I think dj and I share a general distaste for Howard Dean, albeit for somewhat different reasons.
But I'm taking less joy in its seeming disintegration, largely because I don't think the wounds are entirely self-inflicted. Part of it represents Dean being taken down by the Corporate Media because of threats posed by the Dean Campaign
even if Dean himself is a genuine grassroots candidate.
I highly recomment Black Commentator's excellent analysis
of that issue.
This commentary, however, is not about the merits of Howard Dean. If a mildly progressive, Internet-driven, young white middle class-centered, movement-like campaign such as Dean’s — flush with money derived from unconventional sources, backed by significant sections of labor, reinforced by big name endorsements and surging with upward momentum — can be derailed in a matter of weeks at the whim of corporate media, then all of us are in deep trouble. The Dean beat-down should signal an intense reassessment of media’s role in the American power structure. The African American historical experience has much to offer in that regard, since the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements were born in a wrestling match with an essentially hostile corporate (white) media. However, there can be no meaningful discussion of the options available to progressive forces in the United States unless it is first recognized that the corporate media in the current era is the enemy, and must be treated that way.
originally posted by zagg
I would further hazard there's an element of the Democratic Party itself turning on Dean for similar reasons. I don't think the media is pushing a Republican agenda, as BC
seems to argue. It's a Ruling Class agenda which the Democrats actually share in. I think Dean was done in at the Democrat's behest just as much as the Republicans.
I have to stress here that what is at stake is not the quality of Dean as a progressive or an assessment of campaigners behind him. Instead it's that Dean is being taken down because he has a significant (in number) grassroots backing. That was a threat that needed to be dealt with even if that campaign itself probably does not represent a progressive force that could grow beyond a campaign and into a larger movement.
The most damning evidence (to me), is that the other Democratic candidates have yet to sink their talons into Kerry the Frontrunner the way they went after Dean the Frontrunner. (Nor did they do so when he was the Frontrunner when all this began last year). So I don't think the shredding of Dean was entirely motivated by him leading the pack, as some have argued.
At issue was a to some degree Power Struggle within the Democratic Party over who would determine its future. But I believe they were also threatened by the fact that Dean's candidacy was partially driven by a (however flawed it might be) grassroots campaign. The Democratic Party has a long history of dismantling grassroots of campaigns of any sort (Rainbow Coalition, the Progressive Party to name just two). I feel there was a little of that going on here.
Anyway, I ranted a lot more at Kitchen Sink
| TrackBacks (1)