Sunday, February 13, 2005

Charles DeGaulle's Ghost
I was, as you may remember, the first kid on my block to latch onto Howard Dean for president. It was June 2003 when it struck me that this guy was A) right on the war and B) unlikely to take shit from anybody, and at that point, he was my guy. Nine months later, I voted for him in the Wisconsin primary even after his candidacy was finished, because I preferred to go down believing in something and thus lose with my head held high. That he's officially been chosen head of the Democratic National Commimttee is welcome news indeed.

I haven't blogged about this at all, mostly because others have done it better. But I will say this: the chairman's campaign exposed the intellectual--and, arguably, the moral--bankruptcy of the Democratic centrists. That they would consider foisting a collaborator like Martin Frost or a pro-life wimp like Tim Roemer on a party so soundly beaten by the Repugs last November is ludicrous. If they're that ashamed of being Democrats, then they ought to go away and form their own damn party--the name "Vichy Democrats" is available if they'd like to use it. But the unprecedented interest in the race also exposed the fight still remaining in a significant segment of the party--and I'd suggest that if the likes of Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh are begging us to choose Dean, then he's exactly the chairman we should have chosen.

It's interesting to note how many Democrats are praising Dean's suggestion that the party needs to contest all 50 states--some of the same Democrats who criticized him for suggesting that guys with pickup trucks and Confederate flags should be voting Democrat. With the likes of Frost or Roemer, this mostly meant more Jesus from the bully pulpit. With Dean, we stand a better chance of reinvigorating the real values of the Democratic Party instead of running away from them.

A good place for Democrats to start reframing the message is to start pointing out the rampant hypocrisy of conservatives as bluntly as possible and as often as possible. And as loudly as possible. Dean made that very point yesterday, and his best quote is one every Democrat ought to learn and repeat: "I don't want to hear any lectures about Christian values from the Republican Party. They are the Pharisees and the Sadducees." That is, so far, the Quote of the Year for 2005.

Recommended Reading: Seeing the Forest has been absolutely rockin' over the last few days. As posts will be light here again this week, you might want to go there instead. And over at Best of the Blogs, Evelyn Keyes observes that the time is ripe for a Rod Serling revival.

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