Probably taken out of context. With a sober, judicious character like Howard Dean, what other explanation could there be?

“I was recently asked about the difference between the Democratic and Republican parties,” Dean said. “When it comes right down to it, the essential difference is that the Democrats fundamentally believe it is important to make sure that American Jews feel comfortable being American Jews.”

Eh. To be honest, I don’t take Dean-o seriously enough to be bothered by his sporadic jackassery. I’m linking just because it’s a swell opportunity to air some of his dirty laundry. Like for instance, here he is on the campaign trail in January 2004 making Jews comfortable by wearing the black-and-white checked Arafat/Fatah keffiyeh around his neck:

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LGF memorialized the incident for posterity. “From militant resistance fighters in Iraq to Indonesian independence fighters to Nicaraguan revolutionaries,” wrote the Lebanon Daily Star shortly after Arafat’s death, “the keffiyeh, a simple cotton black-and-white-striped head-covering most often associated with Arafat who famously wore it to address the UN General Assembly in 1974, is alive and kicking.” And making Jews comfortable.

A few months before the keffiyeh fashion show, Dean stepped in another pile when he said “it’s not our place to take sides” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. So comforting did the public find his remarks that he was forced to “clarify” the very next day, but not before other Democrats had fed him buckets of crap over it.

There are plenty of other Dean items in the LGF archives; go ye and be comforted. Let it be noted, though, in Dean’s defense that compared to his base he’s practically a Likudnik.

Update: Here’s another guy with a lot to say about a subject he’s not exactly well positioned to opine on.

Update: How could I have forgotten? Reader False Dervish reminds me that when it comes to making Jews comfortable, the line forms behind Bill and Hillary.

Look at that first one. You can almost hear “This Magic Moment” playing in the background.

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