Monday, December 29, 2003

A Morat Two-fer

Morat returns from a mini-blogging holiday with a very sad post and a somewhat troubling one.

First, the sad one: the impending death of a newly-acquired dog. As a longtime cat person, I know well how sad it is to lose a loved pet, but it's truly gut-wrenching when it comes so soon into the relationship. I truly hope that Morat's father-in-law somehow gets another dog someday, once the pain from this one has lessened somewhat.

Now, the troubling post: Apparently Howard Dean is warning that his well-spring of supporters might well sit out the 2004 elections, turning their backs on the Democratic nominee, if Dean fails to win the nomination. This possibility is what scares the hell out of me about 2004, that the Howard Dean phenomenon is more of a "cult of personality" than a real energizing of youthful liberalism. No matter what happens in 2004, the Democrats have a lot of work to do; the party is in dire need of new blood and new ideas. What I'm hoping is that 2004 will be a year in which liberals start the long job of repairing the party infrastructure, even in the face of possible defeat, as Republicans began doing after Barry Goldwater lost in 1964.

Whether Dean gets the nomination and wins, or gets the nomination and loses, or doesn't even get on the ticket, what would be truly disastrous is any scenario in which all these fired-up Deaniacs basically wipe their hands after the election and say, "Wake me up in 2008." What happens in 2004 is vitally important, but in my mind, what Democrats do in 2005 is even moreso. I'm uncomfortable with a Democratic party whose dominant approaches right now are "We love Howard Dean!" and "We gotta replace Bush just to stop the bleeding".

American liberalism is in need of serious rebuilding, and things like this article suggest to me that rebuilding is not what the Deaniacs are really interested in. This kind of thing makes me think of all the Ross Perot supporters who basically vanished from the scene when Perot himself disappeared.

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