Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Howard Dean and the Demos

Mark Singer writes a very interesting profile of Dean in the New Yorker. There are many details from his life that are revealing. He is a man of the New Left, his political disposition is formed by people and the era that came to mistrust the US, not only in its policies and leaders, but, somehow, even, its core. On the other hand, you can see how he is--unlike most politicians--kind of appealing because of his apparent forthrightness or, at least his willingness, nay, even inclination, to be loose and unstructured. And this mode of his has to do with his understanding that the Democratic Party is too willing to say and do anything just to win. He thinks that there are consequences to that kind of politics that are bad for both the party and the country. I agree with him on that. You can see why the Clintonistas don’t like him. Yet, somehow, it’s not very clear what he does believe in, save a kind of willfulness about his own opinions on top of an interesting diagnosis of what the problem is with the Demos. But I may not be giving him enough credit. It is not impossible that--should he win the nomination--he may well be instrumental in moving the party toward his kind of Liberalism (whatever that actually turns out to be) and doing it so persuasively that, even if he loses big, Hillary might have a much harder time taking over the party than I have thought heretofore. There is something Carter-like his character and method. Do note that Gallup Poll is reporting that Dean has dropped in the national poll that the 21-point lead Dean held over Clark less than a month ago has narrowed to just 4 percentage points, within the poll’s margin of error. Clark is rising. Also, do pay attention to new polls out of Iowa (they’re not out yet); I am betting that Gephardt will be moving up. The rubber is about to hit the road.

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