« Democrats 2006: SSP in the News | Main | Democrats Take Back Our Party »

Sunday, August 21, 2005

NYT on the Future of the Democratic Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Matt Bai in today's NYT Magazine:

In this way, ACT helped to usher us into the post-party world. We are now confronting a period in which the power and the innovation in American politics will reside not in some party headquarters on Capitol Hill but in a decentralized network of grass-roots groups, donors and Internet impresarios, all of whom seem to be increasingly entwined with one another. There's peril in this trend -- it would seem to favor millionaires over workers, and ideologues over pragmatists -- but it was probably inevitable. Everywhere else in American life, after all, we see evidence of what the Democratic speechwriter Andrei Cherny, in his 2000 book, ''The Next Deal,'' presciently identified as ''the Choice Generation.'' We surf hundreds of cable channels and endless Web sites, assemble customized computers with the click of a mouse and choose from every imaginable permutation of mortgage and credit card. Was it really reasonable, then, to expect the same top-down system that has governed American politics since the time of Martin Van Buren to somehow survive the revolution intact? In the end, ACT's contribution was to act as a bridge from the last political moment to the next, hastening the chaotic process of democratization -- even without the capital ''D'' that its founders would have preferred.

Surprise, surprise...I have some thoughts on this.

I think Bai gets the dynamic, but I don't know if he gets the result. I would recommend the political Cluetrain.

There is no peril in this method because it follows the best idea. Sure I'm hot today, but I'm nothing if I can't keep it up tomorrow. The feast of ideas is a potluck and the guy at the door is checking to see what each brings to the table -- every day.

No longer can anyone rest on past achievements. "What have you done for me lately?" is a daily affair in the 24/7 cycles of news. Every day is a battle and many of these battles are being won by people who don't work for the Party.

IMHO, the Party structures only have the relevance they choose to fight for. Dean is relevant because he is fighting in 50 states, but the DCCC could double their relevance by doubling their aim. Regardless, it doesn't matter, because people realize they can step up and become the next Paul Hackett.

Are we winning today? That is the mother-fuckin' question. We need to stop compromising and start winning every day. The CA-48 is the next election, but no election is so important that we should compromise our values. I'm focused on winning in 10 years and this mindset could be the secret to winning next year.

Fuck the DC Losers Club, we deserve to run campaings that want to win instead of trying not to lose. From the ground up, let's get it on!

Posted at 11:44 PM in Democrats | Technorati