Few people are happier now than Howard Dean must be. After becoming the first candidate in American politics to effectively harness the internet for campaign fund raising, he made an excellent start in his run for president in 2004. He was an effective speaker at the podium, and he, like no other, was able to harness the public’s building anger towards the Bush administration. Then, as we all know, it ended with that “scream” he made while promising to take his campaign to the red states. It wasn’t long before same forces which had spread his earlier messages around the net came back and replicated the “scream” a million times over, giving his opponents unending opportunities to mock him. The thing is, he was right about his campaign strategy.

The “scream speech”:

After becoming chairman of the Democratic National Committee last year, Dean forwarded another idea nearly as crazy as his “netroots” campaigning model- to go after all 50 states instead of simply the “important ones”.

Despite all the complaints and demands directed at him over the past 18 months, Dean stuck to his principles. He and his supporters in the netroots movement believed that their party needed to rebuild from the ground up in every state, including many where the party existed in name only. These Democrats prefer to think of their party as one of inclusion and unity. They openly disdain the divisive strategies of the Republicans who have so often used racial, regional and cultural differences to polarize voters.

And they believe that relying on opportunistic attempts to grab a few selected states or districts as usual — rather than establishing a real presence across the country — conceded a permanent structural advantage to the Republicans that would only grow more durable with each election cycle.

Breaking that advantage would be costly and difficult, as Dean well realized, but it had to be done someday, or the Democrats would fulfill Karl Rove’s dream of becoming a permanent minority party — or fading away altogether. Against the counsel of party professionals, whose long losing streak has done little to diminish their influence, the new chairman began the process of re-creating the Democratic Party in 2005. And contrary to the gossip and subsequent press reports, he succeeded in raising $51 million last year, about 20 percent more than in 2003 and a party record for an off year.

Salon.com: Howard Dean, Vindicated

Howard Dean was indeed right. His 50 States Plan is what made the Democrats crushing victory possible. The party gained up 29 seats in the house, 6 seats in the senate, and 6 governorships- far, far more than any analysts had predicted possible. Without the efforts spent on traditionally red states, the Democrats might have the house, but they certainly wouldn’t hold their 51-49 lead in the senate. While there are still some major problems to be addressed, it’s definitely time for some Dean Screaming!

He went to New Hampshire, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Arizona, North Dakota, New Mexico, California, Texas, New York, South Dakota, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, and then Washington DC! Eeeiiieeahh!

Moving On

The real test now, is to see if the newly powerful Democrats repeal the Military Commissions Act and John Warner Defense Authorization Act.

Until these laws are dealt with,
1) Anybody can be seized, imprisoned and tortured without ever getting a trial.
2)The military can be used against the civilian populations of any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities.

In both cases, the president is the sole “decider”.

Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train (Dean’s Aboard)
Dancin’ Dean
Funk Mix
Dean Twilight Zone