Markos Moulitsas has a post today about the vindication of Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy. He’s right. When Dean launched the project, many thought it was foolhardy. As late as October 2006, top Dem strategists and elected officials were bemoaning the way Dean had spread the party’s money around instead of concentrating it on targets of immediate opportunity. The Obama campaign adopted the idea and hitched it to a candidate with the message and the appeal to capitalize on it in a national race. It helped that the Republican brand was in the process of imploding. But Dean and Obama put themselves and the Democratic Party in position to exploit their opponents’ failures and maximize their own returns. That took both vision and political guts. And it took the netroots activism of people like Markos, who takes a bow for the collective. We’ll know in a week just how well it worked.