I got to meet Joe Trippi when I went up to MSNBC for to blog the election. He is a tremendously nice fellow, extremely sharp, and he cares about the Democratic party — probably more than most of the folks who ran the Kerry campaign. Trippi has been in politics a while. I’ve heard he drove Gary Hart’s car during the 1984 campaign and probably knows more about Hart’s blonde scandal than he’d ever let on.

Today he has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that Democrats should pay attention to. Oh, and they should forget Dean. Dean lost because of Dean. Dean got ahead because of the genius of Joe Trippi.

Trippi’s piece is here. In it, he says

Since the Democratic Leadership Council, with its mantra of “moderate, moderate, moderate,” took hold in D.C., the party has been in decline at just about every level of government. Forget the Kerry loss. Today the number of Democrats in the House is the lowest it’s been since 1948. Democrats are on the brink of becoming a permanent minority party. Can the oldest democratic institution on earth wake from its stupor?

Trippi offers a number of ideas to rebuild the Democratic Party. I will say this, I think if the Democrats go left they will hurt themselves for a while. People like the looney left as much as they like the rabid right. But, the left, like black voters, has been taken for granted by the Democrats and the Dems needs them before they jump to the Greens. The Dems will make better, quicker progress if they listen to people like Trippi instead of treating him like an annoying outsider.