MORE ON DEAN....

MORE ON DEAN. Kevin Drum accuses me of coming down on the Rahm Emmanuel side in the great Dean-Emmanuel showdown. That's not quite true. I was just pointing out that, if Democrats lose in a couple crucial seats for lack of money, the ground has been laid for Dean to take the blame. In fact, my position, laid out when Noam Scheiber (who's got more current thoughts on this subject here) wrote this story in April, is the same as Drum's: This is the wrong story. The question isn't whether Dean's 50-state strategy will leech resources in the short-term, but how it will work in the long-term. Some enterprising political reporter should travel out to some of the red state Democratic Parties that Dean's given funding, evaluate their organization and plans, and try to assess whether this is good money thrown away on useless symbolism, or a wise attempt at transformation. If only I, say, worked at a political magazine, and could suggest such a piece to relevant editors...

It's also worth noting that this is basically moot. Dean is doing exactly what he was elected to do. The DNC Chair is voted in by delegates from state parties. Said delegates cast ballots for Dean because he promised to fund them rather than the national party. He's done precisely that. And since it's those chairs, rather than a President or putative party leader, who Dean answers to, it's hard to fault his single-mindedness. On the other hand, most DNC chairs promise something similar, and then spurn their constituencies to head off anger from the national leadership. Dean's stuck to his guns. Maybe he should get some loving press coverage for his "authenticity."

--Ezra Klein

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