February 13, 2005
THROWING A DROWNING MAN AN ANCHOR:
Dean Takes the Helm of His Struggling Party (Mark Z. Barabak, February 13, 2005, LA Times)
Dean's red-state strategy for Democrats is simple, he said: "Show up."
His acceptance speech was strikingly subdued for the man who emerged as one of the fieriest speakers of the 2004 campaign, thrilling left-leaning partisans with his lacerating attacks on Bush as well as fellow Democrats. The 20-minute address was tame even compared with the pugnacious speeches he gave while campaigning for chairman.
Dean, 56, assailed Bush's proposal to restructure Social Security as a "dishonest scheme." And he said the $2.5-trillion budget the White House unveiled last week brought "Enron-style accounting to the nation's capital" by failing to include the costs of the war in Iraq and revamping Social Security.
Tellingly, the glancing reference to Iraq was Dean's only mention of the issue that fueled his presidential bid.
You can see there many of the problems with a Dean chairmanship:
(1) The belief that their problem is not contesting Red states hard enough, rather than the fact that their ideas repel Red staters.
(2) That he can't be who his biggest supporters want him to be if he's going to speak for the Party.
(3) That he thinks Enron matters--hasn't even Paul Krugman stopped beating that dead horse?
(4) That neither he nor the Party has anything constructive to say about national security and foreign policy.Posted by Orrin Judd at February 13, 2005 9:40 AM