Dean's in the race
I'm ecstatic about it, although I can hardly say I'm surprised. He had to do this--running for President in 2008 against the current party establishment wouldn't be allowed to happen. Think they knifed him in Iowa last time--that would be a polite request to get out of the way compared to what they'd do to him next time. So if Dean was going to have an effect on the party, he's got to do it this way, and I say more power to him.
Some people are worried about his baggage. They like him on the issues, but they're worried about well, I'll let Ezra say it himself:
Dean has baggage. Lots of it. And while I'm confident in his ability to quickly silence the final sniggers at his scream, I'm more concerned about his potential to feed negative storylines. Assume Dean wins the race and, despite our best efforts, we lose seats in 2006. It's damn possible, we've got an unfriendly map and a rash of upcoming retirements. With the Great Liberal Hope occupying the top spot, the newspapers and Third Way'ers will have more than enough ammo rerun -- and even amplify -- the narrative of a fringe Democratic party long separated from the mainstream. That'll give the party's conservative wing more power and further alienate our progressive base. Worse, it increases the likelihood that the Party actually will actually engage in another ill-advised lurch to the right.
Here's what I think. While it's true that having Dean lead the party is no guarantee of success, having some numbnuts like Roemer lead it is a guarantee of failure, and perhaps even will bring about the death of the party. Why should progressives stay with a party that spits on them? I'd rather go down trying to build a replacement party.
Sure--Dean is a gamble, but hey, it's not like we've had anything remotely resembling success doing what we've been doing. In fact, when you compare Dean to Roemer/DLC/asshats central, Dean's a pretty safe bet.
By the way--I've got no major gripe with Simon Rosenberg, other than to note that he's a compromise candidate, and I'm in no mood to compromise right now.