Tuesday, February 22, 2005

you tell me it's the institution, well you know, you better free your mind instead

There's an excellent editorial from Ed Garvey in today's Capital Times (Madison, WI) about Howard Dean as the newly elected chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Because Howard Dean is a former presidential candidate who was right on the Bush invasion of Iraq and had the guts to say so, he has the stature to make people listen. He is, as Paul Krugman described, a "fighting moderate."

What is that? A moderate Democrat who is willing to take stands on issues affecting real people. The people who are unwelcome in the lobbyists' Legislature, who fight Wal-Mart sprawl, slaughterhouses in their downtown, ethanol factories near where people live, and factory farms. People who think the Public Service Commission ought to fight for the ratepayers instead of the utilities. Former Democrats who tired of watching incumbent Democrats act just like Republicans because they need the campaign contributions so they can enact social policy while going along with corporate economic policy. Those who watch Jim Doyle in sadness play the old game of "forget the progressives, they won't have a choice in 2006."
Why does Howard Dean hold out so much promise? A headline in The Washington Post sums it up: "Democrats' grass roots shift the power:Activists energized fund raising but some worry theycould push the party to the left."

Translated, this means that a Democratic Party led by Dean, relying on little folks for money instead of the utilities, insurance companies and Wall Street funders, will start talking, acting and even voting like Democrats.

They might even recognize what Bill Moyers warned about - "The wealthy have declared class warfare, and they have won." They won without a fight while Terry McAuliffe donned his tuxedo for thousand-dollar-a-plate dinners in Washington with the victorious class warriors. One table for the funders equals a year of work for the person on minimum wage. Does that make sense?

There is an old union song, "Which side are you on?" For too long the DLC Democrats have said, "Well, I'm with you on concealed weapons but not on pocketbook issues."

The result? Eight years of George W. Bush. Time to push the fund-raisers out and bring back the hell-raisers.

Welcome, Howard Dean.