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here's a question for you:  who in the dem party was stephen moore (club for growth) most afraid of?  it wasn't the simple answer that so surprised me from a piece he wrote for the weekly standard , 9/15/03:

SEVERAL YEARS AGO an obscure Democratic governor from the politically inconsequential state of Vermont was the guest speaker at a Cato Institute lunch. His name was Howard Dean.

he continued to say:

He had been awarded one of the highest grades among all Democrats (and a better grade than at least half of the Republicans) in the annual Cato Fiscal Report Card on the Governors. We were curious about his views because we had heard that he harbored political ambitions beyond the governorship.

Dean charmed nearly everyone in the boardroom. He came across as erudite, policy savvy, and, believe it or not, a friend of free markets--at least by the standards of the Tom Daschle-Dick Gephardt axis of the Democratic party. Even when challenged on issues like environmentalism, where he favored a large centralized mass of intrusive regulations, Dean remained affable.

...
He left--and I will never forget the nearly hypnotic reaction. The charismatic doctor had made believers of several hardened cynics. Nearly everyone agreed that we had finally found a Democrat we could work with. Since then, I've watched Dean's career with more than a little interest and we chat from time to time on the phone.

...
Dean is nothing if not a survivor--as well as an iconoclast. Even as he pursued wild-eyed social experiments, Dean carefully nurtured a reputation as a "business-friendly" governor. On numerous occasions he pragmatically swept aside onerous environmental regulations and last-use restrictions (this is the greenest state of all) to make room for business expansion and jobs, jobs, jobs. He supported electricity deregulation to take monopolistic pricing power away from big utilities. He even launched one of the nation's most progressive voucher programs for high school students.

...
Republicans are said to be salivating over the prospect of a Bush-Dean match-up. They shouldn't get carried away. Howard Dean, warns John McClaughry, has been "underestimated throughout his political career. He has an uncanny knack for finding where the political capital is stored and walking off with it."  The trick for Dean is to ensure that the ultra-liberal positions he has taken in the primaries, which contradict his sometimes centrist record, don't cripple his ability to reach out to Middle American voters in a general election--should he make it that far. If he does, and then finds a way to zig-zag back toward the center, Howard Dean could be George W. Bush's worst nightmare. [emphasis mine]

folks, this is from the tip of the right wing--the man who reconstructed political advocacy for the republicans.  it was moore's ad that declared "howard dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, volvo-driving, new york times-reading, hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to vermont, where it belongs."

stephen moore fought so hard, as he reveals here before fighting, precisely because he believed that howard dean was electable.  and thus dangerous.

it strikes me that while the dem party's main issue with dean was supposedly his "electability"--the inner circle of republican decision-makers DID NOT AGREE that he was not electable.

so they spun us, and merrily, we spun.  

did the democratic party do any of its own thinking this election season?  did the leadership of the party do their homework?  we heard "polls", and we saw them trying to construct someone palatable to swing voters as the dem leadership perceived them.

know thyself.  does the dem party know itself?

or better: how do the republicans know us better then we know ourselves?  how do they understand our visceral commitments and optimal strategies better than we do?  was it the lack of dem leadership that blinded us for so long, or very effective dem leaders keeping us to their own desired agendas?

a few provocative questions that we are obligated to ask ourselves at this point:

·    is the dlc/dnc playing us (pretending to represent our interests while they are actually presenting their own) the way republicans are playing the country?  if not, what is your evidence?
·    are they primarily focused on the financial rewards that come with corporate-washington marriages, maintaining establishment status quo and rolling over to the media?  (if not explain hindery and gray davis to start with, please...)
·    what has been our role in allowing this to happen?  laziness, lack of political sophistication, weak commitment, bad prioritizing?
·    what can we do about this today?  tomorrow?  in january?  in july?  what is our 12 step "we will not back down" plan to reclaim what we've given away through sloth and inattention?

the repubs knew, when dems turned on dean and the media fed the frenzy, they had used us to win the real washington war; afterwards it was just nailing home base.

doesn't that bite?  I mean, it kicks the shit out of me.

the upper echelon conversations of the dem party leadership no longer match its "message", I suspect, just as with republicans.  and we failed to keep the party from selling out our legacy.  (much appreciated timoteo's diary on this earlier today.) I have no sympathy for those who are trying to make peace w/grassroots to save their own careers--regurgitating our own solutions back to us, ex post facto.  carville is now interested in making dems "an aggressively reform, anti-washington, anti-business-as-usual party."  but this is what carville had to say then about the reform candidate, in an 1/5/04 wsj opinion journal article:

"It seems like he's come down with a case of 'mad mouth' disease," he said of Mr. Dean last week. "He may be candid, but there is the glory of the unspoken thought here." Later on CNN, he elaborated: "I'm scared to death that this guy just says anything. It feels like he's undergone some kind of a political lobotomy here."

wonder if carville ever said that about george bush.

think carefully, what do you most want to see in the leader paving the way for this party?

what are we going to do?  as we opine that red states are simply fodder for the republican agenda, are we ourselves fodder for the personal agendas of dem leadership?  so now that the dem leadership doesn't have "electability" to talk about anymore, it's "fundraising".  are you kidding me?  do we still believe that we have to sell out to corporate power after the grassroots success of this last year?

this is not the 1950's, and our success does not have to be contingent on starting up think tanks--but will involve heavy thinking (something that those on this site do very well, thank you for new things to ponder daily).  and it will involve acting.  we have a think tank, and it is us--so it also happens to be attached to the solution.

if we were willing to fight george bush like we did this summer, how hard will we fight the dem party right now?  this fight is every bit as serious.

ready for a plan?  I'm ready to hear one...

(aside, in chicago:  starting a business group w/colinb and mjo called "a nation of shopkeepers".   focus on electing candidates who run on a platform of business reform and small bus growth.  if in/near chicago and interested, pls reply or email me, will send more info.  let's fight.)

Originally posted to alivingston on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:14 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  drinking liberally (none)
    Come to drinking liberally at the Red Lion Pub 2446 N. Lincoln at 8:30 to pitch your idea.
  •  YES! (4.00)
    is the dlc/dnc playing us (pretending to represent our interests while they are actually presenting their own) the way republicans are playing the country?

    YES!

    That's why I've promised to revolt.  If they don't have the BRAINS to reform the party.

    We must be what Kos calls Reform Democrats.  We need Howard Dean or someone very like him to head the DNC.  We need REAL choices.  Smart choices.  For offices.

    We don't need to go too far left to do this.  Strategy and good prioritization can win the day.  Look at the new governor of Montana who smartly united environmental and hunting/fishing interests.  Creative packaging will help us enormously.

    Expression of PRINCIPLES is badly needed.  And nobody can do that like Howard Dean.

    Excuse this rushed comment ... enroute to pick up child ... back later.  But I loved this diary so much I just had to pipe up.

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:38:51 PM PST

  •  This Artical (4.00)
    Proves once and for all what I've said to anyone who'll listen that had Dean won the primary, he would have swung back to center in a big way, and would have been incredibly popular.

    I'm not saying he would have won. I think its quite likely he would have picked up some states Kerry lost, but still went down for the count in Ohio.

    However, people in both parties who continue to believe Dean is a wild-eyed liberal don't know Dean.

    This Space For Rent.

    by Goldfish on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:55:42 PM PST

    •  Dean's Politics (4.00)

      Dean adopted what's best described as the "sensible" stance in politics - economic conservative, social liberal. Not that he believed in not spending on social programs, as economic conservative is often abused to mean. Rather, he believed in balanced budgets and devoting money towards helping people, rather than corporate welfare.

      I don't know if Dean would have won the general or not. But I think he would've put up a better damn fight than the pathetic excuse for a campaign Kerry ran.

      All Kerry had to do to win was listen to Dean and play to the grassroots. I, like many others, thought he was. Turns out he just wanted our money.

      Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

      by RHunter on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:52:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm glad you found..... (4.00)
        ..... statements from Stephen Moore. Given how much I hated GWB, I did some serious candidate shopping. I watched all five hundred of the debates.

        If I was voting on resumes, I was going to vote for Clark. He proved if anything, its that he had a long way to go as far as being a decent politician was concerned. Edwards seemed like 'electable', mostly thanks to his southern accent. Gephardt, Kerry, Kucinich, Sharpton, Braun and Graham seemed like joke candidates. Dean really intrigued me.

        Initially I was turned off to Dean because I felt he would get creamed because of signing the civil unions into law. As the debates rolled, I kept focused on what line of attack the republicans would take. Clark was going to shoot himself in the foot. Edwards was a one term senator and definitely not going to get elected with troops at war. He probably would have lost a few blue states.

        Then there was Dean. Underneath all the bravado was a fiscal conservative and who spoke his mind. He was a governor, and a good one. He was pro-businees (to be distinguished from pro-crnyism) and had a strong, consistent opinion of the Iraq war and global terrorism. He supported the first gulf war and was against this one. Here was a democrat who was not going to be trigger shy. The ONLY thing republicans could attack him with is the L-word. An attack that would ring hollow when you consider is record on fiscal matters as governor. Strong, responsible, outspoken. I decided on Dean.

        A centrist with the whole-hearted backing of the base. Are you kidding me? This was a dream come true. Way to screw up the marketing of a great candidate Joe Trippi.

        A democrat with the balls to speak like one. Didn't Dean remind of Jed Bartlet.

        Btw, thanks Iowa! Way to screw this one up.

        AAAAARGH!

        p.s: In Kerry's defense,he seemed to pick up the ball at the end of caucuses. He seemed like he could pull it off. He probably did too.

         

        •  Trippi (none)

          I agree - I think Trippi's reputation is far better than he deserves. He, like many dot-com CEOs, had one good idea and was very good at selling it, but had no follow-through. That Dean was bright enough to replace him after Iowa reflects very well on his judgment. Trippi, however, shouldn't get anywhere near the praise he does.

          Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

          by RHunter on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:55:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The whack jobs took control of the Campaign.. (none)
            Trippi should have been eased out in November. On the DFA blog we were all begging for bringing in outside help. The general sentiment was, "We gave you the money, now get some damn professional image-makers!"

            My belief is that Dean was too loyal, and that he didn't replace Trippi until after the Iowa fiasco is no real plus.

            Yet Trippi was a revolutionary. Do you remember everyone else's web presence, or lack thereof before the Dean phenomenon?

            •  Trippi wasn't perfect (4.00)
              but I dont blame him for Dean losing the primary. I think the most important culprits in the destroying of the Dean campaign, ahead of the Repugs, ahead of the Kerry campaign, ahead of even the repulsive American national media, were the mainstream DNC and DLC Democrats who would not credit Dean one iota when his campaign was roaring or worse, like Carville, would ridicule Dean so much that even Robert Novak felt obliged to stand up for him, as someone who at least is "likable, in a funny way" (paraphrasing from Capitol Gang last year.)

              The Democratic establishment, people like Paul Begala, behaved atrociously towards the pre-Iowa leading candidate. Dean was under attack with one bogus thing after another in '03, e.g., Saddam comment, the scream, confed flag bs, Canadian tapes, trooper bs, Sharpton, etc, etc, ad naseum, and needed backup, big time. It was nowhere to be found from the manistream Democratic Party establishment. What a shame, for all of us...

              •  Oooooooo. (4.00)
                I couldn't agree with you more, especially about Carville.  On Crossfire, I listened to him smear Howard Dean.  He called him a "lunatic, crazy".  He made me want to vomit - on him!  I will clearly state, I hate Carville for that and always will.
                •  Yeah, me too... (4.00)
                  Carville, when he said that on CNN, went instantaneously from someone I respected, to someone that I still detest. I can understand having a preference for a particular candidate, however ridiculing, belittling someone from your own party is quite another. At that time many Americans still did not know who Howard Dean was. For Carville to jump on the pile was simply atrocious.
                  •  Me 3 (none)
                    At that moment I hated Carville and will continue to for the rest of his life.  Every time I received a request for $$$ from him for one cause or another I returned it postage due and placed a note inside explaining why.
                    •  wrong (none)
                      it was Dean's responsibility to figure out ahead of time that he needed the DC talking heads and he should have gone after them --courted them, whatever.

                      a campaign has to think ahead--two steps ahead of everyone else.  maybe Dean needed better people but its not Carvill's fault.  somebody from the Dean camp should have gotten to Carville and shut him up.

                      a lot of what he said was accurate, Dean was commiting political suicide.  

                      Dean should have been ready for the media onslaught--he should have been prepared to be a front runner.  that is what it takes to win.

                      i have always thought that the Dems turned on him but more and more I think Dean was responsible for letting it happen.

                      •  I see what you are trying (none)
                        to say, but you're missing the real point.

                        dean was for reform in washington.  no talking head was going to fall into his lap for the persuading, b/c he came in and said, ok game over.  and they live for and on the game.

                        that is what the feeding frenzy was about, and we all paid the price for losing dean

                        He will never be a tough competitor. He doesn't know how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Lou Piniella

                        by alivingston on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:45:00 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  LMAO (none)
                  I guess James Carville IS the authority on crazy lunatics!

                  He who lives in the present, has no knowledge of the past nor vision for the future.

                  by DeanDemocrat on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:54:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Did you take into account... (none)
                  ...the fact that Carville is a Clinton?

                  You know, like how Osama is a Bu$h?

                  And those other parallels we see sprayed all over the Williamsburg Bridge Cycle Path...

                  "We need to get back to basics and start listening to people from outside Washington." - Howard Dean

                  by deafmetal on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:32:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Democratic Firing Squad (none)
                I agree, for a while our local paper was printing anti-Dean op-eds every other day. I kept complaining to the editors, but they told me that there weren't any pro-Dean editorials to print. While the Republicans were talking up Junior as the next coming of the Messiah, Democrats couldn't bring themselves to write any positive about Dean. This is generally true for Kerry too. He was very liberal, but most liberal columnists were lambasting him for not being liberal enough. There was never much support from liberals for Kerry, and this hurt him in the election. I have to wonder if this is a problem with the Democratic Party. No one stood up for Gore when the press was calling him a serial liar, and they rolled over when Clinton was impeached. Let's face it with the exception of Paul Krugman and Molly Ivins, our pundits are mostly wimps.
      •  The grassroots (none)
        So...if Kerry had "played to the Grassroots" how would that have changed things? Every liberal in existance came out and voted on November 2, 2004. Every one. How would "playing to the grassroots" help?

        The votes we lost were moderates.

        •  this is an oversimplification (none)
          This liberal-moderate breakdown is far too simplistic. If you listen to interviews with swing voters, most are clueless. They voted for Bush because they thought he was consistent, or tough, or a regular guy. Most people couldn't name three policy proposals for either candidate. In fact polls showed that most Bush supporters thought he supported policies that were completely the opposite of his chosen view. If voters voted on issues not on candidates Democrats would win overwhelmingly.

          I don't know if Dean would have won, but I think he believed in his own policies, he was willing to say what he thought, and he was willing to be tough. I think those qualities would have gone a long way with this electorate.

          •  I totally agree (none)
            Dean has the conviction of his beliefs that people say they like in Bush. (Oh, if they'd only open their eyes to little Georgie.)

            And I have to disagree about every liberal coming out to vote; I'm on a local email list where I'm probably considered a Repub and some of those folks didn't vote because they thought Kerry was business as usual. Luckily, we're in a red state and it didn't matter (no, honestly) but every liberal was NOT inspired to get out.

            Don't be afraid to log off.

            by Debby on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:29:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Dean (2.40)
      Dean is important to the Democratic Party -- maybe even more important as an outside critic than as a DNC chair.  Maybe the split solution is a good one.

      But I'm struck by the rose-colored glasses people still seem to be wearing, and can't believe they're remembering the same candidacy.

      For starters -- which is it again?  Is Dean A) a true-believer DLC type who was just portrayed as a raving left-wing liberal (i.e., too inept a campaigner to exert any control over his image) or B) a true-believer liberal populist who would have been effectively portrayed by the Republicans as McGovern-lite?  Which is better again?

      In December 2003, Rove and friends were like giddy kids in the backseat of a stationwagon pulling into the parking lot at Disneyland.  

      Dean looked like the presumptive nominee.  They hadn't even begun going to work on him and he was already being firmly positioned as a wack-job liberal lacking in presidential timbre.  He was being wrong-footed almost daily by the media or other dems.  His candidacy was widely portrayed as not so much about him, as about a cult of over-earnest anti-war granola munchers.  

      Wasn't true?  He sure wasn't doing anything to effectively counter this fairly devastating portrayal.

      He showed poor performance skills and instincts.  He looked like a dope waving his stethescope around on stage.  He came across in the debates as variously defensive or paranoid.  He aggressively sought Gore's endorsement (WTF?), and then bizaarly chose to accept it in Haarlem at an attrociously choreographed event.  He came across as desperate for endorsements as a form of legitimacy, and didn't seem to recognize that people weren't that impressed.

      But what takes the cake is that the man had an undeniable melt-down on the global stage from which he NEVER would have recovered.  How damaged?  Think Ed Muskie crying in front of reporters or Dan Quayle staring at Bentsen like a dear in the headlights.  Don't give me "unidirectional microphone!" or "media stampede!"  He was stunned by his performance in Iowa and the man lost his shit.  How long did he shout out strings of states?

      So God bless Howard Dean -- I hope he is principled, has amazing organizing skills, and is a gifted strategist -- especially if he becomes head of the DNC.  But these impressions must have been formed on the basis of close exposure or something, because from a distant outside perspective, the prima facia case does not look that srong for any of these claims.

      •  aoeu (4.00)
        Oh dear lord.  Not this shit again.

        no haikus now,
        join your local democratic party.
        There are fights in 2005 coming up.

        by TealVeal on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:19:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Neither (4.00)
        Dean is a stalwart pragmatist, which completely confounds people who attempt to place him in those neat little boxes.

        He is a pragmatist who believes in clearly stating one's beliefs, standing behind them full force, and re-evaluating solutions when situations and facts change.

        That's Dean.

      •  Haarlem? (none)
        I had no idea they made the announcement in the Netherlands.  

        I guess Gore and Dean got stoned together before the announcement.

        That Dutch pot causes meltdowns, you know.

      •  I think there are different points to be made: (4.00)
        1) it's not "centrist" that is evil--anyone pro-business (NOT pro-corporation like the dlc) is considered centrist.  but dlc is establishment and status quo.  dean is reform.  yes, he had socially liberal and economically centrist positions--any problems with that?

        2)before you list the litany of PR disasters that befell dean, take a minute and run through george bush's.

        no, take a few.  um, actually it may take a few days.

        this meltdown disaster you are talking about revitalized the democratic party, changed for all time it's reliance on corporate charity, and had the courage to call washington on the fact that it had denied americans true government for years.

        we get distracted about what we really need in a leader before anyone else distracts us.

        He will never be a tough competitor. He doesn't know how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Lou Piniella

        by alivingston on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:24:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but, (none)
        We'll never know will we?

        Coward.

        "We need to get back to basics and start listening to people from outside Washington." - Howard Dean

        by deafmetal on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:33:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's More Animalistic Than All This (none)
      Issues and policies are important but they're only part of the equation. Dean doesn't have a star personality. He talks and interacts in terms of ideas, whereas most people interact more in terms of feelings and consensus.

      Trading in ideas is the only viable way to advance in intellectual circles, medicine, science etc., but it's fatal in cultural circles because facts do not adapt to the flow of consensus, which is how culture works.

      So right off the bat he impresses many people as arrogant or self centered when he's not at all, which is the complaint about intellectual people generally.

      As for the campaign, it needed to make a major step upward and outward by the end of Sleepless Summer. My way of putting it was "we intend to lead a nation, therefore we need to reach out and begin including elements of a nation" instead of staying within the community of Deandom.

      But speaking as someone who entertains and coaches novice entertainers for part of his living, the Dean campaign looks in retrospect like a credible first effort. Till proven otherwise, my mind's open to the very real prospect that he could come back with a much more viable effort 2nd time around.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:47:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would disagree (none)
        I found Dean confoundingly UNintellectual.  I enjoyed that so much.  For instance, I don't find "You have the power",  "Take our country back" difficult for most people to understand.
  •  Dean (3.66)
    Howard Dean used straight talk, and an opposition to the Iraq war to carve a niche during the primary, the man really is a typical new england moderate in the same mold as Holy Joe, Chris Dodd, and Chafee.  I always said that Dean was going to be the guy that pulled the country to the center, we wouldn't have seen radical ideas from a Dean White House.  In all honesty, Dean would have been the ideal President we needed after the foolishness of the Bush years, a straight talking, budget balancing, paragmatic on foreign policy type of guy.  Too bad he screamed, and didn't let Trippi run the Iowa ground game till it was too late.  

    If the left is going to have any influence in this country they need to work outside the dem party to build an agenda and sell it to the american people the way the right wing did over the last 30 years.

    I think Rosenberg should be in charge of operations at the DNC, and Dean would be a pretty good spokesperson, I've been in favor of the co management idea since I first heard it.

    absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

    by jbou on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:57:36 PM PST

    •  Explain the... (none)
      "didn't let Trippi run the Iowa ground game" part.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:11:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  trippi (none)
        Trippi had been hanging back in Vermont afraid to leave because he might lose his job, he went to Iowa the week of the caucus, and did what he could.  Trippi was a vet of Iowa caucuses, he had helped candidates win their in the past, and should have been in charge of the ground game in Iowa, but he was worrying about the overall direction of the campaign and he felt like he was being squeezed out.   I got this from the articles, and such I had seen aftr the Dean campaign had ended.

        absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

        by jbou on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:59:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't put Howard, Joe & Dodd in the same.... (none)
      Goddamned league. Lieberman is a Neo-con who thinks Sean Hannity is a stand-up guy. Dodd's wife is a lobbyist in the vein of Tom Daschle, (R.I.P.).

      Howard spoke for me. Not as a messiah figure, but as someone I could trust and respect.

      And Chafee is still afraid of his own shadow. (And his Mom won't let him switch parties?)

      And Trippi gets full blame for Iowa. Along with McMahon. I was there for the "Perfect Storm". It was effing ridiculous, as were the ads, and the expenditures. Once they ran with CBC's footage of Howard questioning the Iowa caucuses, they should have been in a hedge-your-bets, de-emphasize the 6 against 1, wtf is a caucus mode. Instead they bet the farm.

      And Kerry got a free ride. What I'm saying is that it was stratergy, not tactics. The world's greatest tactician couldn't have gotten Howard through that shitstorm.

  •  Intriguing (none)
    I'm not in Chicago, but I'm very curious about your pro-small-business group.  I've thought for some time that small business is one of the key groups the Democrats must focus on because, in the long term, our economy will do much better by helping small businesses who outsource less and innovate more while eliminate the corporate welfare that props up multinationals.
  •  btw (none)
    you double http://'ed your link.

    And I'm an ex-Republican runnin from theocrats and so far I like what I see in Dean.

    "The great masses of the people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 10.

    by Ranger CN on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:59:56 PM PST

  •  Dean would not have won, IMO (3.75)
    I respect Howard Dean and the grassroots approach that he takes to politics.  I think he is a truly good man and has much to offer the party.

    But THE issue this year was national security.  Dean has no national security, foreign policy, or military experience whatsoever.  To convince Americans to replace a President at a time of war with an untested and inexperienced leader would have been extremely difficult, and I think it would have been ultimately impossible.

    Kerry had national security experience but was unable to convince anybody that he was a clear and decisive leader who knew his own mind, because he isn't and he didn't.

    Clark had the most potential - his political inexperience was definitely a risk, but he was learning quickly.  I thought he was our best hope to win, looking back he might have been our only hope.  The rest were all deeply flawed in one way or the other.

    Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

    by markusd on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:09:31 PM PST

    •  The big issue (none)
      indeed turned out to be National Security, and Kerry was consistently unable -- or, if you listen to the Rethugs, INconsistently unable -- to make a distinction between his policies and Bush's. A majority of Americans admitted that we were on the "wrong track" as a country, but they didn't see that Kerry's "track" was appreciably different from Bush's. We could see clear and important differences; they couldn't.

      We'll never know for sure, but I believe that Dean would have successfully communicated a new and different vision. Just being able to say, "I told you so, see how right I was" about the Iraq invasion would have put Bush on the defensive -- in ways Kerry was never able to launch an offensive.

      I do agree with you that Clark had potential. As the VP candidate, I think he and Dean would have made minced meat of Faux-Flyboy Bush. All that anti-war energy -- essentially wasted with a Kerry campaign -- would have come into play. And right now Americans would be patting themselves on the back for finally doing something right for a change.

    •  Kerry and W the same on the War... (none)
      Why should I vote for Kerry? I heard this over, and over, and over again.

      Sorry, but the American Public doesn't do nuance.

      Now if someone had just come out and called the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive invasion what it is, which is insane, we might have won.

      Kerry should have asked W when we are going to bring Democracy to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, U.A.E., Libya, etc. And if he was going to volunteer his own kids to go die in the desert.

      And wtf are we doing doing business with that murderer Qaddafi?

      There was a hardline position to be had, and we would have won. Kerry didn't define it, and so we lost. imho.

      •  Kerry's position on war (4.00)
        to quibble just a mite, Bush keep moving his Iraq solutions closer to Kerry's everyday.  Dean mentioned this many times when asked how Kerry's positions were different from Bush's, and Dean would say that bush is talking a different game every day, and is moving his positions closer and closer to Kerry's.  Thus smudging the edges of their differences.

        It seems to work for them.  And they are right.  Kerry had a strong international approach, and Bush kept talking about his allies.  and elections.

        It was Bush that kept moving, but he was the incumbent and seemed to be prescient, and Kerry just seemed ..ahh.. moveable.

        Every word from Howard Dean has proved right.  The arguments about how his words were right, but he just wasn't saying them in the right way made me greyer than grey.  I do blame the dems for tarnishing him quickly and profoundly.

        and yes Bush would have gone after him ruthlessly.  The biggest mistake any candidate ever makes is to respond to the trashtalk of the republicans.  Know who you are, what you want to say and keep saying it -- and ignore the temper tantrum of the media, the republs, and your party if need be.  If you are going to lose, lose on your own terms, not on theirs.

    •  Correction (none)
      The issue this year wasn't the Iraq war.  The issue this year was credibility and conviction.
  •  Dean in General Election (3.33)

    Guys,

    I come from the bluest of blue counties in Massachusetts, a haven of rank-and-file Blue Dog Democrats that have voted Democrat ever since our grandparents were little kids. It's an area that is very representative of the party as a whole, as well as the moderate Republican movement.

    The truth of the matter is that Dean scared these people during the primaries. It was worse when Dean looked like the eventual nominee after the Gore endorsement. Even these life-long Democrats confided to me that they were actually going to think about voting for Bush over Dean, because, in their opinions, Dean could not be trusted to be the President. He was too prone to sensationalist dialogue (spreading rumors he had heard on the Internet), and his stance on Iraq was unnerving to most.

    Keep in mind that this is before the Bush machine would have cranked up ads against Dean, building his outspoken views on Iraq into a portrait of Dean as a hippie pacifist from Vermont who signed gay marriage legislation into law. Frankly, I really doubt that Dean would have won any states outside of the Northeast/Northwest strongolds.

    Also keep in mind that Dean's campaign was absolutely horrible at managing its money. He was the clear frontrunner in funds, but wasted it all because no one in his campaign knew what they were doing. The very fact that Dean had the Gore endorsement, had the union endorsements, had the clear money lead, and still lost the nomination in a landslide is proof of his poor skills at managing a campaign.

    I know that Dean was a centrist. You all know that he was a centrist. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Americans did not, and do not, feel the same.

    We didn't pick the best candidate, but we picked one that ran a better campaign than Dean ever could have.

    •  Oh please (4.00)
      I can match you anecdote for anecdote on the other side if you want to play that game, including lots of Republicans who either voted for Bush or chose not to vote, who said they wish Dean had been nominated so that they could have voted for him.
      •  Me too. (none)
        I live in a red state.  Wanna know how many republicans would've voted for Dean?  More than you'd imagine because they were at our meetups, they called me on the phone.  I re-registered them as democrats.

        Now, if Howard can win a few in Louisiana, do you honestly think he'd lose in a bluest of blue states?

    •  what about swift boats against kerry? (4.00)
      and dean could fight better than kerry could--he had 5 cats jumping on his back at once and flung them off one by one.

      finances? campaign growing pains.  he balanced the state of vermont, the man seems to know how to handle finances.

      I do not buy concerns of sensationalism from residents of a country who elected george bush.  and this election was about national security because BOTH candidates made it about national security rather than the fact we will be bankrupt by about this time next year...

      anything else?

      He will never be a tough competitor. He doesn't know how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Lou Piniella

      by alivingston on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:23:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dean as a fighter (3.20)

        I have a lot of respect for Dean for the grass-roots motivation he provided.

        It's just kind of silly to call him a fighter when he wilted after these ads in Iowa. I'm not defending Kerry, but the Swift Boat ads were about 5x as worse. The Republicans could have pulled out the worst smear attacks in history against Dean if he was nominated--his record with gay marriage and opposition to the Iraq war would have been death sentences.

        If Dean couldn't stand up to those primary attacks, there's no way he would have stood up to the smear attacks from the right.

        •  Iraq (4.00)
          Maybe Dean could have made hay with Iraq since he didn't have to deal with being on the record for the war. He didn't have to deal with "I voted for it before I voted against it." Kerry's Iraq record handicapped him. Dean could have come out swinging. By Nov 2nd I think an anti-war candidate could have had a solid chance.

          "The great masses of the people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 10.

          by Ranger CN on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:44:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wilted? (4.00)
          Which primary were you watching?

          We're talking about a rapid-fire environment here.  There isn't time to react before the deal is done.  Give us a spread out primary, and we could have been looking at a vastly different sitaution.

          Dean and Gephardt ran blisteringly negative campaigns against each other (though I would argue that Gep's was far, far, far more negative).  In a multi-candidate race, that's akin to a murder-suicide pact.  Kerry and Edwards were left without blood stains on their hands.  Meanwhile, right before the caucus, a bunch of fucked up ads from outside groups show up and finish off the job.  Then, as Iowa goes, so goes the nation per Terry McAuliffe's plan.  Done deal.  The fact that Dean did as well as he did in NH is testament to his ability to fight back, frankly.

          Characterizing the situation as Dean wilting is just plain off.

        •  Bull Fucking Shit! (3.88)

          You know what? Kerry didn't stand up to the attacks either - he didn't even try to. Dean counterattacked the bullshit, under-the-table, downright libellous ads Kerry and Gephardt used against him in Iowa, and the DLC used that as an excuse to use the Democratic party apparatus to stab him in the back.

          No politician could have survived that. That Dean still managed to come in third in Iowa, after Kerry and Edwards, and second in New Hampshire shows just how much of a fighter he is.

          Dean would also not have folded less than 24 hours after the last vote was cast and encouraged his supporters to give up, accept even the most fraudulent results, and vote for him in 2008.

          Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

          by RHunter on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:47:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's no 'big tent'. (3.66)
             Kerry and Gephardt used against him in Iowa, and the DLC used that as an excuse to use the Democratic party apparatus to stab him in the back.

            Last night on C-Span they had a forum for 527's assessing the last election. One of the guys proudly announced that he ran a 527 which had the sole purpose of taking down Howard Dean.
            He was so proud of his accomplishemnt.
            The thing that amazes me is that even after repeatedly losing and losing badly they continue. Most of the energies of these manipulative cowards goes to trashing Dean and reform efforts. They should be ashamed.

            And the weird thing is that all of these guys know the dems are going to keep losing elections if they continue down their current path. they cannot seriously think that we'll go along with this 'big tent unity' myth. It's not like people don't know they're being played.

            "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

            by colleen on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:19:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Quick defense of Dean and Trippi (4.00)
          Thanks to McAuliffe and the DNC, the primary was all about Iowa and NH.  Dean had five guys going after him -- his $50 million wasn't such a huge warchest when it's stacked up against something like the $100 million that he was up against from his opponents.  Add to the equation that Dean passed on matching funds.  That meant that if he didn't win in Iowa or NH that he was finished because a check for fourth quarter matching funds was not in the mail as it was for the others except Kerry.  

          Criticism of Dean and Trippi, they should not have fallen for "it's all about Iowa."  Trippi should have known how those caucuses work and should have been able to see by summer '03 that Dean was unlikely to be able to position himself well enough with those who effectively run those undemocratic arm twisting events.  Should have played it to "show" and played NH for the win.

        •  Are you insane? (none)
          his record with gay marriage and opposition to the Iraq war would have been death sentences.

          On gay marriages: Even Bush moved to Dean's position of support for civil unions by the time of the election. Dean was right and the country moved to his position. That's leadership.

          By Nov 2, a slight majority of the population thought the war was a mistake. What killed Kerry was his lack of a clear position one way or the other. Once again, Dean was right and the rest of the country came around to his position by the time of the election. That's leadership. You apparently see farsighted courageous leadership as a handicap. What kind of crazy upside down world are you looking at?

    •  This is why... (4.00)
      ...those folks should not believe everything they see on Fox news.

      "Could not be trusted?..."  Straight from SCLM, (and Lieberman).

      Standing cool and composed before a million universes

      by pauldean on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:36:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fox News (none)

        Mention Fox News where I'm from, and you're likely to get a "talkin' to."

        We're no fans of that network, so don't imply that the only reason people felt that way about Dean was because of it. People felt that way because Dean ran in a way that made them feel that way.

        •  Spoken like a true kerry guy (none)
          I have always wondered if the reason Kerry was so broke is because he gave lots of money to the 527's to kill Dean in the primaries.  Kerry ended up not being much of a fighter either.
    •  Dean (3.00)
      would have won Vermont, Rhode Island New York and California.  Maybe Massachusetts.

      He would not have won in Michigan, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania under any circumstances.

      And that is without the scream.

      "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

      by BooMan23 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:57:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  aoeu (4.00)
        Dear kind sir:  my mother wishes to know what fine birds you are using?  She is unable to achieve good prognostications with her Top Flight Geese, do you have a better brand to use for augury?

        no haikus now,
        join your local democratic party.
        There are fights in 2005 coming up.

        by TealVeal on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:59:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Jesus Christ could incarnate (3.60)
        and offer to run as the DEM nominee and people like you would say, "No thanks, the red states won't like your message.  We need someone who wants to kick some Arab butt and stop taxing the wealthy."
    •  Bullshit (4.00)
      Calling bullshit on this one.

      BTW< I can name dozens of GOPers that would have voted Dean that would never I mean never in a million years pull the lever for Kerry.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:12:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know... (none)
      Even these life-long Democrats confided to me that they were actually going to think about voting for Bush over Dean, because, in their opinions, Dean could not be trusted to be the President.

      Sounds like bs to me...I can't imagine any life-long democrat thinking about voting for Bush.

      You say we didn't pick the best candidate - if not Kerry, who? Edwards? Clark?

      You know what, never mind. It's water under the bridge. I just hope in 2008, the Democrats will stop acting like brain dead sheep and pick a candidate on some other basis than his or her perceived "electability."
       

      •  Well... (none)

        Some Democrats lived in a bubble about the chances of Democrats voting for Bush this time around. I can tell you that there were a lot of people who echoed Zell Miller's sentiments (in his book, not his crazy RNC speech) that the national party had become too dependent on Hollywood, pacifism, and social liberalism. They were prime candidates to switch over to Bush and, judging from the exit polls that showed a higher percentage of Dems voting for Bush than GOPers going for Kerry, some did.

        I was personally going for Edwards, but I think Clark likely had the best chance in a general election. Edwards was slightly behind him on this.

    •  If these people were going to vote for Bush (none)
      over Dean, then they were not democrats and they were definitely not liberals.  These characteristics of Dean they mention as being scary are not even 1/100th as scary as the things Bush says and does on a regular basis.  

      I noticed that lots of people were scared of Dean, but when pressed to give reasons, they just regurgitated media propaganda.  It seemed clear that the corporate media took Dean out with their usual smears and punditocracy innuendo and lies.  Why?  Probably because they sensed right off that Dean was a great threat to their precious warmongering president and his support of a corporate state.

      "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

      by Subterranean on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:41:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perplexed me throughout the primary season (4.00)
    The charismatic doctor had made believers of several hardened cynics.

    and continues to perplex me today, how so many supposedly savvy Democrats could miss this about Dean.  I have only seen one other politician with this "magic" in my life and that was Reagan circa 1964 - 1966.  (He was only a pale imitation of that by the time he ran for POTUS.)

    •  Yeah, what is that crap about? (4.00)
      People don't "like" Dean. Course maybe they are right, I "don't like" Howard, I adore Howard. Never thought I could feel that way about a politician.
       Course, he ain't no average politician. I am scared shitless he will run for chair. I want him to pick someone who has similar ideas to back, so he can run in '08. When someone comes that close thier first time out you would think the decision would be a no-brainer, but I hear he has been agonizing. If he becomes convinced that he can do more as chair he will go for it. I fell in love with him to start with because he is a real public servant.

      A long cool glass of lemonaid in the desert.

      We are all wearing the blue dress now.

      by PLS on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:00:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Liked him, and saw the flaws. (none)
        Hey, I know Dean had flaws. For me there were some issue flaws and presentation ones too, but I thought he was far better than the others who had a shot because of his willingness to break new ground, uncommon ground, for the common good. He just never had the back up. That impacted his presentation a bit, because seriously, you'd have to be made of stone to be unnerved by your own party thwacking you as they tag teamed with the ubiquitous mass media. Fer crying out loud.

        And unless someone better comes along, I'll fight for that feisty fucker to have another go at it in 2008.

    •  It might boil down to: You've Got the Power! (none)
      Sadly, I have had to wonder if the party power players, DLC, etc, arent too wedded to the ugly corporatized/militarized status quo -- exactly that which progressives so want to change -- to ALLOW a Dean to be in power. Perhaps not always a conscious thought to some of the Dean Destroyers but surely to some was the thought that even four more of Bush was preferrable to Dean. I dont think they were clueless, I think they knew exactly what they were doing.

      Because what they feared most about Dean, I believe, can be boiled down to that rallying phrase he used so often to the crowds: "You've got the power!"

      THAT is an immensely scary sentence to corporate America. And it is crazy scary to see a pol like Dean -- against a war we are IN, against media monopolies, against Israel calls all the shots -- making a run for the top of this stinking pile of corporate/militaristic greed. (FascismLite?) Scary that he is saying youve got the power! OUT LOUD to crowds across America. Responding huge crowds. Not a Kucinich, who didnt catch on, so they had nothing to fear. Note Carville and Begala cut him the slack. (He, if he had caught on, would have had to seriously worry about assasination. I am not kidding ... if Kucinich got near the power chair ... Dept of Peace? Hoo boy.) Think about it.

      They, the Dem establishment, were in cahoots with the media establishment to bring Dean down, which, Peggy Noonan, of all people, gleefully chirped about in a column. On this, she was on the mark. (I wrote a diary about it at the time.) Here's the despicable Peggy, spilling the beans.

      They were all in cahoots, all teams: GOP, Est Dems, Media Est. to NOT let Dean get in. They were all united because they are all too welded to the American paradigm, the one Ike warned us about upon parting. That is why Dean scared even some Dems, like a poster on this thread is saying, because they too are unconsciously conditioned to think we must be the shit we are. There is something people like about belonging to powerful team USA, even if it's ugly powerful, as long as it's number one ... no matter what one's personal situation, it's a mythical zone that feels good, familiar.

      That was why Kerry slammed Dean on saying we wouldnt always be number one militarily. Remember that foolishness? And on Israel. Because he played the game closer to people's (negative) American comfort zone.

  •  Right on Dean (3.92)
    Great diary. My thoughts exactly on Dean. The reason Rove went around bragging about wanting to run against him was so obviously a head fake. I can't believe Democrats fell for it. I knew Democrats who were opposed to the war who voted against Dean in the primary so as to vote for the electable person. That person was John Kerry or John Edwards or Clark who I also think needed to be on the ticket. Democrats were too scared of a short New Englander that images of Dukakis in a helmet ran through their heads (with a lot of help from Fox News and Tweety) to go for the guy and so we got this instant switch to Kerry with a compressed schedule that just cemented the status quo with Kerry in the lead. Dean, Edwards and Clark all refused to budge and the anti-Kerry vote couldn't settle on one candidate until it was too late. We can only wonder what could have been...

    One of the things that has happened to this party is the hollowing of the core of it by the DLC (and I know Dean had been DLC but I think in this case DLC represents more the sense of appeasing the right on every issue so as not to be labeled "extreme" which happens anyway and so moves the ball 10 yards to the right once again). In the pursuit of a mushy middle approach to all issues, the DLC has created a case where all of our values have been sold out to attempt to split the electorate down the middle and try to appeal to both sides. We have lost our core beliefs and so we do not have a credible narrative that tells people why they have to vote for us. We can't say we're pro-peace when we want to Bomb Saddam, we can't say we're pro-poor when we support tax cuts for the rich, we can't say what we are because we don't control our party. It's like we got talked out of our magic beans ("The Power" as Howard Dean called it) and we didn't even get a fucking cow!

  •  Yeah but (1.87)
    he screamed.

    So, what does it matter what other people thought of him.

    They didn't know he was unhinged.

    "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

    by BooMan23 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:44:55 PM PST

    •  Ok... (3.00)
      now I know you are full of shit.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:15:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Scream (2.80)
        was not an isolated incident.

        The problem with Dean all along was that he had a tin ear.

        He made the right argument 98% of the time, but he was too prone to the impolitic gaffe.  Perhaps it was because his impolitic statements were also what made him effective and he had a hard time finding the fine line.

        For me, in any case, by August of 2003 I knew he would never make until November without kneecapping himself.

        He, like King Oedipus, had a fatal flaw.

        "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

        by BooMan23 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:23:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Didn't Realize (none)
          He was sleeping with his mother. Can't win the red states with that kind of thing going on.
        •  So (4.00)
          instead of Dean, we got "knowing what I know now, I would have done the same thing" [paraphrasing] Kerry.  Better than Dea? Spare me.  Or perhaps I voted for it before I voted against it.  A true statement, correct judgment, we knew what he was trying to say, but...but...

          You say people did not trust Dean to be President, I no longer trust Kerry.  Trust cannot be demanded, it must be earned.  He had mine, he lost mine, let's see what he does.  For me, I trust Howard Dean.  He speaks for me.  Scream and all.  

        •  He actually didn't scream- I was there (none)
          I respect your opinion, BooMan and don't think your a troll.  I realize you thought Dean made some mistakes before the scream.

          But I was in the room.  He didn't scream- the type of mike he had (drowning out a crowd so loud that he had to be loud to hear himself, while the same mike amplified him) combined with his oncoming laryngitic symptoms made is sound like a weird scream.  The media took off on this and made it a bigger deal than it should have been (intentionally for political reasons) even if he had screamed.  Then weeks later some of them talked about what I am talking about now and admitted they did him wrong.

          Do a little internet research and you will see what I'm talking about.

        •  Total crock of shit (none)
          "The scream" was not someone "unhinged" you really and truly are full of shit on this.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:44:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Troll rate away (2.00)
      if disliking Dean makes me a troll then you are correctly utilizing the rating system.

      "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

      by BooMan23 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:14:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  Smiling (none)
          That's pretty fucking funny.

          "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

          by BooMan23 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:07:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  aoeu (none)
            He looks like the brother of that kid they always show eating at mcdonalds in articles about how we're getting fat.  you know the one with biceps which would put the michillen tire man to shame?

            no haikus now,
            join your local democratic party.
            There are fights in 2005 coming up.

            by TealVeal on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:12:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  what do you think the problem is? (none)
              he just saw the returns from Cuyahoga County?

              I think that was my response, but I was drunk.

              "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

              by BooMan23 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:14:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Dean supporters... (3.20)

        I support you, BooMan.

        Many in this board are in such a bubble that I don't think they've ever really considered that many Democrats just plain didn't like Dean. He wouldn't have been able to win a general election, for the reasons that I talked about earlier.

        To the Dean supporters--Embrace some diversity of opinion. Don't rate us poorly just because we happen to have different viewpoints on a certain politician. We're all on the same team here.

        •  I didn't just dislike Dean (none)
          I liked what he was saying but I had visceral hatred for the man.

          I think he was the least likeable politician I have ever seen on the stump.

          I wanted to strangle him, or take the mic and say whatever it was he was going to say in a timely manner.

          Three words to describe Dean: Bitter beer face.

          "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

          by BooMan23 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:21:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  oddly enough (3.00)
            except for the part about liking what you say that's exactly the way I feel about you.

            What I wonder is why you think anyone cares.

            "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

            by colleen on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:24:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  cute (none)
              glad to hear you hate me.

              That's great.

              Perhaps there is something you dislike that would make me hate you.

              Do you hate the color blue?

              I could hate someone who hates the color blue.

              Look Colleen, I didn't like the man.  So what?

              Why get all pissy about it?

              "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

              by BooMan23 on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 01:40:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think your (none)
                visceral hatred of Dean matches my visceral hatred of Kerry--and shall I go on about that again? No, no point.

                But who cares, I still voted for him. And you would have voted for Dean, had he been the nominee....as I assume would just about everyone here. So your response to Dean--or mine to Kerry, for that matter (and I'm in a swing state too), is irrelevant, really, assuming we can count on our votes for the Dem--whoever it is.

                What's more important is how the candidate can appeal to people who have no party loyalty or who can be made to cross party lines or are just plain undecided.

                Now of course, the easy answer (and popular among Dean fans) would be to take all the comments made after the election of "I couldn't vote for Kerry because I never knew what he stood for" and then insert Howard Dean in and imagine a landslide--because after all, you did imagine you knew what Dean stood for--even if you weren't sure what it was (and how many of the people who don't pay attention really know what their politicians stand for). At least you were sure that Dean stood for something. But at the same time, I can imagine the same voters looking at Dean and saying "I know he stands for something, but the man is crazy and has a bad temper"

                Remember, there's always a grain of truth to these wild mischaracterizations. I don't think Dean has a bad temper, and he's certainly not crazy, but...he doesn't suffer fools--and fools tend to interpret that as having a bad temper or some such, if you know what I mean. Lots of fools in the media and the political punditry...

                For those arguing about what "really" happened in Iowa or whatever, I'm not saying give up, but please realize that perception is more powerful than fact. You can try (and probably should try) to change perception--and it can be changed if you try hard enough, but it's not easy. In fact, the only one who can really effectively change perception is going to be Dean himself. But realize that the perception that Dean is some wild-eyed liberal peacenik with a bad temper is out there, and at this point seems to be more powerful than the evidence to the contrary.

                And as for the other Democrats. It ought to be clear of the vast majority of politicians, pundits and fellow travellers on either side of the aisle, that institutional power--the "politics" of politics--is much more important than ideology or policy. Not that ideology or policy aren't important, and much of the time, these two aspects don't come into conflict. But when they do, look for the power grab to win every time. Dean was telling people to change the way they did business, and a lot of people saw their careers, power, and influence going by the wayside as a result. It's no surprise that some opposed him so hard. What was kind of funny, though, was to see DLCers like Rendell and Richardson kind of riding the fence. Which makes me think that there was a small group that fiercely supported Dean, another small group that fiercely opposed him, and a rather larger group that would have let the chips fall where they may and try to curry favor with whoever won.  

                Abortions go up under Republicans. Business is better under Democrats. Pass it on.

                by JMS on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 05:42:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  So, why exactly? (4.00)
          Why exactly were we Dean supporters supposed to put aside our convictions to vote for Kerry when you're saying that lots of you people wouldn't have put aside your dislike of Dean to get rid of Bush if the shoe would have been on the other foot?

          And then he says we're all on the same team. That's rich.

          Don't be afraid to log off.

          by Debby on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:50:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (1.00)
            I would have voted for a chimpanzee over Bush, but I think Howard Dean is unstable.  He's not right in the head.  That's my opinion.

            Dean has become an empty vessel that people poured they hopes and dreams into.

            In reality, he shit his pants as soon as he thought he might actually win, just like McCain did.

            They both self-sabotaged their campaigns.

            "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

            by BooMan23 on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 01:52:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your arguments don't hold water (none)
              And they're not based in fact. Now, I'd expect that from the right-wing, but....

              You state that these are your opinions. We'll leave it at that then as there'll be no changing your mind.

              Don't be afraid to log off.

              by Debby on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 07:02:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I base my opinion (none)
                on his not really wanting to win on Joe Tripp's retelling of the story of the Vermont records.

                In any case, Trippi agrees with me.

                As for his instability, maybe another analogy would be that he was a world class boxer with a glass chin.  And he let his left hand drop every so often, opening up for a haymaker.

                "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

                by BooMan23 on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:20:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  No we are not. (2.50)
          We're all on the same team here

          "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

          by colleen on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:22:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Same Team (none)

            Colleen, how exactly are we not on the same team?

            Kerry was not my first choice for candidate. I know the guy because he's been my Senator, and I just didn't think that he'd be as good as some of the others. However, I swallowed that and campaigned hard for him during the election. I was a good soldier for him, and I would have been a good soldier for Dean too had he won the nomination.

            Just because I disagreed with you during the primary season doesn't mean that I'm suddenly not a Democrat, or not an advocate of the principles thereof. The purpose of the primaries is to disagree with members of your own party, so that way the direction of the party can be refined through that dialogue.

      •  RHunter (2.50)
        super troll rated my invitition to troll rate me.

        Now I don't to quibble but I didn't invite anyone the SUPER troll rate me.

        And I am only pointing this out for one reason.

        I don't care about trusted user status at all.

        I just want to know whether RHunter is acting like a veteran Kossack towards another veteran Kossack.

        If he is then please respond by shelling me with as many Super Troll ratings as possible.

        "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

        by BooMan23 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:10:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You aren't being troll rated... (none)
        ...because you don't like Dean.

        You're being troll rated because you're a troll.
         

      •  You aren't being troll rated.. (none)
        ...because you dislike Dean (BTW I have not troll rated you even though I think you are full of shit on this subject) but because you are saying full-tilt BS statements that Dean was and is "unhinged" which is pure crap.

        There have been many other Kossaks that were not supporters of Dean and expressed their reasons for not supporting or even liking the man, Trapper John comes to mind for example, yet he and others that did not support Dean and backed other candidates didn't spew bullshit and inflammatory crap that Dean is "unhinged".

        Your posts strike me as provocateur crap to be quite frank, but as always you are free of course to be full of crap and express that crap filled opinion to your hearts content, but don't bitch about being called on it (and rated down) because of it.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:56:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What's with the 1's people? (4.00)
      BooMan23 is part of the community. If you don't like his bullshit, or sarcasm, disagree with him. What, you can't put him in his place?

      Otherwise he is entitled to his stupid fucking opinion.

      Troll ratings are for trolls.

  •  Let me see if I have this right... (4.00)
    Years ago, a right-winger figured out that Howard Dean was a growing, palpable presence within the Democratic Party---one that could go all the way to the White House?

    Nonetheless, the Dems, ignoring this man's possible ascendancy, went about nominating John Kerry---because he was electable---when the enemy believed this to be true about Dr. Dean???

    This just makes my stomach turn with anger.  

    Now, the whole post-Iowa caucus, assassination-by-media-distortion thing begins to make a helluva lot more sense, doesn't it?

    •  What is sick is (4.00)
      I and many others here screamed about this at the time. This article was well before the primaries.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:16:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think (none)
      you are over-reacting. See my comment just below.
    •  Spin? (none)
      With all respect, I don't feel "spun."  I fell in love with noble, principled, over-matched candidates, too, in my youth.  I poured my soul into the Simon for President campaign.  I worked my ass off for Harkin in the next cycle.

      I believe, as in 1988, that none of our guys this time around had the combination of media savvy and stamina it would take for a Democrat to win in this day and age.

      Bush won the first time 1) because of Monicagate and 2) because he has effective capos to do his thinking and dirty-work.  For some reason, we clearly do not.

      It took a Perot candidacy and the force of nature that was Clinton-Carville in their primes to break through.  (Clinton, by the way, will share a front-row seat with W in the innermost circle of hell.)

      Dean magic?  On November 2 he was on one of the channels.  I stuck to one channel for 15 minutes (!) just to see him with fresh eyes.  I really, really wanted to like him.  And he was wooden, tense, and unconvincing in his insistance that he had not even considered his future options, so completely focused and confident was he in Kerry's victory.

      I think the Dean movement deeply touched people, but it seems to me that he was partially incidental to it.  I bet that if, say, John Edwards had come out strongly against the war around the same time, the movement would not have erupted the same way.

      •  are you basing your view of Dean (none)
        from 15 minutes on one show in November?

        I love Dean but never felt he did well in the interviews.  Especially because I had seen him in other venues where he did very, very well.  

        I agree, if I have never been exposed to Dean except on CNN, MSNBC or NBC, or whatever, I probably wouldn't have supported him either.

        And...that was my fear at the time...that too many people's first impression of Dean was going to be made during one of these, often hostile at worst, and indifferent at best, television programs.

  •  There's one reason (4.00)
    why conservative commentators constantly offer their opinion on who the Dems should nominate, who we should follow, who they are scared and not scared of: to fuck with us.

    Because we tend to listen and pay attention and declare their public pronouncements as "proof" of yada yada yada. (they are already doing it for '08, don't have links but I remember reading several talking up HRC for our nominee)

    The best thing we can do is stop listening to them and stop offering what they say as proof or support of anything because they can hardly be trusted to offer public analysis of what is in our best interests.

    Our best approach is to first, have a core set of articulated principles to unite behind, but then, to take stock of the situation in the election year and try to determine the key concerns, issues, etc. that voters will be basing their decision on come november when chosing our nominee.

    I agree with a commenter above who said that any votes up for grabs in the '04 election were based on national security. Does that mean KErry was the best nominee, or that Dean wasn't? Maybe, maybe not. But that should be the starting point when chosing a nominee, not what some right-winger has to say about it on the record during a campaign.

    •  This was well before the campaign (none)
      This article was well before the primaries were in full go-mode.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:17:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  stop listening to them (none)
      so they spun us, and merrily, we spun.

      i don't know if they spun us. maybe we spun ourselves.

      and i don't know if the reason they offer opinions on who Dems should nominate is to fuck with us. that could be.

      here's what i do know:  that old piece of advice our mothers gave us before our first date is really true.... be yourself. so, in this campaign cycle, were we ourselves and if not, why not? poor leadership? lack of confidence in what we stand for? factions with competing interests and personal agendas?

      it wasn't until howard dean used paul wellstone's line... "I'm the democratic wing of the Democratic Party." that i realized the depth of both my pride in Democratic principles and my disappointment in Democratic leadership.

      in looking back, it seems we focused on 'them' instead of 'us.' reacting instead of acting. well if we did, howard dean didn't. i hope we learned this time around to never, and i do mean never, choose candidates and strategies as a reaction to Republican spin, Republican think tanks, Republican anything.

    •  Do the Repubs worry this much (none)
      about who is electable or who our pundits say they are afraid of ? (not that we have many pundits left)

      No because they have confidence in winning with whatever type of candidate they want.  And because the media is so hard on our candidates and so easy on theirs that hardly any Dems are electable and hardly any GOPers unelectable in today's media culture.

      We need some self-confidence and to change the media.

  •  It's time to stop living in the past, seriously (none)

    Much as I'd like to agree, I don't see a "hard" centrism a la Dean actually working out.  As for the conflict with the DLC- that's merely an argument about what constitutes the 'right' kind of centrism- the Southern vs the Northern variety, roughly speaking.

    It's like a McClelland vs the Vallandigham factional dispute in the North during the late Civil War to me.  That war was nonetheless defined and won/lost by Lincoln and Davis and their people, not by the defeatists and compromisers and ambivalents.

    I think a more comprehensive look at the present will tell you that inevitably the social/civil rights issues have to be decided before the economic issues are.  Dean supporters just about unanimously- in my experience- suppose that putting the economic issues first is a winning proposition, but historically it's the social rights that are the horse, the economic ones that are the cart (if I may summarize a long hard look at American history very briefly) in domestic disputes about the social order.

    Good luck, but don't suppose that this effort involving Dean and the effort to come to a 'reasonable' compromise in the present is going to be treated as anything other than a distraction by Democratic leaders and as a route to sabotage the Democratic Party by Republican ones.

    Renewal, not Reform.  That's what The People actually demands of the Democratic Party.

    •  DLC pushing AIPAC centrism (none)
      IMO the DLC is pushing AIPAC centrism at this point.

      Look at what they're pushing and who they're attacking. What's the most reasonable interpretation.

      •  hmmmm (none)

        Could be.  But if you want to find the sector of the Democratic alliance which puts its money where its mouth is in amounts sufficient to keep the whole thing afloat, even when the Party is unregenerate and unable to deliver at the time, I think you wouldn't find one comparable to Jewish-American liberals.  Compared to which all yer Internet fun-drazing is an emotional, unfocussed, Republican-wannabe affair, sadly enough.

        I think Clinton showed where 'the DLC' is on matters Israel.  No one considers AIPAC all that representative of Jewish voters and donors, they're just where you go.  They're merely a consulate with ideologues, distorting the realities, but they're the reliable channel to that group.

        Renewal, not mere Reform.

        by killjoy on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:08:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My grief over Dean's loss (4.00)
    is still very raw, although I've tried to suppress it for months. Although I worked for Kerry after he got the nomination, my heart was still with Dean. Still is.

    Politics in this country is a nasty, horrible thing nowadays. No wonder we're going to hell in a handbasket, we destroy our best and demoralize the rest.

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:15:34 PM PST

  •  Role of 527's in the Primaries & GE (none)
    "Speakers Brian McCabe, President of the Progress for America Voter Fund; Chris LaCivita, Chief Strategist for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth; Stephen Moore, President of the Club For Growth; Erik Smith, President of The Media Fund; Bill Zimmerman Campaign Manager for MoveOn.org Voter Fund; David Jones of Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values; Kathleen Hall Jamieson fo the Annenberg Public Policy Center; and Brooks Jackson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center; talk about "527s in 2004: Did They Make A Difference?" at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania."

    Great forum & fascinating 'backstage' pass to both the right & left 527's.

    Targeting Dean was featured, from both Club for Growth AND Dem's Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values.

    c-Span

    •  Yeah... (4.00)
      David Jones comes on a bit before the 3 hour mark... and he effectively demonstrates that Dean supporters who claim that Dean was targeted and demolished by operatives within the Democratic party are, in fact, part of the Reality-Based Coalition.

      The "Greatest Generation" voted for Democrats.

      by Malacandra on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:35:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep -- what did he say? (4.00)
        about only 20 or so Kerry/Gephardt people funded them by about $600,000; that's what I recall ---that 'Donor List' would've been interesting, no? that's big money from so few people.

        So they had 3 ads --

        2 'exposing' Dean's non-progressive views, e.g., supported by NRA 8 times and given an 'A' rating by the RA

        Dean supported big cuts in Medicare funding (I remember Kerry going after Dean relentlessly on this issue at one debate)

        Dean's support of NAFTA --- being at the signing, etc.

        The third, of course, was the Osama Ad -- remember that?:

        Osama on the cover of Time Magazine; voiceover:
        We live in a very dangerous world.

        And there are those who wake up every morning determined to destroy western civilization...

        Americans want a president who can face the dangers ahead.

        But Howard Dean has no military or foreign policy experience.

        And Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy.

        It's time for Democrats to think about that ... and think about it now.

        Video:
        Slow move in on cover of Time magazine with Bin Laden on the cover. SUPER comes up: Dangerous world.

        Move in continues ... SUPER comes up: Destroy us

        Move in continues ... SUPER comes up: Dangers Ahead

        Move in continues ... SUPER comes up: No Experience

        Continue to move in until we get into his eyes and screen turns black.

        SUPER: It's time for Democrats to think about Dean's inexperience.

        SUPER: Think about it now. Paid for by Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values.

        Osama ad story here
        '

        •  asdf (4.00)
          that 'Donor List' would've been interesting, no?

          Here's your donor list:

          According to the organization's website it is headed by Timothy L. Raftis of Orlando, FL, a former aide, fundraiser and campaign manager for Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa. Raftis was quoted by the New York Times as saying he would not disclose who has contributed money to the group until required to do so next month by federal law. The Times also said the group is spending $230,000 on the attack ad.

          Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values, the Democratic-leaning group that aired TV ads that were critical of presidential candidate Howard Dean last year, reported $1 million in receipts for 2003 in its IRS filings.

          The ads showed an image of Osama Bin Laden and asserted that Dean lacked military and foreign policy experience. The ads ran in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in December, just weeks before Democratic presidential caucuses or primaries in those states.

          The ads grew even more controversial when it was reported that individuals associated with Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values had ties to at least two of Dean's rivals for the Democratic nomination, Dick Gephardt and John Kerry.

          The group's top contributors last year were led by S. Daniel Abraham, chairman of Health Foods of America and a big Democratic donor, who gave $200,000. The Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network, a sports cable channel in New York, contributed $125,000. Its chairman, Leo Hindery, Jr., has contributed nearly $1.3 million to Democratic candidates, party committees and leadership PACs since January 2001. He has not contributed to Republicans over that time period.

          Also among the top contributors to Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values last year was the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which contributed $100,000. The campaign account of former New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli (D) contributed $50,000.

          Hindery? Now why does that name sound familar?

          "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

          by colleen on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:32:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  C-span LINK (none)
        http://www.cspan.org/search/basic.asp?ResultStart=1&ResultCount=10&BasicQueryText=annenberg& amp;image1.x=12&image1.y=6

        David Jones of Americans for Jobs, Health CAre and Progressive Values comes in at 2:57.

  •  Playing us like a fiddle... (none)
    I have often thought that the right wing played us this whole cycle.  You can also see them trying to box us in again.  

    Hearing Pelosi trying to talk about God, listening to other dems try to talk about values.

    We need leadership to talk about our issues, not their, in our language, not their language.

    As far as reform goes:  the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    Suppress This, Mutha Scratcher.

    by chanupi on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:54:52 PM PST

    •  Nancy Pelosi lost a big chunk of my respect ... (none)
      When she launched that hysterical (actually would be hyterically funny if she had tried that in most other countries) letter writing campaign against Dean, running around like the sky was falling because he said (brace yourself for shocker) re Israel/Palestinian conflict, we must be more evenhanded and enormous settlements must go.

      Kerry and Geps, and, of course, NOmentum, jumped on the bogus "shocked"  bandwagon.

      I was disgusted, not just on the level of she is doing this to my candidate, but really on an issues level. Here she was running around playing AIPAC games, destroying one of those rare and much needed beginnings of common sense utterances on this dire situation, which DOES impact our security and national interest, never mind that of Israelis and Palestinians.

      Ugh!

  •  Dean would have LOST as well.... (none)
    Dean would have been framed as mentally ill, unstable - the same "type" of tricks (i.e. character assasination) would have been used against Dean...

    1. Dean had a bunch of files in Vermont regarding Vermont's civil unions that would have been the main campaign issue - the GOP chant would be "OPEN THE FILES" - it would be framed as a national security issue...

    2. Don't forget that DEAN passed "civil unions" as Governor...Dean would have picked Edwards or Kerry as a running mate, and they would be the new "GAY dynamic duo"...

    - Dean would have lost, and ONLY because the DEMS don't play dirty and wicked...THEY must start making fun of the opposition, ridiculing them...Presidential politics is Junior High School in suits. It wasn't always that way, but the GOP has MADE it that way...and we have to live with it.

    "...There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS." - M.K. Gandhi

    by JKU on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:14:21 PM PST

    •  Umm... (none)
      I am convinced that Carl Rove really did fear Dean opposing Bush.  Partly because of reports that Rove knew Dean got under Bush's skin the most.  But mostly because Rove knew instinctively that Bush represented the Id of the Republican party, and he may have viewed Dean as the Id of the Democratic party.  And in the battle of Ids, there is, perhaps, a greater gamble...
    •  asdf (none)
      "and ONLY because the DEMS don't play dirty and wicked"

      They don't?  Can you say democratic anti-Dean 527?  Did you see Osama with Dean in these ads?

    •  Maybe (none)
      but Dean would have fought back with an indignance never seen in our party by generations.  

      Dean said he knew they'd attack him about the gay think but that he was actually looking forward to confronting them as to why they didn't support equal rights (as opposed to just sounding like he is apologizing for supporting gay rights like many Dems sound like).  

      Dean took the debate and made it his own.  that was part of his magic that we need to take and run with.  Ignore it at your peril.

  •  Republicans like to select their opponents (none)
    In 1972, Nixon's cronies used dirty tricks to eliminate the strongest Democratic candidate, Ed Muskie.  They preferred to have Nixon face McGovern, who was a good man but a terrible campaigner.  I don't know how many of you are old enough to remember that map in 1972 - entirely red, except for MA.  I moved to MA in 1974 because of this.
  •  Is this true? (none)
    This year the Democratic National Committee will select a new chairman. With an eye toward healing the rift between Clinton centrists and the party's liberal base before Election 2008, the committee's leaders have quietly offered the top position to Dr. Howard Dean--former governor, former presidential candidate. It's a neat piece of political maneuvering, solving many of the profound moral conflicts hobbling the broken Democratic Party. I doubt most of us will understand the full implications of Dr. Dean's appointment until it is done. But I know enough to make a silent prayer for Democrats everywhere and for Dr. Dean especially:

    Please, please, let this man become the leader of the DNC.

    Now that the Democratic Party has made the overtures, the only thing standing in the way of Dean's candidacy is ego--his own and that of his supporters. ... "A Perfect Job for Howard Dean," by Natalie Binder, The Simon (emphasis mine

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:01:01 PM PST

    •  source please? (none)

      He will never be a tough competitor. He doesn't know how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Lou Piniella

      by alivingston on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:34:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course (none)
      they are going to bury him in the DNC corporate cement.  He will be going to meetings, he will listening to the corporate givers, and he won't be out there challenging the dems who are busy giving bush more hugs and kisses.

      And many in the Dean camp want him to win this chair.  I voted for him because everyone else mentioned is the opposite of what is needed.  But they do indeed want to bury him.  

      And some people here will bring the cement overshoes.

      •  You are right, but (none)
        what others want or expect from a situation is not always what they get.
        If some in the Democratic Party think that being DNC Chair will slow Howard down, so be it. Their lack of judgement, fuelled by their own self interest, will prove their downfall.
        He is a seasoned politician with years of executive experience. My expectation is that he'll sidestep neatly and move on to create the necessary infrastructure for reform to succeed. Its not going to be easy, but I think he can do it. In fact, he's already started, given that his strategy is to win and his tactics are flexible.
        Thanks for this great diary!
  •  Doesn't this worry anyone? (none)
    Doesn't it worry anyone that Dean is admired by Republicans? That he'd roll back environmental protection for business? It's good to have a pro-business strain in the party, and good at the head of the DNC, but where exactly is this guy? I always thought liberalism meant that there were things in life more important than the profit margin. He's been so painted as a liberal, but is he even a liberal? Interesting article, recommended.

    www.ageoffreedom.blogspot.com

    by freejared on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:38:27 PM PST

    •  Sigh... he's a centrist. (none)
      Centrist, centrist, centrist.

      He was just labeled "liberal" because a) he opposed the Iraq invasion, b) he signed civil-unions legislation, and c) was from hippy-drippy Vermont.  The truth is that he was always balancing business interests with environmental & labor ones (yes, bringing in jobs was important to him), he was damned uncomfortable with civil unions to begin with, and he probably managed to piss off almost every group in Vermont at one point or another.  However, since he would then turn around and piss off their opponents regarding another issue, most sensible people got over it and decided that he was a fair player.  

      Some conservatives like Dean, because there are a few left who still want to see sensible government that actually wrestles with balancing issues, and he pretty obviously did that.  Whether that would translate into votes, I don't know; there are, after all, plenty of people who basically like John McCain but couldn't vote for him due to his policy positions, and that is as it should be.  But pragmatists of all stripes-- not that there are that many of us, apparently-- liked Dean because he appeals to a sense of fair play that we've all but forgotten.

      •  Dean is a closet Buddhist (none)
        Dean is about balance and that's what most people don't understand... he's not too hot or too cold, but a delicious mix of just right... like the porriage! Better to just enjoy him and let him work for you.  I have met many politicians in my 45 years in politics and Howard Dean is no politician... he is a statesman with the best interest of his country at heart.  He has no ego... when he said it was never about him, he meant it in every fiber of his being. Otherwise, how could he have worked so diligently for a man who had sabotaged him? Because he knew that Kerry, while not good for the country, would be the lesser of the two evils in the general election. America and the Democratic Party (what's left of it) would be well served to give Howard Dean all the power they have to give... he can be trusted with it, unlike anyone else who has been mentioned for DNC Chair ...or president for that matter. He is a beautiful, gentle soul with much to teach us... if we trust him, the votes will follow.
      •  screwed up rating (none)
        sorry -- I tried to rate this entry a 3 and somehow the vote came through as "none" for a rating.  Not what I intended.  My apologies, I'm new to this.
    •  reform vs. status quo (none)
      I really think Democrats are losing focus by debating whether we need to become more liberal or more centrist. The debate we really need to have is do we want to support the status quo or real reform. That means first and foremost getting corporate money out of politics, but also election reform, media reform, ethics, etc. We can take centrist economic positions while supporting reforming the system. In fact, reforming the system would have a beneficial effect on the economy.
  •  Too obvious... (none)
    Howard Dean: The one candidate I had been waiting for all my life.
    In 1968 (before I could vote) there was Robert Kennedy.  Since then we stumbled around with candidates that were good--that is to say better than their Republican opponents.  But each one in their own weird way was disappointing.  Howard Dean did set himself apart from The Democratic sutra of defeat: (Johnson, Humfrey, McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry--Um yada, yada, yada, Um yada, yada, yada.)  as the one you could vote for without looking over your shoulder.   Kerry, above all,  was chiefly the candidate with whom almost everyone who voted him for did so while looking over their shoulder: that is to say, fearfully.  Dean would have been the vote with a clear conscience.  And none of us got that chance.      
  •  The thing that is driving me nuts... (4.00)
    Everyone saying Dean is unelectable (even still, here) -- they keep pointing out his idiosyncracies, his habit of speaking his mind even when it's not politically savvy, his aggressive attitude, etc. They seem to think that America wants somebody more measured and cautious. In reality, the things that allegedly make Dean unelectable are the exact things that got George W. Bush reelected. He "speaks his mind" and "you know where he stands" and has an "agressive attitude".

    Americans want bold, not bland. They want somebody who will speak their mind and not constantly hedge their words against some milquetoast standard of what's "safe". It's absurd to say they won't elect an idiosyncratic president - who's more idiosyncratic than Bush? Seriously. Democrats keep nominating someone bland an non-offensive and they keep getting beat. Republicans learned long ago that Americans are brash and arrogant, and they want the same from their politicians.

    I was not initially a Dean supporter, but I've come to the conclusion that we did nominate the wrong guy (and I really do like John Kerry). Howard Dean was the guy who could have beaten George W. Bush. I'm opposed to Dean as DNC chair - I want him to run in 2008.

    -- Want to make a difference? Join the taskforce! --

    by fwiffo on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:20:52 PM PST

    •  And the troll ratings (4.00)
      Rating people as trolls for disagreeing has got to stop. This is something that always rears its ugly head in threads about Howard Dean for some reason.

      People who don't like Dean or think he's unelectable are wrong, but that doesn't make them trolls. We can support a diversity of opinion here.

      -- Want to make a difference? Join the taskforce! --

      by fwiffo on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:26:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dems think our candidate has to be perfect (none)
      God forbid he have any flaws... because the SCLM will jump on them.  We need to change the media, not our candidates.  Any Dem candidate will be destroyed over some little thing or things (like Dean was) as long as the media turns every characteristic of every Dem candidate into something bad (while turning those same characteristics in Republicans into something good).  

      The SCLM is all about how cool Bush is because he speaks his mind, etc. and how horrible Dean is for the same reason.  They have this double standard with every candidate, based on party.  

      Dems need to realize that taking a stand of being proud to be who are is what will make us respectable as vision makers.  Dean can do this and that is why he got so many young people and former non-dems to join the party.  The media smelled this revolution in the air and that is why they had to destroy him and his credibility.

  •  If the defeat of Dean taught me anything (none)
    It is that Dems are as susceptible to SCLM and Republican propaganda as Republicans and swing voters.  

    They believed the Republicans when they acted like they'd love to run against Dean, not realizing that the Republicans would not make it so obvious that they wanted to run against someone unelectable- and not realizing the Republicans would love to trick us into thinking they were happy to run against Dean when really they were scared of it.

    Then Dems believed the anti-Dean media propaganda about electability- despite that they should know by now that the media obviously does NOT want Dems to nominate someone electable and therefore the media would act just as Orwellianly as the republicans with this commentary.

    I witnessed the non-scream and what a benign non-event it really was and even now I just want to scream for real myself when I see tv commentators or whoever dismissing this incredible man and movement based on that lie or others.  

    We will avenge our candidate and our movement by getting us in power after all.  The Goldwaterites were scorned in '64 and turned their anger into results.  So should we.  

  •  The campaign BC04 ppl claim (none)
    they were going to run against Dean...

    They had an ad called The Chair produced, which is basically asking "can you see Dean in the Oval Office chair?"  BC04 were going to go the Dean is unsteady route (they probably heard back that the press had witnessed Dean acting out twice before and would more easily go with that storyline).  

    Source (see sig.)

  •  Where are DNC's loyalties (none)
    I have also started to wonder if we are being used by the DLC/DNC. It seems hard to believe that they could be so inept if they really had the best interests of the country in mind. I was very disapointed to hear Carville say that the job of the Democratic Party is to get people elected, I thought it was to make the country better. This seems to be the problem with the Party leaders, they have lost track of the true goals and the rest of the country has noticed.

    Anyone that pays attention should know what the problems in this country are, corporate control of the government, crony capitalism, the widening of the income gap, a struggling educational system, 45 million people without health care, our government close to bankruptcy. If Democrats can't make a coherent argument for change, then we really need a new party.

  •  Kerry's weakness (none)
    Look, JFK II had two major electability problems.
    1. He's a Senator.  Didn't hurt him THAT much, but then again, it didn't help him with people.  He ran as a Senator, speaking as a Senator does.  Not as an executive, speaking in a love me or leave me tone.  Against Bush, this cannot win.

    2. He's divorced.  It made people second guess his marriage.  Even if they didn't know he was divorced, his wife and he interact strangely.  Unfortunately, many Democrats in Iowa found Judy Dean stranger than Theresa Kerry.  Most swing voter women, who probably have greater sympathy for working women (because many of them HAVE to work), found Teresa stranger.

    That's it.  Not issues.  Not being wooden (although speaking vaguely).

    Our major problem, in terms of FEELINGS, is that most Democratic voters are like my mom and most American voters are like action film fans.

    My mother doesn't want anything that is too loud or outspoken or revolutionary.
    Action film fans LOVE anyone that blows shit up.

    •  Also (none)
      I would add to your two fine points, that Kerry's problems included his stance on the Iraq war.  I remarked during the primaries, "how is Kerry going to criticize Bush on things like the war and the budget when he voted in support of both of them?"  Sure enough, Kerry had to thread the needle when he spoke about the war, and he never really gave it to Bush over the budget.  Voters sensed this, and it's why the flip-flop charge stuck so bad.  

      "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

      by Subterranean on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:22:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting to note (none)
    that only 4 weeks after a general election in which John Kerry received more votes then any Democratic candidate for president in history...everyone is focused on a governor from a very small northeastern state who won only a single primary in this past election cycle and that was his own state. For someone who was deemed unelectable and unstable, it would appear that he has made a remarkable impression on more then a few folks in both parties. Wonder why?
  •  go to c-span (none)
    Howard Dean is going to be on c-span at 11 central, or in about 8 minutes

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