Howard Dean is now the Democratic National Committee Chairman. Many of us on the right see this as a very positive development for Republicans. But it's not a done deal yet.
The Democrats are not stupid. Clueless, yes, but they're not unaware that we Republicans have been hoping that the end result of the Democratic Party's post-election soul searching would be a leftward over-correction. Knowing how happy we are at Dean's ascension, i would think that they'll try to mitigate their image problem with middle-of-the-road voters in time for the mid-term elections.
Plus, Howard Dean is energetic, smart, and the truth is, he's not quite as liberal as people think. Being anti-war made him the darling of the unwashed anti-globalization hippie crowd, but how many of them really understood his views on the less sexy issues. Like for instance, globalization. In any case, he's the DNC chair, not a candidate. And he has a proven record of innovative and effective fund raising.
Still, the DNC's choice signals that the party has decided to give the finger to the voices of reason who have been urging a move to the center since their November debacle. That's just crazy strategy.
What the Bush haters of the ultra-left do not understand is that in their zeal to transform America into their vision of the perfect atheist libertine utopia, they have abandoned the political center to the conservatives. If Republicans are not forced to fight for centrist voters, they will have no incentive to moderate the conservative policies that the left wants so desperately to destroy. The result is a party in power that feels free to move to the right.
i think you realize that i have no problem with that.
Here's how i see the next few years working out, though: A defiant Democratic Party (financed and led by the true-believers of the fringe left) insists on continuing the message of negativity that lost it the presidency in 2004. The mid-terms are a disaster as the Republican Party consolidates its power even further.
All the while, back-bencher Hillary Clinton lays low, putting distance between herself and her former, more shrill image. She reaches out to the political center. Then, at the right moment, she makes the long-expected announcement. Hillary rides in on her white horse, the best hope of the Party to save the Democrats from self-destruction by the far left.
Rank-and-file Democrats flock to her side in the early primaries, like they did to Kerry in '04, convinced of Hillary's "electability" over the more out-of-touch liberals favored by the party intelligentsia. (That's exactly why Kerry got the nomination, while the media was trying to convince everyone it would be Dean.)
Hillary, the so-called "smartest woman in the world" emerges, perfectly positioned to gobble up the center for Democrats who've grown tired of their years in the wilderness. And if the Republicans don't manage to find an exciting candidate to run against her in 2008, we may be in for the old Clinton bait-and-switch again.*
* That's when the candidate runs as a moderate, but as soon as the election is over, hits you with that old-time liberal agenda.
[Cross-posted at annika's journal.]