Wednesday :: Nov 26, 2003

Hey Batter Hey Batter, Swing!


by paradox

The Left Coaster is ramping up its Presidential coverage. Paradox has been assigned Dean.

Six days ago a graphic appeared on Blog for America with a call for action from the Dean campaign manager, Joe Trippi. The image has struck real fear into Karl Rove, immense dread through the other Democratic candidates, energized millions of Americans, and given countless others a great deal of hope.

The Bat.

There are a great deal of things going on at Blog for America, but for an outsider trying to understand the phenomena of Howard Dean one must always start with The Bat. It’s just a simple measurement device, really, and although the campaign will tell you it utilizes the All-America imagery of baseball, all Deaniacs know its appeal truly lies in the inherent properties of the bat: a blunt, dangerous instrument to be swung as hard as possible.

When the bat comes out somebody is going to get bludgeoned. It’s that simple. The Dean campaign fights back, its supporters demand that it fight back, and when the bat comes out with a message from Joe Trippi the call is instantly answered to bring in money for the campaign and a specific purpose. Now.

Six days ago the bat came out with a goal of $360,000 to counter the first slimy RNC ad supporting Bush. By the deadline the amount raised was $609,891.

510,842 American have officially registered with the Dean campaign, giving legions of political consultants a mighty puzzle they’ll be desperately trying to solve for 20 years: how did Dean really convince his followers that they could take back America (the official slogan of the campaign so far has been “I want my country back!”) through their very small collective actions?

The are a lot of answers to that question, but for the purpose of this post it’s only necessary to know that Dean has pulled that trick off. Deaniacs fervently believe they’re part of a collective enterprise of small people that can be very powerful, so they just go out and do it.

Dean has shattered all Democratic records for raising funds, with an approximate haul at this point standing at $25 million. Almost all of it is in very small donations—fat cats with $2,000 donations are looked askance by Deaniacs, for this campaign is for the people, by the people. Rich Americans looking to buy influence over the needs of average Americans are not encouraged to apply.

There are a lot of reasons Dean has been such a raging success, but certainly one of the linchpins to his blazing trail is this ability to raise huge amounts of cash (for a Democrat) that leaves him beholden to no special interest except all the little people who support him.

That obligation to the little people—not rich corporations skewing the system just for them—is an incredibly powerful factor when trying to assess the rise of Dean. There’s an enormous amount of resentment by average Americans to what they see as the rank buying of America by corporate interests, and the bat is enormously popular not only for its ability to hit back at political opponents, but corporate ones as well.

paradox :: 5:36 AM :: Comments (25) :: Digg It!