Carol Platt Liebau

Friday, February 04, 2005

In this interesting piece, David Brooks subscribes to Mickey Kaus' theory that the Democratic Party is trending toward Deanism because that's where the money is.

There's an element of truth to that theory, but I'm not sure that money alone is the major force that has put a core of affluent, very left-wing activists in charge of the party.

The Deanyboppers have taken over the Democratic Party because their wing is where the activism and the passion is. They're the ones taking names and willing to exact retribution. That's why Harold Ickes and Simon Rosenberg -- neither of whom can be thrilled at the prospect of a Dean chairmanship -- have nonetheless endorsed him.

Yes, passion = money in politics, but it's not money alone. Activists on the left have a disproportionate voice in Democratic politics, particularly right now. Why? (1)Because they were mobilized to "get involved" by their irrational hatred for George Bush; (2)Because they're the only Democrats with a vision -- albeit a wrong and deeply damaging one.

What does moderate Simon Rosenberg stand for, for example? Very little except some tactical victories over the Republicans. And for many of the true believers, that's not enough. They want wholesale ideological warfare -- and Dean's the only guy who will give it to them.

Anyone who's ever worked in a senator's office knows that most of the phone calls will be complaints -- because the angriest people are the most motivated. Among Democrats, the Deanyboppers are the angriest, they are the most involved, and they can barely believe that Bush beat them fair and square (and so they are taking out their rage on their party). It's a little like a convict who's released from prison and who's angriest not at the prosecutor -- because, after all, he knew the prosecutor was out to get him -- but at his defense attorney, who let him down. A lot of these leftists, I believe, feel that the "insiders" in the Democratic party let them down (and, not coincidentally, turned on candidate Dean) . . . and they are angry.


Blogger jchess said...

The Democrats trend to whatever will give them the power and control they so desire.


James C. Hess

3:13 PM  

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