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Friday, November 17, 2006

The "Pummeling of Howard Dean"

Robert Reich has a challenge. Can you come up with a better theory?:

Why Are They Gunning for Howard Dean?, by Robert Reich: What can possibly account for the post-election victory party pummeling of Howard Dean by inside-the-beltway Democrats? Prominent Democratic consultants (James Carville, Stan Greenberg) go on the record (“you can quote me”) with complaints barely two weeks from a Democratic sweep. Leading congressional Democrats (Rahm Emmanuel) vent their anger vociferously (“on background”). Why? Dems now control both Houses and have twenty-eight governorships. Dean ought to be congratulated. So what’s the underlying agenda here? Three theories:

1. The only way a Dem gets on television after such a sweet victory isn’t by criticizing Republicans – it’s by criticizing fellow Dems. Stirring up clear waters grabs attention. Attention draws crowds. Crowds create power. Power is the name of the game in Washington, especially when formal control of Congress changes hands.

2. Dean’s strategy of putting money into state party infrastructure takes money out of the pockets of Washington insiders – away form Democratic consultants and key congressional party activists. That makes insiders angry.

3. Dean is an independent DNC chair, not under the sway of the Clintons. Unlike Ron Brown, who guided the DNC toward a Clinton victory in 1992, Dean doesn’t play the usual power games. Hence, the Clintons would like him out, and the sooner the better. Carville, Greenberg, and Emmanuel, among others, are doing their bidding.

Which is it? I’m not so cynical or conspiratorial as to believe any one of them. But you come up with a more credible theory.

    Posted by on Friday, November 17, 2006 at 12:12 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (60)


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