Should Dean Define Specific Differences Between the GOP and Democrats?
Perhaps you've seen stories over the last several days where the RNC has outraised the Howard Dean-led DNC during the first three months of this year by a 2:1 margin. The DNC has raised something to the tune of $16.7 million during the first quarter, which to me is quite respectable. The media was quick to point out that the RNC raised over $35 million during the same period, without also pointing out that Corporate America dumped major money into the party as it bought its votes on the bankruptcy, class action lawsuit, and energy policy victories.
Many Democrats have said that they refuse to donate money to the DNC or even the DCCC and DSCC until they see what the party stands for leading up to the 2006 midterms. This to me is an acceptable position for donors to take, given how many Democratic senators and representatives sold out their votes against consumers and the working classes on the bankruptcy, estate tax, and energy bill. But remember that the Capitol Hill Democrats got Dean to swear that he would let them dictate the policies while he worked on rebuilding the party, which in effect silences him. As a result, with a mixed message coming from the Hill Democrats, no one knows what the DNC stands for either.
Here's my question for the evening: why shouldn't Howard Dean outline some basic principles that the party stands for irrespective of individual votes that Hill Democrats have to take, and appeal to the base using those basic principles and a 50-state strategy that challenges the GOP in their own red state backyard? If he did that, without challeging whatever Hill Democrats, Pelosi, and Reid need to do on specific votes, would you donate to the party? Wouldn't the base come out and start dumping money into the party in such a scenario? Also note the political reality that the DCCC and DSCC need to go after corporate money to stay competitive, so this obviously sways the voting patterns on the Hill. The DNC can easily chart its own course and appeal to the base for its funding.
And exactly how hard would it be to clearly lay out specific differences between how the two parties aim to deal with the problems facing the nation?