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Hugh Hewitt - Principal Contributor

Mr. Hewitt is senior member of the editorial board. [go to Hewitt index]

Dean Goes Over The Cliff
The candidate definitively proves he is not fit to be president...
[Hugh Hewitt] 12/17/03

"But the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer."

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. That was an amazing statement. We ought to stay and think on it a bit.

The statement came from Howard Dean, who had carefully re-crafted his "big foreign-policy speech" delivered in Los Angeles on Monday to reflect circumstances after the capture of Saddam. So many people are saying stupid things, that the "stupid things people are saying" commentary is accumulating at a torrential rate. Bloggers are in overdrive – see Andrew Sullivan attempting to chronicle the meltdowns here and there.

Some stupid things matter much more than others, particularly those said by leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination. Over at the New York Post, Deborah Orin details the profanity and racist language that dominated a Dean fund-raiser, but that's just Dean's core support group talking. We just don't much care what comics Judy Gold and David Cross have to say. (Note that I have to use the word "comic" to let you know who they are, which is why we don't really care what they say.)

But Dean labored long and hard over his set-piece speech. It was premeditated. He can't claim he spoke off the cuff and excuse his words away as he did after the Chris Matthews interview or the NPR meltdown. He's gotta live with this one:

But the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer.

Dean's rivals jumped all over it, according to the New York Times' Jodi Wilgoren and Randal Archibold. But we don't need cues from Dean's fellow candidates. Ask yourself: Is anyone stating such a thing qualified to be president?

This statement is so obstinately ideological and so completely and transparently false, that even the crowd must have said to themselves, "Whoa. That's pretty weird."

I think Dean may have jumped the shark with this one. And I deeply regret it. No single person better embodies the spirit of the delusional and crank-infected left in this country than Howard Dean. He is the voice of Streisand and all political comics; he is Al Franken with better clothes; he is Congressman McDermott and Sen. Leahy; he is the crowd in front of the A.N.S.W.E.R. rally; and he genuinely represents about 25 percent of the American electorate which is a majority in the Democratic Party.

But not even that 25 percent is that crazy when it comes to Saddam. Howard added megalomania to the witches brew of crazy left thinking, and came down on the side of Saddam's capture not mattering because if Saddam's capture did matter, then Howard's theory of the world would have been flawed.

Howard of the Hague cannot conceive of his view of the world being flawed, so he worked backward to the conclusion that grabbing Saddam doesn't make the United States safer. That is simply and conclusively nuts, and you know it, I know it and most of Dean's people know it.

But Dean doesn't know it. He worked hard on this speech. It is reported that he extensively rewrote it after Sunday's big news. So give him the credit of his own, thought-through conclusions.

Dean isn't fit to be president of the United States because he lacks even a high-school level competency of threat assessment. Period. I fear that even Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary voters will conclude the same thing.

On the chance that the Democratic primary electorate is as deeply infected with delusion as Howard, please visit and make a contribution in honor of capturing Saddam. Doesn't have to be much. But consider it a vote for sanity and purpose in the White House. And your affirmation that capturing Saddam does indeed make the U.S. safer. Principal Contributor Hugh Hewitt is an author, television commentator and syndicated talk-show host of the Salem Radio Network's Hugh Hewitt Show, heard in over 40 markets around the country. He blogs regularly at and he frequently contributes opinion pieces to the Weekly Standard.

In, But Not Of
by Hugh Hewitt

The Embarrassed Beliver
by Hugh Hewitt

Searching for God in America
by Hugh Hewitt



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