The Candidates. Which begs the question just what one is to make of Dean in the first place. Basically, he looks to me like self-satisfied, ideological lout who lacks the slightest understanding of the world we live in or the measures needed to deal with its problems, the most prominent being the threat of radical Islam and its asundry terrorist appendages. In this, he's pretty much in the same boat as the wacko candidates like Kucinich, Mosely-Braun and should-be-in-jail-for-incitement-to-murder Al Sharpton. All of them are Leftist fanatics who would be much more at home in the Green Party but understand there's no chance of getting elected without the Democratic machine behind them. Dean, however, has a real chance of getting elected, which makes him slightly dangerous, since I think he would be a disaster on the same level as Jimmy Carter.
Kerry, Lieberman, and Gephardt are all much smarter then that, and understand that Dean's ideology is at best illusory and at worst catastrophic for our country's future, although only Lieberman, God bless him, has the guts to come out and say so. Again, we can see how the party's Leftist establishment has simply marginalized him for doing so. Kerry is the most pathetic one, mainly because he was hoping to run to the Right (i.e. as a Clinton Democrat), but has been forced to the Left by Dean, thus turning him into a blubbering mass of cognitive dissosance and embarrassing self-contradiction. It has resulted in the sorry sight of him kissing necro-radical ass at Rolling Stone by saying "fuck" when he just didn't need to. Its a sorry sight but not surprising to those of us who remember him as a Massachusetts senator whose primary talent was his overarching ambition. Gross.
Gephardt is not all bad, although he's got the charisma of a dead rat and therefore no possibility whatsoever of being elected. He's also basically an old time labor populist, which just doesn't translate into a enough votes in the information economy. I can't see him being nominated.
Lieberman also has no chance in hell, mainly because he's the only one with the personal and political courage to tell his party that their being lied to by a bunch of Leftist treason monkeys with an illigimate hold on the nominating process. I like him but the party's Leftist elite hates him for the exact same reasons. He actually dares to believe the United States is worth defending against its enemies.
The wild card is, of course, Wesley Clark. He hasn't run much of a campaign so far, but he has cache on national security and I personally think he's a much savvier politician then people give him credit for. SACEUR is no picnic and he managed to negotiate the various Euro-monkeys pretty deftly during the Kosovo War. I also think that, although I disagree totally with them, he has some genuinely thought-out criticisms of the war and how its being conducted, which puts him a head above all the other candidates (excluding Lieberman who, as far as I can see, has no disagreement with the war or its conduct) and makes him a serious contender. To my mind, he's the only candidate with the ghost of a chance of beating Bush next November, which is why I think, if the Democrats ever come to their senses (an unlikely scenario) he will be the rallying point.