Tags: Defense | Howard | Dean

In Defense of Howard Dean

Sunday, 11 December 2005 12:00 AM

If you believe in the Republic, in two-party government, in political accountability, then in all fairness you've got to give Howard Dean his due.

Do you not have confidence in the medical doctor from New Hampshire? Doesn't matter.

Can you not stand what Dean stands for? Doesn't matter.

Can you not tolerate the way he says, and then tries to un-say, what he says? Doesn't matter.

Can you not believe a grown man would howl and scream in public? Doesn't matter.

Do you just plain not like the fellow? Doesn't matter.

What matters is that Dean is the duly elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee. That means Dean is the principal spokesperson for the entire Democratic Party.

As the chips fall in American politics, he outranks even the party's most-recent presidential nominee. But – aw shucks, what

What's more, Dean won election as national chairman fair and square. He did it the old-fashion way. He got busy after what's-the-fellow beat him out for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Dean did it by hard work, state by state. No one else in the party was willing to eat his way through all those rubber-chicken-and-cold-peas state Democratic Party dinners. Nobody else was willing to rub a bunch of blisters on his paw, glad-handing and pork-promising his way through a passel of wild-eyed, leftover, left-wing, local Democrats coast-to-coast, border-to-border.

Dean did what he had to do to win the DNC chairmanship. It wasn't some cheap consolation prize they hand out to losers. His was a genuine victory, just as that other chap's defeat was an authentic whipping.

Dean was no stealth candidate for his party's top office. Anyone who could hear thunder knew what Dean stood for.

All that entitles Dean to a certain amount of respect, if we are going to retain at least a semblance of civility in American politics. He is entitled to be heard – and to be taken seriously.

Conservatives are making a real mistake if they continue to hoot at Dean as some kind of nut case who speaks for a handful of loose screws rattling around out there in the far-remote regions of Loony Land.

He is no fluke, no aberration. The truth is that Dean truly represents – and represents truly – what has become the Democratic Party nationally. When he speaks out, as he cannot help himself from doing, he speaks what his party's elites and their billionaires-financed mass-comm propaganda media have honestly come to reflect.

Appearing recently on Fox News, the veteran Democratic strategist Bob Beckel had this marvelous description of Dean: "He has never had an unspoken thought."

OK, so Dean blurts a lot. He's in the blurting business. And what he blurts is what he thinks, feels and believes. What's more to the point, it is what the national Democratic Party and its most-active activists have come to embrace as reality.

They're not hallucinating this stuff from puffing on strange cigarette butts picked up at random in some parking lot near Hollywood and Vine. These are articles of absolute political faith to them now. They are serious, studied believers.

In the American way of doing things political, these Deaniacs have every right to hear those tortured thoughts expressed loud and long by the head of their party.

Is this smart politics for the national Democratic Party? Heavens, no! It is suicidal politics.

First, the contemporary Democratic doctrine is flat-out false. That alone ought to ruin any national party that swallows the line, as a simple matter of fairness.

The Dean folly goes further. It is so disassociated from reality, so far-fetched, so un-swallowable for most Americans it shrinks the essential Democratic Party core of reliable voters to the point of electoral irrelevance.

Put a little more succinctly, there just aren't enough Americans – Democrats, Independents or Republicans – who will buy the Dean line to elect a president or a majority in either house of Congress.

The louder Dean belts it out, the more strident he becomes, the more outrageous his position, the more-marginalized he makes the Democratic Party.

Lest conservatives get too cocky, there are not enough Americans who consider themselves Republicans to elect a president or a majority in Congress either.

Those who will elect the most members of Congress in the 2006 off-year elections and a president in 2008 are voters who may consider themselves party members but vote independently of party label – in other words, the broad center-right, which has become, over the past few decades, mainstream America.

Dean is fatally playing politics of exclusion. It is up to Republicans to counter with politics of inclusion.

Those majority voters deserve political leadership that reflects their rational views. There is no way Dean and the Democratic Party that he authentically represents can appeal to voters such as those.

The losing minority also deserves national leadership that authentically represents their minority views. In Dean, they have such leadership.

Howard Dean has given today's minority party the kind of representation it is entitled to have, the kind it deserves.

He is also the best friend the Republican Party has had in a long, long time – providing it doesn't make him a pathetic martyr whom a large number of voters will feel sorry for or neglects to offer rational alternative leadership.

So, speak up, Howard, bless your heart. Feel free to say whatever comes to your mouth.

Hecklers of Howard will kindly sit down and cork it.


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If you believe in the Republic, in two-party government, in political accountability, then in all fairness you've got to give Howard Dean his due. Do you not have confidence in the medical doctor from New Hampshire? Doesn't matter. Can you not stand what Dean stands...
Sunday, 11 December 2005 12:00 AM
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