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August 20, 2009


During the campaign, we noted that Obama might prove to be a Jimmy Carter in reverse, a transition figure who, instead of (as with Carter) opening the door to several decades of Reaganesque conservatism, might lead to the downfall of the Vichy Democrats, permitting a return of the party's commitment to social democracy. Both the Democratic and the Republican right have bombed, the GOP has pathetic choices for 2012, the economy is in a shambles and the door is beginning to open for something interesting. It now looks like Obama might not be the Democratic candidate in 2012.

Read the story below and you'll get a hint of how it might happen. Note both Howard Dean's assertiveness and the Post helpfully repeating the anti-Dean spin from the Democratic establishment that suggests the former governor is of more than passing concern.

And don't forget: after Dean, as DNC chair, helped mightily to create the base for Obama's victiory, Obama dumped him. Stay tuned.

Philip Rucker, Washington Post - Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean is emerging as a thorn in the side of a White House that effectively swept him out of Washington, regularly challenging President Obama and Congress as he crisscrosses the country preaching his progressive vision for universal health care.

Although he is lending voice and brand to the liberal cause in the intraparty health-care debate, Dean hardly considers himself a spoiler. Rather, he sees his role as fighting for progressive values, asserting again and again that health-care reform without a government-run insurance option is hardly reform at all.

When he visited this tranquil corner of New England last weekend, Dean warned that if Democratic leaders abandon the "public option," they surrender their principles to politics.

"The worst thing that could happen is to pass a bill without a public option," he told about 200 union workers and Democratic volunteers in a fiery speech at a pep rally and picnic here Sunday. "Then we'd put 60 billion new dollars a year into the health insurance industry that is busy taking away your health insurance when you need it most, stopping you from getting health insurance, taking it away if you lose a job and not giving it back to you if you get it back."

"We all voted for change we can believe in. If we don't get it, we'll get some more change in 2010," Dean roared, the crowd applauding between bites of hamburgers, hot dogs and macaroni salad. 'We've Got to Get It Done'. . .

"I think Obama's plan is very good," said Dean, a former physician who has made health care a key focus of his political career. "In fact, I think it's the most practical, most likely-to-succeed plan I've seen in 30 years, and we've got to get it done. This is the time.". . .

But in his appearances, which are not coordinated with the administration, Dean is helping to fuel what could become a calamity for the White House.

"What Howard is doing is principled but destructive," said a Democratic strategist and former Dean adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the intraparty debate. "If health-care reform goes down because of the public option, it's going to be the liberals that bring it down, the Democrats doing it to themselves."

Dean, 60, has become a politician without an office. Seven months removed from the DNC chairmanship and seven years away from being governor of Vermont, he appears to enjoy the freedom to speak his piece. And on this day, he did not appear concerned about the potential consequences for Obama. . .

In the morning, for the 40-minute drive to Poland Spring, Dean rode not in a Town Car but in a Toyota Prius driven by a local Democratic activist. "I've cursed the stimulus package more than once as I've been trying to drive in various places," Dean joked from the front seat as the car meandered past orange construction cones.

Progressive Democrats in Congress, and the volunteer activists who helped put them there, revolted this week over comments from top administration officials that Obama was willing to give up a public insurance option to strike a deal with Congress. Some are frustrated after working for years to help Democrats win back the White House and big majorities in Congress.

"They are like, 'What's the fruit of our labor?' " said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who managed Dean's 2004 upstart presidential campaign but has publicly feuded with him since. "Howard's giving that voice. . . . He's definitely speaking out for a legitimate, sizable portion of rank-and-file progressives.". . .

Dean received a hero's welcome when he addressed hundreds of progressive bloggers last week at the Netroots Nation convention in Pittsburgh. He was their favored messenger in 2004, when his innovative campaign fueled the rise of the "Net roots" in the Democratic Party. Now, five years later, Dean is speaking for them again. . .


Blogger Igor said...

How you tell when politician lie?

Comrade Pelosi blink

Slick Willy rub nose

Comrade Obama open mouth

Dumb Donkey Gibbs laugh...Hehaw..he..haw..he..haw!

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August 20, 2009 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dean is obviously not the establishment's choice, as evidenced by the full-court press dumped upon him after he gained some momentum in the 2004 race. From the manufactured "Dean Scream" to disparaging stories in all major media, he was all but wiped out in a couple of weeks.

August 20, 2009 11:58 PM  

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