Hammer Time

Johnathan Chait performs a no-anesthetic vivisection on Howard Dean’s impending reign as chairman of the DNC. A sample:

Dean, remember, raised about $50 million by positioning himself as the most anti-Bush candidate, but blew through it so fast that he was nearly broke by January. This represents the sort of financial acumen you associate with deluded, flash-in-the-pan celebrities— cue the narrator for VH-1’s “Behind the Music”: “But the good times and lavish spending couldn’t last for M.C. Hammer” — not with chairmen of major political parties.

And that’s just one paragraph. Read the whole thing, and listen out for the impending YEEEEEAAAAGH!

UPDATE: Check out this facinating Ryan Lizza TNR piece chronicling Dean’s rise and the impact of the leftie blogosphere in (a) squelching Dean’s DNC rivals and (b) wrestling control of the DNC selection process away from the Washington leadership. Some really great reporting here from Lizza.

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48 Responses to “Hammer Time”

  1. BumperStickerPolitix Says:

    See Howie Run, Run Howie Run

    Will Collier over at Vodkapundit has a heads up about an LA times piece that shreds the impending Dean reign at the D N C -definitely good for a laugh. Like I expect the DNC will be for the extent of Deans tenure, should it come to pass.

  2. SpinDaddy Says:

    IF it comes to pass, a Dean reign as DNC chair is going to be a rich, rich source of material for bloggers and Jay Lenos writing staff for years to come. I can hardly wait. -SpinDaddy

  3. scout29c Says:

    What the Bushies are doing to the nation, the Democrats are doing to themselves. We have reality TV and a make believe TV in foreign policy. With the selection of Dean as chairman of the DNC, only a major blunder by the Republican would keep them out of the White House in 2008. How many elections do they have to loose before they realize the old world of FDR-JFK is gone. Camelot is gone, and there is no sword in the stone for a young prince to draw. We are now living in Bizarro World where up is down and out is in.

    The party that considers itself all inclusive and the representative of the disadvantaged criticizes Bush for his exemplary affirmative action in the selection of his cabinet. Republicans want to fix Social Security so it will work better and Democrats are fighting them. Republicans are the first to fight for freedom and the first to criticize anyone who exercises it. And while the Democrats who complain that the Republican Party has been captured by the extreme right, moves further and further to the left.

    To paraphrase Mr. Churchill, Dean

  4. Mike M Says:

    I’m finding myself rooting for Dean, and it’s not entirely based on schadenfreude for the Democratic party.

    Why?

    I can actually respect Dean at some level and I want him to succeed. Why? Because he’s an honest liberal. He doesn’t pretend to be a moderate, he doesn’t rely on the media to cover and obfuscate for him, and he actually seems to believe in what he says.

    At this point in time, Dean may be the Dem’s best hope. The MSM is collapsing and America is rejecting Clintonian doublespeak in politics. Dean should if nothing else provide a crystal clear picture of liberal ideas, goals, and motivations, and the American people can choose to accept or reject it once and for all.

    The Dems gain either way because either voters will embrace liberalism (not likely), or they will finally wake up from their media driven daze and realize that they need to change some of their positions if they ever expect to regain power.

    Dean may be just what the Dems need to break their Theoden King away from the Wormtounge of the liberal media.

  5. Cynical Nation Says:

    Second thoughts on Dean

    Regular readers know I’ve always had a soft spot for Howard Dean. It is perhaps for this reason that I never understood all the Democratic angst at the prospect of Dean heading the DNC. It strikes me that Howie has a proven track record of both raising…

  6. Jack Tanner Says:

    Mike – I agree with you to an extent but I’m still not sure he’s then right guy for the DNC chairman. I also don’t want to see 70 GOP Senators and 320 GOP Reps – however I can’t think of a Dem I’d like to see elected President. We need 2 or MORE viable parties and I don’t think the Deaniacs could run a commune outside of Burlington much less a national political party. I think it may possibly lead to a split in the party in which a Lib/Greens faction either bolsters the existing Greens or leads to a new Liberal party.

  7. Mark the Pundit Says:

    Yeeeeargh!

    Will Collier point to this Johnathan Chait in the Los Angles Times where he laments the fact that the Democrats are about to commit suicide in selecting Howard Dean as their chairman. I agree, and I wrote my thoughts here…

  8. kstreetfriend Says:

    Manufacturing a weak integrity argument to justify free speech violations…

    It started in a federal Court in Pittsburgh and has moved quickly to the Colorado Universtity and Iraq. It’s a stretch, but politcal hacks have besieged first amendment free speech protections.

    They attempt to combine a provacative essay comparing victims of 911 with Nazi criminals and an emotionally charged General’s comments on war, questioning whether such is permissible when the may cause damaged to an institution’s integrity.

    Why?

    Because in a Pittsburgh federal court a well connected corporate crony has suggested the novice argument. The question is waddling without any legal precedent in need of an activist court.

    Thus the current unexplained campaign against

  9. pete Says:

    “when will the dems learn that the days of FDR-JFK are over.”
    about the same time the right figures out same sex marriage, stem cells and abortion are all a part of our new world.

  10. Robert Says:

    I could deal with a Joe Lieberman presidency, depending on his domestic issues, if he’s for socialized medicine then that’s a deal breaker for me.

  11. Amy Says:

    A little off subject, but you deserve credit. Peggy Noonan ripped off your Democrat Rebuttal observations, that were the 1st blogger post on the subject of the night, and which other bloggers picked up on and added to. So did you get credit??? Surly not. But even someone like Noonan, whom I respect, should not crib the prevailing blogservations as original thoughts…I am tiring of this new phenomenon. Reporter guffaw blogs “as doing no original” reporting, then conveniently and selfishly steal the thoughts and concepts well developed on blogs as coming to them out of thin air.

    via the corner
    PEGGY ON DEMS, SOTU [K. J. Lopez]

    As for the Democratic response, Harry Reid looks and talks like a small-town undertaker whom you want to trust but wonder about, especially when he says the deceased would love the brass handles. Although Nancy Pelosi continues to look startled, even alarmed, her comments are predictable and pedestrian. Both seemed eager not to agree with Ted Kennedy’s recent “Iraq is Vietnam” statements, which more and more seem not just stupid but scandalously so. Absent endorsing radical defeatism, however, Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi had little to say. They made Important Sounds. Neither seemed sincere or serious. The president seemed both.

    Revolt I say…and I give YOU credit!

    That is just my feeling

  12. Kiddie Kar Lyle Says:

    Hey, the moveon.org crowd bought the Democratic party…just ask them.
    It will be fun to watch them drive it into the ground.

  13. Ed Driscoll.com Says:

    He’s A Scream

    Will Collier of Vodkapundit has some thoughts about a couple of articles on the impending (practically a fait accompli) reign of Howard Dean as DNC chairman….

  14. Mikey Says:

    Lizza’s article was a superb account of a coup. The old guard never saw it coming and have been evicted from the castle.

    This may actually be what the Democratic Party needs. Put the insurgents in charge and see if their idea of “run hard, run hard left” will actually resonate with American voters. Before the Democrats can become a viable party again they have to end their internal debate, and the 2006 and more importantly, the 2008 elections will be the acid test for the insurgents’ ideas.

    I admit awaiting all of this with some eagerness, but then again, politics is my favorite sport.

  15. dave Says:

    The problem with “run hard left” is that it was basically tried in 2000, and 1988, and 1984, and 1972, and arguably even in 2004. Each of those times, the Dems got their butts handed to them, losing the presidency and usually seats in both houses. They’ve had the debate, repeatedly, and keep making the same ineffective choice. It’s a shame that the US is going to spend time with only one effective party because some people view politics as a way of displaying their moral purity rather than the means by which we find a way to live together.

  16. Lurking Observer Says:

    dave:

    I’m not sure the Dems have run nearly as far to the left as at least some of Dean’s supporters (and possibly Dean himself) would like to do.

    Remember that the Left in this country is comprised of several pieces:

    1. The economic Left. Unionize all the jobs, try for renationalizing at least the airlines, living wage, anti-free trade, etc., etc.

    2. The social Left. Gay marriage, legalization of drugs, ironically indistinguishable, in some ways, from the Libertarian Right.

    3. The foreign policy Left. Noam Chomsky. ‘Nuff said.

    Notice these folks are not the same as liberals. And there’s various other groups that straddle: the ethnic identity groups, frex.

    None of these groups have really had a chance to run the table, even in primaries. At some level, there were always anti-Communist liberals, economic liberals (just one more wafer-thin regulation), and Reagan Democrats to counter them. A Howard Dean might well ignore each of these groups, however.

    Certainly the Deaniacs will.

  17. Robert Says:

    Dave, your last sentence is why I am so frustrated with the Libertarian Party. Though if the Democrats marginalize themselves and the Republicans grow to 70 senators 320 reps, I think the party will split. Hmm, would Schwarzenegger and Lieberman join to start a socially moderate, pro-security party?

  18. Mikey Says:

    Dave:
    I ain’t disagreeing with you man. They just never seem to end that argument and it may be they need some to stand up and say “Official party policy is to be somewhat like Lenin, only not as wishy-washy.” I think they need to have it written letters as big as the Hollywood sign to fginally penetrate the DU* in the skulls. We’ll see.

    *It is one of those fun coincidences that depleted uranium, an incredibly dense substance, and Democratic Underground share the same initials. Or maybe it’s not a coincidence.

  19. Common Sense Runs Wild Says:

    More Dean Distractions

  20. rosignol Says:

    Dave, your last sentence is why I am so frustrated with the Libertarian Party. Though if the Democrats marginalize themselves and the Republicans grow to 70 senators 320 reps, I think the party will split. Hmm, would Schwarzenegger and Lieberman join to start a socially moderate, pro-security party?

    I would. IMO, the sooner this happens, the better- we need two competitive parties, and the Democrats haven’t been credible on national security since Vietnam. That’s a sucking chest wound for a political party, and after three decades, I see no sign that they’re going to recover from it. At best, the Democrats can hope to win the White House when things are peaceful, and races in Congress that are essentially local- national security isn’t a big deal at the state level.

    So IMO, for the socially conservative Christian Republicans and the socially liberal Rockefeller Republicans (Arnold, Rudy, etc) to schism into two parties- both credible on national security, and therefore with a real chance at the White House- is preferrable to the Democrats staggering around and being obstructionist reactionaries for the next few decades.

    As someone else likes to say: “faster, please”.

  21. rosignol Says:

    The problem with “run hard left” is that it was basically tried in 2000, and 1988, and 1984, and 1972, and arguably even in 2004. Each of those times, the Dems got their butts handed to them, losing the presidency and usually seats in both houses.

    2000 was soft-left populism. Clinton’s first-term national health care proposal was farther to the left than anything Gore tried in 2000, and he won the popular vote- that’s not ‘getting his butt handed to him’. ’88 and ’84, maybe, but the big issue in ’72 was Viet Nam, and Nixon won because he promised to end it, not because his opponent was too far left. Hell, Nixon’s the guy who tried to implement price controls- something only hardcore leftists fantasize about today.

  22. rosignol Says:

    I can actually respect Dean at some level and I want him to succeed. Why? Because he’s an honest liberal. He doesn’t pretend to be a moderate, he doesn’t rely on the media to cover and obfuscate for him, and he actually seems to believe in what he says.

    Dunno. Mark Steyn wrote a few articles about Dean during the campaign (Steyn lives in Vermont) and the recurring theme was that the guy may talk like a liberal, but he governed as a moderate.

  23. dave Says:

    > the recurring theme was that the guy may talk like a liberal, but he governed as a moderate.

    Doesn’t matter. Unless you’re very, very skilled, you dance with whoever brung you. As party chair, Dean’s no more going to tell the activist left to go to hell than he is to fly to the moon by lighting his farts. Without them, he’s nothing. That’ll cost the Dems at least two Senate seats and 6 House seats net in 2006, and even more if he runs for the Presidency in 2008.

  24. Greg Says:

    What times are we living in…a party that has been in existence for 200 years is going to pieces before our eyes….

    See continued big loses in ’06 and ’08 and beyond with Dean on the helm…

    Democrat Party=the party of teachers unions, lawyers, black people who love their former Democrat slaveholders, people that equate buggery as marriage, Ward Churchill and CAIR types..

    The Repubs. are going to be in power forever…

  25. Eric in Milwaukee Says:

    With Dean as party chair, and Feingold talking about a run in 08 (www.jsonline.com) Jeb just might have a shot…hell I might have a shot (if Teddy can kill a woman and get away with it, surely I can fudge my age).

  26. Tim P Says:

    Dean wil be the ruin of the democrats.
    Lizza’s article , while fascinating, was all about tactics and maneuver.
    The democrat’s problem is that they have no coherent strategy.
    While the Republicans may have their problems, they are by and large very philisophically healthy, the democrats have one foot in the grave.

  27. John "Akatsukami" Braue Says:

    Clinton’s first-term national health care proposal was farther to the left than anything Gore tried in 2000, and he won the popular vote

    He won the popular vote before that proposal was floated. In 1994, in its wake, the Republicans took control of both houses of Congress, and Clinton spent the next six years governing as a moderate Republican in an attempt to chip away at them. It was just too slow a process, although if could have run for a third term, he might have succeeded.

  28. jay Says:

    Alcoholpundit is unusually quiet about those fab-u-lousy elections in Eyerack.

    The Shiite alliance has won 75% of the vote, with our boy Allawi a dim third at 19%.

    Whaddya think of that?

    $200BN and 1500+ American lives to create a Shiite theocracy?

    Whaddya think of that?

  29. rosignol Says:

    Gore won the popular vote. Thank heaven for the electoral college.

  30. rosignol Says:

    Whaddya think of that?

    Good for them.

    Is that based on the total count, or just those early exit polls from the south of the country? If the former, I’d take it with a shovelful of salt…

  31. Tim P Says:

    Wow!!

    “$200BN and 1500+ American lives to create a Shiite Theocracy?”

    Stop, inhale deeply, grab the rope and come back to earth. Don’t let your irrational hatred of Bush blind you to the obvious.

    First and foremost, the Iranians are Persian and the Iraqis are Arabs. Though both groups are Shiites, they have different cultural backgrounds and even speak different languages. There is no love lost between these folks.

    Second, here’s a quoted section from Michael Ledeen that also sheds more light on the subject (I’m too lazy to write more)……

    “It’s hard to imagine the MSM getting stupider, but there they go again…a raft of articles today on the “pro-Iranian Shi’ite list” in the Iraqi elections. It’s totally wrong. The Iranians dread the Iraqi Shiites, because the Iraqis, from Sistani to Chalabi to Hakim and on down, all oppose the Iranian heresy of the “Supreme Leader,” a cleric at the top of the state. The traditional Shiite view is that such an event can only take place when the “12th Imam” returns from his disappearance–more than a millennium ago–to claim rightful leadership of the entire Muslim world. Until then, people in turbans should stay in the mosques, and the state should be governed by non-clerics. Sistani, Chalabi, and Hakim all said they were opposed to clerics in the government. Chalabi said–loudly and publicly, IN TEHRAN–that he and all the members of his list were opposed to the creation of an Iranian-style Islamic Republic in Iraq, and Chalabi also said, publicly on television, sitting next to the Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad, that Iraqi freedom was due to the brave leadership of George W. Bush.

    Despite their tricky recent statements endorsing the Iraqi elections, the mullahs know that the Iraqi democratic revolution is a mortal threat to them, and to their heretical version of Shiism. They are now quaking in Tehran, not–as the “expert” commentators and reporters would have us believe–drooling over new-found control over Iraq. If Najaf reestablishes its traditional role as the center of Shiism, the Iranian mullahs will be even further discredited. And that will be quite an achievement for a group that is already fully despised by its own people. “

  32. Ian Wood Says:

    Quite right, Tim. Sistani is 74, of a different generation than young activist wackos like al Sadr and his ilk. He’s a “quietist” who rejected Ayatollah Khomeini’s insistence on clerical rule. Activists want to force God

  33. Ian Wood Says:

    Frankly, using “frankly” twice in a comment is too much. But there you go.

  34. Robert Says:

    Frankly, a second post dealing frankly with your use of frankly, is quite frankly too, too much. .
    I’m sure Islam will inform a secular Iraqi government, things like banning pornography and alcohol or allowing a man up to four wives. Heck, they may even have prayers in school (which I don’t want to see in the US). I’ll judge the Iraqi experiment a success if there are multiple political parties, regularly scheduled elections which are generally clean (should we use Chicago as the standard?), shared power among the various religious/ethnic groups.
    And Saddam swinging from the end of a rope.

  35. Will Collier Says:

    Hi, Jay. I think I can speak for both Steve and myself here: the Iraqi elections were a marvelous, inspiring victory for freedom and a crusing defeat for terrorists, Saddamites, and wacked-out leftists.

    No wonder you’re so bitter about them.

  36. SpinDaddy Says:

    “…I’m sure Islam will inform a secular Iraqi government, things like banning pornography and alcohol or allowing a man up to four wives…”

    With four wives who needs porn?

    The alchohol on the other hand…
    -Spin

  37. Tim P Says:

    Dear SpinDaddy,
    Once the honeymoon’s over with four wives, you’re going to NEED alcohol!

  38. Tim P Says:

    Gee Jay,

    I went to the site you mentioned above in your oh so eloquent response. Unlike you I actually read all the statements Mr. Sistani had posted(hint: they have a button to hit for English).

    Maybe, it’s just me, but I didn’t see anything that contradicted what I and other adults said above. I didn’t see anything about the imminent theocracy that you seem so worried about.

    Oh yeah, perhaps some anger management therapy, might help. Or perhaps some Clearasil. Maybe after the babysitter falls asleep you can masturbate, that should take the ‘edge’ off.
    We won’t tell your folks.

  39. Kevin Says:

    Go easy on the Dr. Dean- he hasn’t worked day one at the DNC and you guys have ripped him a new one. Wait to see if he makes strides with the Congressional elections…if not- it’s open season.

  40. DaveP. Says:

    Taste the ash-heaps of History, Jay.

    Oh, and THANKS from all us Republicans for helping us win in 2000, 2002, and 2004. Without screaming assheads like yourself standing as the public face of your party, people might have actually BELIEVED some of your crap.

  41. Mikey Says:

    Gosh Jay, you certainly are a rude little person aren’t you? You walk into someone else’s website and (1) you go off topic; (2) you insult the host; and (3) you insult all the other commenters. I’m sure Mr. Green and Mr. Collier can deal with you, but as a card-carrying adult I want to tell you that you may want to have the screws in your head tightened. This kind of behavior is usually a compensation for a deficiency in another area.

    Be sure to come back and let us know how the therapy went.

  42. http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/ Says:

    Inside The “New” DNC

    The machinations are not pretty. Best reporting I’ve seen from The New Republic, (they have the access to DNC biggies), in a very long time. The Dean wing does seem to be taking over:

  43. rosignol Says:

    Be sure to come back and let us know how the therapy went.

    Erm, no. Please quit feeding the troll.

  44. Mikey Says:

    Sorry, Rosignol.
    That was mean of me. I shouldn’t pick on the helpless.
    Sorry.

  45. Kenny Says:

    You know Jay…i’m not going to argue you over the issues, because clearly you’re not going to change anyone’s mind here about the war in iraq, and clearly no one here is gonna change you rmind, so debate is useless.

    Instead, the only thing that will prove you right or wrong will be what happens in the next few months in iraq.

    So here’s what i’m gonna do, i’m gonna save you’re post and put your email address in my address book, and if you are proven wrong in the next few months, i’ll email you your comments and ask for an explaination. Also if i’m proven wrong about Iraq (that what we are doing is good), you can email me, with this post and i’ll give you an explanation.

    I think thats a fair deal, cause i’m sick of people only offering insults about events they have no control over

  46. The LLama Butchers Says:

    What do Howard Dean and M.C Hammer have in common?

    Vodkapundit answers….

  47. jay Says:

    Kenny,

    We’ve got a deal. BTW you are the only person I’ve ever encountered on a warflogger website who ever offered anything reasonable. Even if you and I disagree, I appreciate the civility of your tone, and the fact that you didn’t descend to puerile insults.

    That said, although no one can predict the future, we can reasonably assume certain things to occur, which is why I opposed this war. This is what I feared would happen:

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1515&e=3&u=/afp/20050206/wl_mideast_afp/iraqvotereligion_050206132842

    “Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and another top cleric staked out a radical demand that Islam be the sole source of legislation in the country’s new constitution.”

    So, let us be clear about the stakes. If after the process of drafting the Constitution, Islamic law is used as the “sole source of legislation” I’ll be right. If this is defeated, I’ll be wrong. Those are my predictions, those are my conditions.

    We’ve got a deal.

  48. jay Says:

    PS, just happened to check Iraqthemodel.blogspot.com (a favorite of warfloggers everywhere). He leads with the above-linked story, which was also covered by Al Arabiyah. He doesn’t like it anymore than I do. And you shouldn’t either.

    OK, now I’m bowing out. Feel free to contact me in 6 months.

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