Tuesday, December 30, 2003
"We're going to have a little fun at the president's expense.'
That's what Howard Dean often says with a smile as he tears into President Bush. It's one of Dean's favorite themes. The van he campaigned in last summer bore the license plate "McFun." Now Dean is having fun again, this time at the expense of his own party."
Thus begins Saletan's new takedown of Howard Dean. This article is pretty pathetic. The DLC (the leadership, not the members) has treated Dean like the second coming of, I dunno, Jerry Brown, and Saletan seems to think Dean should just accept this. He shouldn't, and if the result is that people begin to realize that the DLC, as an organization, does not represent Democratic values anymore, so be it.
This has nothing to do with whether the DLC won in the 90s, or if its "centrist" positions are good. Because, issue-by-issue, the DLC and Dean pretty much agree. But the DLC has become, not the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, as Dean joked, but the scaredy-cat wing of the Democratic Party (joining Michelle Cottle and Jonathan Chait, among others--see this post). As Matt Y. said in Tapped, the DLC is more willing to take on those it agrees with substantively but the media considers "liberal" than those it disagrees with but are considered "moderates."
Saletan needs to realize that Dean needs to fight back against the DLC, if only to show that it's time has passed. Watch for the ascendancy of Simon Rosenberg's New Democratic Network.
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