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View Diary: Western Dems embrace Dean (318 comments)

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  •  Idaho (none)
    Perhaps Dean did not specifically mean we're going to win Idaho, but rather the West more generally, or the whole presidential race, by running on this "Western" platform.
    •  An appeal to Hunter S. Thompsonite... (none)
      individuals. Who thrive on the wide open spaces way out in them thar hills.

      Good on ya, Mr. Dean!

      ...put your flags in the air and march them up and down you can live it up, live it up all over the town... - The Escape Club: Wild Wild West

      by rgilly on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:40:55 AM PDT

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      •  good for Dean.... (none)
        taking his message and his presence to places like Idaho was exactly what we needed.
        •  I love that portal! We need one like it (none)
          for New England. I would work on it personally.

          Ken Mehlman is a lying sack of crap.

          by lecsmith on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:28:41 AM PDT

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        •  I hate to bring up Biden (4.00)
          and make everyone cringe, but I recall a few days ago where Chris Matthews (?) asked Biden if he wished the Dems had a guy like Rove. Biden grinned and said yes.

          Well, the fact is I think just maybe we have in Dean a guy as canny and shrewd as Rove except (a) he works for the good guys and (b) isn't a lying, traitorous fat pig piece of s#!t

          Attack their strength: go to places like Idaho, Utah and Montana and chip away. It's not like the Ohio-Florida strategy worked last time!

          The other thing I think the Democrats need to do out West is effectively address illegal immigration. Matthews hit the nail on the head when he said the reason no one wants to address illegal immigration is because the Republicans want the cheap labor and the Democrats think they'll become Democratic voters. I don't know why the Democrats can't hammer this point on why the GOP won't protect the borders because the fatcats get rich off this cheap labor and tie it to the "outsourcing of America" theme. And as an aside, I do wish Democrats would stop running away from the issue and start looking rationally at the problem of illegal immigration. If our party platform honors the rule of law, why do we pussyfoot around the issue when illegal aliens come into the country? It's not racist to clamp down on this! This is a huge opportunity which Democrats fritter away because of the need to feel all PC.

          •  go after the employers (4.00)
            that should be the democratic angle on undocumented workers: take care of the problem at the source.  employers like tyson chicken are bringing people across by the truckload - literally.

            plus we also make sure the employers follow the law when it comes to minimum wage and workplace safety, with no prejudice as to complaints from undocumented workers.

            repeat after me:  if you won't get serious about the employers, you aren't serious about immigration.

            we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
            — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

            by zeke L on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:32:46 AM PDT

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            •  couldn't agree more (4.00)
              there is something inherently unethical and sleazy about corporate America's policies of bringing boatloads of illegal aliens across the border so that GOP bankrollers from the boardroom can build an addition on their ski house in Aspen.

              They dump these people on the local counties and states who end up subsidizing their medical care and education costs, while the workers themselves are marginalized and often exploited by their employers. So there is absolutely a way to frame this an ethical, humane and moral light, while still appealing to vast swaths of independent and Republican voters in Western states who bear the costs of our open borders problem.

              Real immigration reform is yet one more way to unite strange political bedfellows. Environmentalists are concerned about land use, over-suburbanization and effects on natural resources like water. So to are conservative Western voters.

              •  Make Corporations Pay Their Fair Share (none)
                This is just one plank in a platform of having corporations pay their fair share. One reason taxes are so high is because government is saddled with paying for what corporations should, but won't. When a corporation doesn't pay a living wage they are not paying their fair share to their. To cover this, we have all manner of governmental programs for the working poor.

                Republicans talk about cutting taxes as if they are too high. If you can't pay your taxes, either the taxes are too high or the wages are too low. Guess what? Taxes are not too high. Wages are too low.

                Every time someone talks about cutting taxes or tax relief that should be a signal to talk about wages, salaries and compensation in general. We should always make this point. If you are struggling to pay taxes, you aren't earning enough money. Only people who are being underpaid have a problem paying their taxes.

                The idea of cutting taxes should always be linked in the voters' minds to how much they deserve to be paid more and how much their company is screwing them.

                Liberal Thinking

                Think, liberally.

                by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 02:53:22 PM PDT

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          •  Yes! YES! (none)
            Jobs are what this country needs and we need to get our manufacturing base back up.  The Democrats need to show how the leisure, hotel jobs created in the last two years are low wage jobs that the immigrants fill and the high wage, advanced shooling jobs aren't being created. Immigration should be part of a discussion on job creation.

            Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

            by hairspray on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:33:40 PM PDT

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          •  immigration (none)
            LOL cutting off the flow of illegal aliens does not constitute honoring the rule of law. anyway, what happened to ellis island? give us your weak your poor your huddled masses.

            China Land Area: 9,326,410 sq km  POP 1.3 Billion
            US      Land Area: 9,161,923 sq km  POP 0.3 Billion

            this country is practically empty.

            the republicans aren't the only ones who know illegal immagration is essential to short and long term economic strength. the democrats aren't stupid. but anyone who proposes cutting off illegal immigration is. we have a patchwork partially enforced border just to keep the flow at manageable levels.

      •  you missed the mark a little on that one (none)
        you must be like from New Jersey. ha ha. Hunter Thompson liked weapons. That is about as far as it goes.


        by seesdifferent on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:13:46 AM PDT

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    •  We are the party of sportsmen (4.00)
      I'm willing to give up on gun control legislation if it helps bring the Mountain West into play.  

      We give up too much on the issue as a signifier compared to what we actually gain in crime reduction.  I spent a lot of time in 2004 talking to NE PA union men (many of whom lost their jobs due to outsourcing) who were down with the Dems on the whole economic package, but were seriously freaked out that we'd take their guns away.

      We are the party of personal privacy.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:42:18 AM PDT

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      •  Not simply personal privacy (none)
        Though I recognize that this is the current best effort to frame our approach in a soundbite.

        I think it's more effective to say that we're the party that supports the rights of the individual, not the state or the corporation.  Key among those rights, of course, is the right to privacy.


        I'm a pro-gun, pro-nuclear-power Reform Democrat.
        UUJN: Brother Venerable Katana of Mindful Forgiveness

        by AlphaGeek on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:47:49 AM PDT

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        •  against the corporation, sure (none)
          But we believe that government has a role to play in giving everyone the tools (public education, redistribution of income, affirmative action) so that where you're born does not limit your options in life.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:54:45 AM PDT

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          •  Exactly (none)
            One of my historical heroes, Teddy Roosevelt, said it best:

            "Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense."...

            "We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less."

            "The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us."

            I didn't mean to imply that individual rights were necessarily in conflict with corporate aims or good government.  I recognize that many folks here are rabidly anti-corporate, but I'm not among them.

            It's a loser to emphasize programs instead of the impact they have.  It is far easier to appeal to the voter's sense of fairness and morality when you talk about how you're going to help people, and how this benefits society.


            I'm a pro-gun, pro-nuclear-power Reform Democrat.
            UUJN: Brother Venerable Katana of Mindful Forgiveness

            by AlphaGeek on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:49:48 AM PDT

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        •  Liberty, not privacy (3.83)
          The right to privacy emerges from Liberty, along with other rights.

          And abortion isn't about "choice" (what a weak word!), or "privacy" (a legal framework), but about LIBERTY.

          The right to keep and bear arms isn't about militias, it's about Liberty.

          Et cetera.

          There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:54:46 AM PDT

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        •  Right to Privacey........ (2.00)
          Is not in the Constitution. This is why Roe Vs. Wade is terrible law. Even though I am against Roe Vs. Wade, I would actually support a Right to Privacy Constitutional Admendment due to the technological advancements of the last fifty years.
          •  Well, the courts have interpreted such a right (none)
            although conservatives like Thomas claim it does not exist.  I agree that a constitutional amendment would be a good political move.
          •  right to privacy, you can find it.... (none)
            You really should read actual judgements instead of news releases about judgements.

            Amendment IX
            The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

            Amendment IV
            The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seize

            Amendment III
            No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

          •  The Right to Privacy Is More Fundamental (3.00)
            Nothing personal, but, as this is one of my hot buttons. . .

            The right to privacy is more fundamental than the Constitution. Everyone has a demonstrable right to privacy. Every two-year-old knows that they have a right to privacy and will announce it loudly if they need to.

            Anyone who claims that people don't have a right to privacy I will immediately make my slave. Without a right to privacy, what right do they have to prevent me from going into their house and searching through their papers and effects? (If you say this is trespassing, you have admitted my point.) Why shouldn't I be entitled to know all of the gory details of their life? They are suggesting that they have no right to hide anything from me, and if they claim that they have no such right I will certainly take advantage of them.

            People who think we have no right to privacy haven't thought it through--what this means to society, what it means to others, and very specifically what it means to them.

            As for Roe v. Wade, you are right. It is bad law. It's bad law not because it is wrong or because the Constitution doesn't guarantee a right to privacy, but because we didn't take the time to get it specifically past the legislature and the executive. We didn't make it so entrenched in people's moral values that it is unchallengeable.

            When 70% plus of Americans believe that a woman has a right to determine the medical procedures that happen to her, it should not be a problem to get the right of access to abortion written into the law. By relying on a court decision and not going through the whole political process those who favor fair treatment of women have not done enough to seal the deal.

            We should not be depending on this. We need to make the case clearly to everyone that abortion is just one special case of a more general principle that affects them personally--the right to privacy. Would we put someone in jail if they used a bullet to stop a robber in their house? No, because we understand that each person has a right to safety and to the quiet enjoyment of their home. But many people think that it's fine for someone to invade a person's body for months without permission. A woman's body belongs to her. It is more sacrosanct than her home. She should never be forced to give birth when she doesn't want to.

            For the same reason, it is not within the legitimate purview of the government to decide which drugs you can take. When it's your body, you have an unlimited right to use it as you see fit. By what right does anyone else tell you what to do? As an adult, you should not have to ask the government for a permission slip to take a drug you want to take.

            For the same reason, no corporation has any right to pollute your environment, to any extent whatsoever. To mediate your claim and that of many, many others with that corporation we need (and currently have) laws to regulate pollution. The law, legitimately, can require corporations to limit their pollutants to such a degree as to not materially harm you and others. In the absence of regulation, you have an absolute right to take these people to court for any amount, no matter how trivial the insult. It is not legitimate for the government to limit torts for this. To do so is to curtail your right to privacy.

            The problem is that many of our politicians, including many Democrats, don't think that the government should have any limitation on power. They think that any problem, no matter what, is something the government should solve. There are limits to the power of government and the U.S. government has crossed them.

            Democrats must come to terms with these issues. We must be for individual liberty, where it doesn't invade someone else's privacy or threaten imminent harm to another. We need to defend Roe v. Wade both as legitimate law based on a fair reading of the Constitution and as an application of the right of privacy independent of the Constitution. We need to be strong in our defense of the right to privacy and know its place. It is guaranteed most indirectly by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments (and extended to the states through the Fourteenth). But people need to understand it for a fundamental moral principle, not subject even to what is written into the Constitution or an individual law. It is much more basic than that.

            Liberal Thinking

            Think, liberally.

            by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 03:44:44 PM PDT

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        •  Democrats in a soundbite (3.50)
          Democrats: The party of support and privacy.  We give you all the tools you need to succeed, and we stay out of your life.

          I'm a Democrat because of my beliefs. Democrats believe in economic, social, and moral responsibility. Republicans take risks with our future.

          by Katydid on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:00:34 AM PDT

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          •  asdf (4.00)
            I've been hoping for a while that Dean would swing this way.  

            With the GOP swinging ever more authoritarian and totally losing any cred about financial responsibility, the dems have the space to pick up BOTH the libertarians AND the fiscal conservatives.

            And having something of a libertarian streak myself, I wholeheartedly support it.

            A lot of western states ... Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, have been on the border in the last few elections as it is.  These are people who don't like big brother.

            I stole this sig from someone cleverer than me.

            by IdahoEv on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:21:52 AM PDT

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            •  The Dean You're Hearing (4.00)
              Is Vermont Governor Dean.  Vermont has an awful lot in common culturally with the mountain staets of the west.  (After all, it's our own New England scale mountain state!)  A place that has never been terribly wealthy, but where people have deep ties to the land and by hard work people make a living and get by, where they expect the government to spend their scarce tax dollars wisely and well, where the individual right to be left alone is central to the strong communities built on that premise.  Where principles of personal and civic responsibility are still thriving.
              •  Exactly the Point I Made to the New Chair (none)
                The new Montana Chair hadn't looked past the hype to where Dean had been Governor.  Tried to explain to him the points that you made.  Now that had a Paul like conversion and had his picture taken, he may begin to put two and two together.

                There are only two kinds of Montanans, those who love Montana and those who want to use Montana.

                by MontanaMaven on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 02:08:34 AM PDT

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        •  not quite... (none)
          not "against the corporation" but "make sure people have more rights than corporations", and "make sure that people get preferential treatment over corporations".

          Wouldn't it be great to have a President who did the right thing as the automatic choice instead of a grudging last resort?

          by DemInTampa on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 03:02:30 PM PDT

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      •  AMEN! (3.90)
        Seriously, it is time for the Dem party to drop the "gun control" issue.  First of all, it was never consistent with the party's support for personal liberty.  Second, it's just too late.  The genie is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back.  This country is awash in guns and if you criminalize them, you simply alienate all the people who resent you for criminalizing THEM.  This issue has never been a winner for the Dems and has, in fact, kept a lot of our natural allies in the West and in rural areas away.  We need them more than ever, so let's give them what they want -- more guns than they could ever possibly need.

        I believe strongly, in fact, that the left should be arming itself to the teeth.  It is dangerous, in the current political climate, for the right to be armed and the left to be defenseless.  An armed populace is the last bulwark against totalitarianism, and it's getting to the point where we need to start thinking about where all of this (read: stolen elections, placing GOP agenda above basic patriotism, etc.) is going.  It is not inconceivable that the Left might need to defend itself some day.  I'm a pacifist and abhor violence, but I'm also damned if I'll be marched off to a Dobson-run re-education camp without a fight.  

        •  You make a scary but effective point (4.00)

          Never thought that I would agree with what you just posted but I am almost there.  Still can't see myself waving a gun around but I certainly would do as you say to prevent being taken to some "re-education" camp.

          I am very supportive of Dean's message and leadership as always...I support the concept of a liberty loving, independent and conservationist approach to our resources.  Westerners love the great outdoors and know how important these resources are to us ...

          I have less hope for the Democrats than for a progressive and libertarian minded revolution of our country's spirit.  The current Democrats and Republicans are old news and have outlived their relevance.  The question is how to replace them. I think that Dean is sounding the right message and the movement and organization necessary to implement it will arise around him.  It may or may not be the Democrats....

          Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

          by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:43:06 AM PDT

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        •  Strongly disagree ... (none)
          I strongly disagree with the Democrats giving up their platform on gun control.  You and I and everyone else must take off our coat, our shoes, our belt, take out our laptop, etc., and place our items on five different trays in order to get on an airplane.  This to me is quite an inconvenience to undergo just to get on a darn plane -- particularly when I have no intention of hurting or killing anyone and never have done so.  I don't think it's too much to ask people to undergo background checks in order to purchase a firearm or register their handgun upon purchasing one when we live in a place where children hear the sound of gunfire before they ever hear an orchestra.  Over 30,000 Americans die every year due to firearms, so I think some of the things mentioned above are the least we can do to improve our nation's safety.

          As to whether gun control contradicts our party's principle of personal liberty -- I would say that gun control benefits the common good, and therefore is consistent with our party principles.

          Now every single political party in the universe holds unpopular positions.  When was the last time you heard Republicans talk about closing down the Education Department in order to shrink the size of government and balance the budget?  How many Republicans do you hear talking about their opposition to increasing the mininum wage or even the minimum wage law itself?  Before this year, when was the last time the Republican Congress voted to cut entitlement spending in order to balance the budget and decrease the size of government?  The American people aren't going to respect a party that only takes popular positions -- they want a party that has posititions consistent with their principles.  Sometimes you just have to fight the fights that need fighting.

          •  yes, but (4.00)
            They don't push their really unpopular positions, and they're not one of the first things one thinks of when one thinks of the Republican Party.

            Go back to my initial post: it's about the signifier effect -- it turns too many people away from the party who might otherwise be our allies.

            "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

            by Adam B on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:31:45 AM PDT

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          •  I would agree (4.00)
            if gun control was good policy but there aren't any statistics to support gun control.

            Law abiding citizens who legally own guns do not commit crimes at a rate higher than people who don't own guns.

            There is ZERO correlation between legally bearing arms and commiting crimes.

            Criminals don't commit crimes with legally purchased weapons.

            I don't want to sound like the NRA here but this issue is not only horrible policy but an absolute political LOSER!!

          •  asdf (4.00)
            Gun control is a perfectly good place to exercise one of the diminishing foundations of American democratic principle:  federalism.

            The interaction between guns and society in Los Angeles has nothing in common with firearms' milieu on a ranch in Utah.   In the country, it's an essectial tool of survival, and gun violence is rare.   In the city, guns are primarily a hazard to both personal and social health.  

            So it's 100% appropriate for different states and municipalities to enact gun laws suited to their environment.  Let LA have firearms registration to help control gang proliferation and make it easier for kids to get to school safely, but let ranchers and hunters in the rockies have a lot more freedom and leeway.

            I think this could become a powerful middle ground the dems could use to solidif ranks with a lot of freedom-minded westerners ... and people of reason in general.

            I stole this sig from someone cleverer than me.

            by IdahoEv on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:30:29 AM PDT

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            •  except (none)
              Because of the interstate market in guns, doesn't laxity in any one jurisdiction largely defeat regulation elsewhere?

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:50:45 AM PDT

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            •  I'm not so sure of that (none)
              According to my last boss, a former ranger,
              a park ranger is statistically much more likely to die by gunshot that any other type of law enforcement officer.
              •  Marijuana (none)
                Without prohibition, these would be some of the safest jobs around--in terms of gun violence. A ranger would be more likely to get killed by a bear.

                This is all part of the same thing: the right to privacy. See above.

                Liberal Thinking

                Think, liberally.

                by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 03:56:20 PM PDT

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            •  exactly dean's position (none)
              this is exactly the position dean takes, BTW.  remember he was governor of a small rural state.  people think of new york and boston when they think of northeastern liberals, but there's still lots of hunting up there in the great north woods of VT, NH and maine.

              we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
              — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

              by zeke L on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:39:59 AM PDT

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            •  Federalism (none)
              There's a lot to be said for this. People on farms have fundamentally different needs for guns.

              The problem is that, as others have pointed out, the Second is really about defending freedom, not about helping people defend themselves against robbers. If you only needed that, a sufficiently good police force would do the job.

              Regardless of what the Constitution says, we have to think about the consequences of taking guns away from people, even in the cities. The people in Washington (D.C.) scare me, too. I don't want to have to shoot them when they come for me, but what am I to think when they start looking through library records? When they cease to believe in habeas corpus? When dissent is called "treason"?

              The Bush Administration used the military overseas to force its political will on an unwilling people. Are they capable of using it in this country to force their political will on us?

              It is a shame and shows the depth of our decline from the heights of civilization when we have to contemplate whether to trust that our own government will obey the law. But that's where we are at. When we look at gun control, unfortunately the issue of freedom is a material consideration.

              And frankly, the gun control issue has been superseded by the security camera issue. It is now likely that we will have cities with such interwoven security camera coverage that no crime can be perpetrated without the culprit being caught. In the not-too-distant future the threat of gun violence may be obsoleted by technology.

              So, on balance, I'd be for scrapping gun control from the Democratic agenda, too. But, I think I'd tie it to scrapping drug prohibition, which is much more the underlying cause of gun violence than the guns themselves. And to fixing the security camera problem. We can't stop the deployment of security cameras and that would be unwise. But we can put limits on what security cameras can be used for.

              Liberal Thinking

              Think, liberally.

              by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 04:25:36 PM PDT

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        •  The only people affected by gun laws (4.00)
          are people who obey the law to begin with.  Making assault weapons illegal, for example, isn't going to force street gangs and violent militias to give up their weapons.  Criminals are in the business of finding things which are illegal.  They're criminals.  That's what they do.

          There are many, many law-abiding gun owners who are disgusted with the NRA and the Republican Party in general.  Let's welcome them into our party instead of alienating them even further.  They want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mental patients every bit as much as we do.

          TK-421, why aren't you at your post?

          by Magnus Greel on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:27:14 AM PDT

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        •  I agree too, (4.00)
          I always liked Dean's frame that states should deal with the gun issue, because guns in Detroit are different than guns in Vermont. But I have begun to realize that we may need guns to protect us from our government. I used to think it was irrelevant, because we would never be allowed all the stuff the government has. I mean, back in the day, the government didn't have much more than guns itself. They could add cannon, which is nothing compaired to the Atomic bomb. But the Iraq war has tought me that you can be effective with a far less firepower, we just need to get some RPG's!

          We are all wearing the blue dress now.

          by PLS on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:23:33 AM PDT

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      •  Guns are a big loser for us at the National Level (4.00)

          If Dems can convince people they REALLY are for maximum individual liberty, but with a social safety net they will rack up votes in many areas we have lost in recent years.
      •  Frustrating (none)
        I thought that we had given up on gun control legislation. Every national Democrat and most Senators seem to go all-out for gun rights these days. It seems to me that the Republicans are better at keeping that message out there than the Democrats are at earning it.
        •  except for Kerry (4.00)
          Kerry made a point during the campaign of going back to Washington to vote for the scary-looking guns frighten us! Assault Weapons Ban.  Then he went on a goose-hunting photo op to show his solidary with the sportsmen.  It was a double-whammy failure - a pro-gun-control vote followed by an obnoxiously pandering photo op.  

          There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:47:49 AM PDT

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          •  ...and I suppose... (none)
            he was goose hunting with an assault weapon?

            But seriously, folks, the assault weapons ban might have helped a little, but it was being circumvented in a number of ways by the gun manufacturers to the point where it was basically ineffective. I think it needed to be scrapped (hey, mission accomplished!) or entirely reworked. However, one of the many things it did not do (and was not intended to do) was prevent goose hunting, so I find your Kerry commentary to be without merit.

            •  His goose hunting photo op (4.00)
              looked fake and contrived. That what people said about it. It was style over substance on the gun issue.
              •  How could it not, (4.00)
                when Kerry was faked and contrived. See, both parties have been engaged in turning elections into marketing wars. You gotta be a good actor, good enough for "B" movies (ala Reagan, and Annaald), or you have to be true believer. The Repugs appear to be better at recruitng grade "B" actors, so I think we need to move on to plan "B". Get a real public servant that will say what he thinks people need to hear so they can make the best choice, not what they want to hear, so they can be led around by the nose. Dean's that guy, because he is at heart a doctor. He stayed in politics after his untimely  arrival to the governorship, because he realized he could help alot more people than he could as a GP. Furthermore, he had learned how to talk to ordinary people and explain very complicated stuff to them, in a way that would allow them to make informed decisions. He dealt with ordinary people everyday, and developed a huge respect for them. He really thinks that if you give people the info they need, they will do fine. And if they don't, well it was thier decision afterall. Oh, and he actually believes in Democracy, too. Got me to believe in it too, for awhile. Face it guys, we got to figure out how to get Dean to give into running again!

                We are all wearing the blue dress now.

                by PLS on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:48:48 AM PDT

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          •  Not to many sportsmen (none)
            Like me. Kerry has hunted waterfowl every fall for most of his life. Why should only Darth Cheney and Anton Scalia get their pictures taken duck hunting?

            "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

            by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:53:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it wasn't the hunting (none)
              It was the photo op, which looked contrived because it WAS contrived.  I mean seriously... the dude was running for president.  Did he really need to take time from his busy schedule to go shoot geese for a few hours?  No, and anyone in a similarly busy professional position would have blown off the hunting for a season.  

              There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

              by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:18:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You don't understand many hunters (none)
                I know folks that would abandon their pregnant wife and dying mother to go bird hunting for a day. It was the mediawhores that made the event look fake.

                "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

                by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 01:03:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Scary-looking guns DO frighten me (3.00)
            don't they frighten you?

            You can support the assault weapons ban and go goose-hunting and not be a hypocrite.  They are two completely different issues.  The fact that we routinely conflate them is a major reason there is so much controversy about "gun-control."  There are a pretty limited number of guys out there who sincerely believe ordinary citizens need lots of heavy-duty weaponry to defend themselves.  But there are a LOT of guys, and gals too, who bristle when urbanites, who rarely hunt, make disparaging remarks about ALL guns, and all people who own and use guns.

            A nuanced approach to gun control, which recognizes differences and distinctions, is exactly what we need to defuse this rather brainless, entrenched battle.  It's not hypocrisy.

            •  actually, no (4.00)
              Scary-looking guns don't frighten me.  Guns don't frighten me at all.

              IDIOTS frighten me.  About once a week, as part of my commute, I have to dodge someone running a particular red light.  This intersection frightens me more than guns or terrorists (and I work in an actual terrorist target).  Maybe I should insist on banning cars.

              And i'm in no way suggesting Kerry is a hypocrite on gun control.  What a ludicrous interpretation of what I said!  No, what I said was Kerry turned off and offended voters, at least the NRA crowd, by making a point of voting for a gun control bill and then trying to soften it by a staged photo op. THAT is the point.  We're losing voters, and we lost a presidential election!

              There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

              by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:24:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, and something else (4.00)
        With Apocalyptic evangelicals actively trying totake over and subvert the military, do you really want to be without weapons?

        In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

        by jabbausaf on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:36:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  amen brother (none)
        I'd even give up my recently imposed prohibition against romancin with sheep....


        by seesdifferent on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:15:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've flipped on this issue (4.00)
        I used to be a passionate supporter of gun control, but I have completely changed my mind since 2000.

        All of a sudden my right to bear arms against the spectre of crazy fascists pounding on my door has become quite important to me.

        Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

        by saucy monkey on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:25:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  need to reframe "gun control" (3.00)
        I think the phrase in itself leave the impression that Democrats want to take away their guns.  That's simply not the case.  We just want responsible gun ownership.  If we can come up with some word manipulation with "gun control" then maybe we can change gunowners' viewpoint on Democrats.

        I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

        by blue drop on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:23:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We Need America to See and Hear the Real Dean.. (none)
      ...I'm trying to do that by finishing my documentary about the good doctor...three years in the making...I can't do it alone anymore...please help in any way you can...enjoy the show at:

      Thanks for understanding I have to ask you guys. This is your movie.


    •  Howard Dean (none)
      is not the solution to the Democratic Party's problems right now.  He should focus more on raising money and less on picking fights.

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