Monday, September 22, 2003

Jack O'Toole on Dean supporters

I’m not the only one calling on Dean supporters to focus their energy on supporting Dean instead of trashing others. Jack O’Toole writes today:
Lastly, the folks getting carried away in this fashion are putting their own candidate in a tight spot. Because the Dean campaign has paid its Internet supporters the high compliment of embracing them as full partners in the overall operation, those supporters are now perceived as players, which makes only one of two conclusions possible: 1) Dean is intentionally ginning this stuff up, or 2) he can’t control his own people. Either way, it looks bad. 
So, if you’re one of the undoubtedly well-intentioned folks sending out e-mail like this, please, please, try to stay focused on the big picture, and just cut it out.
Nicely said, Jack. Welcome to the Dean tent.


  1. I completely agree. I think there is also a very disturbing trend within the blog comments themselves to label anyone who slightly disagrees with anything Dean does as a "troll". I've cut far back on my Dean blog reading because such attacks disturb me - as was pointed out several times on the blog, many of the people labelled as "trolls" were actually fairly impressive supporters of Dean, both in time and money. I also think that for anyone reading the comments, it can be a fairly hostile place, which shouts of trolldom.

    Labelling someone as a troll can be a very valuable tool, in that it keeps discussion focused, and doesn't wander off after the troll as many internet threads can. But, if you start throwing the term around at anyone who doesn't exactly parrot the blog line, it becomes really harmful, in my opinion.

  2. Well, Dean *can't* control his supporters any more than Clark or Kerry or Gephardt can control theirs. That isn't a perception, it's the truth. Dean is running an "open source" campaign. Open source just means decentralized, as in "bottom up" rather than "top down" control.

    This judging of Dean by the *extremely small sampling* of his support on the blog or by the actions of *an extremely small percenatage* of his more rabid supporters strikes me as not very well thought out. After all, in 2000 we saw "KKK for Dubya" parades and actual riot-style behavior by *paid congressional staffers* in Florida.

    Dean has rabid supporters. All I can say is that for Democrats, it's about damn time we had someone to feel rabid about.

  3. I am not reading the offical blog as much either.
    I have run out of ideas and with Clark in the race I think the campaign has enough to think about. I do like the new feature I saw and I will be going there for tools.

    As for Kerrys blog I don't go there anymore. They are spamming me at work and I can't unsubsribe.
    I like to check the bat and I can get it on Rick's Blog.

    My wife and I are putting a position paper file and ordering a banner and kit and try to do what we have beeen suscessful at and that recruiting one on one. Once in a while I can get a letter to the editor out.

    Ron Schmidt

  4. Because the Dean campaign has paid its Internet supporters the high compliment of embracing them as full partners in the overall operation, those supporters are now perceived as players

    What, so now Dean is responsible for everything and anything that any nut on the Internet happens to say, if they happen to be pro-Dean nuts?

    That's just silly.

  5. Billmon is correct, it is silly. And if you really want to see some silliness, surf back on to Jack O'Toole's blog and see how he took two perfectly reasonable replies, one of them mine, and tried to twist them to "prove his point". The only point he proved is that he doesn't have one.