Howard Dean is poised on the brink of surrender, despite his tough rhetoric, but the truth is that he's accomplished just about everything his supporters could have hoped for.
"We've struggled with fundamentally changing the Democratic Party. Many of the folks now running, including Senator Kerry, have adopted our positions on many issues, and I think that's terrific. We intend to have real change in Washington, and that's what this campaign's about."Mr. Dean is right; despite his near-certain defeat, his candidacy has done more to shape the upcoming election than even 9/11. Without Dean's involvement the Republicans would have been only slightly more strident about the War on Terror than the Democrats, but Dean's campaign has painted his fellow Democrats into an ideological corner and left politically savvy voters incredibly polarized. Ross Perot may have cost George H. W. Bush the election in 1992, but he didn't do nearly as much to significantly change the scope of the debate.
Howard Dean has done more for the far-left in one year than Ralph Nader has done in his whole career, and in the process he's remade the Democratic party into battering ram for the ideology Bill Clinton tried to leave behind in 1992. Although a presidential campaign is normally seen as a referendum on the incumbent (if any), 2004 is more likely going to be remembered as the last dying gasp of socialism/communism and a vote of confidence in the truly progressive, liberal, and pragmatic approach to government that began in 1981.
Someone at Opinion Journal agrees.