Robert Novak has some interesting comments on why the Democrats worry about Dean.

Steve Murphy, Rep. Richard Gephardt’s campaign manager, this week professed to being baffled. How is it possible, he wondered, that Howard Dean’s bizarre comments about Osama bin Laden attracted so little news media attention? The answer is that apart from being obscured by the holiday season, the Democratic presidential front-runner’s words got lost in his own stream of unusual remarks.

Dean’s post-Christmas comments that he could not suggest a penalty for the terrorist leader and author of the 9/11 catastrophe until he was judged guilty had no time to sink in before he began saying things that stunned his party’s faithful. He sniped at Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe for not protecting him from the party’s other candidates, and warned of his 1.5 million supporters defecting if any other Democrat is nominated for president.

Dean’s holiday performance reflects the yearlong pattern by the former governor of Vermont. To characterize Dean’s remarks as leftist tilt that can and will be corrected by a quick pivot to the center is a faulty diagnosis of the doctor’s disease. James Carville this week summed up the Dean problem: “He seems to not appreciate the glory of the unspoken thought.”