The odd thing about Dean’s tenure as a liberal standard-bearer is that he really wasn’t all that liberal; certainly, a good argument can be made that Kerry’s record was more progressive on balance, and the best argument against Dean in the Democratic primary is that he was perceived as much more liberal than he was. Dean’s record as governor of Vermont was more of a DLC contrarian than a solid liberal, especially in the context of Vermont politics. It’s just that in 2002 and 2003 any significant public figure who was willing to point out that the Iraq War didn’t make any sense was suddenly some left-of-Chomsky nut. And Dean deserves a lot of credit for getting Iraq right and being willing to say so! But if you look at his record as a whole I don’t think his disgraceful pandering here is that shocking.