Blogs, Dean, and Clark

Today’s Salon piece on the Clark movement plugs three bloggers who are probably familiar to most Angry Bear readers. First, Kos gets a plug:

…Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, a 31-year-old former U.S. Army soldier turned lawyer turned Dean campaign technical consultant. Moulitsas jump-started the Draft Clark Movement earlier this year before finally giving up on Clark after months of waiting for him to declare — and after Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi invited him to work with Dean.

Then it’s Stirling Newberry’s turn:

Stirling Newberry, a 36-year-old computer consultant, is the unofficial theorist of the Clark movement, a regular blogger over at the ClarkSphere, and maintainer of Zuniga’s [Kos’s] old site,

“If you’re annoyed about something in the Dean message, good luck going to Joe Trippi and getting it fixed,” Newberry says. He expresses frequent annoyance with the Dean campaign, which he says rebuffed his offers of help some 18 months ago. “The Clark movement is a movement based on a person with an idea. Wesley Clark has articulated a vision and it’s the job of the Clark movement to put that vision forward in a variety of ways to bring people in and say, ‘We do things a certain way here, and if you do things that way you’ll be welcome and your work will be disseminated to everybody.'”

Then, it’s Matt “To The Point” Stoller’s turn:

“Clarkism is not about an individual,” explains 25-year-old Matthew Stoller, former Kerry volunteer and recent Harvard graduate who runs the ClarkSphere with Newberry. “It’s not Dean for America, it’s leadership for America. It’s not an embrace of the man, it’s an embrace of the ideas he suggests, and an embrace of Clark’s vision is an embrace of what we love about America, what we always felt in our hearts was the America we really wanted to live in … The absence of personality in the Clark movement attracts people who are not interested in personality; they are interested in ideas.

“If you place your faith in an individual,” Stoller continues, “then you are not placing your faith in systems like the rule of law. The Clark people place their faith in systems. That’s why institutional legitimacy is so important to Clark — the institutional legitimacy is about systems, about placing ideas in their legitimate forms, which is institutions. America is the actualization of the Enlightenment through institutions.”

I too am excited about Clark’s potential; whether he belongs at the top or bottom of the Democratic ticket is an open question, but as a Southerner with a distinguished military career, he needs to be on the ticket. Plus, picture this scenario in a debate with Bush (or Cheney):

BUSH (or CHENEY): Mr. Clark your math is fuzzy and the average benefit of our tax cuts is $1,000, and Saddam had a WMD program (even though I never added “program” to the phrase “Weapons of Mass Destruction” until after the Iraq war).

CLARK: That’s “Supreme Allied Commander Clark, Mr. President.”

While Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has a great ring to it, Supreme Allied Commander is even better. Politics aside for a moment, what title is cooler than Supreme Allied Commander? Picture yourself in a social situation trying to strike up a conversation with somene who catches your fancy. He or she says, perhaps deignfully, “I’m a top executive at a Fortune 500 firm. And you?” You reply, “I’m the European Supreme Allied Commander.”