Devolving The Power: What Dean Gets Right
(Guest Post by Big Tent Democrat)
Howard Dean is a controversial figure in our Democratic Party. I did not support his Presidential run - I think he was and would be a flawed Presidential candidate. I did support his run for DNC Chairman, I thought he could bring an energy and a grassroots following to our Party, which was sorely in need of it.
But I think Dean has brought a vision that is as valuable as that energy - and that vision is described thusly in Matt Bai's NYTimes Sunday Magazine piece:
the Democratic Party needed to be decentralized, so that grass-roots Democrats built relationships with their state parties but had little to do with Washington at all. "State parties are not the intermediaries," he said. "If I get them trained right, they're the principals."
In other words, I suggested, he was talking about "devolving" the national Democratic Party, in the same way that Reagan and other conservative ideologues had always talked about devolving the federal government and returning power to the states. "That's what I want to do," Dean said firmly.
Matt Bai misinterpets this vision as an attack on the national party structure - an attempt to "starve the beast" to irrelevance, Bai called it. I think it is quite the opposite. It is an attempt to renew the relevance of the Democratic Party as a whole, which is much more than the DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C., indeed the heart and soul of the Party is the millions of Democrats across the nation - our Big Tent. Let me explain why I think Dean's vision is the right one on the flip.
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