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Kudlow on Dean

Really, I’m not a Deanblogger…I can stop any time…

Mark Yzaguirre sent me this article by Larry Kudlow on Howard Dean, and I have to say it’s one of the funnier things I’ve read in awhile. Take a look at how Kudlow leads off:

A shocking Zogby poll this week had Vermont Gov. Howard Dean at a giant 21 point lead over former New Hampshire frontrunner Sen. John Kerry. That’s more than two-to-one with a 38 percent to 17 percent margin. Dean is the clear frontrunner and may well lead the Democrats next year. So, this is a wake-up call for the Bushies. It’s time for all the president’s men to aggressively defend Bush’s policies and attack Dean’s extreme left-liberal positions.

So far, Dean has been relying on a relatively narrow base of voter support — largely Bush-hating, anti-war liberals who make up about half of the Democratic party and a third of the electorate. But Dean is well-funded and he has quickly become the darling of the liberal media.

Following his successful rally in New York’s Bryant Park this week, the New York Times saw fit to run a huge frontpage story with a color picture of the candidate. Meanwhile, a story on Bush’s excellent speech at the VFW convention — where he emphasized a stay-the-course commitment in Iraq — was placed below the Dean story with a much smaller headline.

In the long Times piece on Dean you had to go 23 paragraphs deep to find a statement on the candidate’s basic policy positions: universal health insurance, opposition to the Iraq war, balanced budgets, tax-cut repeal, affirmative action, and gay rights. This is not a winning combination, as numerous moderate Democrats point out. Still, if Dean’s the one, administration spokespeople should start underscoring the extremism that defines his campaign.

For example, Dean’s universal health-care insurance is Hillarycare. It’s the same government-paid health insurance that’s been a disaster in Western Europe and Canada. And it’s the same socialist proposal that was defeated handily in a Democratic Congress ten years ago.

It’s impressive how much misinformation Kudlow packs into a few short paragraphs. I have to wonder just what sources Kudlow has been reading about Dean. “Extreme left-liberal”? That’s so last month. And of course, you have to love Kudlow’s use of the traditional tactic of advising a political adversary on policy positions. “Unless those other guys adopt our positions on everything, they’ll never amount to anything.” Don’t call us, Larry, we’ll call you.

Still, as Mark mentioned in the email he sent to me, it’s interesting to watch righty pundits start to sit up and see Dean as a threat. One of the things that I’ve liked about Dean so far is that he really has run a good campaign. He’s gained a competitive advantage through his use of the Internet, he’s generated an awful lot of free (and favorable) publicity for himself with a few well-chosen media buys, and he’s survived the few bad things that have happened to him (his son’s arrest, spamming supporters) without any lasting effect so far.

The one thing Dean hasn’t done yet is respond to a coordinated attack. Kudlow’s right in that the press coverage of Dean has been generally positive if occasionally clueless. How will he do when the President turns his guns and his umpty-million dollar campaign war chest on him? Unfortunately, we won’t know until primaries are in full swing, if not already over. I can’t imagine Bush taking Kudlow’s advice and attacking a specific Democratic candidate four months before an actual vote is taken – that just strikes me as projecting vulnerability. However, this may be a sign that the mighty Wurlitzer will start to make some noise. When that happens, the key question will be whether or not Dean can neutralize the falsehoods before they become conventional wisdom in the mainstream. If he does, whether through his own nimbleness or the media’s continued love affair for him, then I don’t think anyone can reasonably question his viability.

UPDATE: As hamletta points out in the comments, the Dean Defense Forces have responded as well.

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  1. Kudlow: “…who make up about half of the Democratic party and a third of the electorate….”

    Hm, so, let’s see. That means the Democratic Party is…(drop the nine and carry four)…TWO-THIRDS of the electorate!


  2. Linkmeister says:

    For my sins, I occasionally watch McLaughlin on PBS. When Kudlow is on that program it’s even more revolting than normal. Does he have any sway with anyone, even on his side?

  3. I haven’t had the Dean kool-aid yet but Kudlow might convince me to drink:

    universal health insurance — Check

    opposition to the Iraq war — Check

    balanced budgets — Check

    tax-cut repeal– check

    affirmative action — check

    gay rights — check.

    Hey, this Dean guy sounds pretty good.

  4. Kevin Whited says:

    Kudlow and Cramer is one of the smarter shows in the 7pm slot. Whether you agree with Kudlow or not, just check out the guests they pull in. Answer: yes, Kudlow does still know people and is respected in conservative circles. I know that’s hard for you Lefties to believe (I know, I’m supposed to call you Moderates, but I’m cranky tonight) , but then, so is the fact that Bush is President. 🙂

    If not for his problems of the past, Kudlow would surely be a senior advisor at Treasury.

  5. Morat says:

    I’d imagine that, filed under “Uses for the vast Dean Army” is “organized bitch-slapping to any media outlets falling for the Wurlizter”.

    Dean doesn’t need press releases or astroturf to slap down the Wurlizter. He’s got a large number of motivated, energetic supporters who need things to do.

    I’d be shocked if Trippi didn’t envision that use from the beginning.

  6. hamletta says:

    Haha! Funny you should mention it, Morat. There’s already a blog, and they’re on the case.

  7. Melanie says:

    Ya gotta wonder what kind of a world we live in when a wingnut like Kudlow can call balanced budgets a left-liberal policy.

  8. danelectro says:

    Ya gotta wonder what kind of a world we live in when a wingnut like Kudlow can call balanced budgets a left-liberal policy.

    it’s a world where democrats win elections on the issue.

  9. Rob says:

    I’m sorry, but their is no way in Hell Kudlow should be mentioned as good enough to be in teh treasury. That people still respect him is scary enough. How long do we still have to put up with charlatans such as Kudlow? He has no clue about economics, he only plays an economist on TV.

  10. Kevin Whited:

    If not for his problems of the past, Kudlow would surely be a senior advisor at Treasury.

    This frankly only underscores how lame and shallow this administration’s braintrust-selection process is.

  11. mcp says:

    Kudlow’s been suggesting to buy the dips since Nasdaq 4800. That’s about all you need to know of his alleged genius. He’s a Wall Street con man of the finest ilk.

  12. nicole says:

    inre to k&c program re jobs in trk indust, overwhelming pct of jobs in trkng ind are trk load carriers and they are not anywhere near the quality as the ltl segment. for the hrs being tied to the trk and performing co bu8siness, the pay is not much above min wage and insurance and other benefits aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. when working for jb hunt, rcvd a letter in effect asking to not file an insurance claim.. cost money to deny them!!

  13. ELL says:

    Extreme left-liberals are for balancing budgets!

    what’s next?

    Communists are against inflation!?