June 10, 2005
Just four months into his tenure as head of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean has found himself on unforgiving, if familiar, terrain. As he visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, he faced a growing number of critics and received a private scolding from leading members of his party for several derogatory remarks he has made about Republicans in recent weeks.
Republicans have attacked him with glee for those remarks, which they have described as "below the belt," while Democrats struggled to defend him yet quietly acknowledged that Dean was showing signs of being as polarizing as they once feared.
"I have always been very cautious and careful to deal with my Democratic friends, my independent friends, my enlightened Republican friends, so I'm very concerned about anything that is unnecessarily divisive," said Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a Democrat in a largely Republican state, after attending a closed-door lunch with Dean in the Senate.
Nelson was among those who admonished Dean in private, cautioning the former Vermont governor not to risk alienating Republicans with personal insults of the kind he delivered last week, when he said a "lot of them have not made an honest living in their lives."
C'mon, cut him some slack--it's not as if they were about to see a bunch of GOP crossover votes any time soon. Posted by Orrin Judd at June 10, 2005 11:00 PM