Bleak, Post-Apocalyptic Democratic Future: Day Two

« January 2005 »

Memo to the Webb and Fowler: STEP UP.

Today, we continue our series of PROFILES IN A SORT OF THING VAGUELY APPROACHING A HINT OF COURAGE, IF YOU DON'T MIND, in which we discuss the seven candidates who are vying for the chance to run the Democratic National Committee. Basically, a bunch of sad sacks who couldn't win elections, either for themselves or for someone else, which is why they happen to be free for the job.


Wellington Webb should be disqualified on his name alone. He's one "the third" away from people mistaking him for the millionaire on Gilligan's Island, for fuck's sake. Somewhere along the line, the Democrats got the reputation for being elitists. Yes, the civil-rights-loving, labor-supporting, Democratic Party. I believe they got this reputation by being repeatedly called elitists by a bunch of rich fat white elitist fucks. And then having those accusations reverberate throughout the "liberal media". You see, liberals are elitists not because we support a repressive flat tax, or hate people because of who they fuck, but because we think rednecks are stupid.

Well, tough shit. If that's how low the bar gets set to be an elitist, then I flew over that son of a bitch in my East Coast Fancy-Pants Rocket-Pack years ago. Is it elitist to think that maybe we shouldn't go around displaying the flag of a defeated, traitorous nation? And if it is, then frankly, I don't see what's so bad about it. Elitist should be a compliment. "Hey, Jim, you stopped fucking your cousin! Way to be elitist!" But the "liberal elite" thing is out there, in full force, despite vast mountains of evidence to the contrary, and so it would probably be a huge fucking mistake to play into it by having the phrase "chairman of the Democratic Party" preceded by the name WELLINGTON WEBB for the next four years.

Beyond his name, Webb is the current vice-chair of the DNC, which means that either he had to take notes at all the meetings, in which case he's utterly unqualified to run the show, or he agreed with how McAuliffe ran things, in which case he's utterly unqualified to run the show. He's the former mayor of Denver, which means he'll be stronger at lower altitudes, which helps some. Fuck knows a bit of high-altitude training might have prevented Howard Dean's little... public relations problem that I'm saving for last.

Beyond that, he either hasn't said a lot about what he wants to do other than "campaign in all fifty states", or if he has, nobody's been reporting it. Either is a bit of a problem.


Also a bad name. You may think I'm being insanely picky, but let's keep in mind my fervent believe that PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS. And in modern media politics, idiots respond to branding*. And "Fowler" carries with it connotations of "one who shits in the drinking fountain" or "one who has carnal relations with a chicken". Add a first name that immediately links to "And Marie", "Wahlberg", or "Darko" depending on age, and you have a marketing hurdle that you'd nead an East Coast Fancy-Pants Rocket Pack to even stand a chance of clearing.

On the plus side, Donnie has a website. Donnie has a blog. Donnie also has the glasses of a guy who has a website and a blog, but that's beside the point. His website is called "Change The Party", which is better than "It's Fine The Way It Is, We Like Losing". His plan for changing the DNC, however, looks like the outline view of a PowerPoint presentation, all bullet points and Excessive Capitalization. That said, his heart's in the right place. Though his bullet points stray way too far to the right, his politics are comfortably left, and he seems to understand, or at least say he understands, that issues don't mean shit come election-time if people don't like you or trust you.

I still can't shake the feeling that he carries The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People around in an LL Bean messenger bag, but in the unlikely event he were to actually win the chairmanship, I would, I think, not be forced to write an entire column decrying it. At least unless and until he's caught on camera taking a big dump in a water fountain while balls-deep in one of Frank Perdue's finest.

* And not the good kind of branding, which would leave an angry, red burn scar on their forehead.