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Monday, November 22, 2004
MEMO TO: DNC MEMBERS
(Ed Note: this was posted as a comment, and I've elevated it to the main page because it's good... see the links in the last paragraph for more)
FROM: A REFORM DEMOCRAT
RE: MODERNIZING THE DNC
Over the next two months, you will be bombarded with suggestions on how you should vote when it comes time to decide the direction of the Democratic Party. As you consider who should lead our Party, please keep in mind the following observations:
Read More Evaluating 2004 The Democratic Party did not "come close" to winning in 2004. This is a zero-sum game and we need to measure our position against that of the GOP. Democrats would have needed a 10 point across the board increase in support to have done as well as Republicans. True, Kerry came close to scraping together an electoral vote win, but Democrats did poorly and Kerry lost. We lost. We are in worse position than we were before the election. As Mayor Gavin Newsom is fond of saying, "Do what you've done and you'll get what you've got."
Choosing a new DNC Chair When choosing a new leader for our Party, please make your choice based on your own decision of who will take the steps necessary to modernize the Party. We must have a full-time leader with the vision necessary to restructure our organization. We can't let our Party serve as a golden parachute for those who lost in 2004 -- we need the DNC staffed by the best and the brightest not the oldest and best connected. Our next Chair needs 100% dedication to the effort and must put the Party before any other concern. Recently there has been talk of a candidate running to protect his home state's antiquated primary tradition -- we can't afford to elect somebody with a conflict of interest and ulterior motives. We need reform
Accountability Only by deciding our goals and quantifying our methods can we determine what is working and what isn't. We need to hold programs and people accountable. We lost and we can't be afraid to fire losers. The campaigns of tomorrow are far different from the campaigns of a decade ago -- we need to evaluate individuals by their value in a modern campaign. The railroads didn't hire the fastest Pony Express riders; they hired people who made good railroad engineers. Campaigns have gone through a similar sea change and our Party's future depends upon intelligent reaction to the new rules of politics.
Reform We are reforming our local central committees but we need your vote to reform the Democratic National Committee. We are waiting for systematic reform, but the Party needs the grassroots more than we need the Party. We want to win and we will support the best vehicles for victory. We would like to continue our support for the DNC, but we're also members of Democracy for America and Moveon and the New Democrat Network. If the Party won't stand up for us, we know they will. We know they were built as modern organizations and a far more efficient than the Democrat Party. DNC members need to elect a new Chair who can compete with DfA, Moveon, and NDN or the party will be relegated to only hosting the convention. We are Democrats and we don't want the most moderate or least controversial Chair, we want a leader. So lead us or we will follow the visionaries at the reform organizations.