Dean is doing his “Take Our Country Back” thing again:
Dean, one of seven Democratic presidential candidates to address the Arab American Institute’s national leadership conference in Dearborn, pointed to an American flag and named some of the people he said it did not belong to.
“It does not belong to General Boykin, or John Ashcroft, or Rush Limbaugh or Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson,” the former Vermont governor said to cheers in the packed hotel conference room in the Detroit suburb which is home to one of the highest concentrations of Muslims and Arabs outside the Middle East.
“This flag belongs to every single American, including every single American in this room, and is the hope and aspiration for many other folks who are not yet citizens,” he said.
…which prompted me to wonder: Isn’t Dean contradicting himself? If the flag belongs to all Americans, as he says, then what’s he doing declaring that it doesn’tbelong to certain Americans like Limbaugh, Falwell and Robertson?
Yeah, yeah, I know what he meant, and I basically agree with it. But Dean frequently makes statements like these. I’m too pressed for time at the moment to look up more quotes, but just watch him on TV and you’ll see what I mean. Dean’s speeches and interviews are filled with the kind of blunt, rough-edged, semi-articulate pulpitspeak that could only appeal to the partisans who have already fallen hard for him.
Dean’s supporters may use many glowing terms to describe their candidate, but “eloquent” is never among them. We met another candidate in 1999 who was like that, and his name was George W. Bush. The difference, I think, is that George W. Bush’s lack of nuance came across as a reassuring plainspokenness to average voters, whereas Dean is laughably easy to frame as angry and menacing. Dean will have a hard, hard time in the general election — if he makes it that far.