I found the Presidential debate last night mostly boring, and two hardcore political junkies I watched it with actually fell asleep even though we could TIVO through the most boring parts. I was pleased to see so much argument about Iran, but the gist of the debate was whether Bush would justify his attack on Iran with the Senate resolution or not. If there were a Dean in the race, here's what we would have heard.
'What I want to know is why Democrats on this stage are talking about Senate resolutions justifying Bush's attack on Iran as if we have no power to do anything about it. What I want to know is why the antiwar arguments are coming from Generals and military officers saying they can't attack Iran, instead of politicians elected in 2006 on an antiwar platform. What I want to know is why Congressmen and women on this stage are not making it clear that an attack on Iran is insane and illegal, and that Bush will face impeachment if he does it.'
The legalistic gamesmanship is so small compared to the office they are trying to seek. If there were a Dean in the race, a real progressive, that's what we would have heard. There are marginal differences between the candidates, but all (with the slight exception of Dodd) are playing by Village rules. That's why Clinton is running away with it.
Imagine if someone had said something akin to what Dean would have said. Those words imply so much more about that person's politics, their values, and their coalition than a soundbite or a promise to get tough and go negative against Clinton.