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All I can think about is Howard Dean! Poliblogger and Dean Esmay are talking about him, too.
Steven Taylor noticed my paranoia about Dean. Hey, I admit there’s no logical reason to conclude that Dean will revitalize the Democrat party. This blog frivilously documented Dr. Dean’s ridiculous run for the White House in 2003 (the wrong year). I still marvel at the seriousness with which the major media treated Dean. When his campaign went into permanent hibernation mode, some people supposedly close to the former governor admitted that Dean himself never thought his campaign would be taken seriously. A psychologist might make more of his implosion.
If Dean indeed sabotaged (subconsciously or otherwise) his own campaign last year, the prospects for the DNC would seem bleak. Likely, Dean would quit the post after the 2006 elections, either to make way for a professional, or to run for the White House against Hillary and Kerry. How much damage can he do in two years?
The people who reluctantly voted for Bush over Kerry, based on polling data, are best described as serious people. They might like a good joke, and I’m sure they have their fun sides. Still, they, like most grown ups, take important matters seriously. They may have doubts about the Iraqi war, but they understand then when the USA is in a shooting match, you pass the ammo and keep your head down. These adults saw something of the college president candidate in Kerry–and student council candidates for Congress. George Bush looked voters in the eye and told them things they didn’t want to hear. Serious men do such things. Kerry, on the other hand, looked around the room and said things no one understood. Like Al Gore, he seemed more interested in demonstrating how bloody smart he is rather than what he would do with a four year license to run the Executive branch.
Of all the things Howard Dean is not, serious tops the list. (If Howard Dean is serious about the things he says, the psychologists must be as eager to get him on the couch as National Review is to get him into the DNC chair.) More importantly, the grown ups in America see him as unserious. Like Bill Clinton, he might be a fun president at a frivilous time–like the 1990s, when the Boris Badenovs of the world were still trying to figure out what to do without Fearless Leader. With a new industry maturing, a tech bubble, and loose accounting rules for corporations, the president’s primary job is entertainment.
In 2000, with an election looming, the grown ups got together and took their money away from irresponsible geeks with bad ideas. Likewise, political grown ups took the White House away from a president who seemed a little too much like the internet millionaires–young, extravagent, wild, loose, fun, charming, glib . . . empty. In George Bush, we find a president who makes serious adults comfortable. In Howard Dearn, we find a man who makes little girls giggle.
As I said, there is no logical reason to pick the DNC to win in 2006 or 2008 with Dean at its helm. As I also said, though, in 2002 there was no logical argument for the Patriots beating the Rams.
Since everybody’s talking about Dean, might as well join The Beltway Traffic Jam
UPDATE: Joe Gandelman has some observations that well worth the read.