Andrew Busch reflects on what the Howard Dean era as DNC chair may mean for the Democrats. Thoughtful essay, and note this:
This point is part of a broader illustration: what Deans ascent (or re-ascent) says about the current status of the Democratic Party. While some individual Democrats have taken the hints offered by the 2004 (and 2002) election, the party as a whole has either not come to grips with its recent defeats or has chosen to interpret those defeats as the result of insufficiently clear liberalism. The replacement of Clintonites like McAuliffe with Dean, following the 2002 replacement of Richard Gephardt with Nancy Pelosi, would signal that Democrats as a group have made a conscious decision to shift back hard in the direction of McGovernism. One might even declare the era of Clintonism within the Democratic Party to be over or at least suspended until further notice. Deans risewhether he ultimately wins the DNC vote or notmay also be evidence of the depletion of talent on the Democratic side.