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What the DLC still doesn't understand

Via Jessica Wilson, some thoughts on the Dean campaign by Arianna Huffington:

The folks besmirching the good doctor's Election Day viability are the very people who have driven the Democratic Party into irrelevance; who spearheaded the party's resounding 2002 mid-term defeats; and who kinda, sorta, but not really disagreed with President Bush as he led us down the path of preemptive war with Iraq, irresponsible tax cuts and an unprecedented deficit.

Dean is electable precisely because he's making a decisive break with the spinelessness and pussyfooting that have become the hallmark of the Democratic Party.

* * *

Far from Dean not being able to "compete" with Bush on foreign policy, he's the one viable Democrat who isn't trying to compete on the playing field that Bush and Karl Rove have laid out. No Democrat can win by playing "Whose swagger is swaggier?" or "Whose flight suit is tighter?" Instead Dean unambiguously asserts that "We are in danger of losing the war on terror because we are fighting it with the strategies of the past... The Iraq war diverted critical intelligence and military resources, undermined diplomatic support for our fight against terror, and created a new rallying cry for terrorist recruits."

Meanwhile, the Democratic Leadership Council continues to cringe on the sidelines, supporting the Bush foreign policy in all of its substantive positions but cowardly refusing to say so explicitly.

The DLC is betting that there aren't any real Democrats left. Howard Dean is out to prove them wrong.


I think you've nailed it; people like Dean not because he's liberal this or conservative that, but because he has alternative ideas. Everyone else seems to be on the Bush bandwagon, just arguing about details.

Unfortunately, Howard Dean may very well win the Democratic nomination and lose to Bush, not because he's too far left (he isn't) but because he doesn't know when to remove his foot from his mouth and shut the hell up.

They also said (say?) that about our current President, George W. Bush. The problem with politicians generally is that they usually don't risk saying enough, and end up hemming and hawing like, e.g. Richard Gephardt.

The difference between Bush and Dean is that, for the most part, Bush relies on simplistic soundbites, unquestioning patriotism (the lemming factor), and his rabid followers' attacks on his political opponents to do his work for him, while the Democratic party as a whole has left it up to Dean to attack Bush while offering precious little support at the most, and actively working against Dean's efforts at the least. Thus, Dean feels he needs to wage all out war on Bush and the Republican party as a whole in order to get his message out.

While this is lamentable, how does it explain Dean's notorious foot-in-mouth syndrome? Are Kerry, Lieberman, Gephardt, or the DNC directly responsible for Dean's appeal to gun-toting, confederate flag-waving, racist hicks? As thinking people, you and I know that Dean was simply making a statement about the economically self destructive voting practices of the modern poor-southern-white, yet the majority of the voters in this country do NOT think, let alone analyze, and thus are notoriously susceptible to the kind of labeling opportunities statements like this create for those who would see Dean go down in flames. As a politician, Dean should know this, and as such should know that regardless of how effective a president he could make (and I think he would make), "shooting from the hip" will do nothing more than give his opponents ammunition to use against him.

If he wants to be a cool guy, by all means, he should continue to do what he's been doing. If he wants to be president, he needs to try real hard to stop saying stupid things.