Sunday, March 08, 2009

Local DFA Celebrating Roseman Win

An Open Letter To Johnson County DFA

"It's been five years, people. Get over the damn Howard Dean Meetup."

That was my brief, glib, hasty response to notes on the Johnson County DFA mailing list to posts celebrating Dennis Roseman's election as Johnson County Democratic Party chair. As readers know, I endorsed Roseman's opponent Chris Forbes for chair, and I declined renomination to my executive board post.

My more considered response as sent to the DFA list follows:
First a reminder: I was as big a Deaniac as anyone. Check the blog archives, both from 2003-04 (it's been around that long) and from recent weeks when I promoted Dean for HHS and Surgeon General.

However, I have never been a fan of maintaining the separate structure of DFA and have believed that the appropriate place for its activities is within the pre-existing structure of the Democratic Party. Maybe that's just because I was never a Meetup guy in the first place; the time conflicted with the local party meeting and the rigid "we HAVE to meet at this time and can't move" Meetup policy was the first of the many times that DFA has been divisive locally.

I do think the separate organization served some purpose in 2004 when the Kerry campaign did a lousy job of getting people on board (actively pushed some of us away, in fact; How's that workin' for ya, President Kerry?) But frankly, DFA should have been shut down and made a part of the party structure the day Howard Dean became DNC chair. I've never been able to understand what it is that DFA supposedly does that could not be done within the Democratic Party proper.

And locally it's been divisive to keep a separate structure. Whether that is the personalities involved or the structure itself, I don't know. But it seems like the lines of division within the local Democratic Party have been less on Dean/non-Dean lines than they were on DFA/non-DFA lines. Even the headline of the original post portrays this as some sort of "Deaniac win." What's the point of that anymore?

While the DFA diehards do the touchdown dance, I'll note that Roseman only won by two votes, 21-19. And that's not a final score--that's a starting point. I hope he does a better job at winning support than he did in providing support the past two years. Anybody got an old "THE 49" sign left?

John Deeth
Former member of Democratic Party exec board

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