December 13th, 2005

Howard Dean is Ours, And We’ll Decide When to Hang Him

by Philip Baruth

Michael Reagan, slow-witted son of Ronald Reagan, apparently told his Radio America listeners the other day that “Howard Dean should be arrested and hung for treason or put in a hole until the end of the Iraq war!” This because Dean explicitly compared Iraq to Vietnam, bushBush to LBJ, and indicated that in each case American troops pay the price for their civilian leaders’ fantasies of long-shot victory.

Memo to Michael Reagan: Dean is a Vermonter, and we’ll decide when it’s time to hang him, thank you very much.

And that time is not yet. This last set of elections came out just fine — ask the people of Virginia and New Jersey — and that’s why you hire a chairman of the DNC.

Frankly, I’m far less worked up about Dean — whose media problems almost always involve the niceties of political nuance rather than substance — than Joe Lieberman, who seems well on his way to elbowing Zell Miller aside as chief yes-man and lickspittle for the administration on the War.

Speculation has been rampant that Lieberman will take over as SecDef once Rumsfeld accepts the Medal of Freedom and settles down to clipping coupons. Anyone who believes that this President would appoint a Democrat of any stripe to that particular position — the locus of his self-image, such as it is — is hopelessly naive.

No, what Lieberman has in mind is John McCain.

Lieberman’s been chasing the dream of a buddy-picture run for the Presidency on a McCain ticket for almost a decade now, and he — like most of America — senses that McCain is the GOP frontrunner at this point. So expect nothing from Lieberman but cheerleading on Iraq and the facts on the ground there. Which means, to my mind, that Lieberman rather than Dean is the Democrat’s problem child for the foreseeable future.

So heads up, Mike Reagan: Vermont was just selected as the Second Healthiest State in America, in case you missed it, and we got that way not only by speaking our minds, but by speaking the truth. And that includes our ex-Governor, with all of his occasional political pratfalls.

In short, as Stephen King would say, please close your pie-hole. Thank you very much. And have a special day.