Inconsequential thoughts about DNC chair

Not that it matters, but my money would be on Dean for DNC chair. My reasons are several-fold:

1. Dean is never going to run for national office again, unfortunately, but he has a valuable varsity-level perspective on Demcoratic politics that A) should not be wasted and B) didn't really get to shine during the primaries. He really has a very centrist message, but its a centrist message that's about being a really centrist, not a compromising wuss. Look--there's no viable Democratic party existing halfway between the mush we have now and the GOP so get over it. We need to build something new here that has nothing to do with the splitting the difference. That's not something you "figger out one election season", its something that appears after years of work.

2. Democrats did good things in the last election, and it will be a mighty shame to let them slip into oblivion. All of the talk since the election, if not explicitly backbiting, has nonetheless been an exercise in willful memory loss, and an attempt to pretend none of the last year, or any of the people connected with it, ever happened. Why? Because isolating and ostracizing the losers is a natural reaction. But this is the fundamental flaw of Democratic politics: thinking that your bet on the wrong horse means its all the horses fault, and has nothing to do with the 200 pound jockey or the foot deep mud. There's no reason to throw Dean overboard. I'm glad he wasn't the nominee, probably, but he represented many of the lasting lessons of this campaign season, and selectively forgetting those lessons will only end in more treading of water. Let's praise what works for us, what gets us a following and what gets us excited. There can be some middle ground between throwing all our chips in one basket and denying the basket every existed.

3. The rest of these people are same old, same old. Probably a part b to the last reason, but can anyone tell me why we should stand behind a no-name insider when everyone is complaining the Democratic party sucks because it is a cabal of no-name insiders with no connection to the human beings they are trying to mobilize? Let's remember that the vast, vast, majority of the country will never know who the chairman of the Democratic National Committee is, so why worry if your choice has some "baggage" attached? We have to stop making these decisions with the Republican attack machine in mind (don't you remember what they wrote about the screaming thing? we can't give them more bait!!!) and start thinking about what the people who are really interested in the party want to see. Hint: it's not Tim Roemer.

This whole business about handicapping the race is kind of silly of course, as the job is really a glorified schmoozer and sometime cable TV head, but its what we've got right now, so why shouldn't we make a choice that has some excitement and continuity attached to it? Dean is a great speaker, a man with some heft and power attached to him, and is good talking to people. He shows that the Democratic party is serious about leadership and wants to make popular choices. I'm glad Tim Roemer, Simon Rosenberg, and the rest are providing the behind the scenes backbone for the party, and nothing could be more important. But the Dems need to prove they can make leaders right now, and you don't do that by electing a smarter Terry McAuliffe. When people see that, they see some guy in a suit doing his job, but mostly responsible for people much richer than you whom you will never meet. Dean will simply not come off like that because he already has a public persona to draw on. That's the singular face of the Democratic party for the next four years. Let's make it a memorable one.


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