Republicans, Dean said this week in San Francisco, are “pretty much a monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It’s pretty much a white Christian party.” If you belong to the GOP, he said in Washington last week, then you “are all about suppressing votes: two voting machines if you live in a black district, ten voting machines if you live in a white district.” If you are a Republican, Dr. Dean says you offer a “dark, difficult and dishonest vision…for America.”
But Dean assures us, “We’re not going to stoop to the kind of divisiveness that the Republicans are doing.” Quite a relief!
There is much legitimate debate over what makes for a good party chairman, but one criterion that nearly everyone can agree on is that he should not be his party’s greatest liability. On that score, Howard Dean is really getting out of hand.
The only questions that I have are:
- How long until mainstream Democrats say, "Enough is enough," and can Dean?
- How big a rift will that create with the MoveOn.org wing of the party?
- Will the Democrats be able to perfume the party enough to make another, more credible play for the center?
- Will Republican be able to beat the Dean Drum for as long as the Democrats beat the Gingrich Drum? (Unlikely.)
The problem with toxic speech like Dean's is that it stinks up the air long after the offender has been shown the door. From fantasy conversations with Evangelicals to crypto-Klan references, Dr. Dean has provided Republican with talking points a-plenty for the next mid-term election.