It’s not a novel insight, but I’ve decided that Dean is the definitive rump-party figurehead for the Democrats. He pleases only those people who represent the parties problems and he further alienates precisely those people it needs to attract. It wasn’t completely obvious this was going to be the case when they picked Dean, but it is now. He’s turning away donors rather than attracting them and he’s accentuating stereotypes while trying to rebut them. Indeed, the way he rebuts them — talking religion and the like — seem only to demonstrate that Democrats cannot speak convincingly on such issues. Of course, many can. But he can’t and he’s setting the image for the party.
George Orwell famously said “A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, but then fail all the more completely because he drinks.” Well, similarly, a party may take to Howard Dean because it feels itself a failure, but then fail all the more completely because hired Howard Dean.