Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Love In The Time of Howard Dean, a Reflection


I'm going to write a short story with that title one day, but I haven't worked it all out yet. All I know is that as much as I've supported Dean, given him money, lashed at the media for building him up too much and tearing him down too gleefully, it's safe to say that the Dean campaign is done. We can safely speak of it in the past tense. The Democratic machine can breathe easy--they have their guy. The Republicans can focus their awesome war chest on two very flawed, but also ultimately more predictable candidates in John Kerry and John Edwards. Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton will be around to provide local color and livelier debates.

But in a way Dean won anyway. He got Kerry and Edwards and even Clark (where have you gone, Wesley Clark? The Clinton machine turns it's lonely eyes to you. Woo hoo hoo) to co-opt his talking points and get tough with Bush. Every time Kerry exhorts people to log on to "", I'm reminded of the $40 million Dean raised over the Internet, from regular folks like us who were turned on by his anti-war message, his pledge to try and supply universal health care and his legitimate outsider, let's shake up the machine credentials.

As a fan of political theater, I hope Dean sticks around until the convention. His lack of polish is always interesting and somebody has to keep Kerry on his toes, since Edwards is too nice and someone has to prepare the guy for the hatchet job Karl Rove has in store. Dean probably won't last until California. He's out of money, he's going through campaign strategists faster than Adam Sandler goes through toilet humor, his crowds have dwindled and the media, having had it's way with him, has written him off. But it's been a fun year, hasn't it? Thanks for the enthusiasm and the vision Howard Dean. Keep up the fight.

(ADDENDUM: Since I wrote this originally, Dean has officially ended his campaign for the presidency but has pledged to continue to raise money for the Democrats and fight to keep his issues a part of the Democratic platform. He will not, at this time, endorse any candidate. Here's a hint: if he did, it wouldn't be Kerry.)


Day __ of the $1 million WMD sweepstakes has come and gone and there's still no weapons of mass destruction. Last week's death toll of U.S. servicepeople, Iraqi officials and civillians: 110 and counting. Casualties: many more. Cost of the war: more than we can pay for. End in sight? Can you say, Vietnam?