HispanicVista Columnists

So It is Howard Dean

By Steven J. Ybarra, JD


I am glad that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has a building and money in the bank.  Thanks Terry.  But I would rather have a tent on the mall and be fifty million in debt if that was the cost we had to pay to elect a Democratic President. Face it - Bush the lesser wiped out all the Republican debt on Inauguration Day.

Now it is time for getting serious and I am happy to see reform is on the horizon.  After a much-spirited race (that I never got the chance to handicap) Howard Dean will assume the mantel of power in the DNC.  This is the first time in recorded history that Democrats have actually elected a chair; most of the time the minions of the party just get a chance to do the wave and blow up the balloons and such. 

Howard ran a real race. With the help of the Democracy for America folks, Howard put out a real effort to get the members to pay attention to what it was that he was offering.  I was really impressed by the twenty or so letters that I got (not from the candidate but) from Democrats around the country who took the time to send handwritten notes to me asking me to consider Howard.  It is a trick that I learned a long time ago from a good Republican operative and that I teach in my classes on how to do a political campaign.  Somebody must be reading my stuff.

So here is the question of the day  - Can Howard defend the gente and overcome the beltway dragons?

Currently we have a majority of Republicans in control nationwide – in Congress and at every level of government with Republican State legislatures, Republican governors and Republican county supervisors/County commissioners formulating the fiscal and policy agendas.  We also have many vicious beltway consultants who have run the Democratic Party for the last four years.

Howard will face a litany of challenges as the first elected chair that the DNC has seen in a long while.

He will have to clean house of useless people who have held positions just because they have held positions.

He will have to reconnect with State Parties in red states like Kansas.  He will have to connect with blue states like California that are now only viewed as ATM states.

He will have to turn the Democracy for America Democrats into Democratic Party Democrats.

He will have to develop a real database of folks who do not have to be “ vetted” in order to get jobs.  [By the way, vetted is the insider term for “has to look like me and think like me” and “I do not get the truth told to anybody who makes decisions.”  (See No Dogs-No Mexicans.)]

He will have to make sure that he has a sound fiscal policy to assure that all voters get a fair share of attention years ahead of the presidential election time.

In other words, he will have to rebuild the Party from the ground up.

I know that there are a great many people sharpening their knives to get Howard but he is a big boy and gets to drive his big wheel around the block by himself.

It will be fun to watch his successes and failures over the next two years.  By 2006, if the DNC has done what it should have done in the last four years, it will be alive again.

It is all about a Party that works.

Stay tuned the wake for McAuliffe is almost over and the new generation is about to begin.

©Steven J. Ybarra, JD is a retired civil rights attorney who operates a consultant company in California. He is a member of the Democratic National Committee and a long time political activist. Contact Steven at: sjybarra@aol.comThis article is copyright by Steven J. Ybarra, JD originally published in http://www.hispanicvista.com/ but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media if this entire credit paragraph is attached.