Democratic Party lost big yesterday. They lost the popular vote. They
lost the electoral college. They lost the Senate. They lost the House.
I've mentioned before that in 2000, I was having a hard time
choosing between Gore and Nader. And I've mentioned that Kerry wasn't
my first choice. No; what brought me into the Democratic party for this
election was Howard Dean. Back before anyone was really criticizing the
president, Howard Dean set the agenda for this election. Health care,
the war in Iraq, gay rights, and a balanced budget. Those were all
things that Dean put on the map. It wasn't Kerry; it wasn't Bush.
Howard Dean did it.
I wasn't a big fan of Kerry, but I didn't like Bush. And Dean asked
for my help — and the help of all of the people who worked for him
this election. Dean taught us that we could make a difference. We did;
we just didn't make enough of one.
I am not a big fan of Democrats, generally; I like Dianne Feinstein
almost as much as I like George W. Bush. I tend to align more with the
Democratic Party on what the problems are — look, I'll freely admit
I'm a bleeding heart — but I often don't buy their solutions, and
quite frankly, for all the talk among other bleeding hearts about
corporations versus people, many Democrats are just as bought as some
Republicans. In fact, some Republicans are better than some Democrats
in that regard.
Howard Dean will probably end up as a footnote in history. He is,
literally, the also-ran. But Dean set up a group organized with
passion; he organized a group of people who, really, were Kerry's
ground game and campaign supporters. He chose the issues in this
election. Footnote or not, without Howard Dean, Kerry wouldn't have
come this close to the finish line.
And so now, I'm not sure what to do or where to go. I've never felt
firmly anchored to the Democrats; I don't buy the Republican's social
policy. This is not a post with a point. I don't have an answer, and I
don't mean to idolize Dean too much. [Letters of Marque]