Is Dean A Threat?

Stephen Moore of the Club for Growth has an interesting article in The Weekly Standard that argues that Howard Dean may be a bigger threat to Bush than Republicans think.

I don’t buy the arguement. Moore gives a laundry list of reasons why Dean’s "moderate" credentials don’t fit the facts. Vermont’s tax burden is $600 above the national average. Dean’s Act 60 educational financing program was decried even by liberals as an effort in "Marxism" and nearly cost him his job.

Dean certainly is an astute politician. He’s certainly a smart individual. He is also arrogant and far too liberal for the nation as a whole. Vermont politics is not at all a good barometer of success nationally. The values of the average Vermont voter don’t represent the values of the national voter.

Dean’s campaign is based on a nearly pathological hatred of Bush, a health care plan that was soundly rejected nearly a decade ago, an opposition to a war supported by 60% of the electorate, and higher taxes. These are not policies that work on the national stage. In order to run as an electable candidate in the general election, Dean must tack to the center. Doing that will take the leftist wind from his sails as he cannot spend most of his time bashing Bush. The Deanites want their rabidly liberal candidate, not a centrist. Dean will have to run against himself in order to be electable, and at that point, Dean will have to learn that he cannot please his current base and the general electorate at the same time. A candidate divided against himself cannot stand, and that is why the GOP sees Dean as their ticket to victory in 2004.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.