February 13, 2005


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

It is sad to see Howard Dean morph into John Osbourne's Entertainer, desperately preserving a tired show on a decrepit pier in a decaying seaside town. Enron? Why not bring up Watergate or Teapot Dome?

Once the Iraq war is over, and it will be soon, even the most bellicose of Americans will be reticent to send troops into harm's way for questionable reasons too soon afterwards, what will the Democrats use for an issue?

Last night I turned their convention on, sadly they are funnier than Jeff Foxworthy is now, and saw the head of the Massachusetts Democratic Party praise the new DNC Vice-Chair, because she fought so hard for gay marriage. Boy, that's a great sales pitch. The Democrats, bringing gay marriage to a capital near you. That oughta really thrill them in Columbus and Harrisburg, let alone Salt Lake City and Boise.

Posted by: Bart at February 13, 2005 12:52 PM

I think Krugman might have dropped the Enron issue because people were becoming aware that he also was on the take from them.

Posted by: h-man at February 13, 2005 6:38 PM

Bush called Rove and said: "Karl, I have got to hand it to you. You really are the greatest political genius of all time."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 13, 2005 6:54 PM