No One Here But Us Tolerant Folks

Howard Dean was in Lawrence, Kansas, yesterday, taking his message to the party faithful. It doesn’t sound as though his new status as DNC Chairman will tone down Dean’s rhetoric any; here are a few quotes from the Lawrence fundraiser:

“The issue is not abortion. The issue is whether women can make up their own mind instead of some right-wing pastor, some right-wing politician telling them what to do.
“Moderate Republicans can’t stand these people [conservatives], because they’re intolerant. They don’t think tolerance is a virtue. I’m not going to have these right-wingers throw away our right to be tolerant.
“This is a struggle of good and evil. And we’re the good.”

Well, it’s good to see that Dean is standing up for his right to be tolerant.
In my opinion, Dean’s main problem in the 2004 campaign was not that he was too extreme; his problem was that he had a tin ear. Too often, he failed to understand how he was perceived not by hard-line Democrats, but by the general public. My guess is that Dean’s tin ear will dog him as DNC Chair, too.
There’s also this: How many times over the last four years have we seen Democrats ridicule President Bush as simple-minded and naive because he views the world in terms of good vs. evil? Too many to count. One wonders whether the same liberal pundits will criticize Dean’s “struggle of good and evil” talk. Or whether they’ll note that, however manichean Bush ostensibly is, he’s never said anything remotely approaching Dean’s “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.”


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