Regardless, stark choices are good for politics and for people who write about politics. Dean has promised or strongly suggested that he wants to reregulate big business, raise tariffs, go a long way toward socializing medicine, scrap any initiatives toward privatization, raise taxes on everybody, including the middle class, and entrench quota-style affirmative action.
And, most significant, at a moment when national security is of monumental importance, Dean has adopted a "do the opposite of George" foreign policy. If Bush is for it, Dean must be against it. It's almost like Dean's the anti-matter universe version of George Bush - like in the "Star Trek" where Captain Kirk is evil and Spock wears a goatee.
Which leads me the second reason I'm increasingly gung-ho for Dean: He says such amazingly crazy things, he's just so much more entertaining than the ever-cautious Gephardt. For example, Dean recently said that he didn't want to "prejudge" Osama bin Laden's guilt or innocence since he'd have to face a "jury trial."
Can you imagine FDR declaring he didn't want to "pre-judge" Hitler? The comment was a parody of conservative complaints about the Democratic Party's approach to the war on terror; they see it as a pesky law-enforcement problem.
Last Sunday at an Iowa debate, Dean tried to explain that "a candidate for president of the United States is obligated to stand for the rule of law." However, he added, "I have no doubt that if we capture Osama bin Laden, he will end up with the death penalty."
Um, so which is it? Does he not want to prejudge bin Laden or is he sure he'll get the death penalty? Because if he's keeping an open mind about bin Laden's guilt, then being sure he'll get the chair is a problem.
This sort of nonsense is typical Dean. When his statements end up making him look ridiculous, he offers an explanation that in many ways is worse than the original gaffe. He's like a guy who spills soup on himself and then thinks he's covering himself by saying, "I meant to do that."
Which brings me to third reason I want him to be nominated: I think he'd lose badly (unless the economy and Iraq tank). And when Dean loses 40 states, I'd like to see him say, "I meant to do that."