I can’t decide if this is a revealing insight into what a consummate dishonest doofus Dean is or just politics as usual, as routine as two centers under the basket elbowing each other to jockey for position. Doubtless the national committees send out crap press releases whining about the sins of the other side all the time; what’s interesting about this one is that not only does it demand a response from the opponent’s nominee, it neglects to explain what’s offensive about the comments to which such great offense was supposedly taken. The best the DNC can do by way of something “provocative” is pointing to Tanc’s accusation that Catholic demographics might be affecting the Pope’s politics. Why this should be controversial isn’t clear, unless you take the view that the Church is entirely above, and immune from, political reality. Pssst: It isn’t.

Tancredo issued a press release yesterday attacking the “Pope’s comments regarding U.S. immigration policy” and accusing his position of stemming from an interest in “recruiting new members.” Dean issued the following statement:

“If John McCain is serious in his pledge to run a respectful campaign, he should immediately denounce Tom Tancredo’s insulting remarks about Pope Benedict XVI.

“After years of failing to address immigration reform, the Republican party has instead used the issue to scapegoat people to win elections. If McCain believes, as he has said, that ‘these are God’s children,’ he should not stand by silently as Tancredo or anyone else in the Republican Party continues using immigrants as scapegoats or playing politics with immigration legislation.”

“The American people don’t want four more years of a President who will callously use issues to divide us rather than working to unite us.”

“Playing politics with immigration legislation” is left-speak, of course, for “bringing up an issue during a presidential campaign that might hurt Democrats.” Exit question one: Why, precisely, is it McCain’s responsibility to say something? Tancredo’s supporting him, granted, but their relationship isn’t exactly warm. Does Dean think McCain, who’s banking on the Latino vote to neutralize Obama, wants Tancredo popping off about this? Exit question two: Dean sure does like to opine about who God’s children are, doesn’t he?