My friend, Carl Skutsch, sent me the wonderfully funny, happy, and poignant photograph that he took to the left. I was so giddy when I opened my email and saw the photograph. The last six years have been utter hell (and if you count the Clinton impeachment fiasco, the last 8 years), made moreso by an obviously partisan President and hoodlum Republican Party.
It's been a nightmare from the right, but it's been a nightmare from the left sometimes as well. In fact, I was so fed up with the Democratic Party after Bill Clinton (who I love dearly, even when I want to slap him upside the head), that I ended up voting for Ralph Nader over Al Gore. I was safely enconsed in New York State, so I figured I was safe voting for a third party.
I wish Al Gore were President. My bad.
The last six years have been particularly hard, mostly because I never had trust in President Bush to rule in a way that would be wise before 9/11, and he proved me right in the horrific aftermath of 9/11. Unfortunately, I had lost faith in the Democratic Party as well, but I looked to them some how and in some way, to act as a lever against the craziness of Bush and his Republican Party.
It's not easy to be a Democrat in America sometimes. I believe in their platform of government for the people, benevolent government that helps the people without being too much involved in their personal lives. That means healthcare, jobs, a sane foreign policy. Unfortunately, there's always a pull between the left of the Party and the right of the Party, but it's a damn big Democratic tent, and the only way you move forward is to listen to both realms of the spectrum, attempt to get along and attempt to work out problems for the good of the People. Then, you go to the Republicans and ask them what they think. Unfortunately, you've got to listen to them to, even if they were really bad at that in the last few years themselves.
So, it was a shock yesterday, after receiving Carl's photograph, to have to read a story about bonehead, James Carville, making a play for the head of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean.
Dean, hailing from Vermont as he does, represents the more progressive side of the Democratic Party. It was Dean's idea to begin a 50-State Strategy, a brilliant plan to actually start talking with people in States that Democrats have thought were lost to their influence, the Red States of the Northwest, Southwest, and the South. The strategy, to put it in a nutshell, actually worked. Go figure!
Carville is a political shill for Hillary Clinton's presidential run and mainstream Democratism. (Clinton is my Senator, and I voted for her.) So, since Dean isn't running for President in 2008 and doesn't necessarily represent the mainstream of the Democratic Party, but rather the ENTIRE Democratic Party with a focus on the progressive side of the Party, Carville decided to fire the opening gambit in an attempt to displace Dean as the Chairman of the DNC. Carville floated the idea of running the losing candidate in the Tennessee Senatorial race of last week, Harold Ford. Why? Well, allegedly, Dean didn't bring in enough money and didn't readily genuflect to the DCCC or the DSCC. Ford is a center-right candidate that would probably sit well with that good old Mainstream of America, the MoA. It's whispered that Ford would help Hillary more in her MoA run that Dean would.
I don't know if Dean didn't bring in a record amount of money, or bested the Republican National Committee machine (numbers make my head swim, and there's a lot of spin in regards to this), but one thing I do know, whatever Dean did, or whatever Chuck Schumer (head of the DSCC) did or whatever Rahm Emmanuel (head of the DCCC) did, WE won. Together.
Dean rewired and reconnected the network of the Democratic Party with the actual people, while Chuck and Rahm helped bring home the bacon. Finally, the Democratic bigwigs in Washington were able to actually talk with their constituents in States that the Party left behind (because, let's face, we in the Northwest tend to make fun of everyone else), and lit a fire in their hearts. Ford may be able to that too, but frankly, he's so far to the right, you might as call him a Republican.
Carville has been getting on my nerves for a good while now. I think Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire kinda brought the whole thing home to me. Yea, Carville wasn't the interviewee that day (Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson were), but still, remove Begala and replace him with his co-host Carville, and my head would still explode.
It took barely 24 hours after the Democrats won the Senate for Carville to begin the power play. The glow was still glowing, the feelings of happiness were still happy, and for the first time in months, the Democratic Party felt like a Party again. And then, BAM, like some sucker punch to the head, Carville comes out and starts the "divide the party" tactics immediately. Can't we let the Republicans do that for us again? It would feel much better.
I've got a piece of advice for my Party: if they want me to still be part of the Party (which may be somewhat doubtful on both their part and mine), then they need to shut the fuck up about removing Dean as head of the DNC. Carville needs to take a step back, just like his wife, Marlene Matalin (his counterpart mouth for the Republican Party) and realize that both of them have lost their power because 1) the Democrats have found their power in the people and 2) the Republicans have lost their power to currently rule.
Chuck Schumer, on Real Time with Bill Maher last night, congratulated Dean on his work. Joe Conanson in Salon wrote, "Rebuilding the Democratic Party in every state is as much a matter of pragmatism as principle. There would have been much less for the Democrats to celebrate on Election Night if Howard Dean hadn't been so "crazy" -- and so persistent."
So, for the record, Mr. Carville, keep your opinions and your candidates for a job you can't wrestle control of to yourself, because no one really gives a crap what you think right now.
I love you, Democratic Party, now shut up and change. Consider yourself thumped.