March 7, 2006
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Have the Power: How to Take Back Our Country and Restore Democracy
in America (Paperback)
This is the 2006 edition of Howard Dean's call to arms to restructure the Democratic Party from the grassroots up. If you didn't read the original version, it's time to get the spanking new one.
We don't have to inform BuzzFlash readers that the battle over the future of the Democratic Party is still going strong. Only now, with Howard Dean as DNC Chairman, the conflict is between the official Democratic Party organization and the more centrist leadership on Capitol Hill.
Because BuzzFlash is a "member of the press," we get the DNC media alerts, sometimes three or four a day. And, under Dean, they are hard-hitting, well-researched, and uncompromising. They are quite a contrast to the generally tepid statements and even more timid actions of the Democratic leadership on the Hill.
In fact, the division between the DNC and the entrenched Washington elected Democratic leadership is becoming even more pronounced and public. There was a widely reported meeting -- not disputed by any of the parties involved -- that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi argued with Dean recently over how he was allocating DNC campaign funds. They objected that he was following through on his pledge to "compete in every state."
As we write this recommendation today, the Washington Post reports that Harold Ickes, a major Hillary Clinton operative, is setting up a for-profit Democratic voter "data mining" company to compete with the DNC's capabilities. Ickes, in the Post article, is quite critical of how Dean is dealing with the DNC voter database issues.
So much for Democratic unity.
BuzzFlash didn't support any candidates in the last Democratic presidential primaries out of principle. We thought it was up to our readers to ferret through the information and make their own decisions.
But Howard Dean knows how to be outraged, defiant and stand for something. For that alone, the Washington establishment crucified him, along with the mainstream media. Whether you voted for him or not, he had the fire in his belly, and he was ready to do battle, as he is now.
In a recent column, Molly Ivins put it on the line: she has had enough of the D.C. spineless Congressional Dems: "Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don't know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton."
Okay, Molly, now tell us what you really think: "We can raise our own money on the Internet, and we know it. Howard Dean raised $42 million, largely on the web, with a late start when he was running for President, and that ain't chicken feed. If we double it, it gives us the lock on the nomination. So let's go find a good candidate early and organize the shit out of our side."
Quite frankly, we don't know whether Howard Dean is a good manager, but he stirs fear in the Washington establishment because he believes that the Democratic Party belongs to the Democratic voters. That obviously threatens the D.C. Democratic establishment, which has basically replaced the old party boss system in terms of prioritizing their own survival over fighting for the Constitution and plain old-fashioned American justice and principles.
"You Have the Power" is not a perfect book, but it is quintessential Howard Dean; which mean it's feisty, candid and committed to growing the party from the bottom up, rather than keeping it enslaved from the top down.
That sounds mighty good to us. This is a democracy after all, ain't it?