Howard Dean Doesn't Give a Shit What You Say:
The Rude Pundit doesn't endorse candidates. He tells you who's a jerk and who's a mensch. As far as the Rude Pundit can remember, Democratic candidate for President Howard Dean has never in his life made a speech or statement that would seem to indicate his deep, abiding man love for Saddam Hussein. As far as the Rude Pundit is aware, Dean has never met and shaken hands with the former dictator, now electroshocked pin cushion. And the Rude Pundit is pretty sure that Dean's father never belonged to an administration that coddled Hussein, even after the chemical weapons attack in 1983. Finally, the Rude Pundit is fairly certain that Dean never said that Iraqi people deserve long-term suffering at the hands of a crazed tyrant and his murdering sons. And if he did, you can be fairly certain that Joe Lieberman or Fox News would have broadcast it loudly.

But Dean is being condemned everywhere for daring to be against the war, and the basic spin is that Dean's candidacy is in trouble now that we got Saddam. It comes from the other viable candidates. It comes from everywhere on the right: from Fred Barnes, among others. And it's not even to mention the batshit insane column by Robert "The Leakkeeper" Novak accusing Dean of everything from witchcraft to child molestation or using molested children's bones to make witchcraft.

What's going on here is natural and unnatural, like Dick Cheney fucking Lynne with his "penis" on the dais at the VP residence. It's part of the natural cycle of the media's oath of fealty to all things Bush. And thank god something happened to continue the kneeling devotion. What's unnatural is that there's very few places to offer correctives to this image of Dean as being rabidly pro-Saddam. The cruel lies told with malice about Gore are likely to continue in a Dean nomination. The Daily Howler site is devoted like a monk to revealing all ways in which Gore was slandered by the press.

Dean's a tough little fucker, though. When he decides on his stand, he won't back down. Even after his "major" foreign policy speech yesterday, even after being attacked by the other Democrats, who are desperate to dent the armor, Dean would not back down. Angry? Fuck, yeah. And the one thing your "pundits" are missing about Dean's anger, which they see as a liability, is that angry people vote. It's what swept in Newt Gingrich and his cronies. It's what swept out Bush I.

Let the Democratic candidates go after each other now. Let them eviscerate each other and chew on each others' guts with a viciousness that makes wolverines seem like delicate, dainty diners. Because in the next round awaits Karl Rove, and he's grinning like a mad surgeon with a scalpel and an unconscious hobo. And any little blemishes that are hidden below the surface, Rove will slice out and reveal, calling a benign mole cancer and laughing as the patient dies from the open wound.

Depressing reading of the day: From U.S. News and World Report, our government in hiding.