The test of a viable political party is how well it works in the off-season when nobody is watching. It is easy to focus on the Party during a Presidential election year or when the Party is out of office and there is a crisis (Iraq, Afghanistan, gas prices, mortgage/credit crisis, climate change, etc, etc. -- the Bush disaster).
What is harder is to keep working when (a) President Obama is doing everything he can to fix all of the above, (b) the War ends, (c) credit starts to sprout, and (d) Beverly Perdue turns out to care more about the Party than her predecessor.
In the coming weeks, I will try to post some thoughts on where we can take our Party -- small dollar donating, continued increasing emphasis on door-to-door work and recruiting, continuing integration of the blogosphere with the Party apparatus in a viable way, etc.
We/you can shape the Party if we/you have the energy and the desire to do so. Jery Meek started us in the right direction -- if we are not careful, though, it can slip back into the Inside-the-Beltline big donor ways of just a short time ago.
What I would like to see, though, as I put my thoughts together (including those from two abortive "explorations" of NC Party Chairdom), is your practical suggestions of what would work at the National (that's where going back on the DNC can help), State (I'll be on the Executive Council for another 4 years), County (I've done the County Chair thing before - thankless, but important work), Precinct (been a P-Chair - my wife, Sally is ours now) and Auxiliary Organizations (as a former State YD President, I still believe that the Party is best served when it listens to its future leaders).
So -- here's an invitation: what will work? What do you want your Democratic Party to look like? Don't be shy -- but 'keep it real'.
Let's do this thing right.