Monday, January 10, 2005

The first step is admitting you have a problem

I've bitched a lot about the lack of a clear message and discipline in the Democratic party, but our old friend Amy Sullivan writing for the Washington Monthly reminds us who comes up with that message: the consultants. And she's right, the consultant class in the Democratic party is corrupt and an utter failure. The party loses more races than it wins and the architects of those losing campaigns keep getting paid exorbitant fees to do it again. The poster boy for this is Bob Shrum, who even John Kerry acknowledged in his recent Newsweek interview didn't give him good campaign advice. Shrum got paid $5 million dollars to run the Kerry campaign into the ground. Sullivan points out many others who have gross conflicts of interest and are in leadership positions to extort money from candidates and provide expertise they don't have. Until we break up this aristocracy, we're going to keep losing because they run the campaigns and recruit many of the candidates. They have entirely too much control on the future of the party with absolutely no stake in doing well and winning us seats or the Oval Office. Our other friend Simon Rosenberg has a choice quote in the article as well, which I took to be him telegraphing his stance on the status quo in Washington for his race to get the DNC chair. Obviously, like most of us (except Tim Roemer) he's ready for serious reform in the party and his going on the record in this story puts him out there as a reformer. The point of all of this to keep it fresh in your mind what happens if someone who is not serious about reform becomes chairman. It means more of the same losing strategies and old ideas. It's time for some of us to step up and take over our party, the "Democratic Wing of the Democratic party" to quote my guy Howard Dean. The first step is electing a Howard Dean or a Simon Rosenberg to the DNC chair, then breaking up the consultants and getting new people with new ideas into the mix.


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