Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Special Meeting
From Blog for America: "There is a special meeting today with Governor Howard Dean, open to the public, at 1:00 pm EST, at the Sheraton Hotel in South Burlington (870 Williston Rd, Right off Exit 14W of Interstate 89)." Looks like this is the end, sort of. Howard Dean is going to suspend his campaign, keep his delegates, and shift his focus. Not what we imagined he would be doing on February 18 when we imagined this day three or six or nine months ago.

This blog has supported Howard Dean since last June. Not without reservations, not without wavering, not without criticizing--in other words, like one supports a real politician in the real world. I voted for Dean yesterday, proudly, and I'd do it again even if I knew how close John Edwards was going to come in Wisconsin. But I'm not a bitter-ender, like some who are commenting to the special meeting announcement on Blog for America--some even threatening to vote for Bush in a Naderesque fit of pique, spouting nonsense about making people see how bad it could be so that they'll want real change. Politics, as I said in my own post to the Blog for America (my first one ever, and on the last morning of the campaign), is the art of the possible. While getting Dean the nomination is impossible now, it's still possible to beat Bush. "History will judge us harshly if we don't--especially if we had the chance to do it and we didn't, out of pique, a desire to maintain our political purity, or some other reason that massages our ego but misses the point. It's our country's misfortune that it won't be Howard Dean who gets the nomination and thus the best chance to defeat Bush--but it will be a far graver misfortune if we lose the will to defeat Bush because we don't get to do it with our guy."

Shakespeare said of Macbeth that nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it. Howard Dean is not leaving political life, but he is leaving the presidential race. I'll be watching C-SPAN to see how his leaving becomes him today.

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