August 27, 2003

I See Dean People

Last night, I happened to go outdoors just as a trainload of people from the Dean rally disgorged on the street. All I can say is "Oh...no-o-o..." To be honest, my expectations were not high to begin with, but this admittedly random sample didn't raise my hopes.

Maybe these were supporters trucked in from Vermont and just staying with local people. But they sure all looked like Vermonters ‒ in every shade and color, from white to ecru to bone. I didn't notice any Vermont cars, so perhaps these people actually walk amongst us. [Shudder.]

Anyway, the GOP vultures are circling. There is a distinct smell of 1972 in the Dean ranks, in their demeanor and their "true believer" vision for how this election will go down.

Their statements and blogs speak of "taking back" the Democratic Party, and wanting to "bring people back into the political process". Sure. This is classic insurgency rhetoric ‒ the most annoying being the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" slogan (not even an original for Dean). Worked for the Bolsheviks in 1917 and look how well that turned out.

The conventional wisdom is that you have to run more to the party extreme in the primaries, moving to the center for the general election. In fact, on the evidence, this entire Dean thing seems to be a fringe of a fringe, left of the left-of-center. Sort of the way Vermont is a kind of smugly self-righteous neo-utopia that can only exist parasitically on money spun out of New York and Massachusetts, but still remains too holy to admit it.

We're witnessing the political form of binge-and-purge, the binge being the Clinton-Gore years. Given the poor quality of the current roster of Democratic candidates, given the current disarray among Democrats, and barring the entry of Wesley Clark, I'd give Dean a better than even shot at nomination. Should that happen, Bush wins with a landslide, with maybe Vermont and Washington going for Dean.

Then all the Dean people go away.

Posted by campbell at August 27, 2003 09:29 AM | TrackBack
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