Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 8, 2004
POLITICS: Overboard

Ralph Peters can be a tremendously incisive commentator at times, but he really goes way overboard in this NY Post column, comparing Howard Dean and his followers to Communists and Nazis for some pretty tame offenses, like whining about criticism, speaking in generalities and trying to keep Dean's gubernatorial record under wraps. (Link via Kos). Peters clearly should have stuck to the general rules of thumb that before you compare someone to the Nazis or to Lenin or Stalin, you should (1) put down what you're writing and come back to it in 24 hours and (2) substitute "mass murderer(s)" wherever you have terms like "Gestapo" and decide whether that still sounds over the top.

There seems to be a lot of this going around now on the Right: attacks on Dean as a liar, a phony, etc. I'm no Dean fan, but this all seems both unnecessary and beside the point. First of all, calling someone a liar over every political disagreement is tempting because it's the stock in trade of Dean and his followers, but it's an unhealthy temptation. Besides, Dean has huge vulnerabilities if you take him at his word and take his record seriously; it distracts unnecessarily from this to go throwing mud at the guy.

Dean has shown some signs, it's true, of backing away from some of his worst ideas -- like raising everyone's taxes -- but if he tries to run from Dean the Angry Primary Candidate, there will be time enough to call him on it. For now, what's more important is Dean's ideas, which should be confronted openly.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:01 AM | Politics 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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