Supporters of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, aka "Deanie-boppers," accuse the media of piling on by repeatedly playing his now infamous Iowa caucus "concession speech," punctuated by his banshee-like "Yeeeaaaaaarggh!"
Dean's admittedly un-presidential behavior gave his opponents, say the Deanie-boppers, a cheap excuse to pound him, causing his sudden drop in the polls and his unexpectedly distant second-place finish to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in the New Hampshire primary.
Only a little over one month ago, national polls gave Dean a commanding 20 percentage-point lead over his closest Democratic rival, yet he staggered to a third-place finish in Iowa. Talk about a meltdown. If Dean continues to under-perform, his campaign ends, and the blame game begins. Expect his supporters to say the overreaction of the media and the pundits to Dean's, uh, rallying cry, brought him down.
Really? Maybe it began when Dean, on National Public Radio, mentioned a "theory" that President George W. Bush possessed prior knowledge of 9/11, yet took no steps to halt it. Two days later, he said that no, he didn't believe the theory. And a couple of days later, he called the theory "crazy."
Or maybe the meltdown began when Dean called himself an anti-war candidate, yet supported a resolution called Biden-Lugar, which authorized military action in Iraq without the need for the president to seek another resolution.
Or maybe it began when Dean denounced the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), co-founded by former president Bill Clinton in order to nominate more electable candidates by fostering "progressive ideals, mainstream values, and innovative, non-bureaucratic, market-based solutions." Dean denounced the DLC as "the Republican wing of the Democratic Party."
Or maybe it occurred when Dean referred to members of Congress as "cockroaches."
Or maybe it began when, after the capture of Saddam Hussein, Dean considered it a non-event, which failed to make America any safer. (Never mind that Saddam's capture resulted in a 22 percent decline in attacks on American troops. Or that when Libya's head, Muammar Khaddafi, volunteered to discontinue its weapons of mass destruction program, the dictator specifically cited our invasion in Iraq as a reason that prompted his decision.)
Or maybe it began when Dean, asked to name his favorite book of the New Testament, replied, "Job," a book in the Old Testament. Dean prefaced his answer by saying, "If you know much about the Bible -- which I do . . . " Dean also stated that his "Christianity" led him to support civil unions.