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June 12, 2005

Howard Dean And The Automated Blasting Cap [The Therapist]

At the risk of sounding like a platitudinous ditto machine, I’m going to do it. I’ve contemplated long enough now, edged my feet towards the abyss of cliché-dom. I’ve supplicated Bartlett’s in sackcloth and ashes.

I’ve even given this some outright thought. Still, cavalierly searing my literary conscience for the sake of a single, political, tactical point, I’m going to slide right to the precipice of perdition, and just do it.

I’m going to quote from The Art of War. Sorry.

Sun Tsu’s been dead what, 2,400 years? Law & Order and every other pseudo-intellectual piece of rotten cinema, this poor guy can’t just lay there and decompose without some upstart script writer drawing dubious parallels between his book and the fine art of getting baby-rapers to cop a plea. Nevertheless, I wax:

“If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will come floating by.”

I specifically reference the incendiary and sometimes outright pyrotechnic helmsmanship of one Howard Dean.


I was happy to see that the most recent democratic response to Dean’s appalling comments was one of embracing them, as opposed to the polite and frigid recoil I was expecting. This—is why I reached into the tired clauses of Sun Tsu, and feel quoting him was worth abrogating my credibility as a writer—despite the fact that most of my own writing heretofore does that for me anyway.

We sit in a wonderful, yet precarious position with Dean. Everytime the man opens his mouth in public, he provides the blogosphere, the media, and the GOP the kind of crimson delicacy a bleeding geriatric provides their “non-descript and passive pit bull companion.” This is exactly what made Tom Daschle so dangerous: bodies everywhere, blood throughout the house, and the only witness is a semi-conscious rat-terrier trying to cut a deal.

I know I’ve had my share of gratuitous fun with the man. In my satirical sphere, I’ve had him reaching out to evangelical Satanists. I’ve portrayed him as a guy who “slipped” and threatened to kill the entire Republican Party. I had the DNC issuing preemptive apologies for “upcoming Dean remarks” the day after they elected him. I’ve also had him levitating from a Georgetown bed in demonic rapture and—my own favorite—had him stating that Sodom and Gomorrah were his favorite apostles, shortly after his biblical gaffe in which he said the book of Job was part of the New Testament.

But lately I’ve been thinking about the idea of “waiting by the river.” Up to now, Dean’s lycanthropic tirades have elicited laughter in some circles and outrage in others. All reactions are correct, but what would happen if all parties reacted in concert, and with sufficient force? That’s right. The Democrats would throw him out.

And this is what I am personally hoping to prevent.

The Bush campaign blew it when it looked like Dean was going to be the nominee: they publicly and quotably registered their glee. And the next week came the “scream”-- an auditorial anomaly born of nothing other than the hypersonic enthusiasm of his supporters coupled with the ambient flukes common to unidirectional microphones. Yes, the scream is funny, but I’ve heard plenty of other recordings of that same event, and Dean’s scream was not only comparatively equal to the arena, it was no more anomalous to the event than a dead campaign volunteer in Ted Kennedy’s car. Once the Bush people displayed their actual preference for Dean over Kerry, it was the political equivalent of giving the man a hemlock enema—courtesy of Peter Jennings. It was the media that took Dean out. Not his flailing dulcet tones. And if they figure out we like him where he is they’ll do it again.

So in short, I believe it would be useful to lay there and act like we are afraid of the man, and his ideas. Not with the kind of pathetic “death throes” acting from silent movies, but the kind that seems to be slowly roasting in the white-hot spectral power of Dean’s acerbic wit. Let him vociferate, fulminate, seethe, denounce, mock, blaspheme, and peel forth with the most offensive remarks those dark gastrointestinal bilge-pumps can siphon. It’s all like watching a melanoma grow on the back of your sex-offender neighbor; You think pointing it out is the right thing to do, but your children will benefit greatly from your muted and cryptic stoicism from over the hedge.

A Howard dean doesn’t come along every day. Let’s keep him around as long as possible. Let the Democrats wallow in their rhetorical contact high, and get behind the wheel.

And let’s make sure the political deaths are the result of natural causes.

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posted by Ace at 10:59 AM

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