The old Dean was a free trader. The new Dean is not. The old Dean was open to Medicare reform. The new Dean says Medicare is off the table. The old Dean courted the N.R.A.; the new Dean has swung in favor of gun control. The old Dean was a pro-business fiscal moderate; the new Dean, sounding like Ralph Nader, declares, "We've allowed our lives to become slaves to the bottom line of multinational corporations all over the world."
The philosopher George Santayana once observed that Americans don't bother to refute ideas — they just leave them behind. Dean shed his upper-crust WASP self, then his centrist governor self, bursting onto the national scene as a mysterious stranger who comes out of nowhere to battle corruption.
I don't understand why this is profound. The old Dean was a manipulative liar and so is the new one.