Showing posts from April, 2004

SEIU from the inside

The link goes to a long narrative by someone who applied to work with the SEIU during the Dean campaign. It's a fascinating look at teh counterculture of the union shops, which does a great job of highlighting how the unions are broken without denying the very real neccessity for their existence. It's a thoughtful read.

Daily Review

A Message from Governor Dean Taking DFA to the Next Level Gore gives $6M left from 2000 campaign to Dems Teachers back Kerry

endorsement: Jennifer Brannan

Jennifer Brannan for President! Rather, for The American Candidate reality television show: AMERICAN CANDIDATE will attempt to identify one individual who has the qualifications and qualities to be President of the United States. This summer, AMERICAN CANDIDATE will debut with 12 contestants from all walks of life. Over the course of 10 weeks, those 12 will face-off against each other in a series of challenges designed to test their presidential mettle and to show viewers what really goes on in the making of a presidential candidate. Week-by-week, the original pool of candidates will be winnowed down. The final episode will be a showdown between the remaining two candidates, and one person will emerge victorious -- the "American Candidate." The winner gets $200,000 and a nationwide media appearance after the show so the "American Candidate" can make his or her address to the nation. I know Jennifer personally and I can vouch for her personification of the

Arlen Specter

Atrios jokingly endorsed Republican Pat Toomey for the Senate, mainly because it's obvious that Democrat Joe Hoeffel will have an easier time running in opposition to a far-rightwing nut than against the moderate incumbent Republican like Arlen Specter. I've stated before that I am a non-Democrat liberal, and this race is a good example of how partisanship bias often works against the same principles that we liberals use as the foundation of our critique of the right wing. Explicitly wishing for the fanatics to win on the other side is a very... Republican ... tactic, because it justifies and perpetuates the increasing trend towards pure partisanship rather than responsible dialouge and debate. The reason that Dean's campaign appealed to me was because it sought - explicitly - to bridge those partisan gulfs. This is not as true of his post-campaign DFA v2.0 organization, sadly. But the longer view remains valid - that by fostering respect and moderation on both sides of

Americans Believe Lies

The biggest problem we have today, and the biggest reason I think Howard Dean lost, is that Americans believe lies. Juan Cole parsed this today in recounting testimony by James Schlessinger to the Senate Foreign Relations committee last week. A new poll shows that as of mid-March, 57% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein had given substantial support to al-Qaeda. Worse, 45% actually say that "clear evidence" has been found in Iraq to support this allegation! As for weapons of mass destruction 45 percent say they believe Saddam had them before the recent war, and 22 percent say that he had a major program for developing them. There is no documentary or physical evidence for any of these assertions. One result of this Cole saw firsthand was Schlessinger forcing Rhode Island Republican Lincoln Chaffee into meek obedience on neocon Iraq policy and on the falsehood that CIA director George Tenet had testified to links between Bin Laden and Hussein. Anothe


Personally, I found the story of Pat Tillman deeply moving but unexceptional. By which I mean, that I think of this man as an Army Ranger, and the fact that he gave up a lucrative football contract incidental to the fact that he sacrificed his life for something he believed in. It's Tillman's ultimate, not his financial sacrifice, that is the issue. We have a nation founded on the ideal of personal liberty. That liberty comes at cost. During World War II, that liberty was truly at risk, because there was a force of arms and might that - had it succeeded in conquering Europe - would have rivaled our own, and plunged us into eternal conflict. The war today is about ideas, but we are not at risk in the same way. People speak of how the Islamists want to enslave us all and force us to convert to Shari'a and wear burkas and whatnot, but this is ultimately a fantasists' dream. There is no mechanism by which those who wage war against us as they did on 9-11 can actuall

descent into the Vague

I've been compulsively checking Change for America's blog since launch, desperate for any hint of something concrete ever since my Open Letter to the group two months ago. The blog has been mostly links roundups and general topics since, but I always felt that there was something brewing back there, something worth waiting for. Oh, frail notions disabused! Yesterday, Joe Drymala posted to the CFA blog, an entry vapidly titled "Unite for Change." Here at Change for America, we're building an organization designed to enact progressive change through grassroots organizing and fundraising -- to fight for those issues that made us all believe in in the progressive movement in the first place. Is it just me, or does this sound like a car commercial? I'm giving up on hoping CFA can bring anything meaningful to the table. I've been giving them the benefit of the doubt, but it's become soberingly clear that CFA has no ideas - and probably never did.

Pat Tillman

How we as a nation deal with the death of former NFL safety Pat Tillman will probably determine who wins this election. Tillman volunteered for Special Forces after 9-11, turning down a $3.6 million contract to serve his country. He was killed while with his brother on patrol in Afghanistan. Announcing his death, an ESPN announcer said Tillman died "weeding out remnants of the Taliban in Afghanistan." There are some terrible lies in that sentence fragment. Tillman wasn't gardening. The Taliban consists of far more than remnants -- they control most of the countryside. Had we finished the job in Afghanistan two years ago, instead of getting distracted by Iraq, Tillman might not have been there this week. But we know what the neocons will do with this. They will use Tillman's death to tie Afghanistan and Iraq together. They will use him as a piece of propaganda. They are already doing that. Some comments from the far-right Little Green Footballs: I wonder

Dean Campaign's Cash

According to the AP, Howard Dean's Presidential campaign made over $600,000 last month. About $200,000 went to his polling firm, $150,000 to Joe Trippi's ad firm, $28,000 to the "Dean Team," and $140,000 to a firm that helps campaigns with financial reports and contributions. Almost $60,000 was returned to contributors.

"I request duty in Vietnam."

Remember how they smeared Howard Dean. Never forget how they smeared Howard Dean. Well, it's Kerry's turn, and regardless of how you feel about the man, there's a duty here that we shall not let this stand. It shall not stand . The right-wing media is making hay of the Boston Globe's assertion (based on Kerry's former CO, who is a registered Republican now) that one of Kerry's three Purple Hearts was for a "minor wound". No word on whether they consider his Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat V to be worthy of derision. The fact that George W. Bush escaped Vietnam by assignment to a Champagne unit at Ellignton field - which he took time off for to run a campaign in Alabama - puts the sudden interest in the details of Kerry's medals by the GOP partisans in a self-mocking light. Despite trottting out the occassional sock puppet , Kerry's military record is an example of true honor, something the President has never really risen t

The Iraq Generation

If you want to know what's happening in Iraq the best source is probably Juan Cole. Cole, a professor at the University of Michigan specializing in South Asia, is a columnist, a "go-to guy" for talk shows when they cover the subject, and a very good blogger. Today I especially want to point you to one paragraph in a recent post, almost a throwaway line. But if it doesn't chill you to the bone, you can't be chilled: One aspect of the bad news at this and another hearing was covered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (i.e. it is on the ball)-- which is the wide agreement that the US is stuck in Iraq militarily for at least 5 years, and can't expect really substantial help from allies. I personally thing it is even worse than that. I have said I think this generation of young Americans will be the Iraq generation. I boldfaced that last because it's so important. If we are stuck in Iraq for a generation, I don't think we can win. I think we&#

Rove: Go, Dean, go.. please

excerpt from Bob Woodward's new book, courtesy of the Washington Post: Previously, Rove had claimed he was salivating that the Democrats would nominate former Vermont governor Howard Dean in the 2004 presidential race. But Dean had imploded and Sen. John F. Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, had won 12 of the first 14 Democratic primary contests and appeared to be headed for the nomination. Politics is a game of recovery, adaptability and optimism. So Rove had a new line. "The good news for us is that Dean is not the nominee," Rove now argued to an associate in his second-floor West Wing office. Dean's unconditional opposition to the Iraq war could have been potent in a face-off with Bush. "One of Dean's strengths, though, was he could say, I'm not part of that crowd down there." But Kerry was very much a part of the Washington crowd, and he had voted in favor of the resolution for war.

what is the Great American concensus?

Generational Storm left a great question in an earlier thread: What are the things we can agree on across the Great Divide? Or rather, what exactly are the shared values of a Great American Concensus? an open thread to think outside the box. And an invitation to others who may have some insights and help define context ...

Bridging the Great Divide

Have you noticed the multi-blog conversation about the future of the Great Divide in American politics? Mark Schmitt wonders whether Kerry will get a honeymoon after inauguration - from the left. Given that continued Republican control of one, possibly both houses of Congress is almost certain after November, Kerry will have to reach across the aisle and try to build moderate bridges in order for progress. Doing so will ensure that he gets vilified from the extremists at the furthest Left. Ezra argues that Kerry would be less beholden to the left than, say Dean (who I've noted made explicit attempts to speak across the Great Divide). Mark proposes a "1/21 Project" for discussing what comes after Inauguration in terms of restoring political dialouge and debate to the public sphere. However, as Matthew notes, there is no representative entity on the Right that can provide the needed, truly conservative counterpoint. Rather, the present-day GOP is an alliance of social t

The remaking of an American conscensus

Time was, that agreement between DailyKos and Tacitus wasn't a noteworthy event. However, their combined praise for the book, Before the Storm by Rick Perlstein is significant for its relevance to the Dean movement. Kos writes: It's a brilliant look at how Goldwater founded the modern conservative movement. The parallels to today are startling, a sort of Dean bizarro world stuck on opposite day -- a Republican Party that was trying to be "Democrat-lite" and an establishment hostile to "outsider" forces. With Goldwater railing against his party's establishment and the special interests that controlled it. Throw in innovative use of tactics and technology (Goldwater pioneered the use of direct mail) and a crushing defeat, and you've got the Dean phenomenon. The big question is whether the Dean movement can survive Dean's demise. The conservative movement not only survived Goldwater, but used his defeat to fuel their current dominance.

How Much Backbone, Dean Nation?

One reason I think we lost the primary was Dr. Dean’s comparing his own “straight talk” campaign with that of his idol, Harry Truman. Truman was an accidental President, rising to power on Franklin Roosevelt’s death in 1945. Truman’s 1948 win over Thomas E. Dewey was a big upset . More important, Truman lost both Congressional elections held under his watch. And in 1952 we got Eisenhower. Fact is, Truman was exhausting, and McCarthyism, a paler form of Stalinist repression, best fit the national mood. In our time we have what I call “religious McCarthyism,” with a zealot in the White House. Would Truman have beaten “Tail Gunner Joe” if Joe McCarthy were the President in 1948? Would Democrats have run him? I strongly doubt it. I don’t know whether we’re running Tom Dewey or Alger Hiss for President. Like Dewey, Kerry’s the experienced hand with the respectable record, the guy who does well in the polls. John Kerry is also everything Hiss was – tall, patrician, connected, and c

weekend open thread: draft Trippi?

Lavoisier1794 in comments posed this interesting question: Democratic congressional candidate Ann Tamlyn has announced she is dropping out of the race for Maryland's 1st Congressional District, citing a serious illness. [...] The Democratic Central Committees for the district's 12 counties will accept applications for Tamlyn's replacement, said Josh White, executive director of the Maryland Democratic Party. Joe Trippi lives in this district. He could instanly raise enough money online to make a credible run against Gilchrest. He doesn't seem to be doing much these days and CFA is a bit overshadowed by DFA v. 2.0. It would still be an uphill battle, but with enough money this seat could be competitive (One analyst predicted a Dem would need $900k to run competively here). [...] Such a campaign could also prove to be a validation of the whole concept on grassroots Would anyone be willing to start a Draft Trippi campaign? Would massive emails to CFA do the tri

Support Martin Frost for TX-CD32

Bill Scher (who will be on Air America Radio tonight) points out another example of Dean's legacy on politics - and Kerry's campaign Earlier this week, the NY Times reported that a major Silicon Valley businessman, a Dem donor, is turning his back on Kerry and the Dems this year. Why? Because the Dem position to minimize the outsourcing of American jobs would hurt his bottom line. What you don't hear right now is the giant sucking sound of Dems kissing this guy's ass. Because Kerry is raising so much money from the grassroots, he doesn't have to kow-tow to this rich guy's concerns. That means the $100 Revolution is working. I am genuinely conflicted about this. The only way to blunt the influence of the special interests is to keep the $100 Revolution alive. But I also feel that there isn't enough transparency - nor influence - over the way the money is spent for me to be as comfortable giving money to an establishment Democrat. I th

Dean Was Right

Mark Shields wrote a great Opinion/Analysis on a few days ago. He notes that last December when Dean said that America was no safer for having captured Saddam Hussein he was widely criticized. As the death toll mounts and we face more heightened alerts - and the called evacuation of American personnel from Saudia Arabia - Dean once again looks prescient and like the only guy out there telling the truth. How come a former Governor from a tiny state can figure this stuff out, but national leaders with whole teams dedicated to foreign and domestic policies cannot seem to grasp it?! Makes you proud to be a Dean supporter. An excerpt: "Time for Apologies" by Mark Shields Do you remember when Saddam Hussein -- who at the time was dividing his time between a hole in the ground and a shed piled with dirty clothes and was obviously not commanding any organized opposition -- was captured last December 14? Former Vermont Governor and then-Democratic presidential ca

Multiple PDBs warned the President

The Washington Post has a must-read piece that reveals the Aug. 6th PDB, which preceded Bush's month-long Crawford vacaction , was just one in a series of warnings . By the time a CIA briefer gave President Bush the Aug. 6, 2001, President's Daily Brief headlined "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US," the president had seen a stream of alarming reports on al Qaeda's intentions. So had Vice President Cheney and Bush's top national security team, according to newly declassified information released yesterday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In April and May 2001, for example, the intelligence community headlined some of those reports "Bin Laden planning multiple operations," "Bin Laden network's plans advancing" and "Bin Laden threats are real." The intelligence included reports of a hostage plot against Americans. It noted that operatives might choose to hijack an aircraft or storm a U.S.

Dean at Dartmouth

Sounds like Dean really left them laughing in New Hampshire today: "If you give me anymore receptions like that, I'm putting my hat back into the ring -- joke! Only kidding!" laughs Howard Dean after being greeted with applause. ...It's Dean's first day of school in his new role; distinguished visiting fellow at Dartmouth... "The stakes for 2004 are enormous because we now have a foreign policy based on false information given to American people, which has resulted in death of 600 brave American soldiers," Dean tells a crowd of about 300. ..."He really does care, it's not like it's just about getting the power, it was really about making the changes he was hoping for," says Dartmouth senior Melana Yanos... Dean says his campaign is about changing the country, not about one race. And he insists he doesn't dwell on the race he lost. "That's all woulda, coulda, shoulda, it's all speculation. Could we have

Bush Speaks, We Listen

And then we comment in this open thread.

The Trippi Thing

The Washington Monthly's pseudo-blog "Tilting at Windmills" (written by founding editor Charles Peters) has an entry on the old Trippi-payment controversy. Joe posted to the CFA blog in his own defense , but Peters argues that the real problem was the conflict of interest, not neccessarily the actual sum. The solution that Peters proposes is not paying consultants a percentage of the media buy, but rather a flat fee, which I think is wise advice. Heaven knows ow muc money Kerry is burning through for precisely the same conflict-of-interest motivations on the part of his media people.

Close races breaking the Democrats' way?

There's a lot of buzz about the Democratic candidates in close races this year. This Boston Globe article talsk extensively about some of the races to watch: Control of the Senate could be critical for the next president. If Democrat John F. Kerry wins but faces a GOP-controlled Congress, it is unlikely he will be able to pass major domestic initiatives. If Bush wins reelection but is hamstrung by a Democratic-controlled Senate, he will have a more difficult time getting his judicial nominations approved. In Oklahoma, Democrat Brad Carson's strong showing in early opinion polls could mean a gain for the Democrats and a new Native American senator. In Colorado's race to replace Republican Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Democrat Ken Salazar, leading in polls, could become the first Latino in the Senate in a quarter-century. Alaska, once a guaranteed Republican stronghold, now appears in play, with incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski -- who replaced her father, Frank,

For Ralph Nader, but Not for President

Dean's op-ed in the New York Times argues the case against Nader's presidential run: Everyone expects this year's presidential election to be decided by razor-thin margins in a few battleground states. Everyone also expects the candidacy of Ralph Nader to make the race between John Kerry and George Bush even closer. As I know from experience, however, voters have a way of proving everyone wrong. [...] But I don't believe that the best way to do justice to Ralph Nader's legacy is to vote for him for president. Re-electing George Bush would undo everything Ralph Nader has worked for through his entire career and, in fact, could lead to the dismantling of many of his accomplishments. Voting for Ralph Nader, or for any third-party candidate for president, means a vote for a candidate who has no realistic shot of winning the White House. To underscore the danger of voting for any third-party candidate in elections this close, a statistic from the 2000 campaign ma

Daily Review

Howard Dean: For Ralph Nader, but Not for President Young activists hope their presence makes a difference in races of '04 I-Pol

Building Dean Nation

Aziz' recent posts (and Sacco's cartoon) point to a malaise in Dean Nation that needs to be addressed. And there's a way we can address it. Rather, there's a way in which you can address it. After all, you have the power . Here's a good way to start. Look around your city, your state, your county. Find a great Deaniac candidate. And talk about them here. Give us your reports. We need you to be the reporters. You're empowered, and that's a good way to use that power. Second, I'd like to hear some ideas for building our traffic as Dean Nation (as opposed to Howard Dean 2004). One idea I've had is that we do a poll on pulling out of Iraq, then fan out among other blogs and encourage people there go come here and vote. And when they do, we need to get their input. Whose campaign do they like? What is turning them on? What are they doing to take our country back? Go from there.

Presidential Daily Briefing open thread

On Aug 6th, Bush received a memo titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside United States." (read it here , PDF) On Aug 7th, Bush went on a month-long vacation in Crawford, and spoke about stem cells and missile defense. How does this make you feel?

Meanwhile in America...

sometimes, political cartoons tell the truth that hurts...

Funding Kerry

I've added a Kerry donation button at the left, but in the interest of disclosure I have decided that I will not be donating money to the Kerry campaign for the immediate future. I see my donations to Dean as an investment that has paid off, in that Kerry's platform has noticeably shifted to incorporate Dean in many ways. Others argue that Kerry has stolen Dean's message - I see it as a successful infiltration of our values and consider the money well-spent. At this stage, however, I am still waiting for Kerry to start making a real case. Until now it's been a largely reactive campaign, and given the Iraq war chaos, numerous scandals, the 9-11 commission and Clarke, and the economic volatility, there has been no shortage of material with which Kerry could construct a narrative that conveys the message of Bush's fundamental incompetence to the vast American middle. Kerry is behind Bush in fund-rasing but is not short of funds by any means - and I don't believ

Dean's legacy

As this article notes, Dean ran for President for three reasons: 1. to change the Democratic Party, 2. to change America, and 3. to change the President. While goal 3 will need to be pursued via proxy, the first two are the direct objectives of Democracy for America. This interesting piece in the Exeter News Letter (NH) gives an example of how the infrastructure that the Dean Phenomenon left in its wake is being put to use: The group is aiming at politicians at all levels. Moyer studied the votes of the eight state representatives and senators for his district and found five of the eight habitually disagreed with him. He cited their recent votes in favor of school vouchers, which would provide public money to families to send their children to private school, as just one area where he differs. Moyer said he is not a hard-line partisan and offered Sen. Carl Robertson as a Republican with whom he often agrees. Proulx has made it his "pet project" to evict Republican s

The Possibility of The Unthinkable

Someone needs the backbone to think the unthinkable. We may actually lose Iraq. The assault on Fallujah seems to have been a turning point in Iraqi public opinion. Former General (and drug czar) Barry McCaffrey was on CNN last week saying we don't have Baghdad, that we don't control our supply lines, and we "have to win" Fallujah. The horror of what is happening came to me, finally, in "A View From A Broad," a diary written by "Ginmar" launched in 2002. When it started, she was much like you or I, as in this entry from December 2, 2002: You know, I never thought I'd be happy it's Monday, but I'm home and I just got some sleep curled up on featherbeds under fat quilts and cats. But she was career military. She was called up. And this week she was in a very long drawn-out ambush somewhere near Baghdad. (She didn't say where -- she's a patriot.) She didn't explain how she got out, but the horror went on-and-on

The Prophet

The press and public are finally waking up to what Howard Dean said in his first major speech. The issue of our time is Iraq. It's not about the War on Terrorism. It's not about 9/11. It's about how the necessary war was hijacked in the name of an unnecessary one. We can shout "Remember the Alamo" all we want. Iraqis may well say, "Remember Fallujah." Republicans can say all they want, "Would you rather have Saddam Hussein in power?" We can now reply, "We would much rather have Bin Laden dead, Al Qaeda destroyed and radical Islam in retreat," knowing the vast majority of our countrymen will nod in agreement. John Kerry has not yet figured out how to use that opening in opinion to "close the deal" and win this election. Here's a suggestion. Just start your acceptance speech with four little words...What I wanna know.

open thread: Iraq

It's been an intense week in Iraq. What are your thoughts?

We Have A Winner (Wish We Didn't)

For Condoleeza Rice, this one's for you. You take responsibility for nothing. You stonewall, you filibuster, you contradict yourself at times...even Rosemary Woods was enough of a stand-up secretary to take the fall for the 18 1/2 minute gap. So this is for you, with our compliments. We'll even give you the recipe... You'll have plenty of time to work on it, certainly after next January. I can't go on anymore. It's too sad to laugh about, really. But if I didn't laugh, I'd cry.

MSNBC poll: did Condi make her case?

go forth...

Dean says Kerry is gay

well, he said that Kerry is pro-Gay, at least compared to Bush. This is so stunningly obvious that I wonder why it needed to be made explicit (unlike the Nader thing, which is equally obvious but seems to be more difficult to grasp). This link is really more an excuse to write the headline above. Though, I have to point out that f you were trrying to convince Log Cabin Republicans (the Pink Elepant Lobby), you could still make a better case for Kerry (having absorbed much of Dean's platform) over Bush based on both Gay Lobby goals and conservative philosophy. Kerry just proposed a spending cap on all federal spending except defense and education, after all...

Elections are not soda

Dean's explicit advice to his supporters not to vote for Nader is rubbing the usual utopians the wrong way. It's not clear to me why the concept of Anybody But Bush is so difficult to understand for the fringe left. The simple factc that elections have consequences seems to escape these types - a far better and more effective protest vote would be to focus on congressional candidates, and use vote-swapping to coordinate the effort in swing counties. The Presidency, however, is too important to risk when the current occupant is incompetent on the order of George Bush. Link above goes to an overwrought analogy of soda at the grocery. Woe is RC.

First New Backbone

The "votes" (or comments) are in. So let's be bi-partisan and give our first "backbone award" of the new Dean Nation to Richard Clarke . He's not someone I would have ever guessed we might honor -- rock-ribbed Republican he is -- but when you know you're going to be hammered and you stand up anyway that's backbone. That's what we all need to do. Obviously an honorable mention here must go to Karen Kwiatkowski , not just because this history buff wanted to link to something by Pete McCloskey (who had the backbone to run against Nixon in the 1972 Republican primaries). I strongly suspect she'll be in public again so we can get one to her. There have been so many jellyroll nominees in the last week's news I'm going to hold this embarrassment of riches who stands out?

Big News: Exley To Kerry

I was frankly ready to give Sen. Kerry's online staff our first Jellyroll as Dean Nation. The way Kos was treated, the ignorance of the blogosphere...we've talked about it enough. Move On . As they say. And Moveon, as in, someone has. Atrios says Kerry has hired Moveon's Zack Exley as his new head of online organizing. From Jellyroll to backbone in one day? Stay tuned...

Daily Review

Howard Dean urges voters not to vote for Ralph Nader Kerry Questions Transfer of Power Plans in Iraq Interview With Howard Dean 3 Radio Shows Tomorrow Howard Dean talks to Sirius OutQ

Who's Got Backbone?

I think it's time for another backbone award. Who's with me? Nominations? Let's not drop it this time. Let's stop being discouraged, and work hard to give this party back the backbone it seems to have lost in the weeks since Kerry won. The only way Democrats will win is with backbone. We know that. But backbones need support. So who gets the first one? And can anyone here volunteer to contribute something we can give AS the award. A backbone plaque or statue. Something memorable. From Dean Nation. Not too expensive, of course...

farewell Zephyr

Zephyr is leaving DFA, and has posted her last farewell message to the o-blog. She will be working with a nonprofit group calling America Coming Together, a voter mobilization drive. I wish her luck and I am glad to know she is out there fighting the good fight :)

unlink Kerry, save Kos

My position on Kos: He said a dumb thing, then apologized. I think he deserves benefit of the doubt given his history. End of story. Kos most vocal critics are unwilling to grant him that benefit, but they do so from the cover of pseudonymity and thus are immune from being held accountable to the same standard. I, for one, welcome the implicit acknowledgement that the Left is held to a higher moral standard than the Right. We may, as a group, fail to meet it, but it speaks well of the expectations. Like Kos himself, I can't fault the Kos advertisers for pulling their ads. Running for office is a complex political calculus, which it is pointless to pretend doesn't exist. As Kos keeps saying, don't punish those who withdraw, reward those who stay - such as Jeff Seeman . For the record, Dean Nation is ready to accept any ad from any candidate. In fact I will make it a policy that Dean Nation will allow free advertising - from Democrats or Republicans alike - who also

Our Opportunity

I read Brian Ulrich's latest (below) on the Daily Kos controversy and I feel very strongly this is the opportunity Dean Nation has been looking for to become relevant again. I'm sorry to call us irrelevant but the fact is since the Good Doctor backed out we've been wondering what our purpose is. (The image, believe it or not, comes from Bangalore .) Now we have one. We exist to guarantee the Democratic Party a backbone. The Right attacked Kos to deny our candidates a link to the blogosphere, and (since Kerry, not Dean, is the nominee) it worked. Because of one comment Kos made in the comments section of his blog, Democrats across-the-board have run for cover . Stephanie Herseth has pulled her blogads, and pulled away from accepting our contributions, in fear of a phony scandal that she runs a "secret Web page" where "far Left organizations" are funneling contributions to her. Martin Frost has pulled his Web ads. The Kerry campaign ha

Blog Battles

I've been reluctant to post on this, because not being a political professional, I'm not sure how to handle it without getting into the "line of fire" so to speak. But let's review. Kos, a centerpiece of the Democratic netroots, said something stupid, and something with which I strongly disagree. He is offering explanations rather than the apology that seems to be called for. (Of course, his life has involved a lot more than mine has, so who knows what kind of legitimate emotional issues that leaves involving different types of military personnel.) As a result, many on the right are waging a campaign to get campaigns to pull their ads from Daily Kos and stop accepting donations from his readers . From his readers, you say? Yes, from his readers. And the reason for that, I suspect, is very simple. They fear the Democrats' Internet fund-raising. They know Daily Kos is more than a personal site. They know it is the de facto center of on-line

Dean at Dartmouth this Summer

Since it's a short piece and the Providence Journal is by subscription only, here it is: HANOVER, N.H. (AP) - Dartmouth College will see a lot of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean this summer. Dean will be a "distinguished visiting fellow" at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center. He'll give a speech there in two weeks and another after the November elections. The former frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination also will spend six days on campus during the summer, meeting with students and perhaps spending some time writing, according to Linda Fowler, director of the Rockefeller Center. She said Dartmouth is interested in having Dean talk about the Democracy for America organization he formed to encourage more participation in politics. "We saw him plenty as a candidate but we are interested in this larger social and political phenomenon and its implications for political participation in the future," she said. *********** Lucky

open thread

where relevance is relative.

Dean on Majority Report tomorrow evening

The Majority Report airs from 8pm-11pm EST on Air America radio. According to host Janeane Garafalo, Dean will join them on the air tomorrow night. The link above goes to the shiny new Air America website, which has literally transformed in the past twenty four hours. I hope you've been tuning in. I've been thoroughly enjoying it, and I'm sure that as the bugs are worked out, AA will become a great station. Majority Report is pretty hip. They've set up a blog and have promised to find a way to integrate the blog taffic into the on-air show. And according to the people hosting the Majority Report blog, the early ratings for Air America have literally broken records: It's Brian from I Stand For, we're doing the AAR website. We're so sorry things have been buggy, nobody could have anticipated the response we have received. We've broken records people... We are Real Audio's #1 stream. We were at 50,000 streams during Al's show around 2

Phil Hendrie for Air America

The new liberal talk radio network, Air America , needs to recruit Phil Hendrie . If you haven't heard of Hendrie, you need to hear him now. He's a moderate liberal with possibly the most hysterical, original, and innovative show on all of radio. I don't want to apoil the surprise for you - so just head over to his website and listen to this week's free selection ("The Jesus Clone").

So What Happens Now

Sorry I've been away. I've gone back to my career as a tech analyst. I'll never make a living in politics. But I wanted to return for a moment and suggest something that the Democracy in America site is ignoring. Howard Dean is no longer running. I wish he were. He'd have a much better chance against Bush than John Kerry does. But Kerry beat the bloggers, he beat the grassroots, he's the nominee, and that's it. So what happens now? What happens now, according to Howard Dean, is we in the grassroots start running for stuff. What happens now is that we elect councilmembers, mayors, legislators, Congress critters. What upsets me today is that the "regular Democratic blogs" like Daily Kos Atrios , Hoffmania et al (go to the blogrolls of these find products for names and links) are doing a much better job of this than DFA. And they're making money at it. They're doing it with Blogads, linked to the sites of specific candid