Friday, February 25, 2005

Getting Up My Irish

Anyone who has known me for very long knows that I have Irish from both sides, and that my maiden name is Irish because my Great-Granddaddy came over on the boat with his four brothers during the potato famine. The five brothers got into a fight in a bar in New York City and two of them were put on trains to go West. Have you ever heard of a more Irish family story? So that's how my branch ended up in Washington State... I'm quite proud of my Irish peasant blood and the knee-jerk egalitarianism that it provides me. (Egalitarian is fancy-talk for fairness or equality.) I thought the whole attitude was summed up quite nicely by Bono of U2 fame when he said, "The difference between an American and an Irishman is that an American sees the rich man in the big house at the top of the hill and says, 'One day I'm going to BE that man...' The Irishman sees the rich man in the big house at the top of the hill and says, 'One day I'm going to GET that man...."

Which brings me to my next point. I'm very happy that Howard Dean is now the leader of the DNC. So happy, in fact, that I clicked my way over to to see what was going on. I happily clicked along, ignoring the fact that they wanted me to provide the email addresses of 50 of my closest friends and wads of cash. I saw the interesting title of "Leadership Councils". I thought, oh cool! I wonder what you have to do to be in the Leadership Council! Not that I would want to do whatever bothersome thing it is, mind you, but wanted to see what it was all about.

My query was shortly answered.


Lots of it.

I started with the top of the list, the Jefferson Trust - namesake of the founder of the Democratic Party. Prices from $1,000 to $25,000. The Democratic Business Council? $5,000 to $15,000.

So basically, if I were so inclined, I would have to choose between becoming a mover and shaker in my political party (for a year) or.... paying for the graduate degree program I was considering.

Yeah, it got my Irish up.

This is not leadership, it is fundraising and networking. (Which they are perfectly honest about if you read the smaller print.) I think that if we want any sort of credibility we have to stop calling things what they aren't - otherwise we can't complain when the Wing-Nuts do it.

Anyway, after surfing the DNC I really just ended up back at my old haunts at and realized I had been away for too long. Anyone else remember the days of trying desperately to keep up with the stream of comments on bfa during the height of the Dean campaign?

Please, Howard, please make the DNC more like the DFA. Those halcyon days of believing that our political future had hope was better than Santa Claus, Leprechauns, and the Easter Bunny all rolled up into one. Attached you'll find my check for $15,000 to make sure you're listening...

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