Nation-Building

"We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that's what this election is about." -- Barack Obama, DNC keynote address, July 2004

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Sunday, March 14, 2004

 

Open Thread Topic: Dean On Meet The Press

posted by Heath at Sunday, March 14, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Pretty neat seeing Dean back on the national stage this morning on MTP, eh? Sure, it's a bitter pill to hear him stumping for Kerry, but in between the promotions he's managing to get our message out. He's reminding those that Dated Dean and Married Kerry that he's not going away and will be the faithful usher waiting with open arms should the Groom falter at the alter. When Russert's session ended I actually tortured myself with thoughts about why Dean would be the best VP choice. You know; money, organization, good attack dog, shorter than Kerry, good age....yea yea yea NOSTALGIA already. What did you come away with from the MTP interview?

Saturday, March 13, 2004

 

Daily Review

posted by barb at Saturday, March 13, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Gov.Dean on Meet the Press

Howard Dean: The UnNader?

New Mexico Watchdog Group

Kansas caucuses

Kid Reporter Shares Stories From Trail

Thursday, March 11, 2004

 

More on DFA v. 2.0 Principles

posted by Conan at Thursday, March 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
My sister Maura sent me this response to the DFA v. 2.0 principles quoted by Aziz further down the page. She is an educator and Dean delegate in Washington State with a separate degree in early childhood education. As such, I have great respect for her opinion on these matters.

*************************************

And we will fight for progressive policies like:

1. 'Health care for all' should include insurance and special care for:
Parents including classes, mat/paternity leave, pre-natal, birthing, nursing, and post-partum family care

2. Young children with changing bodies, teething and dental requirements, walking & talking including the right to
wheelchairs or hearing aides... learning what to eat.

3. Middle-schoolers with changing bodies, diets, and exercise habits (no more recess?)

4. People who are differently-abled; mentally and /or physically; temporarily, developmentally, or terminally

5. People experiencing changes of life or sudden physical shifts as with sickness long or short-term

6. Elderly deserve more than adequate healthcare like dynamic alternatives to isolation such as planned communities

7. Emphasis on lifelong wellness not just coaching the star athletes in schools, hospitals, and in general.

8. 'Investment in children':

Early intervention and money directed first into parent groups, co-ops, daycares and preschools with the most
'degreed professionals' providing information and resources regarding literacy, bilingual literacy, financial literacy,
working with young families making sure people have healthcare, jobs, skills. Meeting individuals at skill level and
presenting the next step from filling out DSHS forms to Community College forms.

Early Childhood Education centers should be developmentally appropriate and heed the research proving that play is
learning and let children play cooperatively while professionals describe what they are learning to parents. Adults
should get a certain number of "kid sick" days along with personal sick days paid because life demands it. Paternity
and maternity leave should be six months with either parent up to one year depending on the resiliency of the baby.

Elementary schools...

 

profile on Trippi and CFA http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/bal-to.trippi10mar10,0,2954870.story?coll=bal-features-headlines

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, March 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Baltimore Sun has a piece on Trippi that mostly ignores Dean (dexcept for some tweaking). While there are some major flaws (for example, it insinuates that Trippi was personally responsible from growing the grassroots from 432 to 600,000, without really acknowledging the role of the grassroots and independent websites), it's still a good piece and does a lot to re-humanize the architect of the campaign. The most interesting thing is the closer though:

"I want to chill out for a week," he says, "and decide what I'm going to do with the rest of my life."

This is not a man who chills well. It's hard to imagine Trippi without CNN and Internet access and a cell phone pressed to his ear. It will be just him in a bathing suit and shades lying in the hot Mexican sun with nothing to do but roll over in the sand if a stranger happens to ask, "Senor, would you rather be dead ... or working for George Bush?"

The track record for populist political movements isn't encouraging. Where are Ross Perot's disciples now? Pat Buchanan's pitchfork holders? Is the Green Party raking in any green from contributors these days? Change for America has a rough road ahead. But the Web site is drawing 70,000 hits a day and plans are in motion to hold CFA "summits" in 10 cities. Trippi will return from Mexico tanned, rested and ready to attend every one of them. He badly wants to re-rally the battered Deaniac Nation.

"We've got the best pit crew on the planet when it comes to grassroots and the Internet," he declares.

All they need now is a new car to race.


Now, this is a point that needs to be made Our collective energy is indeed something that can dissipate if notharnessed, and that's really all that CFA is trying to do (I disagree with their implementation thus far, but not their intent). However, the absence of any real comparison to DFA and the only-tangential mention of March 18th's announcement strikes me as misleading. Still, this is really just a fluff piece about Trippi and not an exhaustive look at CFA from the inside, so we can't really extrapolate anything whatsoever from this.

The main thing is that Trippi is taking a well-deserved vacation to get away for a while in Cancun. When he gets back, I am hoping that there will be some real details to chew on.

 

Statement from Governor Dean on his meeting with John Kerry http://blog.deanforamerica.com/archives/003937.html

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, March 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
"John Kerry and I had a very good meeting today. During the campaign we often focused on what divided us, but the truth is we have much more in common beginning with our fervent desire to send George Bush back to Crawford, Texas in November. The future of our country depends on this.

In addition to our strong commitment to turning this country around by beating George Bush, John and I also share a strong commitment to providing healthcare to every American, cleaning up and protecting our environment, and getting the 3 million Americans who lost their jobs during George Bush's presidency back to work.

As I have previously said, I will work closely with John Kerry to make sure we beat George Bush in November and turn our country around. There is a lot we can do together to rebuild an America that belongs to all of us, and we'll be saying more about what our amazing grassroots network can do to help with this goal on March 18.""

-- Governor Howard Dean

 

Late Night Open Thread

posted by Conan at Thursday, March 11, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Kirkpatrick Sale writes in his now-classic history of the SDS that the group produced buttons for the 1964 Democratic campaign that, in contrast to the LBJ campaign slogan "All of the way with LBJ" read "Part of the way with LBJ."

They gave him a partial endorsement for his work on Civil Rights and the Great Society, even though they disagreed with the then-smoldering conflict in Vietnam.

Maybe we need "Part of the way with JFK" buttons?

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

 

Dean and Kerry http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=dean+kerry

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, March 10, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The link above goes to the Yahoo News photo archive of Dean's meeting with Kerry today. Dean was given a standing ovation by the Kerry staff. I've archived a few of the better photos here so they don't expire.

I think that having voted for Dean yesterday, and seeing Dean embrace Kerry (though not yet endorse, though that is surely coming) has been good for me in a sense. I know I felt as disappointed as anyone else that we wouldn't see a Dean Administration. I can now finally let go of that dream - and with no regrets.

I certainly won't call this "closure" though - because that implies an end, and we all know that Dean ain't done yet.



Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean reacts to applauding Kerry campaign staffers as he and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry , D-Mass., enter the Kerry campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 10, 2004. Dean, the former Democratic presidential frontrunner, came to Washington to meet with Kerry. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

I've cast my vote for Dean. I will vote for Kerry against Bush in November and do so without any qualms. Kerry and Dean are the same person compared to the ideological and craven divide that separates them from George W. Bush.

However, I am not committing financial resources to Kerry, yet. We still need to retire Dean's debt - which he incurred in the process of giving US back the power. It's our debt too.

 

Kerry to meet Dean today http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=4538909&section=news

posted by Conan at Wednesday, March 10, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the tone of this Reuters article (posted nine minutes ago) it doesn't sound like Dean is ready to "fall into line" quite yet:

The meeting between Kerry and Dean, one of his harshest critics in the early battle among Democrats for the right to challenge Bush on Nov. 2 and a one-time front-runner, was not expected to produce an immediate formal endorsement...

...."The senator expects to continue his positive dialogue with Gov. Dean," Kerry spokesman David Wade said. "He has sought his advice and input and Gov. Dean has been very generous."

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

 

I voted for Howard Dean http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/primaries/pages/candidates/1772/index.html

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, March 09, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
My county (Galveston) hasn't reported yet, but there was a lot of appreciative murmuring when I drove up to my precinct polling place with my Dean sticker.

Today is a day I'll proudly recall to my daughter years from now. The day I voted for Dean.

 

Texas delegate report http://deanfortexas.com

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, March 09, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
ladies and gentlemen, i am now an *elected official*. can you freakin' believe that?!?! tonight i was unanimously elected precinct chair for texas 2217. i was also selected to lead our delegation in the senate district caucuses in two weeks. i never thought - when i started following howard dean's candidacy in august of 2002 - that i would be here right now, at this moment, helping to take my country back.

damn, this feels good.

as for our precinct caucus, dean took 50% of the delegates and kerry took the other 50%! and in the other precinct i was monitoring (2026) we got a 50-50 split with kerry there as well. EAT THAT, NAYSAYERS! keep your eyes on Dean for Texas tonight. we're posting updated delegate counts as the results are called in.

remember that tonight's delegate selection isn't the final count. i've explained it all over in my daily kos diary.

the delegate campaign rolls on!

 

discussion thread: DFA v2.0 principles

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, March 09, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The o-blog has a thread relating to the principles that Dean laid out for the new DFA v2.0 organization, in his Feb 26th speech in New Haven. These are:

  1. "We will promote grassroots democracy and bring new people into politics.
  2. We will support candidates and office-holders who tell the truth; stand up for what they believe; and oppose the radical agenda of the far right.
  3. We will fight against the special interests.
  4. And we will fight for progressive policies like:
    • Health care for all.
    • Investment in children.
    • Equal rights under the law.
    • Fiscal responsibility;
    • A national security policy that makes America stronger by working with allies and advancing progressive American values."



What do you think? Personally I don't like #3 because I think it's too vague. we need to specify which special interests we don't like and why. Also, investig in children should not mean throwing piles of money at schools, but rather a more focused approach. And I love the fiscal responsibility part, but lumping it into "progressive values" is pretty ambitious. I'd rather drop the "progressive" label entirely.

Chime in with your thoughts, let's try to flesh these out a bit so that they are pragmatic guidelines and achievable goals.

 

transcript: Dean's remarks at the Gridiron Club Luncheon http://www.gmooth.net/dean/deangridiron.html

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, March 09, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
why the war in Iraq is an issue:

The American people will tolerate a great deal in the president. One thing they will not tolerate is misinforming the American people, particularly if it turns out to be deliberate. That is why the Iraq war will continue to be an issue in the campaign. Not because we’re at war, and people object to going to war - there have always been people who object to going to every war. But because the American people will not tolerate finding out after the fact that they were not told the truth.


on Greenspan and Social Security:

We have a chairman of the Federal Reserve who has done something, to me, which is just absolutely stunning. Alan Greenspan, who has served this country with honor and very well for a long time, in the 1990s, was part of an attempt to fix the Social Security problem and help craft a solution - perhaps it was the late 80s - help craft a solution where we would raise payroll taxes some, and Social Security would be extended. Recently he suggested we would have to cut Social Security benefits, and recommended that perhaps we ought to extend the president’s tax cuts.

The combination of those recommendations is as follows. Raise the most regressive tax in America, which is the payroll tax, on the vast majority of Americans - because you pay that tax until you make $86,000 a year - then, a few years later, cut Social Security benefits for those same people who paid in in the Eighties in order to save the system - and do it all because the deficits are so large, and then recommend extending the deficits by making permanent the president’s tax cuts - the largest deficit in the history of the United States of America.

So we have in Washington an administration, apparently backed by the chairman of the Federal Reserve, who is willing boldly to say that we ought to preside over one of the greatest shifts of wealth and redistributions of wealth in this country, in history. From middle-class people, to people like Ken Lay who ran Enron.


on the economy for middle-class small-town America:

But the economic pattern in much of rural America is this: relatively small town, some agriculture, under threat because of enormous corporate pressure, driving middle-class people off the farms because they can’t make a middle-class living any more. Small businesses in town under enormous threat because of big corporations putting stores ten miles out of town that suck all the small businesses away. And then one, or two maybe, plants from some multinational corporation that has the best-paying jobs in town, and the best benefits in town. Those plants are disappearing. All over the Midwest. I knew when I started this that the battleground in this country was going to be the Midwest, and the most important state in this election is not going to be Florida, it’s going to be Ohio. Because they have lost 275,000 of the best-paying jobs in America, and they’re never coming back.

We have an enormous problem in this country. And I’m not here to beard the Washington establishment, but I’m going to tell you -- people in this town do not get it. They don’t understand it -- and people in many places on the East Coast and the West Coast don’t get it. Because the bulk of our manufacturing is not all concentrated in the Midwest, but the economies in the Midwest are the least diversified. And they depend heavily -- the best-quality jobs in this country, between the Rockies and the Alleganies, depend on big corporations paying those good wages, much better than the local small businessperson can pay, and better than the farmer can make. And we’re losing that.

It’s not a Democratic or a Republican problem. But the solutions offered by this administration are taking us backwards; and the solutions offered by the Democrats before that were not complete. My view of globalization - I think redoing our free trade agreements are essential to the economic success of this country. And I am a big supporter of trade. We only negotiated half of the deal when we globalized. Globalization is an immovable and irresistable force and it is not going to be turned back. When we signed those trade agreements, without labor protection, without environmental protection, without human rights protection - yes, I know there were side agreements that aren’t enforced - we set the seeds for the exodus of American jobs.


This is a GREAT speech. It MUST be read in full.

Monday, March 08, 2004

 

Late Night Open Thread

posted by Conan at Monday, March 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Resolved: That Howard Dean should and ought by all rights to be elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee to replace Terry McAuliffe in 2005.

 

Tom Brokaw as Veep? http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110004788

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, March 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Sometimes, ideas in politics come from so far out in, er, left field, that I'm completely blown away. Who would have thought that Tom Brokaw was a credible choice for Veep? well... after doing some cursory research into his biography, suddenly I think so too. Brokaw is retiring from his anchor position at NBC and at age 63 is still not too old to switch careers.

Reading over the transcript of Brokaw's moderation of the Iowa Debate, I come away impressed. Even the Village Voice grudgingly admitted that Brokaw did his job well, asking tough questions all around.

I was fascinated to find out that Brokaw dropped in unannounced to the Dean campaign headquarters the day before the Iowa caucuses, to chat with Trippi. A recent Q&A with Brokaw by the CJR asked him about his plans after retiring from NBC, and he also had some comments about Dean's campaign:

The mainstream media initially missed the strength of Howard Dean’s campaign. Was that because Dean was succeeding through the Internet — or because Dean’s message was so strongly antiwar, and the conventional wisdom at the time was that such a message was suicide?

I think it was a combination of those things. I also don’t think that you can discount the tepid response of Dean’s opposition to his early gains — it gave him running room in a way that not even Dean could have anticipated. But this speaks to what’s going on out there — which is that Dean is generating a new constituency of voters in the Democratic Party, and reaching them through the Internet. We’re always a beat behind on that technology.


and here are some comments by Brokaw on the Dean campaign during an interview with Roger Simon:

Tom Brokaw. The ascendancy of Dean is a surprise. To me, not to him! (Laughter)
I think it's a tribute to two or three things. One is that there is a large body of people who feel left out of the process and they feel he can bring them back in or that he's their ticket to get them back in in some fashion. Also, his ability to not be locked into "Washington speak" every time he opens his mouth on a subject. Even to run the risk of saying something that he has to pull back the next day. You know, it helps him.

Roger Simon: Right. His mistakes don’t seem to matter.

Tom Brokaw: It makes him seem human. And then finally, and I think this is partly generational, you cannot overstate for younger voters the place of the Internet in their lives. It's a force. It is the force. They're on it all day long as a means of communication with one another and as a means of retrieving information. It shapes their world. And he tapped into that.


What interests me is the explicit acknowledgement by Brokaw of the real innovation of the Dean campaign, which was to draw people into the political process. If he were to be Kerry's veep, then we can probably be confident that he would bring some of that recognition to the campaign and to the eventual Kerry Administration.

 

will my vote count tomorrow?

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, March 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I don't know yet if Texas has electronic ballots, but after reading this voting horror story from Thomas Nephew, I am starting to wonder. My earlier proposal about how to implement an electronic audit trail is crude and there are literally dozens of ways you could implement a similar scheme that meets the same criteria.

Still, tomorrow I will cast my vote for Dean. It may well be my only chance to ever do so. But I have hope yet that it will count for something more in the long run.

 

Dean's a Moderate After All http://www.boston.com/dailynews/068/nation/In_just_four_years_civil_union:.shtml

posted by Conan at Monday, March 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Forgive me for ever intimating that Howard Dean was a liberal. Once again, he proves to be a master of compromise. This AP article (printed in the Boston Globe) reveals that in just four short years civil unions have become completely normative in Vermont:

Just four years ago, civil unions for gay couples were considered a positively radical idea. Now, they are almost an ordinary event in Vermont.

In fact, in some parts of the country, civil unions have become the moderate fallback position in the nation's growing debate over gay marriage.

Massachusetts politicians, including Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, have searched for a way to institute civil unions and thwart a ruling by the state's highest court granting gay couples the right to marry. Similarly, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry opposes gay marriage but would support civil unions.

And despite fears that former Gov. Howard Dean's signing of the Vermont civil unions law would doom him, it played little if any role in the collapse of his presidential campaign.

Vermont officials are amazed at the shift in political reality.

''Now our `radical' civil union thing is the compromise proposal for moderates,'' said Attorney General William Sorrell.

As a student in the humanities studying at a California university I get lots of chances to interact with the local gay community. Many students in my department are keen on gender studies, and in fact we all debated the civil unions issue in the car on the way to vote for me at the February 8 Dean delegate caucus (I lost).

It seems to me that there is no denying on an ethical and/or constitutional level that if straight couples are given marriage rights then gay couples ought to receive the same. But 38 states have now passed laws specifically prohibiting gay marriage, and that ought to worry gay marriage advocates for the simple reason that 38 states would be more than enough to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage forever. Meanwhile, states like New Jersey have quietly passed civil unions legislation recently without much publicity. In this case, perhaps a bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush (sic).

One friend suggested that what was needed was to get rid of the term "marriage" itself and refer to all couplings, whether gay or straight, as civil unions. This type of secularization would also be fine with me, but I suspect that the Judge Roy Moores of the world would have nothing of it. They would see it as just another attempt to distance our form of government from Christianity (which is exactly what it would be, and a jolly good thing too).

This is not to say that I am not proud of fellow SUNY New Paltz alumnus Mayor Jason West for his courageous stand on the issue and for seeking to push the envelope in the state of my birth ? it may be that in progressive states like New York and California a gay marriage law is in fact possible. When the gay marriages spread to Nyack, my home town, I was literally bursting with pride. But in the long run, it may be that these are localized phenomena rather than a national trend.

History may yet prove Dean to have been the most judicious in his understanding of the issue. This is not to say that the civil unions compromise represents absolute justice -- but it just may be the best way to avoid absolute injustice. To quote Michael Collins, "I won't go to war over the form of words."

 

a pragmatic outlook on DFA v2.0 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/3/8/185311/5200

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, March 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean Nation alumnus Jerome Armstrong has an analysis of the niche that DFA v2.0 seems to be evolving towards. The bottom line is that Jerome sees DFA v2 as the leader-in-waiting after a presumed Kerry stumble and Bush re-election. I think that point can be debated - there's simply no telling what Dean will do next and it's certain that the goal of the new organization will be very much dominated by Dean's specific vision, of which we can only guess.

But there is at least one part of the analysis that seems fairly on the mark and undisputable: that the netroots will be a reduced force:

Roy Neel is the executive in charge of the transition, and is guiding the formation of the new organization. What that means is that Gore and Dean are closer than ever, that Trippi's influence has completely waned, and that the decentralized netroots effort is no longer a guiding force from within Howard Dean organization.

Burlington's DFA is in its last days, the current HQ lease ends with March, and close to none of the HQ staff remain, even longtime Governor Dean office workers are moving on. Not a single person on the HQ's webteam of "wizards & stars" is staying on with the new organization. Check out the blog, and you'll find a couple of Iowa field crewmembers that landed off the bus in Burlington, and are now volunteering to run BFA. The outgoing transition for DFA staff was non-existent. Being placated by the smooth talking Neel, a few former DFA staffers have lingered on, enjoying the free-flowing presence of Dean in the office, perhaps expecting `the movement' to continue; but the implicit transition message --not unfriendly-- that's been given to them is to transition your way to the door.

What Dean and Gore's Neel appear to be doing is forming a non-campaign organizational staff of about 30-35, and composed of sidelined allies. The move, with a lower prioritized webteam comprised of three, abandons the Trippi-led decentralized netroots structure of DFA in favor of something more establishment-like in structure, leaving the decentralized netroots movement to run on its own, outside their command.


Does this mean that we will be irrelevant? Well, as long as we can raise money, and can vote, then the answer is no. My concern has never been that the netroots exert executive influence, in fact from that perspective I welcome the more traditional establishment-style structure. Where I want the netroots to be involved is in distributed analysis, policy discussion, and longer-range guidance about the actual goals and ideals.

It will be interesting to see what Dean has in store ten days from now. Jerome's post has only whetted my appetite.

UPDATE: interresting rebuttal from sdindc at kos, who was a volunteer on the ground in Iowa.

 

overconfidence

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, March 08, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Kevin Drum recently did a nice summary of the reasons why the compressed primary campaign was a good thing. And having a nominee early also makes cool scenarios like Ezra Klein's "shadow government" possible. However, there is one rather counter-intuitive downside - overconfidence.

Here's the dynamic at play. We have a nominee. He starts attacking Bush. The ABB crowd get's hyped up, because we have a guy saying the things we have been saying for three years. These things are the reason why Dean captured our imagination early on and that same rhetoric drives Kerry's success.

And the media responds! The Bush campaign ads are ferociously attacked, scandals and investigations abound on PlameGate and the 9-11 stonewalling. Kerry outpolls Bush in Florida, Juan Williams interviews Administration officials on NPR and gets fact-checked by the left for letting them get away with blatant lies. It's all looking great!

William Saletan has a new piece in Slate that strikes me as the most egregiously confident example so far. Here's how he closes:

President Bush. Strength and confidence. Steady leadership in times of change. He knows exactly where he wants to lead this country. And he won't let facts, circumstances, or the Constitution get in his way.


Well, ok if you are preaching to the choir this is hardly news. But reading the article from the perspective of someone who is not ideologically ABB as I am, it's haard to see a real convincing argument here. Reaosnable people exist who disagree - and lots of them are voting for Nader.

We need Dean to play a role here, by acting as a bridge to the middle. We need someone who can reach out to both sides with more credibility than Kerry can. Confidence is a good thing but it can blind you to the strategic choices necessary to win. Relying entirely on an excite-the-base strategy is necessary but not sufficient if we are going to aim not just for toggling the binary balance of partisan power, but transcending it to build a true American majority.

William Saletan was pretty confident back in 2000, as well.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

 

Dean on C-Span http://www.c-span.org/watch/index.asp?Cat=TV&Code=CS&ShowVidDays=30&ShowVidDesc=

posted by Brian Ulrich at Saturday, March 06, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean is currently on C-Span at something called the "Annual Pre-Gridiron Dinner Event." I saw the end of this earlier, and it was a good speech about trade issues, and the necessity of balancing continuing openness on trade with policies that will help ease the resulting economic dislocations. Given how polarized and dogmatic trade rhetoric can get, it was a real breath of fresh air.

 

News from Burlington Free Press http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/bfpnews/local/friday/3000h.htm

posted by Conan at Saturday, March 06, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This Burlington Free Press article discusses Dean's plans for the new grassroots organization (click the title above). An excerpt:

Dean acknowledged at a Wednesday night meeting of supporters in Burlington he was leaving for Washington, D.C., on Thursday to drum up funds for the new, as yet unnamed organization.

"Yeah, we'll do some fund raising," Dean said. "It's one of the reasons I'm going to Washington tomorrow."
Longtime Dean aide Kate O'Connor declined Thursday to say how much money Dean hopes to raise to fund the new organization. Dean will unveil his plans for the group in Seattle on March 18, then go on a cross-country speaking tour to tout the plan to supporters.

Dean has declined to discuss in detail what his new organization's focus will be, but hinted at the Wednesday meeting that one of its roles would be as a Democratic watchdog for progressive values.

"There's a mission for this party that's been forgotten and I think we've got a lot of people who can remind folks of what it's supposed to be," Dean said. "Our job, when we get to the new organization, is really to try to remind the Democratic Party why it was that we did as well as we did."


In fact, C-Span is preparing to broadcast Dean's address to the Pre-Gridiron dinner luncheon in Washington D.C. as I sit here writing this today (3/6 at 10:15 am pacific). Dean also indicated in a spearate article in the Free Press that he will be meeting with Kerry soon to discuss ways in which he can help the nominee get elected:

"I'm going to visit him next week in Boston to try to map out what we can do to make sure the president does end up with a lengthy vacation," Dean told a crowd of 60 supporters at a Meetup gathering in Burlington on Wednesday.

Dean mentioned the plan for the meeting while telling the supporters about a phone conversation he had with Kerry earlier in the day. Before he withdrew from the race last month, Dean was the Massachusetts senator's sharpest critic, attacking him as too much of a Washington insider to stand up to Bush.

Dean also used his visit to the Meetup gathering to thank supporters for their "stealth campaign" that helped him win the Vermont primary Tuesday. Meetups, organized via the Internet, were a major factor in Dean's rise to prominence last year.

"That was a real delight last night," he said to cheers. "Let me thank all of you who worked so hard, especially those of you from Vermont who did all the grassroots stuff. It really does work, although it helps to have been governor for 12 years."


While our own stealth campaign at Stanford was not notably successful (we took 5% of the vote in Santa Clara county – in the long run this will matter in terms of Dean's total share of the popular vote), my reward has been the look in the eyes of people who know me following Dean's landslide victory against Kerry in the Vermont primary. People who thought I was crazy for plastering the campus with Dean flyers and bumper stickers on March 1 understand and respect me now. We have at least created the possibility that someone, some day in this republic might just win an election as a result of grassroots activism. And that is a precious possibility.

When Dean spoke with him, Kerry was apparently acting as arrogant as Kerry typically does:

Dean said that during his chat with Kerry, he mentioned he was going to be celebrating his own win Wednesday night, at which point he said Kerry responded "Oh, really."

"I said, "Yes, I did win a primary,'" Dean said, laughing. Dean, an early front-runner in the race, failed to win a primary or caucus while an active candidate.

That article is available here:

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/specialnews/dean/292.htm


As you all know, my sister was elected a (precinct-level) Dean delegate in the Washington State caucuses. I can't wait to tell her that Dean will be making his announcement in Seattle!


 

Dean Nation's Growing Fleet For Change

posted by Heath at Saturday, March 06, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
deantvVehicle.JPG
We haven't been called by the Kerry people yet, but the DeanTV Action News Vehicle could be back in action after some repair. When the riots start again in either Ohio or Florida, you can count on us to be there with a camera as Tom DeLay's gang of Thugs March In like they did to stop the count in Florida. Anybody need a ride? We'll stop in Boston and New York City first. There's a good Irish pub in between each stop.

Friday, March 05, 2004

 

We did it!!! (let's do more) http://www3.deanforamerica.com/site/TR?pg=personal&fr_id=1090&px=1179278

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, March 05, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean Nation has raised $40,000 dollars plus change for Dean for America.

Still, DFA v2.0 still has about $100k in debt remaining. Can we raise another $1000 for DFA between now and the March 18th announcement?

Thursday, March 04, 2004

 

Meetup growth

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, March 04, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean dropped by for a surprise visit to last night's meetup in Burlington - there's a great report on the o-blog about it, plus pictures. But the best meetup report is from Chris at Interesting Times:

Overall, the Portland area saw a drop in meetups from 9 locations last month to only 3 this month. But attendance was still good at the meetup I went to (about 30 people). It took a while to build the meetup momentum that we had before and it might take a few months to get the numbers back up again. But it is possible.

Why do I say that? Because, despite Dean dropping out, there were new people at the meetup last night!


emphasis mine - it's extremely interesting that new people continue to be drawn to the Dean movement. It's not unexpected that the soft support would drop and that overall meetup numbers would decrease, but Dean's core message remains universal: bring citizens back into the democratic process. The fact that new people continue to attend meetups is testament to the importance and timeliness of that message.

What were your observations from your meetups? Were there new people?

 

Primary Votes Still Matter http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040304/OPINION/403040518/1029/OPINION02

posted by Editor at Thursday, March 04, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dick Golden, a frequent visitor at Dean Nation & Progressive Nation, had this published in the Sarasota Herald Tribune today:
Primary votes still matter

The presidential primary Tuesday is still important. It offers Florida Democrats the opportunity to vote with their hearts. The preferences expressed in the primary do not have to relate to the votes cast in the Nov. 2 election. March is for the heart; November is for the head.

Understandably, the Democratic Leadership Council and the Democratic National Committee have been eager to produce a presidential candidate. Clich? or not, there are occasions when haste makes waste.

Howard Dean is on the Florida ballot. If he was or might have been one's candidate -- and if one accepts the fact that Dean's candidacy for 2004 is undeniably dead -- please read on.

Dean suspended his campaign and pledged to support the eventual Democratic candidate, and to urge his own supporters to vote for whomever the Democratic candidate turned out to be.

Dean is seeking votes to enhance his voice in the writing of the Democratic platform. Vote counts in the primary determine the numbers of delegates candidates get. The greater number of delegates candidates get, the greater their influences on the party platform.

Philip McNamara, director of delegate selection of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, has said that candidates who suspend their campaigns can be represented by delegates at the July convention. He has specifically declared Howard Dean (and Wesley Clark) eligible to get delegates.

Finally, John Kerry has locked up the nomination. Dean's pledge of support is still out there.

What Dean wants is the opportunity to most effectively represent people who support his causes in the drafting of the Democratic platform.

Richard W. Golden
Sarasota


Dick also observes: All information currently available indicates that all Democratic primary votes -- until after all primaries have been held -- will be counted AND that all votes for Dean will be registered. So there is every reason for anyone who supports Howard Dean's causes to vote for him. Everything to gain; nothing to lose. A Dean supporter can (heaven forbid!) even vote for Dennis Kucinich in November.

With significantly more delegate votes than have already been cast are still up for grabs -- even a 15% Dean turnout will give him important increased leverage in pushing for a progressive Democratic platform at the convention. Texas and Florida are only the starting points. EVERY VOTE IN EVERY STATE THAT HAS A PRIMARY COMING UP COUNTS.

Wouldn't it be great if every Dean supporter reading this called, say, five other Dean people and asked them to be sure to turn out...and to pass the word?

Note: Cross Posted on Progressive Nation.

 

audio: Dean interview on VPR http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/vpr/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=610985

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, March 04, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Vermont Public Radio has a brief segment interviewing Dean about his victory in the VT primary. Dean talks about how the delegate campaign is helpful, and praises Truth and Hope's efforts to keep the campaign alive on that front.

Dean wins Vermont Primary
Tuesday night, VPR's Bob Kinzel spoke with former presidential candidate Howard Dean about his strong victory in the Vermont primary. In a telephone conversation, Dean reflected on politics in Vermont, his future plans and how gratified he is by the support in his home state.


Dean explicitly mentions working with moderate Republicans as part of the goals of DFA v2.0. Score!

 

True Believers: Life Inside the Dean Campaign http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/presents/

posted by Christopher at Thursday, March 04, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This Sunday at 8pm, CNN is set to air a special documentary following the highs and lows of the Dean campaign. For anyone who has been involved, this should be a great tribute to Dean, and a look at what went wrong (through the lens of the media, at least). I'm also hoping they'll do a little work on what comes next for Gov. Dean. Hope they took the time to arrange for an interview with him, although I doubt it. My guess is this is culled from their video archives. Probably won't offer anything new, but it should be fun to revisit the high points. Enjoy!

UPDATE: (Aziz) The documentary is actually about the campaign staff, not the Governor himself. It mostly follows Matthew Gross and Mark Sundeen (both of whom are now blogging at CFA) around during the Sleepless Summer Tour. It should be a very interesting look behind the scenes and the media firewall. Karl has a reviewed a rough cut if you want more detail.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

 

MEETUP tonight! open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, March 03, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
we have your summits right here...

 

reminding Kerry http://www3.deanforamerica.com/site/TR?pg=personal&fr_id=1090&px=1179278

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, March 03, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Kerry had this to say about Governor Dean during his victory speech:

Today we are all reminded of the unprecendented contribution he has made to our party, and our country, particularly by bringing so many who were disenfranchised into our party, and into the political process, and I know he will continue to fight to do that.


I take Kerry at his word for his sincerity, but I plan to hold him to this sentiment. As should we all - by voting Dean. But there's only one way we can ensure that the DFA v2.0 organization can truly achieve its potential to keep Kerry and all the other politicians continually reminded of who they work for. We must help DFA retire its debt.

 

Dean claims 34 delegates from Super Tuesday states http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/primaries/pages/candidates/1772/index.html

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, March 03, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Thus far the count from CNN is pretty good - 15 from Vermont of course, but also 13 from California (despite only getting 4% of the vote, and 3 from Maryland with 3%. I think we can lay the Trippi thesis to rest now). Plus a few pickups in other states.

Kucinich earned some delegates in his home state, but unlike Dean could not beat Kerry on home ground, though he essentially campaigned only in Ohio in prep for the big day. And Edwards could not win Geirgia, and will withdraw from the race.

All in all, the outcome was a huge validation of the Dean Delegate campaign. Super Tuesday showed that there is a strong reserve of Dean support out there that will materialize and even win states without an active campaign. Imagine what we can achieve when DFA v2.0 is launched! And, the argument that we need to vote against Kerry and for Edwards turned out to have been equally futile. Any Dean supporters who voted Edwards thinking that he had a chance to dethrone Kerry were fooling themselves with the same logic that we applied to Dean himself in the face of the DNC-engineered Kerry momentum out of NH and IA.

The airwaves in Texas are full of lamentation about how Texas doesn't matter now. How wrong! Texas can still vote Dean. Kerry will win the nomination without our help, so let's send a message to Kerry - we will vote with our heart comre July and with our heads come November.

VOTE DEAN!!

UPDATE: My apology to all for my error - the delegate totals from Super Tuesday states listed above include the superdelegates that Dean had already amassed. However, the count of delegates is accurate - I've edited the title accordingly.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

 

Dean wins VT !! http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=4483018&section=news

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, March 02, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Democratic front-runner Howard Dean won the primary in his home state of Vermont on Tuesday even though he quit the presidential race last month.

CNN and Fox projected the former Vermont governor as the winner in the state, beating front-runner John Kerry.


The delegate campaign rolls onwards - check CNN's summary page for latest numbers. I predict delegate gains in California and Massachusetts!

I also predict that Edwards' only chance of picking up delegates is in Georgia - and that's too close to call.

 

Artists?

posted by Editor at Tuesday, March 02, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Are there any artists out there who are interested in putting together quick sketches? I'm thinking either along the lines of political cartoons, or just images to accompany posts. All schedules and availabilty (at need and regularly) welcome. If so, please contact me at prgrssvntn@yahoo.com. Thanks!

 

Dean Delegate Day http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/bfpnews/editorial/1000h.htm

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, March 02, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Zephyr at the o-blog reminds us that today is also Vermont Town Meeting Day - the epitome of small-d democracy, in the fine New England Tradition. I also hear that there are some delegates being assigned today - unfortunately Texas is not part of Super Tues because of a Delay. Tom Delay, to be precise.

But our duty is clear. As the essay from the Burlington Free Press says:

The ancient Greeks and the American founders believed that a community reflects the character and virtues of its members. By fostering close human relations, politics in a democracy enables individuals to transcend selfish interests and consider the community's well-being.

Whether all that goes on in a typical Vermont town meeting is another issue, but it is a reminder of the potential intimacy of local democracy compared with the alienating remoteness of large-scale politics.

Town meeting participation can be personally transforming. Many people discover new self-confidence when speaking their minds before their neighbors. Their voice matters; their arguments have been taken seriously. Such personal empowerment is at the core of the democratic ideal and forms the base of community.

Individuals can make a difference. They do every year on Town Meeting Day in Vermont.


That's exactly the point of the Dean campaign - reminding us of the cllective, integrative nature of small-d. Casting our vote for Dean today and every other primary or caucus day is how we, the People, can return to the roots of our democracy and the principles upon which our Republic was founded.

VOTE DEAN TODAY!
and take your small-d democracy back.

 

Super Tuesday

posted by Editor at Tuesday, March 02, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I was seriously considering voting for Sen. John Edwards today. If for nothing more than trying to extend the primary. But when I walked in the voting booth and stared at the names before me, I knew I had to vote for Gov. Dean. Walking to my car... I knew I did the right thing.

Happy Super Tuesday.

Monday, March 01, 2004

 

Daily Review

posted by barb at Monday, March 01, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Rise and Fall and Rise (?) of Howard Dean

Edwards Looks To Dean For Votes

The Howard Dean Phenomenon

Political infatuation turns to heartbreak

Dean was too threatening

Sunday, February 29, 2004

 

Howard Dean's Statement

posted by Heath at Sunday, February 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Via the O-blog, the 5-time elected former Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, responds to the seemingly engineered Howie Kurtz article from the Washington Post.

Rather than go through the various points in the article I think it's important that those interested read this one closely. It's a good lesson in the media-source relationship and how one hand washes the other. In this case I hope they all had a lot of soap. Howard Dean has respectfully answered some of his supporters questions:

A Message from Howard Dean
The quotes attributed to me by others in Howard Kurtz's gossipy rendition of the divisions in the Dean for America campaign are entirely false, as is the description of my reaction after losing the Iowa caucuses, before the famous speech.

The danger of using unattributed sources as Kurtz and so many others do, is that the veracity of the informants can not be evaluated. In this case Kurtz included a significant amount of material which was not true, and produced a story which was greatly exaggerated.

There have been many inquiries about the relationship between Dean For America and the Change for America website. The answer to the question is that there is no relationship. We intend to form a progressive grassroots organization based on the Dean for America campaign, and we will work with other organizations after we get set up. We will announce the set up on March 18.

In the meantime, my deepest thanks to all of you who worked so hard to change America. We are not giving up, and we have an outline about what we intend to do on the DFA website.

Many thanks,

Howard Dean

 

Dean on the Slab http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/2/29/17304/8391

posted by Trammell at Sunday, February 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
CSI: Campaign Scene Investigation. Via Kos and Kurtz, there's a little something here to make any Deaniac wanna rip out their fingernails.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

 

The Delegate Campaign

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, February 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
John Pettitt, one of the CFA core group, sharpens Joe Trippi's earlier argument about the supposed futility of the Dean Delegate campaign. Unlike Trippi who explicitly said he isn't discouraging the delegate campaign, Pettitt argues it's an absurd waste of time:

Trying to get more Dean delegates is a waste of effort. Partly because of the 15% issue (he'll be lucky to get 15% in any district) and more importantly because even if he does get more delegates it won't change anything. The convention doesn't decide anything important any more (apart from the nomination) and having additional delegates for a candidate who has dropped out of the race won't make a real difference.


where I disagree with John (and, it seems, with the general concensus over at CFA) is in the bold part above. Delegates for Dean WILL change politics, because delegates are the only currency of influence we have.

John Kerry is the presumptive nominee. Edwards is running at a momentum disadvantage and even if all Dean supporters gave their vote to him it would still not be enough for him to prevail. Kerry's delegate total is more than Dean's and Edwards' combined.

So our delegates, spent on Edwards, are already a waste. And frankly whether Edwards or Kerry is preferable is an open question - Kerry has already previewed strong lines of attack against Bush that Edwards can't seem to match, and Edwards is completely untested in the face of the media onslaught whereas Kerry has already weathered the storm of smear attacks from the RNC.

Dean delegates mean that Kerry recognizes us as a still-active force within politics. It means that to claim a leadership mandate he has to address our concerns. It means that DFA v2.0 has real influence because it can deliver on the only currency that matters - votes.

Without delegates, all we are left with is a bunch of blogs and farm retreats.

But it's one-sided to discuss whether or not to vote Dean. We should also be asking those who say it is futile, what's the alternative? That's exactly what I've done in tha CFA thread:

John P,

I am firmly commited to the Dean Delegate campaign. I would like to ask you, if you think that it is an "absurd waste" and an excercise in futile Naderesque purity, then what is the alternative you propose?

I vote in Texas. What is your advice for me to do if I decide that you're right about the delegate issue?

--Aziz


I am sure John will respond, and I look forward to seeing what he has to say.

 

Dean Grassroots unity

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, February 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The following message is courtesy of Randy Foote in LA:

I believe that our primary task should be to hold together the Dean supporters during the time that Giv Dean feels it necessary to remain out of the fray (for very good political and personal reasons). It is not a time to create new groups with new agendas, such as CFA.

This is why people from across the country have come together to sign onto the Unity Statement, agreeing to hold together on what Gov Dean outlined on his withdrawal.

(1) We are UNITED in working to send as many delegates pledged to Dean as possible to the Democratic Convention.

(2) We are UNITED in the need to create a movement to advocate for the principles articulated by Howard Dean.

(3) We are UNITED to work together in coalition with a broad range of groups to oust George Bush in 2004.

Dean Unity is one first step toward holding together the hundreds of thousand of people who joined in support of Gov. Dean. It is not a structured organization; rather we hope to bring together and facilitate the efforts of the many kinds of groups that emerged from the grassroots to support Gov Dean and all that he stood for.

We are continuing to sign on groups, and we hope that this will show the nation (and the Dean Nation) that the Dean Movement is still very much alive, and that we will all be an integral part of American politics through November and well beyond.

To sign on with your local group, please go to: grassroots-group-registration@smc4dean.org


I know that there are a number of other grassroots effort to coordinate resources out there. Share links in the comment thread below!

I'd like to note publicly that Change For America is going to be increasingly important, due to the concentration of technical and political talent under one roof. It doesn't mean that they are seeking some kind of supremacy, it just means that we have in CFA a centralized resource which any Dean grassroots organization can tap into.

Friday, February 27, 2004

 

the fruits of a lack of communication http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/articles/2004/02/27/dean_ex_manager_battle_for_constituency/

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, February 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This Boston Globe story is just the first leak in the dam. The media is looking for narrative. The interpretation that this Globe story puts on the relationship between CFA and DFA - ie, a competitive one - is not surprising given that CFA has still not given any specifics about its agenda. I've exhanged email with Joe Drymala, and urged him to explain at least some of the ideas being floated within CFA to the broader base - precisely because I feared this kind of thing starting.

If the media takes up the narrative that Trippi and Dean are competing for control, it will de-legitimize our movement and everything that both CFA and DFA want to work for.

Unfortunately, CFA continues to rely on vague rhetoric instead of concrete detail. No mention of the New Haven speech last night, either. Stories like the link above are the result.

UPDATE: Dean Nation's open letter to CFA was quoted in this similar story in the LA Times. I was interviewed by email for that story, but my responses didn't make the cut for print. However I did my best to try and emphasise that it is too early to draw any conclusions. The LA Times story does a better job at restrained than the one in the Globe.

 

Bird's Eye View from New Haven

posted by Amanda at Friday, February 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
About a dozen Massachusetts folks (that I know of, could have been more) made the rush hour treck down to CT last night to hear Howard Dean speak about what lies ahead. We didn't get home until 1am last night. TGIF...

There were about 500 peeps in a medium sized hotel ballroom at the Omni. Dean debuted his speech on what he plans to create out of DFA. A formal announcement of the plans will be made on March 18, possibly via MoveOn or some other forum (unclear).

One of the CT for Dean steering committee folks intro'd Howard's brother Jim who lives in CT and has been very involved with CT for Dean. Jim spoke briefly and then intro'd Howard. Tons of applause. Howard looked great, very relaxed, upbeat, and it didn't look forced one bit. Short speech, maybe 15-20 mins, but very good.

Cliff Notes Version of Speech -- many thanks to all the volunteers for putting him where he is (ie national figure, etc), acknowledgement of how hard this past year has been on many volunteers' families and jobs, committment to go forward with a national grassroots group/movement that will be led by DFA/Dean, outline of the principles we all share (basically a mission statement for the new group/movement), urged vols who want to work for Kerry or Edwards to do so/those who want to continue to work for Dean, thank you -- but the most important and critical thing is for all of us to be united after the convention in Boston to beat GWB. Also urged all vols to support Dem nominee and not to go 3rd party bc again most important goal is making GWB a one term president. Great section of the speech -- "If you care about our children, George Bush must be a one term president!" "If you care about the environment, George Bush must be a one term president!" And so on...by the 4th or 5th time, the audience was chanting the last part with him really loud and he was really getting into it.

He was quite good humored throughout the speech, seemed in a good space, very bouyed by the crowd. After, several of us went up to shake hands with him and a friend took a picture of me with him which hopefully will turn out okay despite my tendency to not be very photogenic. And, thankfully, our statewide coordinator for Massachusetts, Dorothy Keville, got to speak with him (they've known each other for about 12 years; they met when she lobbied him as Gov on a health care issue). When he saw her he said, "Dorothy! I didn't know you were going to be here! You opened an office in Boston!" And gave her a big hug. :-)

There were several reporters there (including the LA Times) and several cameras, including a DFA/CT for Dean camera.

We're trying to get a copy of the video of the speech that we can show at a big rally we're having on Sunday in Cambridge MA in advance of voting here on Tuesday. Howard's brother Bill will be our special guest, along with several local candidates that Mass for Dean has endorsed.

~amanda

 

$421.46 http://www3.deanforamerica.com/site/TR?pg=personal&fr_id=1090&px=1179278

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, February 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
How can we expect Howard Dean to help us take our country back, when we can't even help him pay off the cost of campaigning for us?

How can we expect DFA v2.0 to be an effective force in American politics if it is still saddled with the debt incurred by facing down the media onslaught and the dirty tricks of its competitors?

 

ideals vs process I

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, February 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As many of you know, the subtitle of my other blog is "principled pragmatism." It's my personal philosophy towards politics, that seeks to find a balance between having good ideas and actually putting them into practice. One important corollary to this is that "perfection is the enemy of the good" - and taken together, these axioms are the foundation of the change that needs to take place in this nation's poliitical sphere.

Ideas matter. Our American political system has a long tradition of ideas stemming back from Locke through Jefferson to Mill, and from this central axis of thought on the nature and purpose of government, we have many healthy branches of other ideologies that have served to enrich the debate. Howard Dean was an appealing candidate to me because he not only expressed the liberal ideal, but he tied it back to our foundational thinkers (evoking the Reolutionary documents like Paine's Common Sense and the Declaration itself). But what gave his ideas true weight was his record of success in Vermont in actually implementing those ideas.

In other words, Dean was the epitome of principled pragmatism. Not pragmatism for its own sake, but one guided by his principles, which themselves are drawn from the rich tradition of American government. I hope that DFA v2.0 will continue along that track, because what we really need DFA v2.0 for is to keep these ideas in the debate, prevent them from being delegitimized by the unprincipled, opportunistic, and anti-democratic ideology that animates the machinery of the political right. DFA v2.0 needs to reclaim the full spectrum of American politics, liberal and conservative, and reunite them into a true dialog that is above all focused on finding policy solutions that can draw on the best of both worlds.

Liberals and conservatives are one. Neither is represented by the GOP. DFA v2.0 must create a synthesis of ideas from across the spectrum, dedicate itself to finding reasonable, informed, and idealistic (but not ideological) policy solutions from that synthesis. And DFA v2.0 must rally to its banner all those politicians - Republican, Democrat, or otherwise - who agree with the core principle of loyalty to our nation and our people first, loyalty to political party a distant second.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

 

open thread: FAQ for CFA

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, February 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
According to an off-the-record source at CFA, they are working on a FAQ to try and address the grassroots concerns. In the wake of the DFA v2.0 revelation, let's help CFA out by suggesting questions for the FAQ to answer.

 

DFA v2.0

posted by annatopia at Thursday, February 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Hey Brian, maybe this answers your questions:


NEW HAVEN--The following is excerpted from Governor Howard Dean's remarks here tonight as prepared for delivery:

On March 18, I will announce our plans to build a new organization, using our nationwide grassroots network, to continue our work to transform the Democratic Party and to change America.

We are determined to keep this organization as vibrant as it was throughout our campaign.

There are a lot of ways to make change. We are leaving one track, but we are going on another track that will take back America for ordinary people again.

Democracy, Freedom, and Action will be the watchwords of this new effort.

Our new effort will change America by working for the following principles:
* We will promote grassroots democracy and bring new people into politics.
* We will support candidates and office-holders who tell the truth; stand up for what they believe; and oppose the radical agenda of the far right.
* We will fight against the special interests.
* And we will fight for progressive policies like:
o Health care for all.
o Investment in children.
o Equal rights under the law.
o Fiscal responsibility; and
o A national security policy that makes America stronger by working with allies and advancing progressive American values.

We want everyone involved in Dean for America to stay involved, stay together, stay with the Democratic Party, and support the Democratic nominee. As I have said before, I strongly urge my supporters not to be tempted by independent or third-party candidates.

Let me tell you how I think the Democratic Party can win in 2004.

This year, our campaign made the case that, in order to defeat George W. Bush, the Democratic Party must stand up strong for its principles, not paper over its differences with the most radical administration in our lifetime.

In order to win, the Democratic Party must aggressively expose the ways in which George W. Bush's policies benefit the privileged and the most extreme ideologues.

I will do everything I can to ensure that the 2004 Democratic nominee runs as a true progressive, as a champion of working Americans and their hopes for a better future. Because - I will say it again -- that is the way to win in 2004."


This is what I've been waiting for: a clear solid statement of principals that is inclusive for members of all parties who support reform. No vague pronouncements, no teasing, just a clear statement of the principals of DFA v2.0. What do you think?

 

What Next?

posted by Brian Ulrich at Thursday, February 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Many people talk about how they became politically active only because of Howard Dean, but plan to stay involved and work for issues of concern to them even now that he has stopped actively seeking the Presidency. I think the Internet is a big part of this, as it allows for an unprecedented level of networking and makes it easy to work on something without leaving your home. With this in mind, I have two questions. What sorts of political activities are you planning? (I'm likely to volunteer for Russ Feingold's re-election campaign this fall, assuming I'm still in the country then.) And what are some things we can do here at Dean Nation to help you out?

 

open letter to ChangeForAmerica

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, February 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dear ChangeForAmerica,

You can't know how neccessary it was for batterred Dean supporters to see Joe Trippi posting again at http://www.changeforamerica.com/blog/ ! Rest assured that despite the words of a vocal dysphoric minority, the tangible proof that the movement would continue in some form was a boon to we in the netroots who have blogged and organized for almost two years on Dean's behalf.

Since your debut almost a month ago, we have been anxious to know what you are planning, so that we can respond. We still don't know what the purpose of CFA is, what its role should be, or what its relationship to the Dean campaign v2.0 is. Mark Sundeen had this tantalizing report from the retreat at the Trippi farm last weekend:

We spent yesterday afternoon discussing how we can best use the tools and community that you have built over the last thirteen months. We broke into three groups and each drafted a mission statement and a set of goals and objectives for the future of Change for America. The range of talent and ideas is wide, and there is still work to be done hammering out a specific platform.


This is exactly the kind of thing that the grassroots are ready for - but the subsequent announcement of the CFA summits in various cities around the country did not reveal any further details. I want to make a plea on behalf of Dean Nation for these draft documents to be posted on the CFA blog, so that the grassroots can begin the process of hammering out the platform for change.

Right now the grassroots should be focused on a single goal: Boot Bush. Also, please remember that a significant majority of the Dean grassroots is focused on the delegate campaign, at Howard Dean's explicit request:

First, keep active in the primary. Sending delegates to the convention only continues to energize our party. Fight on in the caucuses. We are on the ballots. Use your network to send progressive delegates to the convention in Boston. We are not going away. We are staying together, unified -- all of us.


Any other task or vision is secondary to these goals. Isn't it counter-productive to reinvent the Meetup, solely for discussion's sake, when the question of what's Next could begin immediately, efficiently, and democratically over the Web?

CFA remains very mysterious to most of us, despite the star-power of its roster. The organization must open up a bit and show it's hand, or the passionate support of the grassroots won't materialize. DFA made the grassroots feel a part of the process, but CFA seems to be holding back. You'll have to meet the grassroots halfway if you want to tap into the deeper well of its support.

I urge CFA to trust the judgement of the grassroots, and publish its draft documents from the farm. Let's work on this together, so that when we meet up at the CFA summits we already have a plan that involves ACTION, not just discussion. Only then can we make a meaningful contribution to the effort to Boot Bush.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

 

Election results from yesterday http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/primaries/pages/scorecard/index.html

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, February 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I'm a strong believer in not posting results until all the votes are counted. Luckily, Hawaii gave me a reason to procrastinate. *smile* The cnn scorecard is actually pretty handy. Here's the results from yesterday:

Hawaii (delegates in parentheses)
Kerry (17) 50%
Kucinich (6) 26%
Edwards (1) 14%
Dean 8
Sharpton 0

Idaho
Kerry (16) 54
Edwards (6) 22
Dean 11%
Kucinich 6%
Sharpton 0%

Utah
Kerry (7) 55%
Edwards (3) 30%
Kucinich 7%
Dean 4%
Uncommitted 1%

Not bad for a suspended campaign, eh? Congrats to the Dean supporters in those states for pulling that off. I'd also like to congratulate the winners, and especially Dennis Kucinich for pulling off second place in Hawaii.

 

Don't Let Bush Put Discrimination in the Constitution http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/actioncenter/fundraising/matthew-137365

posted by Editor at Wednesday, February 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Over at Progressive Nation, I've set up a donor page to give to the Human Rights Campaign in light of Bush's call to discriminate against LGBT Americans in the U.S. Constitution. It's a rather modest goal, only $1,000, but I would encourage you all to send a message to President Bush that his narrow, reactionary agenda does not sit well with us. Since you're not all giving $20 a week to DFA anymore, everybody should be able to make a small donation! :-)

 

Open thread: Backbone Awards

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, February 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I know we'd all like to think that somehow we bought the Democratic party a backbone. After all, they're talking the talk right now. But are they really walking the walk? In some ways, yes. Some ways, not really. I can think of quite a few Democrats who've actually acted like Democrats lately, and I feel that we need to give them some backup. I feel that even a few Republicans have sounded like true conservatives, and am open to the possibility of honoring them as well.
One thing I believe we should do is continue to hold their feet to the fire. We must keep them honest, so to speak. That means staying involved and doing those little things at the grassroots level that remind them that we're here and as long as they stay true to their principals, we'll be there for them. And if they don't, we'll do what we can to elect someone else. A big part of the Dean campaign's message was that we the people are ultimately responsible for our government. We can go all check-n-balance on them if we want; we just don't bother to do it most of the time. We have the power if we use it collectively. So it's very important to stay involved in some way.
What I'd like to do with the DN Backbone Award is follow it up with some action. It would be simple, like writing a supportive letter, calling a radio show, or making a small donation. Anything that we can all do as a group... I'm opening this thread so that you can help us figure out what action to take. This is a democracy, so majority rules. Also, nominate an official - regardless of party affiliation - for the Backbone award.

 

Nader asked to be Dean's VP http://www.jerryforohio.com/story/2004/2/25/15923/4037

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, February 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I'm Mike Ford and I've been a manager and advisor to Jerry since he started in elective politics in 1970. For the last 6 months or so I was a senior advisor to Howard Dean.

Bout three months ago Ralph Nader and his entourage walked into our Vermont headquarters off the street to "dialogue".

He was quite impressive intellectually and the firmness of his vision was also impressive. At the time of the visit, Howard was still the front runner and the Nader entourage made a blatant pitch for a Nader Vice Presidential nomination.


Kos points out that Ford is a respected source, and is currently working with Springer (in fact Ford is Trippi's close associate). So the source is solid, this actually happened. It's amazing to think of the hubris it takes on Nader's part, esp given his continued insistence that there isn't any difference between the GOP and the Dems.

 

The Cummings Creek Compact http://changeforamerica.com/blog/archives/000072.html

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, February 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Looks like the CFA crowd have finally formalized their plan of action, in a statement on the CFA blog. Here's the important excerpt:

Change for America will be a national organization that unites progressive communities and sets an agenda of meaningful reform. The values that shaped our campaign are the same values that formed the moral foundation of our American democracy—and we carry those values today. We are committed far beyond a single election.

Our immediate path is clear: we must defeat George W. Bush and elect a new president, we must infuse elections at every level with the same commitment that built this movement—and you must decide how to do it.

Two weeks from now, our movement will come together in a series of summits across the country, convening in Boston, New York, Washington, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver. We want every group associated with the campaign to be represented. Together, we will all shape the platform and mission of Change for America.

Later this week, we will announce final dates, locations and details of the Change for America summits.


My initial thought is that this sounds a lot like ... Meetup. I'm still waiting for details about what these proposed summits will address. I'm far more interested in the mission statements, goals, and objectives that Mark Sundeen mentioned were drafted at the CFA retreat on Trippi's farm, because that's something more tangible. Frankly I think it would be helpful to see those before planning any summits of any sort.

If you're interested in being a part of the CFA summits, sign up on their mailing list. Note that there are reports that Dean and Trippi chatted last night, but once again details are sketchy. It's still not clear what role, if any, Dean will be playing in CFA - and Dean's statement about "the next step" in the debt-retirement letter didn't make any mention of that group.

 

Delegates for Dean update

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, February 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
There are rumors that Dean "released" his NY delegates. That was false, it was actually a hoax letter sent using DeanLink by some trolls. There are other rumors that the DFA campaign debt means that Dean is fully withdrawn from the ballot on Super Tuesday and afterwards - this is also NOT TRUE.

Dean has continued to express his desire that we send OUR delegates to the convention. The delegates we amass for the nomination will be the currency with which we, the Dean movement, apply pressure for change.

Yesterday, Dean got 11% of the vote in Idaho, and 9% of the vote in Hawai'i, which is significantly more than some were predicting, given that there is no active campaign. There were no delegates added to Dean's total yesterday, but the real prize remains Super Tuesday.

All you Super Tuesday staters! let's GET THE VOTE OUT! We can break the delegate threshold if we are committed enough. EVERY DELEGATE COUNTS for the future of the movement!

Please share your plans for Super Tuesday and visibility here... it's time to get focused on strategy! your ideas?

 

only $587 left to go! http://www3.deanforamerica.com/site/TR?pg=personal&fr_id=1090&px=1179278

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, February 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
via the oblog, an excerpt from Dean's letter to supporters:

But before we can take the next step, we must ensure that Dean for America has the funds to shutdown its operation in a professional manner. As of today there is a $400,000 debt owed by the Dean for America campaign for expenses incurred in the last thirty days. Most of these expenses are to small-businessmen, printers who created brochures, yard signs and stationery, family restaurants who provided gallons of coffee and thousands of doughnuts for volunteers, and local merchants who provided buses, microphones and staging equipment.
[...]
Our movement will continue. Although I am not yet sure in what form, I promise that you will be the first to know. You have made this all possible and together we will continue the change we have already ignited not just in the Democratic Party, but in the American political process. You are someone I want on my side. I hope you will be there.


Note that Dean is explicitly affirming that there will indeed be a next step beyond the DFA Presidential campaign. To guarantee the viability of the next step, then, we need to make sure that our fledgling movement isn't held back. We're so close to our goal of $40,000 - less than $600 away. Please, donate whatever you can, every $10 or $20 will make a significant difference.

And note that despite rumors to the contrary, there's NO indication that Dean won't still need us to VOTE DEAN and continue the delegate campaqign. Delegates at the national convention will be the currency with which DFA v2.0 buys the clout we will need for lasting change to the political process.

But before we can take a step forward, we need to erase this step back. I don't regret a single penny of the donations I've made to this campaign. It's been about hope, about optimism, not anger and resentment. It's been an investment in the future of the country I love, for the sake of the next generation of Americans like my 2yr old daughter. We need to respond to this appeal because it continues that dream.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

 

one last fund-raising hurrah http://www3.deanforamerica.com/site/TR?pg=personal&fr_id=1090&px=1179278

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, February 24, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The campaign has sent out a notice that it is ceasing full operation, because it is $400k in debt. We can help retire that debt - by donating one last time. If Dean is to build a new movement out of the ashes of this grand ride, surely it would be better to begin life with a fresh slate. Looking at our Dean Nation Team fundraising totals, I am amazed and proud - we raised almost (but not quite) $40,000 for Howard Dean. That's the number-one fundraising Team of all time. No other team matched us. Reflect on what we have achieved!!

For Howard Dean, let's break our bat one last time. Our goal is $40,000. Let's do this. For the future ..

 

what kind of change?

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, February 24, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
open thread - what kind of specific change do you want to see in our political system?

 

what is influence?

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, February 24, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Bill Rehm in comments to my dysphoric post below raised this important and basic question:

Define influence. Are you seriously arguing that the decision re: which blog software to use has any import at all?

I don't see it. Were we shaping Dean's policy positions? I doubt it. Would I want to be? Sorry, that's not my line of work. I support the man and respect his positions, although I didn't agree with all of them.


The definition of influence may vary between people, but here's mine: influencing the items on the agenda. Not the proposed policy solutions per se, but rather what the issues are that we want our politician to address.

For example, in the context of beating Bush - we all wanted Dean to come out swinging on the Plame Affair. He didn't, and a vital opportunity was lost. Another issue we wanted Dean to go after was the mistreatment of the military under Bush, which Dean partially addressed but never really developed into a coherent "Repblicans are soft on defense" argument. Kerry has succeeded in this recently and is being rewarded for it at the polls.

A more nuts and bolts example is the fact that the campaign advertisements were terrible. We all had universal agreement on this fact - but the campaign was utterly tone-deaf. The "switch" commercials were frankly too insider-y and came far too late in the game. Imagine what would have happened if the campaign had listened to Dean Nation's collective proposal of a "I am Howard Dean" commercial? And if that ad had played at the Superbowl?

The true measure of influence is an ability to change the priorities of the campaign - in actual campaigning as well as setting the policy agenda. In neither of these were we sucessful. The netroots were a goldmine of ideas in comment threads, of which the best ones floated to the top to become full-fledged posts. Had the campaign skimmed the best of these ideas, put them on the o-blog and refined them with additional feedback, so much more could have been achieved.

Monday, February 23, 2004

 

the netroots recede

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, February 23, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The power of the netroots. How much is there, really?

Consider the o-blog. It's a standard Moveable Type install, with linear non-threaded comments. Unlike the Clark campaign, or Daily Kos, there was never a Scoop install that would allow for threaded discussions and collective moderation of user posts and diaries to full-fledged front-page entries. I have inside information from the campaign that a Scoop upgrade was considered and strongly advocated by one camp, but was summarily overruled. The o-blog became little more than a web-based email list and an echo chamber, as a result.

Now that the campaign has suspended, even the limited influence we might have had is gone. The o-blog is still vaue on what the next steps are and likely there won't be any official action for some time, since the DFA campaign is still closing shop. They have a lot of logistical issues to solve before they can deal with a bunch of bloggers.

Joe Trippi's Change for America site and blog seems promising, but then again there isn't any next-generation community there, just the same stale format of MT. There are guest bloggers, all of whom were from the campaign payroll, including bloggers such as Dean Nation alum Karl - meaning that there isn't any truly independent representation of the netroots. I get a sense that CFA is essentially the pre-Neel DFA crowd, regrouping (and Howard Dean is notable in his absence from that effort). There was a CFA retreat at Trippi's farm this weekend but we still have no real sense of what was discussed or is being planned, though I remain optimistic that Trippi will reveal his broader vision sometime this week.

The bottom line is that it seems that the independent voice of the netroots is not currently, will not be, and possibly never was a driving influence on policy in this race. I hate to conclude this, but the evidence seems to abound. Remember our Dean Nation Interview?

What do you think? did we ever have any real influence?

The more I reflect on the state of affairs, I am convinced that this campaign was not so much about influencing leadership, but simply exerting our collective will. The money still talks. And we will VOTE DEAN in the primary en masse, because that is our only avenue of real expression. Perhaps the real influence that we as anindependent voice had was to prove our own existence.

 

excerpt: Dean statement on Nader's run http://blog.deanforamerica.com/archives/003814.html

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, February 23, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I will do everything I can to ensure that the 2004 Democratic nominee runs as a true progressive, as a champion of working Americans and their hopes for a better future. I urge my supporters, and all other Americans committed to progressive values and honest government, to stick with us, and stick with the Democratic Party, so our cause can prevail in 2004.

Ralph Nader has made many great contributions to America over 40 years. But if George W. Bush is re-elected, the health, safety, consumer, environmental, and open government provisions Ralph Nader has fought for will be undermined. George Bush's right-wing appointees will still be serving as judges fifty years from now, and our Constitution will be shredded. It will be government by, of, and for, the corporations - exactly what Ralph Nader has struggled against.

Those who truly want America's leaders to stand up to the corporate special interests and build a better country for working people should recognize that, in 2004, a vote for Ralph Nader is, plain and simple, a vote to re-elect George W. Bush. I hope that Ralph Nader will withdraw his candidacy in the best interests of the country we hope to become.

Many of my supporters urged me to run as an independent, but I judged it the wrong thing to do. There is still time for Ralph Nader to stand with those in the Democratic Party who are building a progressive coalition to defeat George W. Bush. But time is running out. We can win only if we are united.

 

The betrayal by AFSCME http://edition.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/02/16/column.shields.opinion.labor/

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, February 23, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here's an interesting column by Mark Shields that casts AFSCME president Gerald W. McEntee in a very unflatterring light for his abandonment of Dean. Even other labor leaders who didn't back Dean were appalled:

Do not think that McEntee's cut and run behavior is in any way typical of American labor. It is not. "Loyalty is everything," in the judgment of Leo Gerard, president of the Steelworkers Union, who refused to comment on McEntee's Britney Spears-like embrace of Dean.

"Loyalty is the cornerstone and foundation of what this movement is about. Not to be loyal to a man like (Rep.) Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) who has been working families' most loyal champion is just unacceptable," says Gerard, whose union not only endorsed Gephardt, but when his campaign hit a rough patch in early January, it actually redoubled its efforts.
[...]
One Teamster official (not Hoffa) could barely contain his rage at McEntee's abandonment of Dean, whose criminal offense was not some flip-flop on collective bargaining, but rather finishing third in Iowa and second in New Hampshire and going directly to Wisconsin: "It goes against everything we stand for - -your word is your bond. I don't know how (McEntee) can justify what he did. It's a terrible precedent."

Gephardt was not the only candidate who inspired loyal support from a union .In November and December, when John Kerry's campaign was faltering and Kerry was mocked by many in the press as "Dead Man Walking," the firefighters union, especially in New Hampshire, and its national leader, President Harold Schaitberger, never flagged and never flinched in their support of the Massachusetts senator.
[...]
Duane Worth, the president of the Airline Pilots Union, was an indefatigable Gephardt backer. "Loyalty is absolutely the core of who we are, and it's a two-way street: What is the message to the elected officeholder who risks his own political neck fighting for us and then we drop him for the flavor of the month?"


McEntee is the outlier - he is not representative of the loyalty that the vast majority of labor organizations have for their candidates. Loyalty is what unions are built upon. And McEntee's wannabe-kingmaking have almost single-handedly undercut that honorable tradition in the eyes of the public.

 

Trippi on delegates for Dean http://changeforamerica.com/blog/archives/000060.html

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, February 23, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This weekend, a number of staffers from the Dean campaign visited Trippi's farm and discussed issues along with backbreaking labor (ATTN Joe Rospars: we want a photo of you hauling axe!). The fruit of that labor has yet to be revealed at Change For America blog, but Trippi did have a few words about the delegate campaign for Dean:

To elect a delegate in any Democratic nominating contest Howard Dean must receive 15% of the vote. This is called "threshold" -- failure to make the 15% threshold means that not one delegate will be elected from that Congressional District or State.

I have to say this -- My own guess is that without an active candidate, campaigning in a state -- Howard Dean will likely receive between 3% and 8% of the vote. So it is likely that those launching delegate campaigns for the Governor will have little or no chance of electing delegates. People who want to do this -- should do this -- but they need to understand the political reality and the odds against electing a single delegate (except of course for Vermont where the Governor should easily exceed threshold and has a very good chance of electing delegates).

And since there are some who may misconstrue my meaning. I am not speaking out against a delegate campaign. I just believe that someone has to state to the grassroots the realistic outcome of such an effort so that no one is disapponted or discouraged when the effort generates few if any delegates.

We have 254 days left to make real change in this country -- we have made change already, but what we all do in the next 254 days can make a huge difference in the near term and for future generations to continue to move the experiment of our democracy and our republic towards the restoration of government of the people, by the people and for the people.


My own feeling is that this does not matter. Voting for Dean is about more than just delegates - it's about the popular vote, about the symbolism of a single voter standing up for what they believe.

Let's face the reality. If Dean, who was better funded than Edwards, has a better grassroots base than Edwards, and placed ahead of Edwards in a majority of the primaries lost to Kerry, yet still could not win the nomination, then how will Edwards do so? Not on the strength of positive media coverage alone (that is a truth I choose to believe. I refuse to entertain the idea that the media can act alone as kingmaker. King-killer, yes, but maker, no).

At this point, Kerry has a lock on the nomination. Kerry will win the Democratic nomination without the support of a single Dean supporter if necessary. We are a minority. But a powerful one! And the best way to make sure that we remain powerful is to act in unison to assert that power.

Despite our best effprts, we may still not garner delegates for Dean. But we will try. And in the trying, we will achieve our goal of informing Kerry that what our movement stood for did not vanish overnight. It transcends Howard Dean.

UPDATE: As has been pointed out in comments here and at ChangeforAmerica, the 15% threshold is by precinct caucus or congressional district, NOT statewide as you might infer from Joe's post. So there's still a real chance to win delegates if we make a concerted effort! But as I pointed out, it's not delegates that matter as much as the simple collective tally of our individual votes themselves.

 

monday morning open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, February 23, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
whats on your mind?

Sunday, February 22, 2004

 

Dean Should Comment on Nader Run http://www.cnn.com

posted by Christopher at Sunday, February 22, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Ralph Nader has announced that he will run as an Independent for President in 2004. After being urged by many to run as an Independent himself, Howard Dean declined noting that his overwhelming priority was to see George W. Bush defeated. Dean speaks to many independent and progressive voters, and a statement from Dean pointing out the obvious disadvantages of a Nader run would not only demonstrate that Dean continues to be relevant in this election cycle, but that everyone must work together to defeat Bush.

As Vermonters can attest, Independent candidacies have destroyed progressive hopes of maintaining gains in our state - our current Governor and Lt. Governor are both Republicans elected by pluralities of 40% (or less) of the vote because third party candidates split the votes on the left. Democrat Doug Racine - himself a good old fashioned liberal Democrat lost his bid for the Governorship, and Peter Shumlin lost the Lt. Governorship both by narrow margins. If the Democrat and Progressive/Independent votes are combined however, those would be overwhelming victories for progress in our state. Instead we have conservative "caretakers" in office (our GOP Lt. Gov. is anti-choice, the first in a long, long time to have that unpopular position and win office). In 2004, the Progressive Mayor of Burlington, Peter Clavelle has merged his candidacy and is bringing the PC (progressive coalition) and D's together by running unopposed as a "fusion candidate" on the Democratic ticket. Together, we should win back the governorship.

A Dean statement repudiating Nader's run and encouraging progressives and independents to work for change from within the party - and at the local level - would go a long way to helping to continue the focus on defeating Bush.

** Finally, on a personal note I happen to believe that third parties can be valuable, but at the local level primarily, and then working up - Burlington has a long, proud tradition of Progressive Coalition control at both the mayoral and city council level and they have done some very good things for the city. And, Bernie Sanders is now the only self-proclaimed socialist Independent in Congress. He started out as Mayor of Burlington, literally winning by a handful of votes. Our cause is not helped by diverting crucial votes at the top. Why not start small at the grassroots (mayors, legislators, congressional seats) and build the base and the movement up, rather than trying to control is top-down? I just cannot understand what Nader's agenda is at this point.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

 

liberate Anna! Meyer for Congress '04 http://images.blogads.com/bajaiqzbippdpn/dean2004/3130154/readmore?r=0&d=http://www.meyer04.us/greetings.jsp?

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, February 21, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I'm proud to run an ad for Morris Meyer's campaign in the 6th Congressional District of Texas. As Anna noted below, Meyer's opponent is Joe Barton, and the 6th is Anna's own district. So liberate Anna by sending some Dean Nation support his way! (and add .04 cents so Meyer knows from whence it came).

 

Election Bubble http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/21/opinion/21BROO.html?hp

posted by Brian Ulrich at Saturday, February 21, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Gee, Mr. Brooks. Did you notice there was a candidate running around earlier who didn't fit this caricature?

Just a bit of snark to show I'm still here.

Friday, February 20, 2004

 

National Dean Visibility Day tomorrow! http://blog.deanforamerica.com/archives/003796.html

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, February 20, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Saturday, February 21

2:00 pm Eastern
1:00 pm Central
12:00 pm Mountain
11:00 am Pacific

Choose a likely location for gathering and get the word out. Show people that we're still out here and still determined to stay in the fight together, Use the get local tools to set up yours!

and don't forget - Dean Meetups still are on schedule next week!

 

Congressional Democrats need our help http://www.meyer04.us

posted by annatopia at Friday, February 20, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Sorry I've been AWOL (hey look, i *do* have something in common with our CinC!) for the past week or so. I've been trying to figure out where I can best focus my energies and keep the spirit of the Dean campaign alive.
There have been several great threads recently about how you plan to do that. Aside from staying involved with whatever entity DFA morphs into, and keeping up with ChangeForAmerica, I plan on pouring my energies into reinvigorating our local democratic party. I've already been approached by two congressional candidates who would like advise on tapping into the decentralised fundraising and support structure created by the the Dean movement. One of these candidates has always been very supportive of what we are trying to do here, while I've vilified the other for they way he treated Dean and the local grassroots base. So how is it that I'm able to put that aside and help him out?
It's quite simple really. Here in Tarrant County (home to Fort Worth) our local democratic party has lost every race they've run for the past two election cycles. There are no democrats currently holding elected office in Tarrant County. And because they keep losing, they keep moving towards the right. Because they keep losing, it's hard to get anyone to run against many of the republican officeholders. This has to change, and it's not going to change if we stick to the old plan that hasn't worked in years.
They keep moving to the right because they are not empowered by the local base of democratic voters. If the base stays home, or if the base doesn't get their backs, the local party has no incentive to act like democrats. Granted, they haven't quite figured out that "me too, Shrub" doesn't work either, but slowly they are beginning to see the light. They see how empowered our national candidates have become and they want to do the same, but the 'roots have yet to provide them with enough incentive or backup. I intend to do that, and so does our local Dean group. We're committed to energising the part, to empowering our candidates (and potential candidates), and becoming a strong force in local politics again. We are tired of losing elections and sending extremists like Joe Barton and Tom Delay to Congress.
I hope that each and every one of you becomes involved in your local party. Empower your candidates and your party, just like the Dean movement empowered us. We know what it takes to create change, so why wait?
Now I'm going to take a moment to plug a few of the candidates I'm going to help out this year. If you have local races you'd like to plug, feel free to leave them in the comments section. I'll try and make a sidebar which lists all the candidates supported by Dean Nation.
First, there is Morris Meyer. Morris is running in US TX 6, which was a district that got gerrymandered thanks to Thug Delay, and it happens to be my home district. I am now "represented" (and I use that term lightly) by the odious Joe Barton. Smoky Joe, as we call him, coddles the polluters in Ennis who are responsible for a majority of our summer smog. Our asthma rate has increased every year, and Joe doesn't care. Morris cares. This is a candidate who walks the walk and talks the talk. He drives a hybrid (yay), is a software engineer, and has an adorable six year old daughter who, Morris says, is the reason he's decided to run. He's a family man in the best sense and he deserves our support.
The other race I'm working on also deals with reclaiming my representation from Tom Delay. My former congressman Martin Frost (warning: lamest website ever and yes that's going to change soon) is running in US TX 32 against Pete Sessions. Pete isn't as bad as Smoky Joe, but he's close.
Both of the Republicans in these races do not support a woman's right to choose, they favor the Bush tax, they oppose pollution controls, support Star Wars, support school vouchers, and they favor amending the constitution to prevent flag burning, gay marriage, and institute mandatory school prayer. If these guys sound like your nightmares, then please join me in helping to defeat them. Especially if you live in a safe democratic state (like CA or NY), please consider lending financial support to progressive candidates in other states. Plug them on the blogs. Send emails to your family and friends. In short, do what you did for the Dean campaign and we'll have a much better shot at taking back our Congress. Because who cares if we elect a Democratic President if we don't send him the backup? Remember, it's all about empowerment. Howard's movement empowered us. The question is, will we empower our candidates and our party? If so, I think that would go a long way towards taking our country back.

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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.