Howard Dean is pretending to be stupid.
Here he is on the capture of Saddam Hussein:
“If we are safer, how come we lost 10 more troops and raised the safety alert” to the orange level, Dean said Sunday night in Ankeny, Iowa.
I don’t really think he’s that dumb. I could be wrong, perhaps I’m overestimating him. But he’s a successful governor and a doctor. You don’t get that far in life without smarts. What I really think is that Howard Dean thinks his supporters are stupid.
No one could possibly believe the capture of Saddam Hussein would make every single Baathist thug in Iraq lay down his arms and go home. No one could possibly believe that yanking Saddam out of a hole in the ground would make Al Qaeda quit the jihad.
I doubt there’s a single anti-war activist who thinks the hawks believe the Terror War is over all of a sudden. But Howard Dean thinks so and hopes his supporters will find his latest pop-off witty and clever. I think he’s mistaken. “Safer” doesn’t mean “safe,” and everyone knows it.
If George W. Bush said “We got Saddam, the War on Terror is over,” then Howard Dean would have a point.
POST-SCRIPT: If, like me, you can’t get enough of Howard Dean, check out Jonathan Chait’s Diary of a Dean-o-phobe blog at The New Republic. Chait is a Bush-hating liberal who would rather plug away at Howard Dean on a regular basis. Dean just does that to people.