The gang at the Prospect’s convention blog (inter alia) have been carping about (inter alia) the Convention’s music selections for each speaker. None of the ones they mentioned, though, irk me so much as the pairing of the Beatles’ “Revolution” with Howard Dean. Come on, guys. It’s a song about being afraid of revolution. And certainly, for better or worse, Howard Dean was never quite as revolutionary as his strongest backers or critics made him out to be. But it seems safe to assume that the song was chosen to suggest that he’s an insurgent. And to do that was a counter-insurgent song is an insult to the audience’s intelligence nearly on par with Reagan’s citing “Born in the USA” as an articulation of his brand of patriotism. Anyone who’d like to try to convince me that there’s a subtle point being made about the revolutionary danger posed by Bush and feared by Dean, or the tension between Dean’s conservative record and his more radical rhetoric, or the fear of the Democratic establishment towards Dean, is welcome to try. I wouldn’t suggest it though.
Otherwise, I’d say Dean’s was a solid speech, even if some of the lines make less of an impact for those of us who’ve heard them from him several times before. The same goes for Ted Kennedy, on both counts. Of course, there can only be one Barack Obama.