Dean doesn't get it

Here’s how Howard Dean justified his
decision to replace campaign manager Joe Trippi with Washington insider
Roy Neel: “What we need is decision making that’s centralized.”

One would think that, after Dean’s extraordinary rise from obscurity to
front-runner status on the back of a radically distributed, networked
movement, he would appreciate the value of decentralization.  If
Dean had tried to be John Kerry from the beginning, he’d be where
Dennis Kucinich is now, scraping at the verge of respectability. 

Clearly, something went wrong.  The wave of enthusiasm for Dean
didn’t translate into the predicted primary victories.  Maybe his
campaign staff does need better organization and discipline.  Just
don’t blame the failings on decentralization.  The gusher of
collective energy that attended all those Meetups and produced all
those blogs is real.  If there is any hope for the Democratic
party in 2004 and beyond, it will involve tapping the enthusiasm and
fund-raising might that Dean’s virtual army demonstrated.  A
centralized, message-controlled, Beltway insider campaign won’t do
it.