Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

January 2, 2004

by J

The Fence Mending Commenceth?

I was really ticked off at Matthew Miller a few weeks ago for writing a snide, petty article about Dean suggesting that Karl Rove was rubbing his hands together with glee about his candidacy. Miller is a senior fellow at the new Center for American Progress and they are supposed to be about promoting progressive values. From their about page:
Our policy and communications efforts are organized around four major objectives:
developing a long term vision of a progressive America,
providing a forum to generate new progressive ideas and policy proposals,
responding effectively and rapidly to conservative proposals and rhetoric with a thoughtful critique and clear alternatives, and
communicating progressive messages to the American public.
I fail to see how Miller's petty attacks on a major Democratic candidate with a good chance at the nomination accomplish any of these goals.

It's possible, though, that Miller recognizes that Dean and his campaign are not going away, as his most recent article about Dean has only a small touch of pettiness near the end and is otherwise reasonable, pointing out that contrary to the shrill protestations of some, Dean is building on Clinton's accomplishments, policy-wise:
But in reality, the notion that Dean is somehow radically left on domestic policy, or has "dissed" Bill Clinton, is nonsense. To the extent these charges are serious, they prove how little critics grasp Dean's proposals - and how little they recall Clinton's own domestic vision, which Dean largely seeks to fulfill.

[...] These goals aren't radical; they're common sense. But the conservative movement has so successfully shaped perceptions of where the 50-yard line lies in political debate that they can be plausibly branded as "lefty" - meaning the media can (for now, at least) be persuaded to characterize them this way.

In seeking to move the 50-yard line back toward common sense, Howard Dean is doing what needs to be done - and privately, other Democrats know it.
Hopefully this is the beginning of some fence-mending from "progressive" or "liberal" columnists who've spent the last few months trying but failing to tear Dean down.
Posted by J at January 2, 2004 08:27 AM | TrackBack

From your fingers to God's eyes J.

Posted by: Chris Andersen at January 2, 2004 12:10 PM

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