Punks For Dean?
Here's a follow up on an issue I touched upon yesterday concerning how Dean is tapping into groups that normally don't vote.
A few months ago, Kimmy Cash was just another disaffected 28-year-old California punk with a pierced nose looking for a cause to believe in. Then she stumbled on Howard Dean, the man who would be George W Bush's Democratic challenger in next November's presidential election, and her life changed in dramatic and unexpected ways.
Her website, www.punxfor dean.org, is receiving thousands of hits each day. In less than three months, she has signed up a staggering 13,000 volunteers to hand out literature at punk clubs and concert venues across all 50 states. She is organizing a nationwide series of concerts, the first rule of which is that every attendee must be registered to vote. (The registration forms will be on hand at the door.) Next month, her site is putting out a CD of underground punk bands named after the Dean slogan "Taking Back America". By now, interest has grown so high from other youth groups that Cash is thinking of starting up new websites catering to hip-hoppers for Dean and skaters for Dean.
"Nobody's ever tapped into this demographic, and it kicks ass," she says on the phone from Arizona, where she is setting up new chapters of her organization. The way she sees it, she's helping to effect a seismic shift in the way American politics operates by energising the half of the electorate that never usually votes.
I still believe this won't work. Dean may galvanize them for the primaries, but when the time comes for the general election he's going to be forced to the center to get the major voting block he needs. These jokers on the fringes will become even more bent out of shape than they are now and dump Dean like a load of bad concrete by either going to some other nut on the left (oh where oh where is Ralphie Nader) or not voting at all. Of course, Dean's move to the center won't work because Karl Rove is going to tie him in knots from all the kooky statements he's already made to speak to his base. Ahh, fun indeed.