Thursday, May 19, 2005

Howard Dean urged to be nice.

Politics: You would think the head of the DNC would know how to play the game of politics. When Pelosi and Reid have to sit you down for a talk, there are problems. Via Robert "Prince of Darkness" Novak.

Dean's election by the DNC membership was a case of the inmates seizing control of the asylum. After the 2004 election, party leaders spent more than three months in a fruitless effort to find an alternative to Dean. Their fears of money drying up under Dean have largely been realized, but they have deluded themselves into thinking the former Vermont governor who screamed his way out of any hope for the 2004 presidential nomination was under firm restraint. The party's congressional leaders, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, sat down with the newly elected Chairman Dean for a heart-to-heart talk. They politely urged him to restrain his rhetoric, to organize rather than inflame. Dean thereupon buried himself seeking Democratic converts in the "red" states of Republican America, giving the impression that he was heeding the pleas of the congressional leadership. He was not. He has described the Republican leadership, in various venues, as "evil," "corrupt" and "brain-dead." He has called Sen. Rick Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, a "liar." He has referred to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh as "drug-snorting." What he said last weekend differed from this invective only in that it was presented to an urban forum and so became public knowledge. Addressing the Massachusetts Democratic convention in Lowell, Dean declared: "I think DeLay ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence down there courtesy of the Texas taxpayers." Dean would jail DeLay without trial, without indictment and without accusation of any crime. National chairmen are supposed to fire up the troops, but Dean's rhetoric crosses a line. What he said was too much even for so tough a partisan Democrat as Rep. Barney Frank, who attended his state's convention in Lowell and was appalled by Dean's language. Dean's deficiencies as face and voice of the Democratic Party were supposed to be overcome by his legendary prowess, evident by his run for president, raising funds in small packages. That so far has proved a grievous disappointment. First quarter figures show the DNC received only $13 million from inviduals, compared to $32 million raised by the Republican National Committtee [RNC]. Overall figures were $34.2 million by the RNC, $16.7 million by the DNC.

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