He feared a guy who couldn’t beat McCain in New Hampshire despite the huge financial advantage, months of early campaigning, and proximity to the state he governed? He feared the social con whose faith and very belated conversion to the cause left him suspect in the eyes of much of the Christian base? Whose own most devout supporters felt compelled to beg him in the pages of the New York Times to stop running such a phony campaign?I understand his rage. Dean is just doing a little pre-season politicking -- because that's what it's all about right now: laying down clouds of stink that operatives hope will linger enough that citizens can catch a whiff of them when they start paying attention. And, with the help of lazy reporters, perhaps they will.
Republicans, of course, have been doing the same kind of thing, claiming that the Democratic contenders are knocking each other out before the main event ("...we will look back on the Clinton-Obama contest, and its looming ugly endgame, as the low point of identity politics, and the beginning of a turning away..."). I doubt it has been much worse this year than it was in pre-seasons past. Those of us who, thanks to some horrible brain chemistry imbalance, are prone to notice this sort of thing are just noticing it more than usual.
Those mostly apolitical souls who are, perhaps optimistically, lately referred to as "voters" are probably not asking yet which candidate best represents their interests. They're probably asking "Four bucks for a gallon of milk?" etc.