Howard Dean is a man that shoots from the hip. He also tends to get shot in the ass. Let's clear up this whole "confederate flags on pickup trucks" issue.
First of all, they exist. I've seen them. In Kentucky, in Alabama, in Georgia, and in every southern state I've been to. Secondly, not all people who venerate the "stars and bars" are racists--no matter what Al Sharpton thinks. Thirdly, Howard Dean is dead on the money (even if he openned an old wound with his comments).
We need voters. These guys and gals are voters. We Dean supporters in the South are not going to concede a single vote in this election. Howard knows that, and that is why he said what he said. He is convinced, and he may be right, that social conservatives in the south have been voting with Republicans because they have been told it's in their best interest when it is obviously not.
Your kids are going to be taught about sex in school...Blacks and Hispanics will take your jobs...Abortion on demand will be the law...They're coming for your guns...The military will suffer...Your taxes will go up...We'll lose our sovereignty as a nation...They hate God...Gay marriage will destroy society...Government will just get bigger and more intrusive...
...All because you vote for a Democrat!
Howard Dean has hit on a nerve. Sure he's gonna hurt some feelings. Black people hate the Confederate flag because it represents the South's defense of slavery. Southerners hate being called out on an issue that is so close to their hearts--especially by a Yankee. But to ignore the issue and pretend it will go away is more irresponsible than taking a little political flak. It was Dean's willingness to concede the issue to his critics that got me upset, but certainly not enough to quit supporting him.
On a related note, John Edwards needs to spend more time in the South if he thinks that this statement offends a majority of Southerners. To borrow his attitude: "We don't need people like John Edwards telling the rest of the world what we Southerners think. Who died and made you President of the Southeast?" Bite me, John!