So it turns out that anger, money and an unhealthy dose of self-righteous delusion weren’t enough to propel Howard Dean to the Democratic nomination.
Dean is finished. His only chance now is to string along victories in New Mexico, Michigan and Maine and then clinch the nomination on Super Tuesday. It’s a pipe dream.
Once Dean loses next week, his press coverage will slow to a trickle as the media look for the next horse race. With their candidate crowded out of the news cycle and the money drying up, legions of supporters will unsubscribe in droves from the DeanForAmerica bandwagon.
His “I Have A Scream” speech marked the beginning of the end. There he was, working the crowd into a frenzy of angry energy and then blowing his tempermental load on national television.
Partisans who decry the media frenzy have missed the point. Dean’s speech, as a whole, was without the dignity or restraint befitting an aspiring leader of the free world. The presidential candidate, unable to concede graciously, could only bellow furiously, petulantly rattling off the names of his competitors’ home states and declaring them next on the list of Deaniac stomping grounds.
The astonishing fall in New Hampshire came not because of Dean’s third-place Iowa finish, but rather, because his speech startled supporters awake from their six-month-long intellectual stupor. Dean, who had staked his campaign on cynically exploiting party divisions, was finally unmasked as a symbol of mobocracy.
Shocked and horrified, the droves of Deaniacs decided to vote for a safer (though only slightly more electable) liberal. Not everyone came to, but we must accept that a portion of the population will always be hopelessly radicalized and all too eager to take leave of the senses.
I’m heartened that, as it turns out, the vast majority of us are better than that.