Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Howard Dean defends Lieberman decision

Just to give you an idea how invidious was the "punishment" meme, it even locked Howard Dean, netroots hero #1, into defending the decision:
Dean suggested that the decision should be political rather than personal, indicating that while "certainly [he] had anger" over Lieberman's actions during the presidential campaign, there was little space for what he regarded as a punitive action. When pressed by Hamsher about Lieberman's qualifications to chair the Homeland Security Committee, Dean said that he hadn't examined Lieberman's credentials in detail: "I was too busy trying to figure out how to win the election. [But] I certainly hope they did look at his record." [note how he doesn't even have the information necessary to begin a "reward" argument -- Chris]

Dean also spoke of the decision in generational terms.

"If you get a mandate for reconciliation ... is your first act going to be to kick him [Lieberman] to the curb?", Dean said. "If you're in my generation you say, 'yeah, damn right we should'".

But, Dean claimed, the younger generation's tone and strategies are different. "The younger generation's message is, let's put aside something that we can't agree on and do something about the things that we can agree on." At the same time, Dean acknowledged that he expected dissension, particularly within the netroots -- "I'm sure the sentiment online is one of outrage".

Emphasis mine.

I'm curious what information Dean has to back up his implication that older activists would be the ones primarily upset about this. That kind of feels like a "pull it out my ass" type of justification.

I love Dean. Still do. But I'm disappointed that he didn't have the rhetorical tools he needed to make a proper argument on this.


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