Dean Gets Local?

My local Democratic Congressman, Rep. Cal Dooley, said this in an AP piece today:
Moderate Democratic Rep. Cal Dooley of California says Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (news - web sites) is the best Democrat to take on Bush next year. He says Democrats in moderate districts wouldn't want to see Dean on the top of the ticket right now, but that could change if Dean changes his rhetoric and starts talking about his record.

"He's not nearly as liberal people perceive him," Dooley said.
Wow. And the CW continues to shift. Of course, I like to think that the activism of our Kern For Dean group had something to do with Dooley's views! I'm certainly glad that Dooley is keeping an open mind!

On Sunday I'll finish up my See! B-S! Mailbag items. The freeper hate mail has been highly amusing. I'm off to Los Angeles for a couple of days, ya'll have a great weekend.


Reed's Right 'Rithmetic

Well, hey, San Francisco For Dean's Paul Hogan and yours truly have been pushing the Dean-as-Reagan-for-the-Dems meme, and then glory-be! here comes Ralph Reed. From Thursday's Inside Politics, with Candy Crowley filling in for Judy Woodruff. Take it away, Ralph and Candy:
CROWLEY: Let me ask you. There's a ... memo out recently that said, boy, Republicans really ought to run against Howard Dean. He'd be the perfect candidate to run against. Do you agree?

REED: Well, I don't really think that way. I really...

CROWLEY: There's nobody you'd rather run against than...

REED: Not really. I think you can get in a lot of trouble in politics trying to pick your opponents.

CROWLEY: I think you can, too, but we wanted to try anyway.

REED: I can remember when the Democrats were sort of, you know wrapping their hands together in anticipation of running against Ronald Reagan, and then they lost 43 states, as I recall.
Thanks, Ralph. From your lips to God's ears. Keep up the good work. So, consider the Dean-as-Reagan meme. The comparison of Dean to Reagan is largely political and in no way reflects on policy or personal characteristics. To wit:

Reagan lead a conservative Republican insurgency during the primary that pundits said made him unelectable in the general. Moderates clutched their worry beads and fretted about "another Barry Goldwater."

Democrats were giddy and lulled into an "unbeatable" complacency. Yet, time and time again, Reagan surprised and confounded his critics, outmaneuvering them at every turn.

He was demeaned and dismissed by his foes, including Poppy Bush, and the attacks only seemed to make him stronger.

His core supporters would stop at nothing, and ultimately, he presided over a great political reallignment that we as Democrats are still battling today.

He did this by first -- you guessed it -- shoring up the base in his party and letting them know that their ideas and their voices counted, that they should be proud of their party again, and that they could make a difference.

Sound familiar?


Meet the Putz

I'm swamped, and cannibalizing my own cannibilazation of content from Dean Nation via Whiskey Bar. Forgive me while I put together my fabulous end-of-week posts, including some keck-ash grabs from Points West's See! B-S! Mailbag. But for now...this hillarious find from Billmon over at Whiskey Bar:

Meet the Press, June 22, 2003

Tim Russert: How many troops would you have in Iraq?

Howard Dean: More than we have now. My understanding is we have in the neighborhood of 135,000 troops ... For me to have to know right now ... how many troops are actively on duty in the United States military when that is actually a number that’s composed both of people on duty today and people who are National Guard people who are on duty today, it’s silly.

Russert: Oh, no, no, no. Not at all. Not if you want to be commander in chief.

Dean: So your perception—your position is that I need to know exactly how many people are on duty today in the active military forces...

Russert: Well, have a sense...

Meet the Press, June 8, 2003

Russert: If someone said to you, "Dr. Rice, we have 200,000 troops in Iraq. We haven't found the weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein cannot be located. Chaos reigns. The radical Shiites are refusing to cooperate with the U.S. representative on the ground" -- was this a pyrrhic victory?

The Washington Post, June 8, 2003

There now are some 145,000 Americans and 12,000 coalition forces including British, Poles and others in Iraq.

Go sit in the corner, Tim.

There are some funny comments here as well. Mucho gracias to Billmon & DZ.



Ink By The Barrel

Today, Robert Price, from my local Bakersfield Californian, gave Points West, Howard Dean, and yes, yours truly, yet some more ink. Picking up on the Lloyd Grove Reliable Source column from The Washington Post, he writes:

Blame it on Google by Robert Price

Bakersfield's Scott Moore, lead organizer of the local Howard Dean for President effort, got some ink in The Washington Post this week.

The Post's Lloyd Grove quoted portions of a recent rant on Moore's Web site, Points West (www.pointswest.blogspot.com), about some inadvertent idiocy on the part of Dean rival John Kerry.

Seems an ad for the Kerry campaign showed up on The Drudge Report, a daily Web site produced by Matt Drudge. Drudge, a conservative, isn't likely to write much flattering copy about Kerry, the Massachusetts senator, or any other Democrat aspirant, so the ad placement seemed odd and inappropriate to Moore.

"(A) candidate for the Dem nod giving this right-wing nut bag DOLLARS raised in the Dem Primary to post banner ads on Drudge Report? Heck, Kerry might as well buy Drudge a bow and arrow decorated with Donkey Feathers," Moore wrote. Grove liked that well enough to share it with the readers of his column, "The Reliable Source."

Kerry spokesman Chris Lehane told The Post that Google -- which contracts with the Kerry campaign to place ads on assorted Web sites based on audience and content -- mistakenly put the ad on Drudgereport.com. After hearing from The Post, the Kerry campaign yanked the ad.

"Well, good," Moore wrote afterward. "I'm not certain that I buy the 'mistakenly' stuff, but I'm glad they've pulled the ad and now done what they should have done in the first place -- know where their ad dollars are going and what, or who, they are funding."

Ouch. Or, as Grove put it: "Just how testy are relations between the supporters of (Dean and Kerry)? Darned testy, it seems."

Wow, all of us -- well, ahem! me -- at Points West are flattered. The traffic, and the ink, have been great. And hey, Kerry pulled the ads!

Now, back to all these e-mails. Please be patient, I will respond. Tons of you, one of me.

By tomorrow, I promise to bring back your regularly scheduled political reporting and overall irreverance. Cheers, and thanks for dropping by. Please bookmark Points West and stay in touch!


Straw Into Gold, Lemons Into Lemonade

Dean supporters often talk about people who "get it" and people who "don't get it." My theory is that the "don't get its" are either precedent-obsessed political scientists or fierce opponents who are too blind or too frightened to face the harsh reality of the coiled rattlesnake at their feet. They are folks incapable of seeing the dimension that exists between magic and science, the realm of the political alchemist. They've heard tell of it, but they either dismiss it as superstition or cower in fear of it coming to upset their Sir-Isaac-Newton-monogrammed applecarts. They fear even more that candidate, that movement, seemingly capable of spinning straw into gold. Unable to wield such alchemy themselves, they must attempt to debunk it at every turn, to define it, to explain it, to pigeon-hole it. Otherwise, they could not go on. I have been in their shoes, and I'm here to tell ya, "getting it" is altogether better.

CNN's Mark Shields writes:
Howard Dean's raising more money....reminds me of the legendary Theodore White's memorable report of the scene in the Boston Garden during John F. Kennedy's last campaign rally on the eve of the 1960 presidential election.

JFK, according to White, was surrounded on the stage by a " covey of the puffy, pink-faced, predatory-lipped politicians who had so dominated Massachusetts politics before he had taken over." Noting their "envious faces" as the candidate spoke, Richard Donahue, a Kennedy aide observed: "You know they can't understand this. They think he has a trick. They're listening to him because they think if they learn the trick, they can be president, too."

To listen to experienced and able politicians in the campaigns of Dean's Democratic rivals this week was to hear men searching for the "trick" that had transformed the under-funded underdog into the well-heeled contender.
Shields concludes that it's Dean's message, and he's right, but it's also the "it" factor of celebrities and alchemists, who by chance and/or design find themselves in the right place, at the right moment in history, with the right set of talents, the right message, and an ability to deliver that message.

Put another way, Robert Price from my local Bakersfield Californian writes:
If John Kerry or John Edwards or Dick Gephardt or Joe Lieberman (remember him?) are creating this kind of grass-roots passion this early, they're being awfully quiet about it.
Simply put, lacking their own straw-to-gold spinning apparatus, they have little to do but discuss how patently ridiculous it is to think one could actually spin straw into gold! Haha! But, when shown the straw, the spinning and the gold, it's dismissed. "Well, sure it's gold, but it was a fluke! And besides, that's not enough gold, you'll need way more gold than that!!! Hrumph! Huh! (whisper) they?ll never be able to repeat it....."

Nope, they still can't, still don't or still refuse to see. In The Note Tuesday, this item from Roger Simon:
[In] Ashland, Oregon, which I visited recently on vacation. Ashland, a town of about 20,000 located approximately 15 miles north of the California border, is home to a famous Shakespeare festival, lots of B&Bs, a hundred-acre park and people who spend entire afternoons without ever saying things like "electability" or "momentum" or "political viability."

Which is why I was surprised one morning to come down to the lobby of the inn I was staying at to find two women wearing large "Howard Dean for President" buttons. This was a shocker for two reasons: First, campaigns don't really do political buttons any more. They are too expensive and have been replaced by peel-off stickers. (Which is a shame. What kid is going to start a peel-off sticker collection?)

Second, how many people are walking around wearing political buttons in the summer of 2003? Most people don't even realize there is a presidential campaign going on. Unless, of course, they support Howard Dean.
So let them go ahead and throw lemons. While they wonder about what "it" is, what "the trick" is, let the lemons fly! Dean supporters won't just turn the lemons into lemonade, nope. We'll give the lemonade to a thirsty America in Dean Dixie Cups -- and raise a few million dollars doing it! -- while all the while we'll all be singing "thanks for the lemon trees."

Note: I originally posted this at Dean Nation earlier today.



Some Like It Hot

There has been mucho excite-o-mundo in these bad lands over the last couple of days, and today is no exception!

Our most excellent and diligent fellow travellers over at Dean Nation are in the Final 14 hours of their $10,000 fundraising drive for the Howard Dean campaign -- an effort Points West whole-heartedly supports and encourages with a big, strong, brotherly arm!!!

So hey, if you haven't given, or even if you have, now is the time to please give a bit more in unity with the Dean Nation family of bloggers and help truly make this......

One Dean Nation -- Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All!

Let's turn up the heat!

UPDATE 24 Hours Later: Not bad! 83%! Over $5,000 in ONE DAY! I believe that the Dean Nation team is setting a new goal of $5,000 per month throught the election. More on this when a new push begins! UPDATE 10:19: $6,917.55! Over 2/3 of the way there! UPDATE 3:53: We are at 60%!!! UPDATE 1:00-ish: Hey, we are up from 49% to 57% in just a couple of hours! Be it $100, $50, $10, or $5 -- every little bit helps. We'll take our country back one buck at a time, as that is what it will take to toss King George from his appointed thrown. Keep up the good work!!!


Postus Coitus

Points West's Kerry/Drudge item -- next post down -- was featured in Lloyd Groves' Reliable Source column in today's Washington Post! Small excerpt:

Yesterday Kerry spokesman Chris Lehane told us that ad was mistakenly placed on Drudgereport.com by Google, which has a contract with the Kerry campaign to direct ads to various Web sites based on their editorial content and audience. Drudge has published a great many items about Kerry, but none has been particularly flattering. After our inquiry, the ad was pulled. "Now Google will not post ads on Web sites without our approval," Lehane said.

Well, good. I'm not certain that I buy the "mistakenly" stuff, but I'm glad they've pulled the ad and now done what they should have done in the first place -- know where their ad dollars are going and what, or who, they are funding. I also note that there were no regrets expressed by the campaign. Too bad that it took a WaPo item to get them to do the right thing.

Grove also quotes me from this blog. Sheesh. Not my favorite quote, if I'd only known. Though I must say that it was great fun to see my name in print bashing Matt Drudge. Trouble is he probably likes the notoriety -- ah vell.

Comments? Please feel free to e-mail me.

And hey, Grove, thanks for running the piece, and Points West thanks you for the traffic!



Coitus Disgustus

With all the loose talk of kissing and coupling and such 'round Points West of late, imagine my surprise, while perusing brianfitch.com, to come across this frightening couple: John Kerry and Matt Drudge. Ewwwww, ick. Now mind you, I have a Drudge link here on my site (he's got a great links column!) but a candidate for the Dem nod giving this right-wing nutbag DOLLARS raised in the Dem Primary to post banner ads on Drudge Report? Heck, Kerry might as well buy Drudge a bow and arrow decorated with Donkey Feathers. Oddly, this ad placement falls in tandem with a major hit piece on Howard Dean on Drudge's site. Coincidence?

Whatever the truth really is, Senator Kerry owes all of us in the Democratic Party an explanation. Immediately.

UPDATE: I must quickly state, I think this story smacks of Rove, not Kerry. And while we are talking about creepy Uncle Karl, if he really really wanted Howard Dean to be the nominee -- I mean REALLY -- do you think he would state it, knowing quite well the intensely negative reaction that would produce in the Dems? The answer, my friends, is NO.

But I digress, back to those Kerry ads, Kos of Daily Kos writes: It's another story whether they are aware enough to 1) figure out that they're supporting Drudge, and 2) figure out how to contact the broker to blacklist Drudge.

Well, I've heard this several times, and I think we've hit on something important that will require vigilance from all campaigns as we move forward in this age of information. Perhaps Kerry should get on this ASAP, because, no matter how you cut it, Kerry's donors $$$ are lining Drudge's pockets.

It is also troubling that Kerry's ads show up everywhere that the words "Howard Dean" show up, including on my blogspot blog (which I need to upgrade). So, if Kerry has bought a package that includes the keywords "Howard Dean," and some right-supremacist group does a hit piece on "Howard Dean," does Kerry's ad show up on their site?

If Kerry has "no control" over where the broker, or Google, places the ads, well, then maybe Kerry should drop the ads all together. To me, "ignorance of" or "no control over" are not acceptable excuses when Dem donors dollars are helping fund Drudge Report.

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