Ari Berman does a wonderful thing in his new book Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics--he investigates how common sense usurped power in Washington.
In a speakeasy-like venue on the Lower East Side Wednesday night, at the anti-panel series The Little Idea, organized by brothers Ari and Jonathan Melber, Berman took a handful of minutes to illustrate how Howard Dean was John the Baptist to Obama, and how Rahm Emanuel contributed to the rise of the Tea Party by shunning a cabinet spot for Dean, a physician, (in the face of health care reform!) and let the grass roots machine rust.
If Dean's 50 State Strategy--that went after progressives and independents in red as well as blue states, a strategy initially scoffed at by the party establishment--tells you anything, it's that Americans are more alike than we are different: we don't like being screwed over.
Unfortunately, this has been happening for decades, as the event's next speaker, this site's very own Arianna Huffington, explained in her allotted ten minutes, to discuss Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream.
Arianna joked that, like Berman and Melber, she is an "Ari too," having grown up in Greece and called by that name: "Three Aris walk into a bar..." MORE...