Thursday, November 06, 2003

I have a confession to make; I don’t like Howard Dean.

This is not new. It’s been percolating for a while. I wouldn’t admit it to myself, only going to so far as to own up to feeling “lukewarm” about him. There are things that I like about him. I like things he’s said. I like how he’s surprised everybody by becoming a frontrunner. I like that he goes to people like Kos for campaign advice.

But I don’t like him.

Take this Confederate Flag comment (and I must say it is quite a feat to have offended both African Americans and white Southerners in one fell swoop). I’m less bothered by the content of the comment than I am about what it reveals. It’s both careless and opportunistic. And that worries me.

I don’t think that Dean is a racist nor do I think he’s disdainful of the south. I do think that he doesn’t have as nuanced a view of racial strife in this country as he would have us believe. I

But that’s not the whole truth to the reason I don’t like him.

The whole truth is that I don’t have a good reason that I can prove. He rubs me the wrong way, I can’t visualize them as President, none of these are really good reasons. I just don’t like him.

The ironic thing is that I like a lot of his supporters. They’re smart, energetic, and I respect their opinions. For this reason I’ve tried to shake these vague feelings. But they just won’t go away.

If Dean wins the party nomination, I will vote for him and consider it a really good choice. I’ll even decorate my jacket with buttons and my car with bumper stickers. Is this hypocritical? I don’t think so. I believe I’ve said before that my approach at this point for November 2004 is ANYONE BUT BUSH. But Dean is not my first choice. Because I just don’t like him.

So if anybody who reads this blog either feels the same way or wants to change my mind, please feel free to make your case. I hope this doesn’t chase anybody away.

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