Food for Thought

One possible reason Dean looked so good and then fell so hard in Iowa and New Hampshire:

Given the relentless hammering he took from the media, Dean was lucky to get 26% of the New Hampshire vote. Even so, Dean may be done for. Or, more to the point, done in. Some will say that he strung his own rope, but it looked more like a media lynching to me. Assuming I’m right about this, why did television want to hang Howard Dean?
I may have an answer. It may be that, once again, we have met the enemy and he is us. By pre-announcing the possibility that this might be The Internet Election, we issued fair warning both to the traditional media and the big money politicos that a threat was at hand.
If Dean could actually raise enough money online to match in aggregate the much larger and fewer donations Bush has bought from the plutocrats with his tax cuts, it would shake the system to its rotten core. Worse, if information from the Web and the Blogosphere were to start defining enough personal realities to contest the great mass of tube-zombies at the polls, the gazillions presently spent on television campaign ads would start to wither. An enormous amount of power and money might be at stake.

Of course, anything this short must be out of context, or incomplete, if it was written by Barlow. So, read the rest.
The Barlow link is via David Isen who is concerned about the implications of Dean’s new campaign manager:

Howard Dean, the erstwhile “Internet candidate,” urgently needs to explain to his core Nethead constituency why Joe “Nethead” Trippi is out and Roy “Bellhead” Neel is in. Neel was president of the US Telecom Association (USTA) in the late 1990s….
But now, unless the Dean campaign does something immediate and heroic to shore up its Nethead core, it is time to “Move On.”

I think that it is pretty clear that a candidate who tries to rely only on ‘netheads’ will not be viable. ‘Netheads’ do not encompass a large enough part of the voting population yet. But watch 2012 and beyond.
The Isen link is via Lawrence Lessig.

ashcroft just might find Dean to his liking

I have had little to say about the current democratic aspirants and probably won’t say much more until there are fewer to deal with.
However, anyone supporting a national ID card in this age of MATRIX and the PATRIOT ACt deserves a hot poker applied to some tender area of their anatomy.
Dean Campaign site:

I will nominate federal judges with outstanding legal credentials, records of professional excellence, and demonstrated commitment to the constitutional principles of equality, liberty, and privacy.

Dean in March 2002:

Fifteen months before Dean said he would seek the presidency, however, the former Vermont governor spoke at a conference in Pittsburgh co-sponsored by smart-card firm Wave Systems where he called for state drivers’ licenses to be transformed into a kind of standardized national ID card for Americans. Embedding smart cards into uniform IDs was necessary to thwart “cyberterrorism” and identity theft, Dean claimed. “We must move to smarter license cards that carry secure digital information that can be universally read at vital checkpoints,” Dean said in March 2002, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. “Issuing such a card would have little effect on the privacy of Americans.”
Dean also suggested that computer makers such as Apple Computer, Dell, Gateway and Sony should be required to include an ID card reader in PCs–and Americans would have to insert their uniform IDs into the reader before they could log on

A national ID card seems to be contrary to any meaningful idea of liberty and privacy.
Via Metafilter.

Can Dean Live up to his Promises?

Howard Dean has an ambitious agenda:

I will begin by repealing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and using the revenues that result from the repeal to address the needs of the average American, invest in the nation’s infrastructure and, through tax reform, put money in the hands of those most likely to spend it.

For the moment let’s assume Dean wins. Barring some dramatic changes on the landscape this win will probably not be by a large margin and is unlikely to bring with it democratic majorities in the house. Perhaps Dean thinks that with the bush cabal gone he will get some moderate republicans to join with the democrats in either tossing out the tax cuts or at least dramatically changing their structure. It is just as likely, though, that the republican house majority leader will just say no.

As we move closer to the election I’d like to hear from the democratic candidates some detail on just how they expect to accomplish grand goals if the republicans controll one or both houses of congress.
Via RealClear Politics.

Full Disclosure

I agree 100% with this guy’s request:

“If Howard Dean plans to run on his record in Vermont, he needs to share that record with the public,” Vermont Republican Chairman Jim Barnett (search) said. “The American people should not just have to take his word for it.”

And, I’m sure he will apply the same requirement to the sitting president.