I just saw Vermont Governor Howard Dean on Face the Nation, and he was superb. Was his position on the war incoherent? Sure. Dean won’t attack Saddam until Iraq’s at the point where North Korea is now. That’s absurd. And Dean thinks deterrence will work on Saddam in the way that it worked with the Soviet Union. That’s ignorant. (Read Kenneth Pollack.) And Dean wants to build up the U.N., even as its refusal to implement its own resolutions turns the institution into a joke. Nonetheless, Dean gave a masterful performance. He parried Russert’s jabs expertly. He came through as a real person, not an artificial persona. And he looked an acted presidential. Dean is breaking out, and that means the Democrats are in big trouble. The face of their party may soon be the dovish man who signed a civil unions bill in a state more liberal than Massachusetts.