Tuesday, March 11, 2003

The Dean Machine: I agree with Lizza in TNR when he says that Dean needs to energize the liberal base to win the primary. This one's a no brainer. But go back to the Noonan article I linked a few days ago. The Dems, she says, have to curb their win-at-all-costs vitriol. What profit it a man to gain the liberal base and lose the center? Dean made some waves when he said that the Republican agenda was essentially Taliban-oriented. He didn't say "Taliban," but what sort of reaction do you think he was trying for when he said that, if Republicans get their way, girls won't be able to go to school anymore? I understand that politics ain't beanbag, as the saying goes, but this kind of talk is just irresponsible. Imagine a pro-life candidate (a major candidate, not a nut-fudge or some pressure-group, one-issue type) claiming that his pro-choice opponent's support for partial-birth abortion is a stalking horse for Singer-esque legalized infanticide. I understand a political tendency to boil down issues to black and white, but flat-out lying and fearmongering is the stuff of hustlers and demagogues. The GOP has had its share of them; Nixon was a good example. But the Democrats now, sadly, have to resort to wholesale lying to win an election.

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