The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

IN THE KRISTOL BALL...

It would seem that some conservatives are taking Howard Dean very seriously, in this case Weekly Standard editor and PNAC nut Bill Kristol.
And how liberal is Dean anyway? He governed as a centrist in Vermont, and will certainly pivot to the center the moment he has the nomination. And one underestimates, at this point when we are all caught up in the primary season, how much of an opportunity the party's nominee has to define or redefine himself once he gets the nomination.

Thus, on domestic policy, Dean will characterize Bush as the deficit-expanding, Social Security-threatening, Constitution-amending (on marriage) radical, while positioning himself as a hard-headed, budget-balancing, federalism-respecting compassionate moderate. And on foreign and defense policy, look for Dean to say that he was and remains anti-Iraq war (as, he will point out, were lots of traditional centrist foreign policy types). But Dean will emphasize that he has never ruled out the use of force (including unilaterally). Indeed, he will say, he believes in military strength so strongly that he thinks we should increase the size of the Army by a division or two. It's Bush, Dean will point out, who's trying to deal with the new, post-Sept. 11 world with a pre-Sept. 11 military.
I'm not sure what to make of this, but Kristol hasn't held his tongue on criticizing Bush on the Iraq war. (of course, he's criticizing from the right, I might add)

He's no McGovern/Dukakis, guys.

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