Why Howard Dean Has Returned in Triumph
Dean has been putting time, effort, and money into building the next generation of Democratic leadership down at the state and local level--which is WHY he has been such a runaway candidate for DNC chair.
Out here in the sticks we KNOW where his priorities are--with us, a place that the DNC, the DLC, and the Washington whiz-bangs haven't even thought about, let alone helped with, for decades.
Why is this important? It's called "gerrymandering". As the Democratic state organizations have slowly been withering on the vine due to lack of cultivation from the Washington whiz-bangs, Republicans have gained control of the majority of the Congressional district drawing done in this country.
The situation comedy of Texas, last year, with Democrats hiding out in Oklahoma to prevent a state legislature quorum, is only the tip of the iceberg in a largely successful Republican drive to make the majority of House seats "safe" for their party.
As Tip O'Neill was fond of saying, "All politics are local." The Washington whiz-bangs forgot his wisdom long ago, and Democrats everywhere are paying the price for the Washington Establishment's failure to realize that electing a few Democratic State Assemblymen, in the right places at the right time, might be even more important, in the long run, than electing a Democratic President.
Case in point: Out here in Columbus, Ohio in 2000 I couldn't even get a Gore/Lieberman yard sign because Al & the DNC wrote Ohio off as unwinnable. Kerry and the DNC figured out that was a mistake, so we had plenty of Kerry/Edwards yard signs. But they didn't do squat out here to help us elect anybody but themselves.
Despite the fact that Ohio was a "must win" state, the ONLY national Democrat who put any effort into helping us elect our own Democrats was Howard Dean. He came to stump for them and DFA funneled money and logistic support to them. Some of those candidates we got elected.
For too many years the Clintons, the Gores, the Kerrys, the Pelosis, the Daschles, the Reids, and the McAuliffes have taken our money, taken our time, and taken our votes and given us nothing back.
That is part of the reason why, when Howard Dean walked on the stage at the Democratic National Convention, as a losing candidate, he got an ovation. He gave us back our Party, our agenda, and our self-respect in places like Columbus, Ohio.
We like that. So we like him.