Bare-knuckled pragmatism

Bare-knuckled pragmatism

Katha Pollitt on Howard Dean

“Every time the press pooh-poohs his chances, every time they gloat over some trivial misstatement, every time they make fun of Vermont and describe his supporters as “Birkenstocked” “Deanyboppers,” I think about the free ride the media give Bush, who says more false and foolish things in an afternoon than Dean has said in a lifetime, who is unmaking everything good about this country from Head Start to habeas corpus, who is stacking the government with faith healers and fanatics, my fingers itch to write Dean another check….

Right now, Dean is the only viable candidate who speaks to the anger, fear and loathing a large number of ordinary citizens feel about the direction Bush has taken the country…. He has gone out and actually asked for the help of these citizens, rather than taking them for granted. That is why 70,000 people have sent him money, and why 84,000 have shown up to work for him, and why tens of thousands of volunteers wrote personal letters to Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats and independents urging them to support Dean. His willingness to challenge Bush without looking over his shoulder at the last undecided voter in Ohio is the big story….

What the media see as progressive self-delusion is actually the opposite: a bare-knuckled pragmatism born from the debacle of the 2000 elections.

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