Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Counterpoint: Rahm, You Ignorant Slut...

Proving I'm a Democrat, I'm airing a semi-counterpoint to my last post.

I'm clearly on the side of Democratic National Committee (i.e., the Democratic Party itself) chair Howard Dean, the party-builder who stays out of primary endorsements because he knows that a spirited primary energizes party voters and informs the general electorate, over Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (i.e., the "protect the incumbent Dems and increase their margin") chair who's been tasked, with backing from the Democratic Leadership Council (another "not the Party" group formerly headed by Joe Lieberman) and Hillary Clinton, with triangulating a narrow House victory in November.

Not that I'm against a narrow House victory: as I've stolen from someone on Air America before (DNR who), the only thing better than John Conyers is John Conyers with subpoena power. But in the long run, given the American people's positions on the issues when they're presented neutrally, Dems should have a permanent majority in both Houses and should elect the next fifteen Presidents, and the only thing holding us back, IMNSHO, are the triangulators who keep aiming for a seat here and a seat there instead of adhering to a coherent, intellectually honest, ideologically consistent (not rigid) platform that would, over time, demonstrate to voters that we actually stand for something, and -- surprise, surprise -- that it's the same thing they stand for. So, yeah, win elections narrowly if that's the best that we can do, especially in the Age of Bush -- but that, as "Seven Habits" author Stephen Covey would put it, merely the urgent; the important thing, and the thing we need to salvage all possible resources for, is to really reclaim and build the Democratic Party as a bastion of populist progressivism.

Anyway, in my last post, I laughed at Rahm Emanuel. But for some balance, here's a decent read from E.J. Dionne, who talks about "the polemics over the past few months between Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the leader of the party's campaign committee for this fall's House elections." Anyone struggling to sort out DLC from DNC from DCCC etc., and why I care so much about the distinctions, should read this. Dionne continues:

Emanuel has expressed frustration over how much DNC money Dean has spent in his effort to create strong party organizations in all 50 states -- money that congressional Democrats believe should be saved for this fall's key contests.

Dean argues, correctly, that Democrats will not be truly competitive if they are strong in only 18 or 20 "blue" states. Emanuel argues, also correctly, that this year offers Democrats their best chance in 12 at winning one or both houses of Congress. The party, he says, can't afford to fritter money away on long-term dreams.

There are many underlying issues here, including whether Dean's spending will actually be effective in achieving his goal and whether the national party is demanding enough accountability for the money it is sending the states. Dean defenders, in turn, note that he has directed more money to states with competitive races this year, and that Dean needs to worry about governorships and state legislative contests, not just Congress.

But Dean and Emanuel are both struggling against the same overlapping realities: Democrats have chronically underinvested in building state parties....

Rest of the article here.

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7 comments:

lucretia said...

Clearly, Dean is pursuing the only course that can sav e the Dem Pty from extinction by the 50- state work he's engaged in. But, that doesn't mean he's not working at the same time to support the Party with money now, and more importantly in 2008. The DLC has taken over the DCCC/DSCC, and Rahm represents this group. The only thing Rahm and his sect can see is winning with BIG BIG ADS, which cost and the Repubs. can pay the price.

This sick attitude takes away every vestige of principle
the party stands on, of using creative ways to reach the people. After all Dean did it in 2003 primaries without corporate backing. Corrupt people like Rahm will never forgive him for that. The DLC Dems along with the GOP sabotaged Dean in Iowa.

Thersites D. Scott said...

Lucretia: It's like the old game, "Moon Shot". If you don't spend the money in the states, you'll make short-term gains at best; our country needs more than a temporary or partial Dem majority. But if you don't spend more on targeted races, you risk never gaining the power you need to have to make big donors want to give you money. So the balance is touchy, but I think Dean's aware of the balance and is doing is correctly; Emanuel is just like a big corporation, looking only at next quarter's profits instead of the long-term balance sheet.

So what do you think about the rumor that Emanuel might challenge Pelosi for House Leader if we take it back?

lucretia said...

I agree Theresites 2 with your comments that Dean strikes the right balance. Rahm is certainly a sterotypical brained-robot: "it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, because they don't, so buy them with ads, more and more ads, bubble, bubble.....
Re. Pelosi vs. Rahm--I read in US News or Newsweek though there's rumors of Rahm unsettling her speakership, it's not likely because "Pelosi is a money machine". She's terrific at fundraising for years now long before being in the House. The mag said close to an election, she does it "the old fashioned way" working 19 hour days to raise huge sums for senators and reps.

I think she garners a lot of respect because she's kept the House Dems together during the Bush years. Stony Hoyer,her WHIP, is anything but loyal to her as a progressive since he's vichy I read, and good I bet in burying the hatchet, that is, in someone's back. But Nancy's a faster thinker than he is, and for what it is worth and I think a lot, she's an ethical person. She's strong and she's clever. I have not agreed with all her statements, but she has to play politics giving the public what it thinks it wants and the Dem Caucus what it thinks it wants to stay strong in the game. She's an honest person though, something Rahm and the rest, except for Dean, have long since forgotten about, and that includes Obama and dearest Hillary.

lucretia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lucretia said...

I agree Theresites 2 with your comments that Dean strikes the right balance. Rahm is certainly a sterotypical brained-robot: "it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, because they don't, so buy them with ads, more and more ads, bubble, bubble.....
Re. Pelosi vs. Rahm--I read in US News or Newsweek though there's rumors of Rahm unsettling her speakership, it's not likely because "Pelosi is a money machine". She's terrific at fundraising for years now long before being in the House. The mag said close to an election, she does it "the old fashioned way" working 19 hour days to raise huge sums for senators and reps.

I think she garners a lot of respect because she's kept the House Dems together during the Bush years. Stony Hoyer,her WHIP, is anything but loyal to her as a progressive since he's vichy I read, and good I bet in burying the hatchet, that is, in someone's back. But Nancy's a faster thinker than he is, and for what it is worth and I think a lot, she's an ethical person. She's strong and she's clever. I have not agreed with all her statements, but she has to play politics giving the public what it thinks it wants and the Dem Caucus what it thinks it wants to stay strong in the game. She's an honest person though, something Rahm and the rest, except for Dean, have long since forgotten about, and that includes Obama and dearest Hillary.

lucretia said...

I agree Theresites 2 with your comments that Dean strikes the right balance. Rahm is certainly a sterotypical brained-robot: "it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, because they don't, so buy them with ads, more and more ads, bubble, bubble.....
Re. Pelosi vs. Rahm--I read in US News or Newsweek though there's rumors of Rahm unsettling her speakership, it's not likely because "Pelosi is a money machine". She's terrific at fundraising for years now long before being in the House. The mag said close to an election, she does it "the old fashioned way" working 19 hour days to raise huge sums for senators and reps.

I think she garners a lot of respect because she's kept the House Dems together during the Bush years. Stony Hoyer,her WHIP, is anything but loyal to her as a progressive since he's vichy I read, and good I bet in burying the hatchet, that is, in someone's back. But Nancy's a faster thinker than he is, and for what it is worth and I think a lot, she's an ethical person. She's strong and she's clever. I have not agreed with all her statements, but she has to play politics giving the public what it thinks it wants and the Dem Caucus what it thinks it wants to stay strong in the game. She's an honest person though, something Rahm and the rest, except for Dean, have long since forgotten about, and that includes Obama and dearest Hillary.

lucretia said...

I agree Theresites 2 with your comments that Dean strikes the right balance. Rahm is certainly a sterotypical brained-robot: "it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, because they don't, so buy them with ads, more and more ads, bubble, bubble.....
Re. Pelosi vs. Rahm--I read in US News or Newsweek though there's rumors of Rahm unsettling her speakership, it's not likely because "Pelosi is a money machine". She's terrific at fundraising for years now long before being in the House. The mag said close to an election, she does it "the old fashioned way" working 19 hour days to raise huge sums for senators and reps.

I think she garners a lot of respect because she's kept the House Dems together during the Bush years. Stony Hoyer,her WHIP, is anything but loyal to her as a progressive since he's vichy I read, and good I bet in burying the hatchet, that is, in someone's back. But Nancy's a faster thinker than he is, and for what it is worth and I think a lot, she's an ethical person. She's strong and she's clever. I have not agreed with all her statements, but she has to play politics giving the public what it thinks it wants and the Dem Caucus what it thinks it wants to stay strong in the game. She's an honest person though, something Rahm and the rest, except for Dean, have long since forgotten about, and that includes Obama and dearest Hillary.