The Dean-Rosenberg Debate: A Reply
First off, I'd like to thank the commentators to yesterday's post, as well as Steve's insightful reply. If we had these types of exchanges throughout the past several years, perhaps the Democrats wouldn't be in the sorry shape that they presently find themselves. Alas.
Anyway, let me articulate more precisely the point I was trying to get across yesterday. Presently, we have a number of snakes within our midst--some of them in Congress, others in public policy groups closely affiliated with the Democratic party, some in the state party organizations, and some on K Street (such as a certain ex-governor-turned lobbyist who mounted a quixotic campaign for DNC chair last month). The reason why I call them "snakes" is because they don't always have the party's best interests in mind, whether it's due to their ideology, or simply because their primary goal is lining their pockets. During the last four years, these snakes have bitten the Democratic Party (if I may continued the tortured analogy) a number of times, whether it's the tax cuts, the Medicare prescription debacle, or supporting the Iraq war.
Since November 2nd, the snakes have been on their best behavior for the most part. However, I have doubts about Dean's ability to keep these folks in line, given the seemingly visceral disgust they have towards him. Here's the key to my argument, which I perhaps didn't make clear in yesterday's post. I really don't care about whether Dean is able to win these people over, as many of you assumed. Rather, my concern is that these elements both within the party and outside it have the potential to cause mischief, as we've seen during the past four years.
Now, the general consensus both here and on other blogs appears to be "to hell with them!" After all, these insiders have been nothing but a hindrance for several years, and stand in the way of genuine reform of the party. Although I'm favorable toward this widely-shared sentiment, telling the status quo elements within the party to piss off is a dangerous gambit, given the precarious political position we find ourselves in.
I'm much more comfortable with Simon Rosenberg pursuing these needed reforms over the next few years than I am with Dean. Indeed, my primary concern is that these snakes within our midst will use their antipathy towards Dean as a pretext for reverting to their slithery ways. With Rosenberg as DNC chair, I'm more confident that this will not occur, although it is of course a possibility. Anyway, my main point is that, however much disgust we may feel towards the status quo Democrats, certain elements are both able and willing to stab us in the back for their own selfish ends, which is something to keep in mind no matter who becomes DNC chair.