Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Politics of the DNC Chair

P9252128-ViJoe Trippi clarifies, but doesn't quite respond:

The question for the next Democratic Party chairman is not, and should not be “How do we reshape our message?” The role of our next chair must be to build a competitive apparatus, and organization that can win elections and defeat the Republicans.

Historically, the message of our party has been determined by who we nominate for president. To impact message and direction of our party, that is where you have to play.

The Democratic Party has a big tent, and under that tent are a disparate assortment of interests and ambitions. For the Democratic Party to have any chance at building a competitive apparatus and organization that can win elections, everyone has to put their own interests aside.

What we need to do now, regardless of who our next chairman is, is bring all the elements of our party, and all the talent in our party, including the grassroots, into one room— put the past in the past— and move this party forward.

That’s what the next chairman of the Democratic Party has to be able to do.

In that piece, he mentions Simon Rosenberg 4 times, and Rob Stein 7. Who is he endorsing? Who knows? Apparently this Stein guy is hot shit. Rosenberg did the world the favor of introducing Trippi and Stein, but what else qualifies Rosenberg to lead the party?

As for the claim that “message of our party has been determined by who we nominate for president,” I can only refer to item 3 in my previous post. Who is the presidential candidate? Who will set the message for the 2006 congressional races? No one? Rob Stein? Me? Maybe that's something the DNC chair should look into.

Who but the party's leader can reshape the message? What else can we demand of our leaders than leadership? The apparatus and the organization have to be part and parcel with the message. We can't project strong national leadership if our party's message is helter skelter. I doubt that Dean or Rosenberg would want (or be able) to rule with an iron fist, but without a strong voice of authority, we're left with the circular firing squad and internal schisms between the DLC, the “democratic wing,” the netroots, the unions, ….

What is a flock without a leader? Disorganized and directionless. What is a flock lead as Trippi advocates? Directionless, but organized. What do Democrats need? I know what I think.

Once In A Lifetime” by Talking Heads from the album Stop Making Sense (1999, 5:25).