Cooking Dean's goose

Howard Kurtz:

"As if Howard Dean didn't have enough problems after sputtering to a third-place finish in Iowa, the press is starting to question his chances of survival.

" 'Howard Dean is done,' Fred Barnes declared on Fox News. 'He's finished . . . he's gone.'

" 'Dean is cratering . . . That speech the other night, he just seemed to go nuts,' Hotline's Craig Crawford said on CNBC.

" 'A lethal self-injection,' said MSNBC's Mike Barnicle.

"A New York Post cover featuring Dean's ill-fated, bellowing, cringe-inducing post-Iowa rant, says it could produce 'Howard's End.'

...

"CNN's Anderson Cooper mockingly played the end of Dean's rant five times in a row -- five times! -- and David Letterman had Dean's head blow up. Howard Stern has made it into a song with the sound of women moaning."

It is interesting that all of these people are saying that Dean's style in his post election speech has killed him as a candidate. Actually, it was his issues that were rejected by the voters in Iowa before the speech. His anti Iraq liberation, anti Bush tax cuts issues were rejected. His style points only confirmed peoples judgement. He still has money and true believers in his corner and should be given a chance to have his issues rejected by more voters.

Framing the debate

2004Jan21.html">David Broder:

"The difference between the perspective of President Bush and that of the Democrats seeking to replace him has never been plainer than it was on Tuesday night after he delivered his State of the Union address.

"Barely 30 seconds into his speech, Bush defined the nation in terms of 'the war on terror' that he has made his primary mission since Sept. 11, 2001. His top priority is 'making America more secure,' and the first specific action he requested of Congress was an extension of the Patriot Act, the expansion of surveillance power enacted in the first weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"As it happens, that piece of legislation has become a favorite target of the Democratic presidential candidates. Even those who originally voted for it now claim (along with many libertarian conservatives) that it has been used in ways that threaten civil liberties and the invasion of privacy.

...

" 'I know that some people question if America is really in a war at all,' Bush said. 'They view terrorism more as a crime, a problem to be solved mainly with law enforcement and indictments. . . . [But] after the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got.'

"And war is what they will get if Bush is reelected. While Democrats talk earnestly of 'internationalizing' the rebuilding of Iraq and enlisting the United Nations and reluctant allies in a revived coalition against terrorist states, Bush argues that as long as he is president, 'America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.'

By framing the debate as a question of returning to the failed policies of the Clinton administration, Bush has put his adversaries back on the defensive. His statemetns about the Patriot act drew feigned applaused from Democrats when he said some of the terms of the act expired, then he turned to them and said "The terrorist threat will not expire." The Dems had just opened the door into their face again. Perhaps that is one reason why they really hate him--he keeps exposing their silliness in the face of real danger.

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