Monday, June 06, 2005

Howard Dean gets my vote.

Howard Dean: physician, retired Vermont Governor, former presidential candidate, current Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Quite a résumé’, indeed.

Howard Dean has never been shy of the camera in his political career, and recent weeks are no exception. Dr. Dean has gone on record accusing Republicans of being evil, of having never made an honest living, and of preventing Mark Felt from reaping any reward from having been Deep Throat.

OK, the last one was made up, but the point that Dr. Dean is acting in ways that can be described as ‘off the deep end’ cannot be ignored. And if you don’t believe me, Read more...perhaps you will believe the AP Wire:

While discussing the hardship of working Americans standing in long lines to vote, Dean said Thursday, "Republicans, I guess, can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."
That was purely uncalled for. I live in a state that can hardly be called ‘red’ (although we are making gains), and the lines to vote last November were pretty long. What did I do? I voted absentee. I did, in fact, wait on line and cast my official vote in person, but I planned ahead and made sure my vote was counted. Regardless, Dr. Dean fails to assume that any of the people in those long lines he refers to are even possibly Republican voters who may have voted for Sen. Kerry.

Lately, however, his rhetoric has begun to hit the nerves, and not of people who are the targets of his hate, but in fact members of his own party. Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joseph Biden, has said pointedly that Dr. Dean
"doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric and I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats."

SayAnything links to a story in the Boston Globe wherein Rep Barney Frank chastises Dr. Dean for speaking as if Rep Tom DeLay was a criminal.

Returning to the AP: Former senator and vice-presidential/presidential candidate John Edwards has said Howard Dean "is not the spokesman for the party."

That last one is a tough one to swallow: is Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC, the spokesman for the party or not? Perhaps this yet another example of Sen. Edwards’ ‘two Americas’?

Regardless, Howard Dean’s DNC is falling behind in new party members, and in fund raising. His rhetoric is so volatile that the only way a candidate can hope to win the 2008 election is if she or he positions themselves as a moderate and point to Dr. Dean and say ‘I am not like him.’ This is essential because what many people don’t understand is that elections are not won on creating hatred for your opponent, but rather by giving the voters something to vote for. If the Democrats hope to sway the so-called 20% of undecideds and some Republican voters, they are going to have to field someone who can reach across the aisle.This advice, however, may fall on deaf ears.

Readers may recall my postings about Len at Esoterically. Len and I had several debates over the months, since he and I are on opposite sides of the political aisle. Back in March, he and I went toe-to-toe on a judicial matter, and in the end Len asked that I no longer post to his Blog (read all about it here). I still keep an eye on Len with my newsreader, and found this week that he embraces the rhetoric of Howard Dean:

Howard Dean speaks for me, and I believe he speaks for the majority of Democrats.

Republicans are evil. Look at what they've done to our country and tell me they are not. Tom DeLay does belong in jail, and George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Don Rumsfeld belong in there with him.

So, Joe Biden, do not purport to know who speaks for me. The chairman of my party speaks for me. If he doesn't speak for you, perhaps you are in the wrong party.

Tough words to a senior Senator. We'll have to wait and see what happens in the comming months and years, whether this tough-talk helps, or whether the Democrats will continue their string of losses in both in the Congress and in the Oval Office (and lets not forget the last time Democrats elected a President with a majority of popular votes was in 1976).

Personally, I am hopeful he ignores the naysayers of his own party and keeps up with the rhetoric; that will surely ensure future Republican victories.

Isn't it funny: the Republicans are the ones who are always called ‘mean spirited.’

All I know is, with Dr. Dean at the helm of the DNC, it is going to be a long and interesting -- if not funny -- summer.

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