Thursday, December 08, 2005

Or maybe Howard Dean isn't an idiot

TNR's John Judis attempts to make the case that Dean is the nation's Cassadra:

There are, however, two very different questions to ask about Dean's statements on Iraq. The first is whether they are politic--whether they have advanced his own or his party's electoral chances. Probably not--I am no fan of Dean as a national politician or party chair; and I would certainly concede that a Democrat in Georgia, Florida, or Nebraska might not want to run on what he says.

The second question, though, is whether his judgment on Iraq has been sound. And there I would say that it certainly has been. During the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, and during the invasion and occupation, Dean has been almost consistently correct in his statements. He has been the Democrats' and the nation's Cassandra--willing to reveal bitter truths about which Republicans and his fellow Democrats would prefer that he remain silent.

Dean's statements perfectly fit Michael Kinsley's definition of a "gaffe"--an assertion that is impolitic but true. Here is a brief timeline of Dean's most controversial statements about Iraq and his critics' responses during the months before and immediately after the invasion...

Read and decide for yourself. Interesting, but I still think Dean and the Democrats pay for his candor.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:48 AM

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