I aggree with you 100% There are people who are jumping on the bus who have never been invovled or ever motivated to do any political work, as I noticed here in El Paso and as well in Iowa (talked and listened to a few over the weekend). If the excitment keeps going, this could turn into something we havn't seen in a long while. We the Dean supporters need to make sure we dont lose the fire by spreading his message or getting new people at meetups
All we need now is for him to smile better :O)
Thank you for pointing out the economic reality, Andrew.
I am working hard on a model to predict the next election which leans heavily on econometrics.
Right now the Conference Board and the CBO both project real GDP growth in the next year to be about 4 percent, which would be much better than his father's figures in 1992. My guess is that real disposable income will also jump about 4 percent (although that has a lot to do with tax cuts and little to do with growth).
Although the Conference Board pegs unemployment at 5.9 percent by late next summer (when people really make up their minds). My gut is it will be a hair worse, probably at about 6.1 percent. In either case, the weakness is jobs, jobs, jobs.
Unemployment aside, though, these numbers are fairly respectable and will be hard to spin as an outright disaster. Which leaves the three biggest issues next year to be the deficit (still ballooning), health care, and the war in Iraq.
I generally tend to think Dean is one of the more credible messengers on all of those issues.
dream on ...
Bush will be re-elected easily next year, the GOP will gain at least 3 seats in the Senate and at least 5 seats in the House.
A bit of constructive criticism here ... granted we're riding different horses in this race, but there seems to be an overabundance of cliches in this post, not to mention more than a few overreaching comments:
- "Right now the GOP is at its strongest and the Democratic Party at its weakest since the McKinley era" - I'm not sure I'd call it this way since we're three years removed from a 50-50 election (albeit one with a poor strategy of narrowing the Party's appeal), a Senate that (for now, at least) is 51-49, and a Congress that I believe went 53-47% for the GOP in the popular vote. That's not exactly landslide numbers. Redistricting makes taking back the House a near impossibility to consider until after the 2010 census and/or a GOP mistake of monumental proportions (ie - Watergate). The retirement of several southern Democratic Senators will essentially ensure the GOP picks up at least 2-3 seats in 2004. But that still is not the absolute worst the party (or any party) can do. The McKinley comparison is off on that count.
- "If employment takes a big jump (he almost certainly won't erase all the job losses, but a few quarters of stunning growth in the GDP and job market will make that point moot) and Iraq and Afghanistan are going swimingly by the time November 2, 2004 rolls around, no Democrat can beat him probably. If, on the other hand, we continue on our current course (as I suspect we will) a candidate that can run the right kind of campaign with the right kind of message can have a real shot against him." - Is this not contradictory, or at least incredibly vague? For starters, the economy is rebounding. Jobs have yet to show up as a component of that, but I don't think either of us is hoping that the trend continues. Where this statement loses me is that you say, on the one hand: "there's no way we can beat him" (admittedly with the qualifier of a "probably") and then turn around and say "but if we run the right kind of campaign, we can." The assumption, of course, is that Dean is running that "right kind of campaign." More on that later.
- "Thats why we must be guerilla warriors- striking the mighty where they are weak and feeding off of and fanning popular discontent. We must develop a sort of political Judo- using our opponent's strength against him. Howard Dean is the man for the job." - This is where my vagueness alarm goes off. Furthermore, we've committed the cardinal sin of oppo research - overstating our strengths and understating our weaknesses. If, by "popular dissent" you refer simply to poll numbers that cast a sceptical eye on the present Administration, beware of the following: Bush is not, as you later perceive him to be, "a dumb cowboy." He gained ground on Dole's 1996 results by showing a trustworthiness that, whether we think is genuine or not, is his moneymaker. Even in bad times, voters can be forgiving of the candidate they trust and they will not simply go to "Anyone But Bush" at the end of the election cycle. When it comes to feeding off of that, there's little to feast on. Now, if you refer to the popular discontent to be something closer to the strain of "Bush hatred" that exists among some, don't be surprised to see the results in November to be very disappointing. Simply stated, there's not a vast swathe of the Heartland that despises Bush/Ashcroft/Rumsfeld the way a true Deaniac might. Fan it all you wish, but the flames will not keep the Democratic Party warm for the next four years in the wilderness.
- "Dean has nearly 450,000 online supporters" - Wrong. Dean has 450,000 email addresses. Relying on the math provided by Trippi & Co will open the Party up to disaster. Like anyone with a quality webhost, I have an unlimited amount of email accounts I can set up. I can jack any candidate's totals up to astronomical proportions if I so desired. One point I will cede that relates to this is the money that Dean has raised. It is, without a doubt, the only scoreboard showing results for candidates at this point and it will likely favor Dean to a greater degree after this quarter ends at midnight. I'll not dispute the energy, enthusiasm, and willingness of donors to chip in the $20-50 contributions that this party has sorely needed to find a way to locate for the last 30+ years. While it bodes well for Dean in the primaries, it's critical to realize how truly small Dean's numbers are compared to Bush's.
- "Dean has convinced 150,000 people to put their hard earned money towards getting him elected president. That is unprecedented in modern history and is the kind of fundraising operation that is going to beat Bush's pioneers and rangers and his $200 million." - Where are you getting the "unprecedented in modern history" part? Last I read, Bush still has about 2-2.5 times the number of contributors Dean has. Be very wary of setting yourself up for false hope.
- "Finally, Dean will win the Democratic nomination." - Um, why not just label this one biased prediction? I recall thinking my Houston Astros had a pretty good shot at the Division title back in Spring Training. The last week has been a harsh dose of reality, however.
- "Howard Dean adopted his signature tagline "I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" from Sen. Wellstone and it seems he's adopted his vision and organization from the late professor as well. I believe in that kind of America and no other person running now, or ever in the last 35 years has fought for that like Howard Dean has. The less we worry about electability and the more we worry about who has the best plan for making America the country we all know deep down inside that it can be the clearer it becomes- Howard Dean is the man for America."
Where to begin? Whenever I read someone pimping Dean with sentences like "The less we worry about electability," the more I realize what the true endgame is. Similarly, the "Dean isn't really a liberal" schtick doesn't fly when the people who make that argument are, in fact, diehard liberals (not to mention the two emails I get last weekend from Rob Reiner & Martin Sheen of all people!). Credibility has a way of flying out the window quickly when this tactic is adopted and hardly qualifies as playing politica "judo." It's deceptive trade practice. I'll be all ears for the first person who can explain to me that American voters will overlook civil unions as a big deal to them or that Dean's NRA-friendly past will compensate for this somehow. That Dean has "the best plan" is likewise not spelled out here. Its stated as fact for us to leave or take.
This is, in essence, a trip back to 1992. Recall that Tom Harkins spoke much like Howard Dean. His was very much a red meat offering and the policy parallels between the two are no doubt very even. The question in 1992, as it is today ... is do you want to win, or do you just want to land punches while going down. In 1992, there was no way a protectionist Senator was going to win despite how populist he was able to sound. Now we're at 2003 and Dean makes much the same sales pitch, complete with protectionism. Dean's foreign policy has centered mostly on doing the opposite of whatever it is that Bush will do. It won't take $200 million to keep Howard Dean out of 1600 Penn. All it will take is a small running of Dean's on-air quote that he "supposed" it was a bad thing that Hussein was gone played against an Iraqi exile narrating the terrors that existed in Iraq for its citizens. That quote is his ride in the tank. "Civil Unions" is his Dukakis Death Penalty stance.
The 2002 elections showed two things: what the lack of a coherent and meaningful foreign policy will do to a party when foreign policy is the biggest issue of the day, and that the GOP can play the GOTV game better than the Democratic Party. The Dean campaign does nothing to address either of these. The Nancy Reagan approach to foreign policy of "just say no" will be a hard sell to voters who realize that there are perils abroad that must be confronted. There is a very real dissatisfaction with the Bush approach thus far, but voters won't simply turn elsewhere ... the two approaches will be weighed against one another. Howard Dean's first question in the foreign policy debate with Bush will be why he supports giving greater control of foreign policy to the French and Germans ... to date, he's had a difficult time stating a policy that says little more than just that. Likewise, relying on the volunteers that have thus far been reported at the Meetups will be one more step towards folly. Tell me how Howard Dean will play in the swing precincts of Harris County, if not in the GOP-rich suburbs. That is where the party is being shut out right now and the margin is being lost. Getting our base out is nice ... but if that's all there is, then brace yourself for a 65-35 showing on Election Night.
The parallels to reading this remind me of hearing the Bush administration describe what a cakewalk Iraq was going to be. So I would ask if you're not committing the same sin here and challenge you to make a more detailed case for why Dean's plan is better, more fiscally sound, more reasonable and/or has the ability to connect with voters that care about the issue described.Posted by Greg Wythe at September 30, 2003 12:26 PM