When Howard Dean was being put forward as the Chairman of the DNC, we had a little debate about it on this blog. I was of the opinion that Dean was likely to represent a move by the party to the left which would run a high risk of alienating centrist voters. I was afraid that Dean would alienate fiscal conservatives with liberal social views. I was also concerned that Dean's track record of speaking without thinking would be a problem (not sure that was a major dimension of the debate). I bring this up now because Dean is coming under fire for some poorly thought out comments. The highlights are that he said Republicans "never worked an honest day in their lives" and that the Republican party is "pretty much a White, Christian party." I agree with the second statement but I think he was amateurish to say it that way. But these are not nearly as bad as any number of statements by people like Trent Lott or Newt Gingrich (who said on the Daily Show the other day that Ali and Fraser went out and had "cocoanut juice" after their fight).
The first statement is still problematic. The Christian right are not the wealthy elite he suggests. And most people recognize that. While it may be true that Bush and Cheney have not done an honest days work, one cannot say the same about the millions of rank and file theo-fascists who keep the GOP moving. They are a lot of things (mostly bad) but they aren't thieves.
Bill Richardson is trying to distance himself from Dean without directly saying he's nuts.
Dean supporters will surely say that Dean is needed to "energize the base." I counter that with a President like this we don't need Dean to do that. Besides, the Democratic party got a higher turnout in 2004 than ever before (highly energized base) and still narrowly lost. Turning out the base is not the key. Getting the socially liberal fiscal conservatives is.
Anyone want to defend Dean? Condemn him?
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 7:24 AM