Dean Masterful on Meet The Press

Ok, let me first go ahead and admit the only mistake Howard Dean made at Sunday (5/22/05) morning's Meet The Press (MTP website, Dean interview transcript) with Tim Russert.  He was talking about Iraq and Saddam Hussain at one point, and he kept saying "Osama Bin Laden" in places he so obviously meant "Saddam Hussain."

Bar that, Howard Dean showed what a magnificent person he is.  He proved why he was worthy of rank and file Democrats calling, writing and talking to their DNC members 100-some odd days ago before he was elected the DNC chair.  Howard Dean showed that he is a man of deep and core convictions with a clear moral compass.  He did not back down on his comment that Tom DeLay belongs in jail - and told truth to power, that it was not a matter of prejudgment after the majority leader had been admonished for ethics violations by his own peers in Congress.  Not once, not twice, but three times.  The Republican Party leadership, without having any idea how to defend Tom DeLay or how to return to ethical policy-making, as usual, whinned and complained like little kids that sounded almost like, "Mommy, Howie was mean to Tommy..."  And they are supposed to be the party of mucho-ness?  Puleeeze!

Tim Russert tried to "get" Dean by quoting him out of context, but Dean set the record straight every time, and focused like a laser-beam on his message, which was that the Republican leadership is morally corrupt, drunk with power, and that the Democratic Party is the party of freedom, safety, and ethics and moral governance - the party of the people.  And he laid out what he had in the works to get this message out: namely, strengthen state parties and adapt message discipline (I think the latter is THE reason the Democrats have had some success on the Hill lately).  And he stuck it to those with their own severe moral shortcomings (drug-addict Limbaugh, ethically challenged DeLay) who try to grandstand to others and try to dictate Christian values in their own terms.

Howard Dean, make no mistake, is planting a moral spine in the Democratic party.  This one is made of steel.  The transplant hasn't totally taken yet, but if Dean is successful, it will.  He is not afraid to talk about his faith - as no Democrat should be.  He said outright that while he doesn't go to Church often, he prays every night, and that no morally bankrupt Limbaugh is going to tell him how to be a good moral person.  He talked about his belief in Jesus Christ.  He talked about respect for everyone of all faiths.  But far more importantly, he talked about core values and principles that the Democratic party should stand and be counted for: ethical behavior, personal liberty, protection.  Howard Dean is not a beloved leader because he pleases all people at all times.  He is a beloved leader and respected statesman because people know he is not going to BS them.  They respect him because he respects them - agree or not.

I cannot possibly envision a better person to lead the Democratic Party at this time of need than Howard Dean.  Yes, I would rather him be president (and he'd rather be president, he has said as much on occasion), but history's course is unvailing in front of him as the DNC chair.  History seldom accomodates us on the page we want to be on.  But every once in a while, history offers us an opportunity to write another page.  Right now we are making history with Howard Dean.

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