June 25th, 2007

Howard Dean Dons Dorky Yellow Shirt, Endures Softball Drubbing For Democracy

by Philip Baruth

Apparently it was a Democracy for America reunion weekend in Burlington, with current and former staff, interns, pioneers — the pure of heart, generally speaking.


That’s Sheri Divers, tireless DFA blogger, holding the cup; a visibly graying Howard Dean scrutinizes the opposing softball lineup.

We missed it, unfortunately: VDB was at a Swedish Midsummer party, dancing around a huge pole covered with aspen leaves and eating pickled herring.

But the shocking, graphic images have been streaming in since late Saturday night, and they are enough to give any right-thinking Vermonter pause. Who are these t-shirted hordes plotting Democracy in the woods of Oakledge Park?

And, more ominiously, why are they all carrying baseball bats and coolers?

the game

Oh, right. Actually, it was a semi-organized event: the DFA contingent v. the Vermont Democratic Party. And you would expect that DFA, drawing on a nationwide base, would make short work of the VDP.

But no: one small state did pummel the nation. Badly. Accounts differ as to score, but estimates range between 15 to 6 and 18 to 6. Either way, DFA topped out at six.

That hurts. Especially when Selene Hofer-Shall compounds the loss by appearing to mock your wardrobe.


And yet, even a glance at these photos will tell you that it was about more than a softball game, more than winning or losing. It was about changing America by any means necessary.

deansmileAnd that means any means necessary, including the wearing of huge, dorky t-shirts in heinous colors. This is why VDB harbors such respect for Howard Dean: a successful Governor of a tiny state, he survived full-scale media immolation and went on to lead the Democratic Party out of the electoral desert.

And yet the man’s not too grand to wear chartreuse, if it’ll help in some small way.

More to the point, Dean has made an iron-clad commitment to attend the Second Annual VDB/GMD Political Barbeque on July 15th, down at North Beach in Burlington.

Actually, it was more like aluminum-foil-clad: Dean actually said, “I have no idea what I’m going to do right now, but that’d be a fun thing for me to do.”

You cynics parse it; we prefer simply to have faith.

save us AlWill Dean break burger with us on the 15th? No one truly knows.

But as the famous Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palma used to say, before he was gunned down on the streets of Stockholm, “Politik ar at vilja.

Politics is to want. Or maybe more poetically rendered, Politics is a yearning.

And let’s face it: nobody yearns more than this lone dude at the DFA reunion, wearing the T-Shirt that millions of Democrats are wearing secretly, in their heart of hearts, right now.

Rock on, Al Gore t-shirt dude. VDB salutes you.

[Photos by wingman Don Shall]