Carville: Dump Dean – and other Dem infighting
The squabbling between promiment members of the Democratic party continue:
Democratic strategist James Carville says his party should dump Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic Party because of incompetence.
Carville, during coffee and rolls with political reporters today, said Democrats could have picked up as many as 50 House seats, instead of the nearly 30 they have so far.
The reason they didn’t, he said, is the Democratic National Committee did not spend some $6 million it could have put into so-called “third tier” House races against vulnerable Republicans.
Carville said the other Democratic campaign committees had borrowed to the hilt.
He said he tried to meet with Dean to argue for additional spending for Democrats in the final days of the campaign, but Dean declined and gave no reason why.
Asked by a reporter whether Dean should be dumped, Carville replied, “In a word, do I think? Yes.”
He added, “I think he should be held accountable.” He added, “I would describe his leadership as Rumsfeldian in its competence.”
The NYT reports this morning that liberal bloggers are upset that the DNC is not giving them the credit they think they deserve for helping the Dems win last week, and others are upset because they think Howie D isn’t recieving the credit he deserves:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 — One would think that after their biggest electoral triumph in about a decade, Democrats would finally break their usual postelection syndrome — a November loss followed by recriminations, finger-pointing and infighting.
Well, think again.
The Democrats are celebrating their big victory of Nov. 7 with recriminations, finger-pointing and infighting, no matter that they won control of the Senate and the House for the first time since 1994.
State Democratic leaders are saying Howard Dean, the party chairman, is not receiving the credit he deserves for the triumph.
Offering a rather different view, two leading party strategists rebuked Mr. Dean on Wednesday, saying the Democrats could have captured 40 House seats rather than 29 had Mr. Dean bowed to demands by Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, leader of the effort to recapture the House, to put more money into Congressional races.
“I would describe his leadership as Rumsfeldian in its incompetence” one strategist, James Carville, said of Mr. Dean.
Liberal bloggers say they are not receiving the credit they deserve and are chafing at how what they call the mainstream media has showered too much credit on Mr. Emanuel and his Senate counterpart, Charles E. Schumer of New York, for the sweep.
“Rahm won everything” was the headline on a sarcastic post on MyDD, a liberal Web site.
On Capitol Hill, soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has waded into a leadership fight that has divided her caucus, providing the public — in its first glimpse of the incoming Congress — with a reminder of just how much Democrats like to rumble. Democrats, if grimacing, sought to put the best face on the latest episode of that familiar Washington series, Democrats in Disarray.
“We are a diverse party” said Donald Fowler, a veteran South Carolina Democratic leader. “We have different people from different backgrounds, and we see things differently both in terms of style and issues.”
Mr. Fowler sighed before letting out: “We’re nuts! We’re all nuts!”
Larry Gates, the Democratic chairman in Kansas, where Democrats stunned Republicans by capturing a once very-red seat, said: “This is what we Democrats do. A little bit of success, and we start to fight.”
So it was that Stan Greenberg, the Democratic pollster, and Mr. Carville used the forum of a Monitor Breakfast, a gathering of newsmakers and reporters, to say Mr. Dean wasted an opportunity to make historic gains by refusing to take resources out of his effort to build up parties in all 50 states and put them into Congressional races.
Mr. Greenberg said that Republicans held 14 seats by a single percentage point and that a small investment by Mr. Dean could have put Democrats into a commanding position for the rest of the decade.
“There was a missed opportunity here” he said. “I’ve sat down with Republican pollsters to discuss this race: They believe we left 10 to 20 seats on the table.”
More trouble in paradise …
Hey, if they’re already fighting between each other now, maybe it’s not Republicans that will be accused of causing gridlock in Congress the next two years – it’ll be the Dems, as the struggle between the Nutroots and the “moderates” in the party continues to heat up.