Analog 1, Digital 0

Analog 1, Digital 0
: David Isenberg has a unique perspective on the switch atop the Dean campaign: The nethead was displaced by the Bellhead.

: Meanwhile, Richard Bennett is characteristically blunt as he assesses the situation:

So what is happening? Briefly put, Dean’s problem is the Deaniacs. The Internet-driven campaign has enabled him to amass a large following, but they’re primarily unbalanced people, fanatical followers, extremists, and wackos. In my experience with Internet-enabled activism, these are the kind of people most attracted to online chat and email wars, so an organization that’s going to use these tools to recruit has to prune the weirdos before they run off the mainstream people you need to reach out to the undecided mainstream people whose support you really need in the voting booth.

  • Miguel

    The patients running the mad house, lol.

  • Yes, LOL – a ridiculous and insulting cheap shot. Fortunately I route around those. :-)
    Though we’re all sick of it, I’d like to point y’all to Prof. John Schott’s superb analysis of the Dean Scream. He puts it into a broader context: Howard Dean’s “I Have A Scream Speech”: Meeting Event Becomes Media Event

  • “they’re primarily unbalanced people, fanatical followers, extremists, and wackos.”
    any data to support this sweeping dismissal of tens of thousands of people?

  • Reid

    I would say it was the other folks who were somnambulant, bovine, apathetic dolts. They serve a useful purpose, as a brake on those of us who would like to change the world overnight but, their function is still essentially dead weight.

  • Paul Zrimsek

    When was the last time anyone used the phrase “broader context” for any purpose other than blame-shifting?
    Schott’s article should be a big hit with all those who share his clownish surprise that TV news would cover a campaign event in such a way as to make the candidate audible and visible.

  • Ebb Tide

    Reading the GQ story was extremly informative (thanks Jeff for the link), the Deaniacs scared the crap out of the Ones, the nickname they had for Iowans…. keep those Deaniacs under wraps, they scare people. Let them click and give money, but stay off main street, no one was ready for the “imperfect storm.”

  • Angus Jung

    I know, man… cameras and microphones? What the hell?!?
    P.S. “any data to support this sweeping dismissal of tens of thousands of people?”

  • Ed, one of the Deaniacs – I think it might have been Brit Blaser – wrote about the scene in the caucus he attended, where Edwards was represented by one untrained woman and Dean had a three or four orange hats. The Edwards rep sat down with the voters and politely and respectfully pitched her man, asked for their support, and then excused herself so that the other candidates’ people could make their pitch. The orange-hatted Deaniacs were rude, arrogant, and diffident, and completely incapable of reaching out to those who hadn’t drunk the Kool-Aid, ultimately creating a bad impression on the voters.
    The polls track Dean’s decline in Iowa with the arrival of the Deaniacs in the state.
    And BTW, this new meme that’s circulating in the Blogs are God sites blaming Dean’s demise on the media ignores all the relevant facts: Dean lost Iowa before the “I Have a Scream” speech was made, and hence before it was rebroadcast throughout the world, and Dean actually did better in New Hampshire — post-scream — than he did in Iowa. Iowa and New Hampshire are retail politics, all about face-to-face campaigning, and not at all dominated by the media.
    Rather than shifting blame to the media, Deaniacs and Social Software buffs would be wise to look a little closer to home in analyzing the Dean meltdown, and rather than characterizing Trippi as a “Nethead” they’d do better to see him as a “Dot Com Bubble” guy.

  • No, Ed, there is no data to back up that assertion, because it isn’t true. Name-calling politics typically isn’t, as you well know. If you want ‘weirdos,’ check out Kucinich’s crowd. Dean’s crowd was mostly technocratic small-business owners, retirees, and college graduates in cities. That’s anecdotal of course. I went canvassing with Deaniacs, spent time interviewing a lot of them, attended several Meetups, and traveled to Burlington several times to understand what was going on. They weren’t weird, they weren’t anti-social, and they weren’t radical. They also weren’t well-trained in politics. The Kucinichites – and I attended rallies and meetings for them as well – were very much weird and holier than thou types.
    As for the orange-hatters turning off Iowans, well, that’s a meme with insufficient evidence. My sense, and I was there, is that Dean’s media imagery turned off voters. The negative ads, plus the snapshot of him cutting off a Republican in a crowd who had yelled at him for three minutes (they didn’t show the three minute rant, just Dean’s admittedly unprofessional reaction), caused Iowans to become wary of Dean. Sure, the orange-hatters didn’t help matters, obviously, but I didn’t talk to anyone who had had bad experiences with them. It was more just that Dean gave them a bad feeling.

  • Like I said, MattS, my evidence comes from the Deaniacs themselves.
    The question Dean’s supporters and the Social Software enthusiasts have to ask is: how did a moderate governor from a tiny rural state with an aversion to taxes, social welfare, and gun control became a rapid, foaming-at-the-mouth, single issue fanatic who claimed that the capture of Saddam Hussein didn’t make the US any safer.
    I blame the Deaniacs for pushing him into that box, but he was clearly willing to go there.

  • Denise Carrol

    I am a strong Howard Dean supporter, not anything that ends in “iac” and I take offense at being characterized that way. I am a 55 year old Engineering Manager for the Air Force. Apparently no wild and crazy youngster here. Dr. Dean’s initial appeal was that he had the guts to be angry and express it. He would not knuckle under to the demagogary that accused any American who didn’t buy into the maniacal rush to war with Iraq as being un-American, maybe even a “traitor” and/or in bed with the terrorists. I was angry at so many things the current administration had done with respect to the environment, civil liberties, social justice and the American position in the world to name but a few. In Howard Dean I found a democratic leader on the scene who expressed what I and many of us were feeling and thinking. (Any Democrat that was not furious at that time was probably no longer breathing.) Dean was able to tap into that anger, express it and offer reasonable alternatives. Dean’s and Joe Trippi’s misjudgement was to think that the Dean campaign would be treated fairly and courteously by the other Democratic candidiates and the media. That obviously didn’t happen. Given the Democratic candidates’ negative campaigning of the past couple of months my biggest fear is that we Democrats will do what we almost always do when we are trying to win back the Presidency. We should be very careful not to repeat history by being our own worst enemies in the primary campaigns.

  • Angus Jung

    Angry and naive. Yep, that’s what I want in a president!

  • What do you expect from my world i sit in hatred
    far from it. happy and you know it stand up rise and sit down Jo I bake her cake as fast as def jam. You know Im right about seperate people having dreams and passing each what do you know we have the same things in common scam. I’m not really into changing the world just changing the weather theres something we all agree upon changing. figuring out hearing aids and torture
    dying I cant hear you.

  • “What do you expect from my world i sit in hatred
    far from it.”
    Yes? lol

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