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19.2.04

Dean's Accomplishments

I understand that the disappointed followers of Howard Dean need to be able to convince themselves that they didn't waste their time, money, and enthusiasm over the past year. And I think that a good case can be made for Dean's importance. But I don't see how Aziz Poonawalla on the Dean Nation blog can say that one of Dean's accomplishments was to "transcend the divisive politics of Left-Right/Us-Them." In fact, I'd say one of Dean's accomplishments was to reinvigorate the politics of Left-Right/Us-Them, to challenge the politicians who had "transcended" those divides by giving up on Left and Us, to attack Right and Them without fear of the consequences, and to draw the hardcore partisans of the Left and Us back into the system. I can't find the article at the moment, but there was a good quote from the Governor in a Q&A forum a week or so back when he explicitly refused to give any platitudes about restoring bipartisanship and ending partisan enmity in Washington.

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