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I’m sure the full transcript of what was an impressive outline for the future of the Democratic party put forth by Dean in his speech this morning will be available at some point here. But there was one thing Dean said that I thought we ought to keep in mind when opening our pocketbooks.
Democrats have no need to be defensive.
And we don’t. Our good Republican masters tell us to be ashamed of ourselves and to worry because we lost the values vote, the rural vote, the imaginary puple snuffleupagus vote, all those constituencies out there the Republicans so kindly let us know we need to move right to appeal to in order to win.
Dean said something much, much closer to the truth today. We didn’t get those votes not because those people didn’t like us, but because those people never heard us. We didn’t talk to anybody outside the swing states. We didn’t talk about the meaning of our party in places where we have supporters, and I don’t care if there’s 12 supporters or 200, they deserve to be heard and their issues to be considered.
If there’s a race, a Democrat will be there, Dean said. People like to sneer at the very idea of Democrats in the red states. They’re only red states because one by one, we gave them up. We said “we can’t win here” and so we neglected the value of having a fight at all.
I want Congress back and then, I want the White House back. But I also want Democrats in Alabama and Wyoming and Virginia and Utah to know they have people there fighting for them, too. You don’t just fight the fights you can win, to steal from somebody much more idealistic than me. You fight the fights that need fighting. That’s how you make a party popular, that’s how, in the end, you get what you wanted all along.
Howard’s going to do that. Let’s help him.