There's a profile of my man Howard Dean in this weekend's NY Times Magazine. I'm starting to hate the times, with their limp-wristed editorial support for the war, their idiotic pay-per-view archives and their insipidly elitist yuppie bullshit television ads. If it weren't for Krugman and a few other voices there, I'd stop checking it on any kind of basis. The war was enough to stop me from going there for daily news (and forget cnn.com... havn't seen that bitch in months), I now rely on various meta-filters to tell me what's up in the world.
Anyway, the profile is crappy, a lot of the same old misconceptions that Dean can't win, that Dean's a protest candidate, that Dean's a moderate in liberal clothing, that Dean's a liberal in moderate clothing. I'm also waiting for my girlfriend to wake up and call me so I can see her for the first time in a week, so I'm in a cranky mood too. I wrote a letter to the editor of course, and then I went looking online for some solace. I happened upon this gem in the dean2004.blogspot.com comments. By "Eric":
Bai [the author of the profile] was right about one thing--many Democrats weren't happy with Clinton and perhaps some of those same people are now supporting Dean. For a few, the discomfort with Clinton derived from policy disagreements. But most disliked Clinton for the same reason Republicans hated him: He used (sometimes hokey) personal charm to avoid taking a clear position time after time--and co-opted Republican policies in the name of "winning" as he went. Without Clinton's force of personality, this approach (now apparently favored among other Democratic candidates) comes across as either lame or blatantly disingenuous. And in hindsight, it's not at all clear that Clinton's unwillingness to, say, pursue campaign finance reform or scrutinize padded Pentagon contracts did the party or the electorate much good.
So what many Democrats see in Dean is someone with conventional values who isn't afraid to tells it like it is. After Clinton's triangulation and Gore's awkward evasiveness, how can this be anything but a breath of fresh air? You have to be completely bollixed up in rationalizing one of the weirdest, scariest periods in American history to see Dean's blunt declamations of common sense as anything but mainstream. At this particular moment in history, when so much has been so recklessly put at risk by a cadre of radical right-wingers making it up as they go along, we need someone like Dean more than most of us realize. It's been a very long time since the Democrats had, to quote Rob Reiner, a "tough mother" as a candidate. He'll need that backbone to confront fearful pseudo-Democrats almost as much as he'll need it to battle Bush in 2004.
This pretty much summs it up for me. One last link: One Father For Dean and his response to intellectually weak conservatives at his school reunion. And now I've gotten the phone call and I'm off to brunch.