Giving Dean a wedgie
The latest round of desperation attacks against Dean are over the confederate flag (read the official statement on this from the campaign here).
Back at the Winter DNC conference Howard Dean got up before a crowd of Democrats and said the following:
"I intend to talk about race in this election in the south because the Republicans have been talking about it since 1968 in order to divide us. And I'm going to bring us together, because you know what? White folks in the south who drive pickups trucks with confederate flags decals in the back ought to be voting with us and not them, because their kids don't have health insurance either and their kids need better schools too.
The Kerry, Gephardt, Edwards, Clark, Lieberman and Sharpton campaigns are all now suggesting by their criticism that Dean wants to appeal to racists. The fact that they are reacting this way demonstrates clearly why they have lost the votes of working-class Americans in the South. They've lost touch with the people and are focused only on the symbols.
The Republicans use those symbols to keep natural allies divided, but it is the Democrats, by their insistence on purity over those symbols, that gives the Republicans the wedge they need to make that division. The attacks on Dean over this issue are clearly political pandering because they know precisely what Dean was talking about when he made these comments (Sharpton expressed faux surprise that Dean made them when they have been a standard part of Dean's stump speech for months). Thus, not only have they lost site of the place of symbols, they are going for votes through a calculated method of dividing voters on a wedge issue.
In other words, they are acting like Republicans (again), but they just aren't very good at it.
Dean is right. Why should the Democrats concede any demographic to the Republicans just because of a symbol? Why should we demand that white southerners take down their decals before we will accept them into the fold? Is it any wonder that they vote against their own self-interest by siding with the Republicans? Wouldn't you do the same if the only other option was to join with people who automatically look down on you as racist bubbas?
The Clark and Edwards, southerners themselves, would buy into this garbage just proves how out of touch they are.
(Dennis over on Republicans for Dean has a good response to this shit. I recommend it.)