Stop whatever you’re doing and go read Chris Lydon’s latest piece, “After New Hampshire”. It’s that good.
Lydon puts together the lessons of Dean’s humbling in Iowa and New Hampshire, what it means for netroots, and the broader implications for American democracy, in a way that nobody else has yet managed to do:
Posted by Jason Lefkowitz at January 29, 2004
Here’s what I’m learning: For those of us who like the sound of “Internet democracy,” who yearn for political and cultural renewal and “transformation,” the entrenched obstacle is not the old politics. It’s the old media…
First, the politics: the Dean campaign has recharged our limping democracy for a generation, with vivid fresh examples of what citizenship can mean: all that self-starting civic energy, the MeetUp mobilizations, the decentralized consensus, the articulate idealism, the viral activism. Bill Bradley called it the best thing he’d seen in politics for 20 years or more. Is there any question that the model of mayor’s races and Congressional campaigns in the future will be found in the citizen spirit that the Deaniacs put to work? This is the point that I believe old pros like Al Gore and Tom Harkin were endorsing. They’ve seen the future of progressive organizing, and they know it works…
No, the results so far are not about politics. They’re about an assault by commercial media on the very idea of a self-willed, self-defining citizenry. Howard Dean scares the institutional media out of their wits—not because of who he is or what he might do as president, but because of what he and “Internet democracy” say about them.
If you think anything I write here represents the opinions of anybody but myself, you need more help than I can give you. The opinions are all mine, folks. Nobody else's. ESPECIALLY not my employer's.
If that's too hard to understand... well, I'm sorry. There's only so much I can do. I'm not a therapist, and I'm not a miracle worker. (Unless you consider staying employed in this economy a miracle.) I wish I could help you work through your delusional belief that I'm speaking for anyone else but myself. Honestly, I do. But in the end, that's a monkey you'll have to get off your back on your own. Sorry.