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Better Late Than Never

Feb
3
2004

It may be too late. But Andrew Sullivan does the best job of telling Democrats why they should support Howard Dean that I’ve yet to see – even from Dean supporters.
That’s, of course, a measure of just how badly managed this campaign was and continues to be. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that someone who has sat outside the Washington, D.C. media bubble – as a gay, conservative, HIV-positive Brit – has the best take on Dean’s attractions and his potential power.
It’s doubly sad, of course, because the mismanagement of the Dean campaign – particularly its adamant refusal to court a national press corps scared shitless by the Internet’s power to take away its emphemeral but overwhelming influence – has crippled any further attempt Dean might make for any sort of national office.
This is becoming, as John Edwards likes to say, a nation of two Americas. It’s not so much a Populist movement as some have claimed. It’s not about class so much any more – that’s what Edwards thinks. It’s about something far more elusive. It’s a politics of resentment, not in the normal rich v. poor way (although in San Francisco, people are still fighting the good fight, see the entry that follows this). It’s a weariness with bullshit, for lack of a better word; a overwhelming fatigue with being told what to do by people who can’t imagine a world where there are no expense accounts and where $850 shoes aren’t an indulgence, they’re a sin. Where doing what it takes to win means, as Sullivan quotes Dean saying, you’ve already lost. It’s the ennui of combating the assumption that people in power know better, know more than the rest of us, because well, they’re where they are and we aren’t.
The Democratic Party is not helping itself in these changing times; it’s standing there assuming business as usual. And, as Napster showed the record folks, bloggers are showing the newspaper folks and TiVo is showing the TV folks, that’s not a workable long-term strategy.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 12:18 PM | Permalink

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