Laurence F. Kaplan has an interesting piece in The Washington Post on why the Dean-McGovern comparisons are supported by history.
The problem with the Dean camp trying to spin Dean into being a "moderate" is that the record shows something else entirely. Long before Dean was a political somebody, Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics rated Dean as one of the most liberal governors in the US. Dean’s own record shows that his positions on issues skew far to the left of the American political mainstream despite. Yes, Dean did balance the budget in Vermont – by raising taxes and driving away business. If that’s his plan for the country, good luck.
At the end of the day, Dean is a rabidly anti-war, tax-raising liberal with an attitude – exactly the kind of candidate McGovern was. Both candidates would like to think of themselves as part of the mainstream but don’t sufficiently understand politics outside their liberal clique. Both candidates are being driven to the left by the increasing radicalization of their own party. Both candidates are likely to meet the same ends – a firm political thrashing.