Dean 'Til The Bitter End
I find Howard Dean to be a fascinating figure. I actually admire the guy in a lot of ways, he says what he thinks, he is a fighter, and he throws himself into his tasks. It would be more fun to sit down and have a beer with this guy than most of the straight-laced controversy-averse politicians on the stage these days.
He has blinded too many of the Democrats to his obvious failings, however. The liberal rah-rah chorus is happy that someone is going to finally tell off the Bush administration (yes we have been woefully short on criticism of Bush) and they probably wouldn't care if he wore his underwear on his head during a press conference as long as he serves up some red meat. In the teeth of ample contrary evidence, the die-hard Democrat base will never admit that Dean is actually bad for them.
Dean apologists include Paul Waldman at TomPaine.com, who thinks that if the Democrats didn't backstab Dean over his intemperate comments, the press would lay off. He proposes that the Democrats invoke the code of omerta, to protect Chairman Dean from fratricidal criticism, in order to make it seem as if the Democrats walk in lockstep support of him.
Waldman forgets two things however - the press started tearing Dean apart before his fellow Democrats started criticizing him, and he also forgets that papering over Dean's faults will not make them go away.