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If John Kerry and his henchman Robert Gibbs had not IEDed Dean in Iowa in 2004:

....when Howard Dean was the 2004 Democratic front-runner, a new group abruptly popped up -- calling itself "Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values" -- and, shortly before the Iowa primary, began running an extremely ugly anti-Dean TV ad campaign, featuring images of Osama bin Laden, along with ominous claims that Howard Dean would fail to Keep Us Safe, that he could not "compete with George Bush on foreign policy."...

The Dean campaign was furious that fellow Democrats would run an ad like this that so obviously relied on (and reinforced) core Rovian, fear-mongering attacks, but more so, they were absolutely incensed that nobody knew who had funded this group, of which the very same Robert Gibbs, having supposedly just left his position as press secretary with the Kerry campaign, was the spokesman.  And just as the Chamber is doing now, Gibbs' group categorically refused to disclose its funders until the law compelled it to do so -- i.e., months later, once the Dean campaign was destroyed.

Then, after Dean's 50-state DNC campaign had played a major role in electing Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008, as well as Democratic majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate, Obama and his henchmen, Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs, rabid Dean haters all, pushed Dean aside and killed Dean's 50-state DNC agenda and lost Democratic seats in 2010 as a result.

What is equally infuriating, Harry Reid's timidity, compounding Obama's timidity, refused to change the Senate filibuster rules, essentially killing everything that the more progressive U.S. House put forth. I can only feel that this was really Reid's intent all along, that he had no intention on Earth of furthering anything remotely progressive.

Drew Westen's assessment of President Obama is very telling:

...there was a story the American people were waiting to hear — and needed to hear — but he didn’t tell it. And in the ensuing months he continued not to tell it, no matter how outrageous the slings and arrows his opponents threw at him.... But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation....

But the arc of history does not bend toward justice through capitulation cast as compromise. It does not bend when 400 people control more of the wealth than 150 million of their fellow Americans. It does not bend when the average middle-class family has seen its income stagnate over the last 30 years while the richest 1 percent has seen its income rise astronomically. It does not bend when we cut the fixed incomes of our parents and grandparents so hedge fund managers can keep their 15 percent tax rates. It does not bend when only one side in negotiations between workers and their bosses is allowed representation. And it does not bend when, as political scientists have shown, it is not public opinion but the opinions of the wealthy that predict the votes of the Senate. The arc of history can bend only so far before it breaks.

If there had been a Howard Dean presidency and leadership:

Out of Iraq. Resolution of Afghanistan situation and out of Afghanistan. No economic meltdown. No bailouts. No Medicare Part D dirty deal. No off-budget defense spending. No off-budget tax cuts for the very rich.

A balanced budget.

But, given the John Kerry cravenness, if Dean had not been shafted in 2008 and his 50-state strategy continued:

No Democratic election debacle in 2010.

No TeaParty.

No TeaParty downgrade.

If and only if...

I can dream, can't I?

Originally posted to Karen Hedwig Backman on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Howard Dean 2016.

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