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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Dean and "Re-Regulation"

That's one horrible way to phrase an economic proposal and Howard Dean is already being attacked by rivals over the comments he made. Dean has this troubling tendency to take decent ideas and attach terrible labels to them, which makes it easy to distort his meaning. Not a good sign in terms of his political acumen.

Anyway, as I say, there's a good theme behind the clumsy language, that corporations are running roughshod over regular people these days. I just wish Dean would put more emphasis on positive language like "fairness" versus "corruption" as Kevin Drum's post suggests.

I also think a good way to parry some conservative attacks on Dean being anti-capitalist, etc., is to argue for better enforcement of existing regs. In a lot of cases the agencies are intentionally underfunded by the Republican Congress and run by Bush appointees who let the industries do whatever they want.

Better enforcement can change a lot of things right away, and without having to push any major regulatory bills through a hostile Republican leadership pn Capitol Hill. This also eliminates the line of attack often heard on gun issues that liberals only pay lip service to problems by continually proposing new laws rather than seeking enforcement of those laws already on the books.

Look for some sort of Dean retraction/clarification of the "re-regulation" comment in the coming days if business supporters freak out. This is what can happen if the candidate is talking with reporters off the cuff at midnight on the campaign plane, I guess.