Howard Dean could have been a contender. In fact, he was a contender and actually had a chance at winning the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.
He was an anti-war, far-left, quasi-socialist, and adored by many young people. You might call him the beta version of Bernie Sanders, minus the white hair and Brooklyn accent.
But Dean’s surging campaign was scuttled by the ‘Dean Scream’ that reverberated from Iowa across the nation.
Now, it’s worth remembering two things. First, Howard Dean went to medical school and once served as a family physician in Vermont. Second, there is a famous Biblical proverb from the Book of Luke: ‘Physician, heal thyself.’
This week Dr. Dean did the exact opposite. Rather than heal himself, he may have killed his career as a smug and surly political pundit. Dean not only chose to navigate the low road, he drove straight into the political gutter.
You probably know the story. Early in Monday’s debate, Donald Trump could be heard inhaling. (Some of his supporters blamed the microphone, much like ‘Deaniacs’ blamed the mic for that scream heard ’round the world.)
Howard Dean, the former physician, decided it was a wise idea to put forth this tweet: ‘Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?’
That seemed like it might have been an awkward attempt at humor, and Dean could have positioned it as such. But he was actually serious.
The left-wing Dean is employed by the left-wing MSNBC. You know, the network that gave us lovely folks such as Martin Bashir, Alec Baldwin, and Melissa Harris-Perry.
The doctor paid a house call to his network the day after the debate and actually doubled down. Trump’s audible sniffling, he declared, ‘is actually a signature of people who use cocaine.’ Continuing his bizarre diagnosis, Dr. Dean declared Trump ‘delusional,’ another trait common among coke users.
So, according to this former physician, Donald Trump prepped for Monday’s debate by snorting some blow in the men’s room at Hofstra University. Does it get any lower than that?
The worst thing a physician can be called is a ‘quack,’ from a Dutch expression meaning a doctor who is a total fraud and charlatan. Is Dr. Dean a quack? Well, if it walks like a duck …
Now it’s our turn to play doctor.
Howard Dean is apparently deep in the throes of a malady that has spread wildly throughout the media lately, namely Trump Derangement Syndrome.
You remember Bush Derangement Syndrome, a sickness first identified by our friend Dr. Charles Krauthammer, himself a former psychiatrist. He actually came up with the diagnosis when the one and only Howard Dean implied that President Bush may have been warned about the 9/11 attacks in advance. And, yes, many on the right have been similarly infected with Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Howard Dean, obviously in Stage IV of Trump Derangement Syndrome, probably thought he did nothing wrong this week. He was, after all, simply mocking a man who is despised by most of his media colleagues. They actually abhor Donald Trump just as much as they adore Barack Obama, which is saying quite a lot.
So Dean expected a few pats on the back and not much else. Instead, what he said may have been too much for even MSNBC, where he has not been seen since.
After the debate, MSNBC and other networks went wall-to-wall with the story of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who says she was ‘fat-shamed’ by Donald Trump twenty years ago. It turns out that Machado, suddenly a female role model for Democrats and the left, was credibly accused of taking part in a plot to kill a judge in her native Venezuela. She did not deny it when given the chance on CNN this week.
Donald Trump, who owned the Miss Universe franchise, admits that he got on Machado’s case after she gained weight in 1996. But is this really what this campaign is about?
Hillary Clinton has also been accused of demeaning and damaging women, namely Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Monica Lewinsky, and many others. But they are personae non grata to the very same media that is lionizing Ms. Machado.
We do indeed live in very strange times, and Dr. Howard Dean is just the latest example. Like all physicians, Dean is surely familiar with the Hippocratic Oath: ‘Primum non nocere.’ Translation: ‘Above all, do no harm!’
He did irreparable harm to his already-suffering reputation this week and may not be seen on the air for a long time. He should consider taking the opportunity to work on his hostility and bitterness.
Perhaps Dr. Howard Dean is still haunted by that long-ago scream that ended his greatest dreams and ambitions. And perhaps it is time for him to follow that sage and timeless advice: Physician, heal thyself!