Howard Dean is complaining again about the Washington establishment – that it’s not doing enough to protect him! His call on Terry McAuliffe to come to his aid is another attack on the party establishment disguised as an appeal for party unity. Pretty tricky. Dean is right, of course, that the kind of attacks being leveled against him, questioning his basic fitness for office, could be very damaging in the general election. I think there is some small chance that amid all the negativity John Edwards, who is staying above the anti-Dean fray and is relatively optimistic and upbeat, could make a late surge. It often happens that when two candidates are knocking the hell out of each other, or in this case one candidate and the rest of the field, the guy who has stayed out of the fight can sneak up the middle. It may not be likely, but there’s a chance. At least Edwards is doing shrewd niche marketing.