The Blog

Republicans Should Press the Attack on Howard Dean, Don't Let His Mouth Off The Hook

9:35 AM, Dec 7, 2005 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Sensible Democrats are panicked by Dean's remark that the US cannot win in Iraq, and even the DNC press folks are doing their best to backfill the big hole Dean's mouth has dug for them. The head of the major opposition party in the US told Zarqawi, Zawahiri and bin Laden that America won't be victorious in Iraq. In other words, Americans engaged in combat in Iraq won't win.

"Dean's take on Iraq makes even less sense than the scream in Iowa: Both are uninformed and unhelpful," said Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.) in today's Washington Post. The Post also reported:

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), the second-ranking House Democratic leader, have told colleagues that Pelosi's recent endorsement of a speedy withdrawal, combined with her claim that more than half of House Democrats support her position, could backfire on the party, congressional sources said....

"We have not blown our chance" of winning back the House but "we have jeopardized it," said a top strategist to House Democrats, who requested anonymity to speak freely about influential party leaders. "It raises questions about whether we are capable of seizing political opportunities or whether we cannot help ourselves and blow it" by playing to the liberal base of the party.

Democratic strategists looking for big gains in 2006 want to stoke the anti-war base of the party just enough so they show up at the polls but not too much so they become the face of the party. But this political strategy has hit the reality of Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy. Republicans should try to drive a wedge as deep as they can between the Dean crowd and sensible Democrats like Sen. Lieberman, Reps. Hoyer and Marshall and the folks at the DLC who understand the stakes in Iraq.