Democrats & Liberals Archives

Unelectable and bad for the party

The Economist has a warning to the Democratic party about Howard Dean. Unfortunately this article is behind a paywall, so let me try to summarize.

Quite simply, Howard Dean is unelectable. Democrats, this article claims, are “pig-wrestling” mad. The are mad about the election, about the tax cuts, about John Ashcroft and mostly about the war. This will lead the party to nominating an unelectable candidate, much like they did when they elected George McGovern and Walter Mondale. The Democratic parties anger at the 2000 election and the resulting administration will cloud their vision in the 2004 primaries. They will nominate an anti-Bush, not a Bush-lite, to use Mr. Dean’s own phrase. Finally, the article finishes off by saying, “[b]esides, Mr. Dean does not have to win for his party to lose. His insurgency is already tugging other candidates to the left.”

As a supporter of Dean, this article worries me and makes me think twice. As a Californian, I have seen this happen to a party. In 2002, the Republican Party nominated Bill Simon, a far right wing candidate. Had they nominated a more centrists candidate they would have been able to oust Gray Davis, California's current embattled Governor.

I worry that Howard Dean is so far left that he is only electable in New England and Berkeley. I do not want to help nominate a candidate who cannot beat President Bush. I want to see a Democratic Candidate win even if the economy recovers and the peace is won, and I fear that Dean is not that candidate.

By charging forward with supporting Dean, I think that the party faithful might be hurting its chances in 2004. As a party, we must ensure that we nominate the most electable candidate, even if this means sacrificing some of our positions and beliefs. One thing that has been forgotten in these partisan politics is that the President represents the American people, not just their party. Neither party should put up their most radical candidate for president, and that might mean Dean is not the right candidate for the party or the country.

Posted by Grant at July 2, 2003 11:07 PM