A few weeks ago, when former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean declared his intention to run for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, news reports had the general tone of "Get this, that crazy scream guy is back and he wants to run the party." Now, a week before the vote, his victory is a fait accompli. How did this happen? Are Democrats suicidally crazy?
Wait. That's too easy. Let me rephrase the question. Why are Democrats suicidally crazy?
The conventional rap against Dean as DNC chairman is essentially the same as the conventional rap against him as presidential candidate a year ago. Namely, he reinforces all the party's weaknesses. Democrats need to appeal to culturally traditional voters in the Midwest and border states who worry about the party's commitment to national security. Dean, with his intense secularism, arrogant style, throngs of high-profile counterculture supporters and association with the peace movement, is the precise opposite of the image Democrats want to send out.
The conventional rap is completely right. But, in a way, Dean is even less suited to run the DNC than he is to run for president.
I can't wait to watch the deathblossom. Just about the entire party deserves it richly.