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Wednesday, July 30, 2003

All riled up.

Howard Dean is "the first Yuppie demagogue," concludes Jonathan Chait in his on-line debate with fellow New Republic senior editor Jonathan Cohn. (Their essays from this week's magazine have everybody talking: Chait offers the case against Howard Dean; Cohn presents the case against the case against Howard Dean.) Even the conservative Weekly Standard's Christopher Caldwell sees a real threat in Dean's extraordinary fundraising and campaigning successes.

(Counterintuitive conspiracy theory: If Chait is right, though, that Karl Rove loves the thought of a Bush-Dean matchup, might not Caldwell's fears be so much neocon spin? Just think: Gleeful Republicans, confident that Dean would be easiest to beat, publicly furrow their brows and rub their hands over the prospect of having to face the dread doctor from Vermont...)

Today's New York Times profile reassures me on one key point: Dean is a much savvier governor and politician than his angry tone or the exaggerated expectations of his more radical base would indicate:

Over 11 years, he restrained spending growth to turn a large budget deficit into a surplus, cut taxes, forced many on welfare to go to work, abandoned a sweeping approach to health-care reform in favor of more incremental measures, antagonized environmentalists, won the top rating from the National Rifle Association and consistently embraced business interests.

I find myself tempted.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 30 July 2003 at 5:18 PM

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