I’ve stayed away from the Chairman’s race partly because Krusty and some of the other blogs cover it so well but also because I find myself not really caring. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to care (hence the list for Santa), but why would I? Seriously, why would I?
In the years I’ve been involved in politics, I’ve never been able to rely on the party for anything except some of the very basics they absolutely have to provide. The things the party does during an election haven’t been affected positively or negatively by the State Chairs. They help candidates and county parties with absentee ballots, voter lists, and training (they don’t even do this well). But any county chair or candidate out there knows when it comes down to it, the party hasn’t been reliable no matter who the chair was/is.
So I will be the first blogger in Iowa to say, I don’t care who the next chair is. I don’t want this to sound like a blame game. I don’t blame Hoffmann, Iverson or those before them. I blame the system. How would we get an excellent chair? We don’t pay them much, there is little glory, most often the role is filled by those who can’t or choose not to get elected to a public office, their resources are limited, their political career arc is often on a downward slope, and most importantly the party structure is backwards.
I really don’t care. Whether Strawn, Krishna, Pate, Carroll, Randall, or Krusty’s Dark Horse gets the nod, we still won’t have a reliable State Party the county chairs or candidates can count on to help win elections. We absolutely have to change the system.
Many bloggers have written about ways to fix the party, including me, but without a massive overhaul of how the party operates, we won’t start winning elections until the Democrats start losing elections on their own.
So whoever wins the election for Party Chair, please beg them to strip the power from Des Moines and send it to the counties. Treat each county chair as a manager and give them the resources to produce quantity and quality. This means giving the county chairs money, not taking money from them at RPI dinners and fundraisers. Those should be rewards for the County Central Committees. This means giving them access to the tools and information they need quickly. As any employer knows, you are most effective when allowing and assisting your employees to work efficiently. The way we run the party now is like McDonalds making every order go through their headquarters in Illinois and after ordering a #1 with a Coke you receive a #7 with a Sprite. Maybe. Most of the time you get food but next time you know you will be better off to just cook it yourself.