I had my doubts when Howard Dean accepted the chair of the Democratic National Committee. When he took it over, it was a largely ceremonial/administrative position with little public exposure and even less real power. I thought it was at least possible that he was burying himself in a meaningless position so he could work on his pet project: netizenship.
In retrospect, I should have known better. It’s beginning to look now as if he had nothing less in mind than using the DNC as a platform from which to push the Democrats back to their populist roots and re-make it as the Party of the People.
I can’t prove it and I haven’t seen it anywhere else yet, but I suspect that it is Dean who’s behind the emerging bi-polarity of the Democratic Party. For that reason, and for convenience, I will call the two sides the “DNC wing” (center-left) and the “DLC wing” (center-right). The outlines of the split began coming into focus yesterday at a Party forum arranged by Dean’s DNC. Six candiates – the two in the top tier, one from the second level, and three others who barely register on the radar yet – were the first to speak (there will be more today), and between them they marked the boundaries of the split as clearly as dogs pissing on trees. Continue reading