Ramesh – I’m not so sure. Yes, in an ideal world a race-to-the-top between the GOP and Democrats on who could be the better — i.e. more conservative party — would be great. But, since you are spoling the fun of my column by getting into the nitty-gritty of reality, let me offer an objection. At this point, if Dean loses the nomination, do you really think it will be because of his views or because he’s such a weird guy? In other words, if he loses now, I don’t think it will be because his ideas have been rejected by the Democrats so much as the man will have been rejected. The argument that Dean’s populism, like Gore’s, is the smart play for the Democrats will live on. Indeed, Gore won more votes than any Democrat in a very long time, right? Won’t many more seasoned Democrats conclude that the message is the right one but a better man than the vein-bulging Dean or the android Gore is what’s required?
However, if Dean gets the nomination. And then he’s crushed like a bug by Bush and if Bush has coattails, don’t you think many Democrats will see that the hardcore lefty-populist stuff is a loser?