress... The American people cannot afford to wait for 40 more years for us to put Washington back to work for them."
-Dean, as a part of his DNC Chairman's acceptance speech in 2005
Dean took the DNC and their minorities in both houses out of the wilderness and took them right down to the Mall in DC.
Dean detractors will say that no matter who was in charge of the Democratic Party these past few years would have reaped the benefits of the rewards bestowed upon them by the worst administration in the past 80 years. But those of us familiar with the Democratic Party know better. The old (pre-Dean) Democratic Party would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory even when victory seemed assured. Both Kerry and 2000's loser Al Gore come to mind when thinking of the most recent past failures.
The Democrats were a group which used to toss away votes and voters simply because they felt that the only way they could win an election was to concentrate their efforts in a narrow way. States such as Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia were Red and not going to change just because times were bad was the conventional thinking, so why bother to run in those states.
The fifty state strategy used so brilliantly by then-Senator Barack Obama (now President-Elect Barack Obama) was pioneered by Dean and the soon-to-be President Obama owes the fiery ex-Governor, Doctor and head man at the DNC a huge bit of thanks.
Does anyone really think that Obama's chances weren't increased by Dean's promise to be competitive in all fifty states? Sure, President-Elect Obama made all the right decisions on staffing, fund-raising and just about everything else he did during his run for the Oval Office, but it was Dean and his dogged determination which paved the way.
"If we stand up for what we believe in, organize at the local level, and recognize that strength does not come from the consultants down. It comes from the grass roots up,"
-Dean, again from his acceptance speech
Today, twenty-eight of fifty US State's Governors are members of the Democratic Party and they hold these executive positions in Red as well as Blue America. Even Red-America states such as Kansas and Tennessee have popular Democrats in office (Kathleen Sebelius and Bernie Bredesen, respectively), both of whom are in their second terms. And whereas Dean wasn't the DNC Chairman when each were originally elected, with someone else out there running things, their futures might not have been so bright.
President-Elect Obama should take this opportunity and offer Dean a position in his Cabinet. As a medical doctor, the former Governor of Vermont appears to be a natural to head HHS, the Department of Health and Human Services (apparently earmarked for former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle). Perhaps Dean could become the Surgeon General, a Cabinet-like position, but not one with a seat at the big table.
And Dean deserves that seat.
As it stands today, Howard Dean's reward is his being right. If President-Elect Obama people who will speak their minds and be that disagreeable soul he so desires in his White House, then Howard Dean is the man for him.
Maybe the view from those seats are good enough for Governor Dean, but he deserves more.
In response to Condoleezza Rice's pointing fingers at Pakistan for the India massacre, Lew Warden writes:
You’re an idiot, Noah, dedicated to making a mountain out of nothing, blaming Rice/Bush for a conflict that has endured for a thousand years.
It's fuel to an already burning fire and the words she used were unnecessary...
Even an idiot like me can see that. -NG
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