Tuesday, December 23, 2003

More on the Deano-Clinton Turf War

The NY Times article quoted in the post below also had this:
At a town hall meeting in Exeter, N.H., on Monday afternoon, Dr. Dean referred to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council as "the Republican part of the Democratic Party" even while talking about the need to bring unity among Democrats.

Jay Carson, a Dean spokesman, said the candidate was "joking," noting that the leadership council has been among the most aggressive opponents of the Dean candidacy.
Since the DLC means Bubba, it looks like Howie is back to Bubba-bashing. William Saletan has the latest in Slate - Jihoward: Howard Dean, suicide bomber:
Last Thursday, Howard Dean declared, "While Bill Clinton said that the era of big government is over, I believe we must enter a new era for the Democratic Party—not one where we join Republicans and aim simply to limit the damage they inflict on working families." Clinton alumni, naturally offended, fired back. Bruce Reed, Clinton's former chief domestic policy adviser, called Dean's remark "a cheap shot at Clintonism."

Friday, the Dean campaign denied that Dean had meant to slam Clinton. "If he is the nominee, Governor Dean would ask for President Clinton and former members of his Administration to be a very active part of his campaign," said the campaign. The Dean aide who had written the offending line in Dean's speech, Jeremy Ben-Ami, insisted that the line was "not intended in any way to pick a fight with the Clinton legacy." Rather, it was "intended to pick a fight with the Washington Democrats in power."

Washington Democrats in power? You mean, as opposed to Clinton, the last Democrat who held power in Washington? The guy in whose White House, located in Washington, Ben-Ami worked as a domestic policy adviser? The guy Howard Dean defended against "liberals" when, in 1996, he joined Republicans in supporting welfare reform legislation, aiming simply to limit the damage it might inflict?
But wait, there's more:
Sunday morning, the Deaniacs were at it again. On ABC's This Week, Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi said Dean was running against the Democratic "establishment." Pressed to define the members of this "establishment," Trippi bobbed and weaved. Eventually, he said, "I'm talking about Dick Gephardt, John Kerry, and Joe Lieberman."

You mean, Dick Gephardt, the guy for whose presidential campaign Trippi worked in 1988? The guy who shepherded Clinton's economic plan through the House in 1993 and hasn't held power in Washington since he stepped down as minority leader last year? You mean Joe Lieberman, the presidential candidate who has most fiercely defended and most faithfully extended Clinton's centrist Democratic agenda?

You get the point. Either all this stuff from the Dean campaign about the establishment is an attack on the Clintonian center, or it's the usual meaningless blather that politicians toss to crowds to make themselves look nonpolitical. Either way, it's fake. I think it's blather, but the more Dean talks about it and applies it to various issues, the more it looks like an attack on the center. And if that's the mission Dean has in mind, Democrats would be well-advised to jump off his truck before he blows it up.
And one more:
Dean's jihad is even crazier than Gore's. It's almost completely undisciplined. Three weeks ago on a national radio show, Dean brought up the "interesting theory" that Bush had been warned beforehand about 9/11. Last week, Dean defended that remark by telling reporters, "I acknowledged that I did not believe the theory I was putting out." When the Washington Post exposed several Dean comments that didn't fit the facts, Dean scoffed that voters could believe him "or they can believe the Washington Post." No word yet on whether voters must choose between believing Dean and believing the Los Angeles Times, which issued a similar analysis of Dean's whoppers last Thursday.
Howie, stop rushing it! You're scheduled to implode after you get the nomination.

UPDATE: I already mentioned the Washington Post article and the LA Times article is here. I like its polite phraseology - they say that Deano is "a candidate whose off-the-cuff style has sometimes led him to take contradictory positions." I guess that's the way folks in LaLa Land describe someone that around here we would call "full of more crap than a Christmas goose."