Friday, January 28, 2005

The Cowardly Democrat

You know, I'm getting really fed up with these status quo Democrats always trying to bring Dean down by spreading fear and rumor behind the scenes. That's a GOP tactic, and shows cowardice in my book. If you want to go after Dean, show some spine and do it publicly. Case in point, Martin Frost from The Note:
On behalf of Rep. Martin Frost, Texas DNC chair Charles Soechting sent DNC members a defending an ad that Frost ran in his 2004 race against Rep. Pete Sessions.

[...]

"Here in Texas, we're used to Republicans like Karl Rove and Tom DeLay using damned lies and dirty tricks to launch character attacks against tough, effective Democrats like Martin Frost. Whoever made this attack clearly has no idea what it takes to win in tough districts — in "Red States" like Texas or anywhere else in the country."


"In fact, Martin's 2004 campaign could serve as a model for Democrats who are running in equally tough territory around the country. The campaign involved hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers, including Democrats of all races, union members, and many of the most ardent progressives in a tough, aggressive grassroots campaign. Martin refused to back down against enormous odds - standing up to DeLay and Rove by refusing to retire when their illegal redistricting scheme forced him into a 65% GOP district."

Responded one Dean ally "It's ironic that two days after Martin Frost sent out an e-mail attacking Howard Dean, his supporters are writing their hands about receiving two ads that Martin Frost himself appeared in and approved that disparages Ted Kennedy and suggests that [Frost's] a Republican."
So much to rant about, and so little time to type...

Let me understand this. Running ads that highlight how he was proud to stand with Bush, and "broke ranks" with his party, is a model for Democrats in Red states? How exactly is this standing up for what Democrats believe in? Is this the fifty state strategy here? Act like a Republican if you run in a red state? Way to reinforce the GOP talking point that Democratic core values are something to be ashamed of.

Secondly, I keep hearing that he stood up to DeLay and Rove by refusing to retire. How is that exactly standing up? You ran for office - as an incumbent no less - and lost. Boy that's backbone. You did what anyone would have done. Stop the pity party.

Finally, if "their illegal redistricting scheme forced him into a 65% GOP district" why did it work? I mean, if it was so illegal? If it was illegal, shouldn't there be some recourse? I don't know the complete story here, but if you keep crying "what happened to me was illegal!" then why did it work? After all, it was illegal.

Bottom line is I'm tired of this ABD crap. I'm tired of these damn status quo types sniping at Dean in private. I'm tired of the character assassination. I'm tired of the "Dean will fracture the Party" talk. If Dean can get the votes by opening speaking his mind and campaigning for reform, then the party should be fractured so it can be rebuilt.

If you think you can do the job better, then stand up and lead. Tell us why you are better than Dean. Tell us why you'd reform the party better. Prove to us you mean what you say. If you can't get more votes than Dean by doing this, you don't deserve the job. If you have to campaign like a Republican - using negative stereotypes and fear tactics in behind the scenes meetings - then you aren't the guy for the job. If you are a leader, than demonstrate why you are better than Dean to the 400+ voting members and the rank and file in the base who's support you'll need should you win the job. If you can't do that, stop whining about Dean and shut up.

Mr. Frost, here in the Blogsphere, we're used to Republicans Democrats like Karl Rove and Tom DeLay Joe Lieberman using damned lies and dirty tricks to launch character attacks against tough, effective Democrats like Martin Frost Howard Dean.

If you are the leader you claim, then lead. Don't stab other Democrats (or bloggers) in the back in private meetings or have people like Soechting do you attacking for you. If you want to lead, stand up and have at it with Dean publicly so we can see what you're made of.

This behavior is cowardly. That's not what we need leading the Party.