November 08, 2003
Howard Dean's Flag Gaff

Howard Dean commented the other day that he wanted to be the candidate of "guys with Confederate flags." What, you may rightly ask, was he thinking?

Clearly he wasn't thinking. Amongst the lovers of the Stars and Bars are an awful lot of white bread eaten, federal government fearing, nigger-hating, shotgun toting rednecks who would never vote for Howard Dean. The rest are usually conservatives who will never vote for Dean. He did manage, however, to ensure that a large chunk of the Southern Black vote will go elsewhere (even though he has Jessie Jackson's support).


"My first impression was, gosh, does he not understand what that flag represents?" said Waring S. Howe Jr., a Charleston lawyer and Democratic National Committee member. "Does he not have a single Southerner on his staff?"

State Senator John Matthews, a black Democrat from Orangeburg, said Dr. Dean's comment would cost him with African-Americans. "I think he only apologized after he checked the polls and with his supporters in this state," he said.

He also suggested that Dr. Dean was misguided for even bothering with those who fly the Confederate flag. "I don't think it'd bring anything to the table to go after those voters," Mr. Matthews said. "They will never support Howard Dean. Most of the people supporting the Confederate flag tend to be right-wing, anti-African-American, anti-Jewish, anti-everything. Believe me — I live here. I know."

The immediate result is to force Howard Dean to apologize and deny that he is a racist, or anti-redneck, or a closet friend of Newt Gingrich, instead of intensifying his attack on Bush's debacle in Iraq. The main beneficiaries of Dean's tumble are Democrats who proudly defend their pro-war vote (Gephardt, Edwards, Lieberman) or offer confusing explanations (Kerry).

Posted by tstubbs at November 08, 2003 07:28 AM
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