An interesting sidebar to the debate going on here about Kerry's alleged special-interest corruption, and those who as a result seem to feel he's someone they have to "hold their nose" to support: a few days back, Public Citizen issued
a very strongly-word statement, in conjunction with Public Campaign and Common Cause, defending Kerry's record. In fact, they praise him lavishly as one of the Senators who gets the LEAST from PACs and lobbyists overall (which makes sense since he doesn't take PAC money period) and a staunch campaign reform advocate throughout his career (so no this apparently isn't just "election year rhetoric about special interests stolen from Dean" like some suggest here), and say that the press reports on the story have been woefully out of context.
So unless you're willing to allege that the three foremost non-partisan, progressive, public-interest organizations in DC, including one founded by Ralph Nader, are simply "part of the establishment" trying to prop up longtime ally Kerry (and even that fact contradicts the premise that he is corrupted by special interests; otherwise how would he be able to keep up such a cozy relationship with said groups?), I am hoping that some around here are going to be eating their words right about now.
And honestly, this debate over Kerry is as it should be in politics-- with one caveat. This is the exact same kind of negative, out-of-context press that Dean was subjected to, and indeed utilized by Kerry himself. Now he and his supporters are in a reversed role as far as momentum is concerned, Kerry is getting attacked, so Dean and his supporters are joining into the meme.
The only difference, as I've complained before, is the sense of moral superiority with which so many Dean supporters (especially around these parts) seem to carry that attack and genuinely believe in it to an extent of being willing to not contribute to a Kerry victory in November should he get the nod.