Howard Dean Isn't the Real Problem for Democrats
Writing for The Boston Globe, Joan Vennochi claims that the Democrats’ real problem isn’t Howard Dean, it’s the lack of leadership from Democrats in Congress.
That’s probably true. In the great pit that is the Democratic Party, Dean’s voice echoes. If there were other leaders speaking up, taking stands, challenging Republicans, there would be far less attention paid to the party chairman. Right now, 52% of Americans disapprove of the job Bush is doing and 58% say the President is focusing on the wrong issues. What are the Democrats waiting for?
Although Dean needs to learn how to woo new voters in addition to energizing the ones he’s already got, the party chairman is not responsible for creating policy. Dean can’t bring up issues in Congress. Dean can’t have a press conference on the Capitol steps announcing a new bill. Dean’s just a glorified fundraiser, not a true party leader.
In her column, Vannochi says Democrats should stop criticizing Dean and start leading. Seems reasonable. Dean is a liability but his big mouth isn’t nearly as bad for the party as congressional Democrats’ inability to capitalize on Bush’s poor poll number. Nearly 3/5ths of Americans want the government to address more substantial issues. Democrats must have something they can bring to the table.
True, the minority party can rarely control the debate, but they can at least make an effort. Can’t they?