carville v. dean

I’m still not completely convinced that the recent sweep by the Democrats had more to do with the actions of Howard Dean than it did with the uncharacteristically poor performance of the Republican propaganda-n-fear machine, but I’m certain of one thing. It didn’t have anything to do with James Carville, Hillary Clinton or any of the old school, pro-war Democrats of their ilk. With that in mind, I’m passing along this letter from Keith Orr of Ann Arbor’s Aut Bar:

Howard Dean took over as chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) with the promise to help democrats win. He gave up his own political ambitions, vowing to wage a 50-state campaign. He vigorously undertook that strategy, and the breadth of the victory earlier this month is a testament to his plan. Republicans faltered (with the help of Foley and others) and the American people came to realize the folly of Bush’s war in Iraq. But if that 50-state strategy had not been in place, Democrats would not have been in a position to take advantage of those weaknesses.

Furthermore, the 50-state strategy is part of a longer-term strategy to make sure Democrats can be competitive for years to come. This election cycle is just an added bonus.

And now the same party old-timers that derailed Dean’s presidential bid are trying to deny him credit. James Carville has gone so far as to claim Dean should be fired!

I was getting ready to write Howard Dean a Thank You note for this election when all of the critics started popping up. So I’ve decided to go one better than a thank you note. I’m going to give Howard a vote of confidence the way so many of us did during his Presidential campaign. I’m going to take a swing at the proverbial bat.

As I write this, the next House of Representatives will be divided 232-198 (there are still five undecided or contested seats). That is a democratic margin of 34.

In honor of that magic number of 34, I am donating $34 to the DNC. You can too, simply by clicking here. If you want to give the vote of confidence, but don’t have $34, give whatever makes sense to you.

Unfortunately there is not a spot on the donation form for “Comments”. But if thousands of grassroots folks each give $34 I guarantee you that Howard will feel gratitude, and Carville and the naysayers will get the message that we’re tired of politics as usual. We just won big, and the same old Washington “Insiders” that supported Bush’s war cannot jump in now and claim that this was their victory. This was my victory, your victory, America’s victory, and this was Howard Dean’s victory.

I have set up a page on the DNC’s “personal fundraising” pages. And it even has a bat! You can reach it (here).

Send this along to everyone you know that would like to Thank Howard Dean for helping us in our first steps to taking back our country, and taking back our party!

As for what Carville said specifically, here’s a clip from the “Times Argus” of Vermont:

…Carville, one of the best known strategists in the party, said the Democratic victory in last week’s election could have been greater if Dean had been willing to spend more money in congressional districts where races were close. In addition to 30-odd House seats the Democrats have picked up so far, he said, the party could have won at least 14 more if Dean put more money into the races in the final days.

According to Carville, with the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees having “borrowed to the hilt,” the DNC spent $4 million of a $10 million line of credit in the final weeks of the campaign, but “left the ($6 million) on the table.”

Asked whether Dean should be dumped by the party, Carville replied, “In a word, do I think? Yes.” He added, “I think he should be held accountable … I would describe his leadership as Rumsfeldian in its competence”…

Carville said he has no problem with Dean’s 50-state strategy, which involves rebuilding the party with the paid assistance of local operatives in all states. But “the point of a political party is not to hire people, it is to elect people,” he said.

Carville’s attack on Dean puzzled independent political analysts, but some suggested the one-time chief political adviser to the Clinton administration is trying to regain influence in the party as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York is preparing for a campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination…

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  1. egpenet
    Posted November 20, 2006 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    According to the NYT magazines of a few weeeeeks ago … prior to the election … the one with Dean’s picture on the cover … Carville, Emmanuel, Clinton and other Eastern wanna’be’s were all over Dean’s case for his 50-state strategy. At the time, they wanted more money put into key state elections and NOT spent as even-handedly at Howard planned. And they further questioned his hop-scotching around the country, hitting virtually EVERY state, to set up a state HQ, committee, office, etc. Could they have spent MORE money? Perhaps.

    Carville is just running off at the mouth. Who knew how truly P-O’d the average Republican was at the neo-cons and the spending? And history over the next 18 months may prove the neo-cons were right … but had the wrong administration in place to get the job done.

    Hooray for Howard Dean. Hooray for US, for voting Democratic! God bless the CENTER. God Bless Us All.

  2. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted November 20, 2006 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    “Rumsfeldian” isn’t an adjective that comes to mind when I think of someone who leads his party to victory as Dean has just done. Johnsonesque? Maybe. But not Rumsfeldian. That’s just silly.

    What a great final quote for Carville as he officially moves over to take his place among the completely irrelevant though.

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