Saturday, May 31, 2003
Dr. No and the Yes Men http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/01/magazine/01DEAN.html?ex=1055044800&en=39b86d8905fce7ca&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE
Howard Dean is the guy who has dictated the theme of this early campaign season. Once written off as a little man from a little state, Dean has expertly framed the 2004 nomination fight as a choice between white-hot liberal rage on one side and the room-temperature promise of ''electability'' on the other. ''Democrats are furious at their own party,'' Dean says. ''They feel like the party's leaders have taken a pass.''
It does, however, seem to cast a shadow of unelectability on Gov. Dean:
The bad news for Dean's rivals, however, is that Democratic protest candidates have proved very effective at indelibly soiling whatever image the party is trying to convey at the moment. And you have to wonder if the other candidates, ensconced in Washington, have any real grasp of the grass-roots revolt that is fueling Dean's momentum. It's not surprising that the party's leaders feel like shoving Dean's stethoscope down his throat when he says they only care about sounding electable. What's harder to understand is why they seem so determined to prove him right.
I've heard this arguement and the past, and my response has generally been that Gov. Dean is not the far left liberal he is often painted as (just as the left wingers in VT who often felt frustrated). The author picks up on this theme:
If Dean ever belonged to the ''Democratic wing of the Democratic Party'' before this year, he must have kept his membership secret. During his five two-year terms as governor, Dean was proud to be known as a pragmatic New Democrat, in the Clinton mold, boasting that neither the far right nor the far left had much use for him. He signed into law a measure that legalized civil unions for gay couples, a decision that was essentially mandated by the state's Supreme Court. But he also faced opposition from the left-leaning Progressive Party in two re-election campaigns. And he forcefully upheld the rights of Vermonters to carry concealed guns wherever they went, which helped him earn an A rating from the National Rifle Association.
It writes a bit as well about the amazing take off that the governor's speach to the DNC winter meeting resulted in:
In November, Dean's campaign was getting about 50 e-mail messages a day from supporters; after Dean gave a fiery speech to the Democratic National Committee in February, which began with an indictment of the war, as many as 2,000 e-mail messages arrived in a single day. Polling data showed Dean's support shifting from white men and independents to women and younger voters. Dean raised a surprising $2.6 million in the first quarter of the year, outdoing his opponents in two of the most liberal enclaves in America: Cambridge, Mass., and Beverly Hills, Calif.
Turmoil at his Burlington headquarters reflected the leftward lurch of Dean's campaign. In April, Rick Ridder, his pragmatic campaign manager, left and was replaced by Joe Trippi, the insurgent strategist who had run Jerry Brown's 1992 campaign against Clinton.
Dean's campaign, meanwhile, has become an online juggernaut. On the Web site Meetup.com, some 24,000 Dean supporters, at last count, had scheduled monthly meetings in more than 250 American cities. ''You've heard of the silent majority?'' says Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster. ''Well, Dean represents the screaming minority.''
Overall, it's an interesting read. There's a lot more I'd post here, but I trust that many of you will read it all anyhow!
Support Our Troops!
"Did some research after a comment on the NewsHour intrigued me, specifically:
How many servicemen, just returning from Iraq, are shut out from the tax cuts because they fall below the approx. $27,000 cutoff?
I think this would be a devastating number to calculate precisely, and then circulate in the press. "Mr. President, not only are 11.7 million children affected but (number) service men and women as well. Is that how little you value our enlisted men and women?", or something like that.
As with all thing military, this is not straightforward. Please find attached a pdf of the basic pay scale (Here's the HTML version of the pay scale - Ezra). I was somewhat shocked to see just how low it is -- for example, a newly commissioned O-1, say out of West Point or Annapolis makes something like $2200/month (below the cutoff), as does every enlisted man regardless of experience at E-5 or below (some type of sergeant).
What is not straightforward is how basic subsistence and housing allowances factor into your tax liability -- I am not an accountant, just a physician!
But someone in the campaign might take this ball and run with it. "
Y'hear that Campaign?
AP: Dean attacks Kerry as a copycat http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/05/31/national1356EDT0568.DTL
"I appreciate Sen. Kerry saying we don't need Bush Lite, and we don't," Dean told about 1,000 people attending a forum on rural issues in Lake Placid. "But, Sen. Kerry, we don't want Dean Lite, either."The Reuters story on the forum skips the attack and says only,
Before his speech, Dean told reporters that he had heard about fellow Democratic hopeful Kerry's speech to the forum and the warning by the senator from Massachusetts that Democrats had to stop acting like Republicans. "I heard he did a great job giving my speech," Dean said.
While Dean directed most of his criticism at Kerry, the former Vermont governor also said his other rivals from Congress too often have supported President Bush on the war with Iraq, tax cuts and other issues.
"They can talk the talk, but they aren't going to be able to walk the walk," Dean told reporters.
To the forum audience, he was as blunt: "What we need in this party is not just people who talk about backbone, but people who have it."
Dean, who grew up on Long Island and went to medical school in New York City, stressed his work as governor of a rural state in his speech to the forum.
"People know who I am," Dean said before his speech. "I have a little advantage in the North Country (of New York), comparable to what Senator Kerry has in New Hampshire" where residents often watch Massachusetts television stations.
Dean's speech was interrupted repeatedly by applause and cheers, as was Kerry's to a somewhat lesser extent.
"[Hillary Clinton] showed the Republicans they can't take upstate New York for granted," said Dean, a doctor and former governor of neighboring Vermont.
Dean took straight aim at Bush, denouncing the administration's support for tax cuts as a panacea for all ills. Whether the economy is booming or struggling, whether there is war or peace, he said, the Bush response is the same: "Take two tax cuts and call me in the morning.".
Electability: Those Who Forget History... http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2002/46/we_192_01.html
The more we in Dean Nation read - and ask our friends to read - much of the political commentary that followed the 2002 elections, the better off we'll be. Rick Perlstein had a gem in Mother Jones. John Nichols had another in The Nation. (I'd provide links to similar commentaries in major newspapers were those pieces not today in costly web-based archives).
The New York Times' Matt Bai quotes members of the Democratic Leadership Council because he and many members of the national media [wrongly, see below] credit the organization with Bill Clinton's electoral victory in November of 1992. Strangely, however, Bai and others fail to fault the DLC with the Democrats' numerous losses in November of 2002 -- "the worst midterm performance by a party outside the White House since the Republicans in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1934."
Democrats can justly criticize the DLC for lack of a backbone. Or we can go after the DLC where it hurts - and where the media will take notice: for lack of electability.
[Note: James Carville, Clinton's top campaign strategist and a liberal Democrat, steered the then-Arkansas Governor towards a focus on the economy and health care, the two issues that later won him the presidency. Historians also remind us that during Clinton's first year in office, he distanced himself from the DLC, prompting a backlash from none other than Joe Lieberman.]
Friday, May 30, 2003
NY Times Magazine Profile
Keep feedback positive - constructive criticism.
Work with them.
And, remember, the article isn't officially being published for two more days. Sit on your letters a bit.
The NY Times Magazine Profile http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/01/magazine/01DEAN.html?pagewanted=print&position=
Dean Defense Forces http://www.deandefense.org/
We're up and running, come check it out. And if you've wanted to join, but have been unable to bring yourself to give your address to Yahoo, join now by following the instructions over at the new site.
Thanks for everything. And, please, come join us.
Funny if it wasn't true http://dean2004.blogspot.com/2003_05_25_onefatherfordean_archive.html
Here it is:
"So I'm imagining myself at my big Reunion shindig this coming weekend with largely conservative alumni -- (yes, there are a few. Quite a few, actually, despite what the college conservatives would have you believe) -- who decide to gang up on me for my support of Howard Dean’s pledge to repeal President Bush’s tax cuts when elected President in 2004.
'A blatant sop to the unions, special interests and you bleeding-heart liberals,' one said.
'Our economy (and my business) will suffer,' another railed.
When it was my turn to speak, I said simply, 'You guys look like you're doing okay. If you don't want the government, don’t take what the government gives you.'
My point would and will be this:
If you don’t want that interstate highway coming your way, don’t drive on it.
You don't want workers to have any government-funded education in their backgrounds, start hiring some others now.
You don't want more international business development dollars, or more research and development grants, or more defense contracts, give them back. Divest yourself of all stocks, bonds and mutual funds for whom government sources of revenue, tax breaks and/or incentives total more than 0.5% of gross receipts. Don’t do business with or (gasp) own small companies of a similar non-individualist character.
And certainly don’t own any healthcare company that takes Medicare or Medicaid. Or own stock in investment banks utilizing privitized Social Security funds. Or manufacture voting machines.
You think the top earners’ bank accounts and personal assets are a better place for our money, give them your own money directly and leave our federal, state and local governments out of it. Think of it as a venture capital fund – about the same returns, these days, anyway.
You think our families’ already limited government services are better used on your projects, give back the government services that secure, protect and defend those projects.
You think you have all the answers, then eschew yourself, your family and your assets of all of government subsidies, every last one: the oil, timber and minerals from public lands; the military that protects your foreign subsidiaries. And including the airwaves over which major corporations broadcast – we can share the spectrum and do just fine, thanks.
It's too late for you to lecture other people what we should do with 'our' government. Practice what you preach and return 'our' government and its littered commons.
Quite a few of you are very well off and still you say you need government. Prove it, then... or give it – all of it – back to those who do.
As for the rest of us who think we know more what to do with our government than what you want to destroy of it, may I suggest this:
Instead of a speech, write out your 2004 presidential absentee ballot or your voting intentions:
I'll even give you the address:
Dean for America
P.O. Box 1228
Burlington, Vermont 05402
You think you have all the answers? Don’t expect anything from the rest of us who want to work on solutions for this great nation.
Stop using and abusing our country and its government, and then for goodness sake – be quiet."
The Governors Are In. http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/US/deangraham_030530.html
The article compares how they are alike as well as how they are different. Most noteworthy was the talk that pehaps Gov. Dean is thinking of Sen. Graham as a running mate...
Political observers currently put Dean in the first tier of Democratic candidates while Graham is seen at this early stage in the campaign as a second-tier candidate.
Could Dean be looking far enough into the future and thinking that Graham might make an attractive running mate? One idea, endorsed by some who have spoken with Dean, is that the candidate is angling for Graham to join his ticket.
Being governor is an important qualification for Dean. The last two Democrats elected president — Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton — were state executives. They were from the South, not the North.
So Graham could certainly help Dean's electoral calculus. Democratic candidates planning for the general election aspire to hold the states that Al Gore took in 2000. And then they need to win in at least one more big state. Graham's popularity could add Florida's 27 electoral votes and give the Democratic ticket a boost elsewhere.
Top Dean aides insist there's been no internal discussion about general election strategy.
"We're still trying to figure out how put our organization together in Iowa," said Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager. "We haven't given a thought to it."
Based upon many of your votes on the grassrootsfordean.com Dean's VP selection poll, it looks like the pundits aren't the only ones with such thoughts. Gen. Clark is winning, but Sen. Graham is in a strong second place.
Hillary for President http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/newyork/politics/nyc-hillary0530,0,4978744.story?coll=nyc-topheadlines-left
One of the current contenders for next year's Democratic nomination for president said Friday he would like to see New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton someday run for the White House herself.
"I think she would be a great candidate," former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said in a telephone interview. "I think she would be a great president."
Dean's comments came as New York's Democratic Rural Conference launched a two-day forum in Lake Placid on rural issues, planning to hear from some of the announced presidential candidates and from others, including the former first lady.
Okay, Hillary... Gov. Dean said nice things about you - now it's your turn!
WMUR Wants Your Opinion http://www.thewmurchannel.com/
There's a Presidential straw poll in the lower right-hand corner of the site. Dean is up. Let's knock it out of the ballpark.
''... you don't get health insurance unless you sign a living will or directive.'' http://www.boston.com/dailynews/149/region/Dean_says_public_must_take_mor:.shtml
Dean, a doctor and former governor of Vermont, has proposed an $88 billion plan to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans under age 25 and expand coverage for uninsured adults.
In exchange, he wants Americans to take more responsibility for their health care.
Pharmaceutical companies, insurers and lawyers deserve some of the blame for rising health care costs, he said, but so do individuals who don't take care of themselves or don't make realistic decisions about their medical care.
''Most politicians treat voters as children: 'Elect me, and I'll solve all your problems,''' he said during a forum at which he explained his plan and answered questions from voters. ''When are we going to talk about our own responsibilities?''
''If we're going to have health insurance for everyone, you don't get health insurance unless you sign a living will or directive,'' he said.
Dean, an internist who left his medical practice in 1991, described how he used to sit down with relatives of seriously ill patients to discuss treatment options. But he said that connection between families and physicians has been lost due to the ''corporatization'' of medicine.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
UPDATE (by Aziz) : Don't miss Joe Trippi's comment !
Democrats: Profiles in spinelessness http://www.salon.com/opinion/huffington/2003/05/28/cowardly_dems/
It is precisely this kind of craven vacillation that has made possible the triumph of the fanatics in the White House. Democrats are wringing their hands over the "tactical genius" of Karl Rove, and the "brilliant political stagecraft" of his TV experts who always present the president in the best light. Such is the Democrats' fragility that the mere smoke and mirrors of posing the president in profile at Mount Rushmore, or asking the people standing behind him during a recent speech on the economy to take off their ties so they would look more like average Joes, leave them quaking in their boots.
But the Democratic National Committee's Terry McAuliffe needs to stop worrying about the GOP using footage of Bush's Top Gun landing on the Abraham Lincoln in campaign ads and start worrying about finding a presidential candidate who isn't afraid to take audacious and decisive stands on the party's core issues. If they can't compete on style, they should at least give it a shot on substance.
I think this is the argument that many of us have been making in our support for Gov. Dean all along. As the doctor himself said in response to President Bush's reckless tax cut, "What America needs now is a Democratic Party with the backbone to stand up for fiscal responsibility and against this President's recklessness with the facts, and our future." We know that Gov. Dean is the candidate most prepared to do this.
But Huffington doesn't claim that Democrats need the courage to just say anything, she calls on the party to put forward a strong, Democratic agenda:
After all, the problem isn't that Democrats are on the wrong side of the issues. It's that they are afraid to make an issue of being on the right side -- not to mention smack dab in the middle of the American mainstream.
For example, only one out of four Americans believe the latest round of tax cuts will significantly reduce their taxes, and just 29 percent think the cuts are the best way to help stimulate the economy. Yet Democrats seem congenitally incapable of challenging a president whose entire domestic agenda consists of more and more tax cuts for the wealthy.
The numbers also favor the Democrats on the foreign policy front. According to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 57 percent of Americans are opposed to investing the time and money needed to rebuild Iraq. But the Democrats sit idly by, their thumbs otherwise engaged, while the administration's Iraqi tar baby grows stickier by the day.
And on and on it goes: On the environment, Social Security, greater access to affordable healthcare, gun control and abortion, the majority of the American people are with the Democrats.
Again, it seems as if she is unknowingly a Dean supporter! Dean supporters firmly believe "The only way that we're going to beat George Bush is to say what we mean, to stand up for who we are, to lift up a Democratic agenda against the Republican agenda because if you do that, the Democratic agenda wins every time. " (Dean, California Democratic Convention)
Huffington says, "It's time for the Democrats to give up their broken play-it-safe politics and risk offending a few vocal members of a radical minority." We say, "It's time for Howard Dean."
More Info on the Move On Poll
MoveOn.org has built a massive online grassroots community. In a letter to their members today, founder Wes Boyd wrote to the 1.4 million members of MoveOn: "With our agenda in hand, we can play an unprecedented role in the presidential campaign. But first we need to develop a common agenda. Today's straw poll is the first step."
If you are a MoveOn member, or if you know someone who is, please check your email from MoveOn and follow the link to vote for Howard Dean. (You must already be a member of MoveOn to vote. Not all MoveOn members have yet received their email today-- be patient!)
We are building the largest grassroots campaign in history, a campaign to take back the Democratic Party and to take back the White House in 2004. In order to achieve this, we must all come together for Howard Dean. It is important that supporters show their commitment to Dean by voting in the MoveOn poll. Only by reaching out to the communities that already exist-- communities like MoveOn-- will we demonstrate to the world that Howard Dean, as the Democratic nominee, will defeat George W. Bush in the general election.
Now's your chance. If you're a MoveOn member, vote for Howard Dean in the MoveOn online poll today!
Vote in the Moveon Poll http://www.moveon.org
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
R is for Reckless
Any responsible adult knows that when you get a pay cut, you simply cannot spend as much. You need to conserve money for the basics, your children, health care, upkeep in your home, college funds for your kids...you simply cannot spend frivolously at their expense. That is what our President is doing. Tax Cuts are a bonus, something for good times. We cannot have them, however, when schools are closing, when health care is becoming unaffordable, when jobs are being lost and roads are deteriorating and law enforcement agencies don't have the money to protect. The President will tell you not to worry, that even in these lean times you can have both a tax cut and a perfect society. But I'm not going to lie to you. When times are tough, it doesn't matter if you're a country or an individual, you have to tighten your belt and take care of what is truly important. Politicians will tell you that we can have everything, I will tell you that until we get this economy back on its feet, we have to be fiscally responsible. The President is not doing that, I will. I'm Howard Dean, etc.
I think the responsibility versus recklessness meme is one we want to play up. Bush has a frat boy storyline waiting in the wings for him, we want to play the responsible adult thus forcing him back to frat boy-ness. Americans know (and polling data backs this up) that tax cuts don't stimulate the economy and aren't the right course of action right now. I don't think we have to make this about the "soul" of the party, I think we have to make this about balancing the checkbook and bringing the same prudent practices to the Government as we employ in our own homes. Plus, if Dean wants to come across as "more" than a politician, telling hard truths and articulating a clear, positive, but REALISTIC vision for dealing with them is the best way to do that.
"We are one nation, and we are all in this together." http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/PageServer
With the President's proposed budget and the $350 billion tax cut package he is signing today, it has become clear what this President is attempting to do, and why we must repeal the entire package of cuts both those signed today and those passed in 2001.
It is time to level with the American people. The economic plans put forth by President Bush and the Republican party are a fundamental assault on the basic American ideals that we all share -- an assault on our schools, our health care, our environment and our social security.
I will not go along with it.
The sooner we recognize that this isn't a fight over tax cuts, but a battle for our country's heart, soul and future - the sooner the American people will join our cause.
Let me be clear. The President's tax cuts are part of a radical agenda to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and our public schools through financial starvation.
In Oregon last week, the state had to close schools three weeks early because there was no money. In New Hampshire this week, the sheriffs made it clear that, because there was no money, they couldn't provide the basic law enforcement protection communities expect in this time of heightened alerts about terrorism. All across the country, hospitals and health care systems are cutting back and cities are cutting services because there is no money.
What America needs now is a Democratic Party with the backbone to stand up for fiscal responsibility and against this President's recklessness with the facts, and our future.
No Republican president has balanced the budget in 34 years and if this president succeeds, no future American president from either party will be able to do so without massive tax increases that will break the backs of the American people or without destroying Medicare, social security, our schools and even our nation's security.
My central commitment upon taking office will be to repeal these tax cuts to put our fiscal house in order, and save the very fabric that holds our American community together.
We will not be able to meet our fundamental obligations to teach our children, care for our parents, and defend our nation if we bankrupt our country.
If we fail to defeat this President and end his radical agenda, we will have lost the central ideal proclaimed from one American generation to the next throughout our history: "We are one nation, and we are all in this together."
Block Extreme Judges http://www.democrats.org/scotus/petition.html?s=moveon
But don't just sign it. In the comments section, tell the DNC that you are another "Dean Democrat" who stands opposed to Bush's extremist judicial nominations.
Read the Petition:
The United States Supreme Court is the backbone that upholds American values.
These cherished American values are at risk if one or more Supreme Court Justices retire this summer. Civil rights, a woman's right to choose, environmental protections, public education, workers' rights, and much more are threatened by a right-wing court.
President Bush has already built a record of nominating extremist, ultra-conservative judges to the federal bench.
I stand with and support Democratic leaders in the fight to oppose ultra-conservative nominees to the nation's highest court.
And sign it.
Somehow, it's not surprising that Dean cites Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion as his favorite novel.
For anyone who has ever read the book, four words probably come to mind: "Never give an inch." The patriarch in Kesey's 1964 epic scrawls this admonishment on a painting and hangs it near his newborn son's bed. It's a commandment of intransigence, a screw you, to nature, convention and history.
It's the perfect Dean book. Not that Dean would ever think this way, but it also has resonance with groups of voters large and small: Oregonians, loggers, union members, and middle-aged men who worry they've compromised their values too many times. Also, Paul Newman and Henry Fonda fans who couldn't get through the book but saw the 1971 movie.
Resources for the people, courtesy of San Francisco for Dean http://www.SanFranciscoForDean.com
Richard explains that over the coming weeks, SF4Dean will be adding lots of tools which people in various states can use to organise locally. Since Dean for America is doing a major push towards local organisation, we think this will become an invaluable resource. And remember that we need to hook up with our local Democratic Party in order to take it back. =)
If anyone else has organisational links, please leave them in the comments section. I know there are many supporters out there who are still at a loss when it comes to organising locally. Leave contact information for those folks as well, and thanks for the help!
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
...the largest grassroots campaign in American history.
But I'm not. Cause it's a line from Kerry campaign e-mail.
...to beat [the Bush campaign] and take back our democracy, we need your help in building the largest grassroots campaign in American history.
Don't worry, John. We're already there.
Dean Writes to FCC Chairman Michael Powell http://www.deanforamerica.com/
May 27, 2003
Chairman Michael Powell
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554
Dear Chairman Powell,
Americans cherish the freedom of the press -- and the diversity of the press that ensures they can get access to the truth and to the information they need. The Bush Administration may not appreciate that freedom and diversity, but they should not tamper with it.
On June 2nd, the Federal Communications Commission should decide against allowing a single company to own multiple television stations, radio stations, and newspapers in a single town. The Bush Administration has urged the FCC to remove regulations that protect every Americans’ right to a free press. This latest attempt by the Bush Administration to undermine the American ideals enshrined in our Constitution is wrong.
This deregulation, like so many actions pushed for by the Bush administration, would benefit a few at the expense of the rest of us. Modifying the ban in most cities on cross-ownership of television and radio stations and newspapers will have serious repercussions for every American. A similar deregulation of radio, through the 1996 Telecommunications Act, has resulted in a 30% decline of independently-owned radio stations in the United States. This decline has reduced Americans’ access to local news via radio. According to a May 27 Bloomberg story, in at least one instance local authorities were delayed in broadcasting important emergency information to the local populace because the “local” radio station was broadcast from out-of-state. Accelerating the disappearance of independent local media by further deregulating television and newspaper ownership is the wrong direction for this country.
In my travels around the country, I have discovered that this proposed deregulation is one of the foremost issues on peoples’ minds. I am asked about it everywhere—in small towns in New Hampshire, and in major cities across the nation. The American people are concerned about the future of their media, and the affect this decision will have on them. Thousands of Americans have written the FCC to oppose this rule, and members of Congress from both parties have voiced their protest and requested that you testify before them on the matter. Yet the FCC appears poised to ignore the interests of regular Americans by allowing a few massive conglomerates to gobble up our local news sources.
This proposed deregulation threatens the ideals of America—the ideals of openness, free speech, free expression and free discussion, which are the backbone of our Constitution and our democracy.
Therefore, I urge you to take the following actions:
1) Delay the June 2nd vote by the FCC.
2) Testify before Congress so that the Representatives of the American people can have the opportunity to question the representatives of the Bush Administration.
3) Allow for, and consider, additional public input. The FCC must provide sufficient opportunity for public input on a decision that affects every American.
I appreciate your consideration.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
let Howard Dean be Howard Dean http://www.haloscan.com/comments.php?user=azizhp&comment=200334559#4739
Gov. Dean defies labels. But there is a string that runs through most everything he does, his positions and his record. He really did make sure that nearly 100% of those under 18 in his state received health care -- there are very few (liberals or conservatives) that have produced those kind of results -- including a 43% reduction in child abuse in his state and a 71% reduction in sexual abuse against children over the 10 years he was Governor. During that same period many progressives faulted Gov. Dean for his fiscal restraint -- they believed that he was not committed to spending enough on social programs when times were good economically. Gov. Dean stated then, as he states today -- that the best guarantee of social policy is to balance the budget in a strong economy -- because fewer people need help -- and it is this fiscal restraint on his part that makes it possible for Vermont to continue to help those who need these programs now -- in a down economy when people most need it.
He is for a strong defense -- and a stronger homeland security -- what he is against is a doctrine of preemptive war that turns 40 years of bi-partisan consensus on the use of US military power in the world on its head. Yes it turns out that if you agree with Ike, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and Bush 1 -- you characterized as a left wing-nut.
The sorry fact is that too many in the Democratic Party bought this line of thinking and never really challenged the doctrine let alone debated it. There is something very different about Gov. Dean from the rest of the field -- he has demonstrated that he is willing to put his political career on the line by standing up for what he believes regardless of the polls and the conventional wisdom. 65% of the people of Vermont opposed civil unions 6 months before the election. Howard Dean signed the bill -- and he won. 75% of Americans supported the war in Iraq -- Howard Dean opposed it -- and opposese the doctrine of preemption to this day. He says every day on the campaign trail that the great lie is "elect me, and I will solve all your problems" and that the unspoken truth is that the future of our country rests in your hands. As someone who has worked with him for nearly a dozen years -- he is who he is. Around here what we say is let Howard Dean be Howard Dean -- I gave up trying to define him long ago. One of the things that is disconcerting is to see how hard it is for some to "believe in" someone again. The difference in Howard Dean is he doesn't want us to believe in him -- he wants us to believe in ourselves and our power to change our country.
Joe Trippi | Homepage | 05.23.03 - 8:58 pm | #
video: Clinton at the University of Arkansas http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/mdrive/e52303_clintonclass.rm
I will blog my own thoughts and impressions to this video later as an update (after I organize my extensive notes).
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Location, Location, Location http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-ct--tortoiseandhares0525may25,0,6602145.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire
Ron Fournier, the article's author, is a well-respected reporter who has covered the White House and politics for the AP since 1993. In "With No Frontrunner, Democrats Plot Strategy For Race To Nomination," Fournier takes a look at each candidate's primary campaign. Dean's place in Fournier's candidate survey? Second, after Long Jawn Kerry. But I believe that because Dean's victory in New Hampshire will (effectively) end Kerry's campaign, we're sitting pretty. Onward-ho!
Of Note: One could argue that Fournier's hierarchy is determined not by the likelihood a given candidate will secure the nomation but by the candidates' strategies and the primary schedule. But why then are Dean and Kerry discussed before Gephardt when Iowa's primary comes sooner than New Hampshire's? No, no, my friends. Fournier has shown us his hand...
Meetup prediction: 100,000 by July
Today, May 25th, we have 26055 members signed up. These are just the exact reported totals - after combing through the blog archives I found these estimated reports. These numbers are less accurate, because the numbers were quoted as "almost above" or "nearly at", and the dates are just the timestamp of the post which may not reflect the date that the estimate was made.
These numbers are plotted below - there are two curves, representing the precise and rough estimates. It's clear from the plot that the growth has been very healthy, but it's also also clear that it's the "foot" of an exponential, ie the initial near-linear regime. A linear fit to the data gives a slope of 240 supporters a day, with a R2 of .9723. So it's clear that we still have most of our growth ahead.
The DLC and others may well argue that the growth will stay linear. I think that's a pessimistic (and agenda-driven) opinion - after all, politics is subject to the "network effect" and here we have the marriage of politics and the Internet, where the network effect was practically invented. It's impossible to try and fit a meaningful exponential to the curve at this point, but I think that we may well break 100,000 Meetup supporters within two months. Stay tuned :)
Of course, it's just rubbing salt to mention Edwards and Kerry meetup numbers. I can't resist, see the chart at below (data is much sketchier). Astonishingly, it seems that Kerry and Edwards actually lost supporters in late March/early April. Also, Joe had a hysterical post on 4/7 that pokes fun at the Favorite Sons running against Dean - by comparing meetup numbers in their home towns. And note that on the Edwards Meetup page, one of items for discussion is, "Why Edwards and not Dean in 2004?" - note Kerry is conspicuously absent from Edwards supporters' agenda.
But wait! This is all just Internet foolery! the critics argue. Why do Meetup numbers really matter? Four words: The Million-Dollar Meetup Challenge. Add a penny for the Internet!
Note that the january estimate is arbutrary, based on a comment by Joe Trippi that "we had 432 supporters in January". I just took the midpoint of the month.
The numbers come from reports published here on the DeanBlog. There may have been an error in reporting, but it's also possible that both candidates sufferred from defections to Dean.
Saturday, May 24, 2003
Edwards to drop out? http://www.modbee.com/24hour/opinions/story/897224p-6249784c.html
So who among the nine candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination will be the first to drop out? Don't be surprised if it's Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
Edwards is telegenic, a smooth talker, and he's raised a bunch of dough. But he's been lost amid better-known candidates like Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, as well as those who have created a buzz, like former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
Edwards' Senate seat is up in 2004, so he could opt to return to the upper chamber and make a White House play later.
If he drops out, will he endorse Dean or Kerry? Discuss...
A Prescription for Change! http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june03/dean_05-22.html
RAY SUAREZ: What would you say the biggest difference is between your plan and those offered, for instance, by Senator Kerry, which emphasizes cost containment a little more, by Congressman Gephardt that emphasizes using employee based programs more?
HOWARD DEAN: Well, I like Dick and Senator Kerry and I'm pleased they've joined me in offering a health care plan. The criticism I'd have of Dick's plan is it won't pass because it costs more than the Bush tax cuts, and there's no real way to pay for that. And I don't think we can get the votes to do it. Senator Kerry's plan concerns me because although it's based on a lot of the same things that we based ours on, the insurance rates stops at 100 percent of poverty.
So there are a lot of working families that don't get covered without significant expense to themselves. We're not talking about wealthy people or even middle class people. We're talking about people who are barely above the poverty level, having to go out and get their own insurance, so I think our plan is a little bit more generous to the low income working people and moderate income working people; families that make $33,000 a year I think need that extra help, and that's present in our plan but not Senator Kerry's plan.
Friday, May 23, 2003
Howard Dean Raises $1M Via Internet http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/INTERNET_FUND_RAISING?SITE=IADES&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
Though many of the 2004 hopefuls have the potential to raise millions over the Internet in coming months, none has highlighted their Internet campaigning to the extent Dean has. The one-time governor, like other relatively unknown candidates before him, had little choice, said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist. In 2000, Republican John McCain raised $1 million over the Internet in 48 hours.
"They can't afford high-priced consultants. They can't afford direct mail, which eats up sometimes 80 percent of what it raises," Sabato said. "So they have to depend on person-to-person fund raising, and that's the Internet. There's almost no overhead with Internet fund raising."
That's pretty phenomenal, and accounts for the high burnrate that you see in some of the other campaigns in their fundraising totals.
Defeating the Dean is mean meme http://www.sevendaysvt.com/insidetrack/
“The enormous tax cuts are not only undercutting Medicaid and Social Security, Mr. President. The enormous tax cuts that you have passed are actually undercutting our ability to defend ourselves.”
“Prisons are the most expensive and least effective social-service intervention.”
“This president’s foreign policy is not consistent with our values.”
If you make me the Democratic nominee, I’ll make you proud to be Democrats again!”
well, I'm not a Democrat, but he'll make me proud to vote Democratic :)
But the best part is near the end, addressing the "Dean is mean" meme. The Kerry-kingmaking Boston Globe on Sunday took a page from the DLC playbook and printed a story by Yvonne Abraham (“Dean Not Very Civil — Some in Vt. Say.”) that supposedly proved that Dean was a meanie even back in VT. But take a good look at the Globe's sources:
Deanbasher #1 was none other than our favorite UVM political science professor Garrison Nelson. “Gary, Gary, Gary” and yours truly go way back. And anybody who knows Garrison knows he despises Howard Dean. Always has and always will.
Back in the early 1980s, when Dean was a nobody and Garrison was a somebody, Dean made the mistake of not kissing Garrison’s, uh, ring. Seeking his advice. Treating him like a political guru.
“Governor Dean has been one of the least civil people around,” said Nelson to the Globe. “Howard Dean is not a Vermonter. He’s from New York. He does not have a Vermont style, and he prides himself on that. He’s less civil than previous Vermont politicans.’’
Garrison must have Ho-Ho confused with Bernie Sanders, eh?
The next Vermonter to whack Dr. Dean was Skip Vallee, millionaire gasoline merchant and Vermont’s Republican national committeeman. Gaso-line Vallee told the Globe the 2000 governor’s race between Dean and his belle of the ball Ruth Dwyer was “the nastiest election cycle we ever saw.”
Yeah, it was, Skip, but the nastiness was all coming from your side, remember? Why do you think your gal is known as Ruthless Ruth?
Deanbasher 3 was none other than Ruthless Ruth herself.
“In the Vermont tradition, it used to be people would stand for election. People knew who you were,’’ Dwyer told the Globe. “Howard was from somewhere else; he came in and had a very professional organization.’’
Ruth, by the way, came in from Ohio and New York. The Globe failed to mention that the sweet lady’s harsh, right-wing views might have played a role in her two thumping defeats.
Perhaps the honchos at the Boston Globe think nobody in Vermont reads their fiction?
They probably think that the vast "elites" who form the backbone of Dean's grassroots support don't read it either. They're wrong.
Dedicated to Dean http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/5930422.htm
Slate on Dean's "Heartland" performance http://slate.msn.com/id/2083390/
4. Responding to a question about governing a much smaller state than Texas: "Well, Texas has the 48th best education system in the country; we have the sixth. Texas has the highest percentage of children with no health insurance in America; we're No. 1. We have a balanced budget; Texas just tried to cut every single kid off health insurance … to balance their budget. I think the people of this country are going to have a great opportunity to choose between whether they want the Vermont model or the Texas model."
Dean rattled off these lines as though he's been practicing them for the general election. The Vermont half sounds pretty good, but the Texas half is a bit odd. People don't think of Bush as the governor of Texas anymore. If his election didn't give him presidential luster, Sept. 11 did. As for fiscal and financial woes, why pick on Texas—and possibly alienate parts of the Southeast and Southwest—when the whole country is in the toilet? It's the national economy, stupid.
TNR on the netroots phenom http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?pt=MsFThRpEfeVRNVf9ei9j2R%3D%3D
The article is comprehensive and it's clear that Mr. Lizza is actively reading this blog for his research. The article lauds the DDF and the obsessive nature of the Dean Blog - calling us Dean fedayeen for our zeal (it's a compliment. I think) An especially interesting passage is the campaign-eye view of how Meetup became significant to the campaign:
For the Dean campaign, it all started with the Meetup phenomenon. Back in January, the campaign stumbled upon the Meetup website and noticed that 432 people were signed up for a Howard Dean Meetup group. "We didn't really know what it was," says Trippi. He watched from afar as Dean's Meetup numbers grew to more than 2,600 in February. In March, Dean showed up at a Meetup event in New York City. It was so crowded that hundreds of young supporters were pouring out onto the sidewalk waiting to get in. Soon the campaign began receiving mysterious donations with an extra cent added. They learned that the Meetup community intended to raise $1 million for Dean, and the extra cent was being used to identify the donations. It became known as the Meetup Million Dollar Challenge and has raised at least $300,000 for Dean so far (close to 10 percent of what Dean had raised overall, as of April). Almost overnight, Meetup had become the Dean campaign's most important organizing tool.
In fact, Deanlandia is directly responsible for the rapid rise of Meetup as an organiztional asset to the campaign - Dean Meetup was first mentioned on the Dean Blog on January 12th, after a tip from William Finkel. We should all reflect for a moment at how far we have come, and just how much influence we really wield. This is the real reason Dean has built such a following - becauise we all sense that by our actions, however minor, we can really have a significant impact. It isn't just about Dean's personality or even his issues. It's the fact that we all feel like we have a real voice.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Dean on PBS's News Hour
(hat tip - Richard Hoefer, Media Committee of San Francisco for Dean)
$1 Million from the Net http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20030522_1128.html
Because the critics are already pooh-poohing. Larry Sabato, master academic of the old-style campaign, is already dismissing the accomplishment:
The one-time governor, like other relatively unknown candidates before him, had little choice, said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist. In 2000, Republican John McCain raised $1 million over the Internet in 48 hours.
"They can't afford high-priced consultants. They can't afford direct mail, which eats up sometimes 80 percent of what it raises," Sabato said. "So they have to depend on person-to-person fund raising, and that's the Internet. There's almost no overhead with Internet fund raising."
On the other hand, the Kerry campaign was smart enough to not attack this time around:
Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan said he had no reason to doubt the Dean campaign's statements about its Internet grass-roots activity.
"We'll all see in the long run what if any difference it makes in terms of votes," Jordan said. "We're using our Web site fully for fund raising, for message dissemination, for organizing."
Regardless, if you've got a little extra money sitting in your checking account, get it into the campaign.
It doesn't matter how much we volunteer if Dean can't afford to go up on the air.
DEAN FOR AMERICA ANNOUNCES NEW STAFF AND ADVISORS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2003
DEAN FOR AMERICA ANNOUNCES NEW STAFF AND ADVISORS
BURLINGTON, VT -- The Dean for America campaign today announced the addition of several key staff members and advisors.
"I am delighted that talented people of this caliber have agreed to join our campaign," said Governor Howard Dean.
"These men and women add extraordinary talent and depth to our operation and begin to round out our senior staff," said campaign manager Joe Trippi. "We will be making additional staff announcements in the near future."
The campaign’s Policy Director will be Jeremy Ben-Ami, Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor to President Bill Clinton from 1994-1996, as well as Chief of Staff to the Domestic Policy Council from 1993 to 1996. Ben-Ami served recently as Deputy Campaign Manager for Mark Green in his race for Mayor of New York and as Green’s Policy Director in the Public Advocate’s office. He has worked for two Mayors of New York on housing and homeless policy. He also founded and ran a strategic communications consulting firm in Israel.
Also joining the campaign’s staff as Senior Policy Advisor is Ronald Weich, formerly Chief Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Labor and Human Resources Committee, and later on the Senate Judiciary Committee. A former New York City prosecutor, Weich now practices law in Washington DC at the firm of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.
Ben-Ami and Weich will be setting up a policy council to advise Governor Dean on policy issues that will help shape new initiatives and policy direction for the growing campaign. Helping to assemble this policy council and serving as senior advisors to the campaign will be Maria Echaveste and Christopher Edley, Jr., both senior White House officials in the Clinton administration.
Maria Echaveste was Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff in the second Clinton White House. The highest ranking Latino ever to serve in the White House, she provided both political and policy advice to the President on a wide range of economic and social issues, as well as several foreign policy and national security matters. Prior to the White House, she was Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor Department. Echaveste is currently an attorney and consultant in Washington DC.
Chris Edley Jr. is a Professor at Harvard Law School and founding co-Director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard. Edley served as Senior Counsel to President Clinton and Senior Advisor for the Race Initiative. Prior to that, as Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget, his portfolio included five cabinet departments and over 40 independent agencies. Edley was national issues director in the 1987-88 Dukakis presidential campaign, and Assistant Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Carter.
Tricia Enright, who most recently served as Press Secretary for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and worked as Deputy Communications Director on Gore/Lieberman 2000, will become the Dean campaign’s Communications Director. She has also previously served as the Senior Advisor and Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton Administration.
Two Deputy Campaign Managers, Bob Rogan and Tom McMahon, have also joined the staff. Rogan most recently served as Vice President of Public Affairs for Central Vermont Public Service. From 1994-1998, he worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Dean, and prior to that, he served in various positions for U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Lawton Chiles. Rogan also previously worked as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Bob Graham.
Tom McMahon worked in the Clinton Administration between 1993-1999. He served as the Deputy Director of Advance in the White House, and as a public affairs specialist at the Department of Defense. A regional field director in Missouri for Clinton/Gore 1992, McMahon was also involved with the Clinton and Gore campaigns of 1996 and 2000.
The campaign’s Finance Director is Stephanie Schriock, the former Director of Campaign Assistance at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. She has also served as the Southern regional finance director at the DSCC, and as the finance director of the South Carolina Democratic Party.
Libertarians for Dean http://dean2004.blogspot.com/2003_05_01_thatother_archive.html#200320107
Johnny, a friend of mine and constant opponent on many issues, makes a very good case from the libertarian perspective for a Dean presidency in a guest post on my blog (his own blog is presently Bloggered down).
We "fringe activists" would do well to read a bit about the issues and arguments that gain Dean support outside "liberal elite" circles.
truthout.org interview http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/052203A.shtml
PITT: For a great many people across the political spectrum, the number one issue of concern is the vast and growing power of corporations within government, and even more so within the media. It can be argued that one of the main reasons why the Bush administration continues to enjoy the approval ratings it does is because the news media has been demonstrably derelict in its duties. Where do you stand on the power of corporations in America, particularly within the media? Do you have any thoughts or ideas on how that might be dealt with?
DEAN: I do. I think, first of all, it is true that the media has a conservative bias, and is being well-funded by conservative people like Rupert Murdoch. There is no question about that. But I also believe that part of the fault belongs to the Democrats, because the Democrats don't stand up and therefore there is no other side to cover. We've got to do that. Now, some of them are doing it during election time, but it's a little late. Here's what we need to do. In politics, sometimes one single event can crystallize what the problem is. For me, when the Cumulus Corporation, which owns a lot of radio stations, kicked the Dixie Chicks off their networks – a couple hundred radio stations – I realized that media corporations have too much power. What they were doing was using a public resource, i.e. the airwaves, and removing the ability to view and represent both sides of an issue.
When you have that kind of power, you have too much power. I believe we need to re-regulate the media, go back to limiting the number of stations that can be controlled in one particular area, so we can be sure that the American people get moderate, conservative and liberal points of view.
PITT: You're talking about reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.
DEAN: Yes, reinstating controls over how many outlets you can own in any particular media market. The media has clearly abused their privilege, and it is hurting our democracy. Deregulation in many areas has simply proved to be bad for America, bad for the American economy, bad for the average working person, and bad for democracy. We need to take a different view. Some deregulation is a good thing. We went too far, and now we need to cut back.
PITT: Given the fact that the Republicans control Congress, if you were to win the election in November, how will you go about getting these kinds of policies through a Republican-controlled Congress?
DEAN: I won't have to. I'll simply appoint different kinds of people to the FCC, and they'll be more pro-consumer and pro-average American than they will be pro-corporation.
Dean also addresses the Patriot Act, the Israeli-Palestine conflict, national security, 9-11, and more. He lays the blame for most of these things squarely on President Bush, though he does have a few critiques of the Democrat elites. Still, the bulk of the topics on the DeanBlog interview remain open so we still have something to look forward to :)
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
DEAN STATEMENT ON CHRISTIE WHITMAN’S DEPARTURE FROM EPA www.deanforamerica.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2003
DEAN STATEMENT ON CHRISTIE WHITMAN'S DEPARTURE FROM EPA; LAST VOICE OF MODERATION GONE FROM ADMINISTRATION
Salt Lake City, UT - Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean today commented on the resignation of Christie Whitman from the Environmental Protection Agency and spoke out against the Bush Administration's disastrous environmental record.
"Administrator Whitman was one of the few voices of moderation in the Bush Administration. Unfortunately, her voice was muted by the Bush-Cheney obsession with rewarding their friends in the oil industry by rolling back decades of bipartisan progress on protecting our environment."
Upon taking office, President Bush swiftly broke his promise to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide - a major contributor to global warming. The Bush Administration has repeatedly worked to weaken clean air, clean water, and other environmental laws; slashed environmental enforcement efforts; and pushed for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other environmentally sensitive areas.
Dean stated that, "The burden is on the President to show the nation that he cares about the environment more than he cares about helping his political friends in the oil and gas industries."
UPDATE: This related interview in Grist magazine is devoted to environmental, energy, and genetics policy. Well-worth a read. Dean defends ethanol as an alternative fuel, which is a reasonable argument (though I personally am still opposed). However, I was surprised to see he endorsed CAFE standards, given that they have caused an increase in highway deaths as cars get lighter (and more unsafe).
winner: Maple-Powered Howard http://www.benjerry.com/our_company/contact_us/forms/suggestion_form.cfm
Idea Type: Flavor
Idea Name: Maple Powered Howard
Description: In honor of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, Maple-Powered Howard would have world-famous Vermont maple syrup as the prime ingredient. This flavor was chosen with 204 votes out of 606 Howard Dean grassroots supporters, voting online at the Dean Blog (dean2004.blogspot.com). The second and third place choices were Cookies and Dean (111) & The Doctor is Mint (72). We also gave "I want my Cointreau back" an honorable mention. We urge Ben and Jerry to join us in supporting Howard Dean's bid for the Presidency in 2004 and serve up a healthy dish of Vermont Pride. .
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Dean hits back hard against DLC http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-dean-critics,0,7164494.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines
"A couple of days ago, I was in Iowa," Dean said. The DLC put out a statement that "all my supporters are elitists and I'm catering to elitist special interest groups. Last time I looked, 15 AFSCME members died at the World Trade Center, I didn't see any of the staff of the DLC at the World Trade Center."
"Who do you think makes the Democratic Party, makes this country work, we're not elitists, we are the people this party ought to be standing up for and that's what I intend to do," Dean told the International Association of Machinists and Aeronautic Workers.
Some may register discomfort with Dean's political mention of 9/11, but it was done tastefully and his point is a valid one. It's one thing for the DLC to scoff at candidates pandering to what they consider 'fringe' interests, but it's another thing altogether for the DLC to suggest that the grassroots of the Democratic Party are no longer valid or important.
Why We Love TAPPED http://www.prospect.org/weblog/
...the DLC is changing the subject. It wasn't attacking Dean for his tone or style on the campaign trail. It was attacking him on substance, on policy. And as such, the attacks were both hypocritical and off-base.
If Bradley was modifying Chafee, and Chafee was working off Butler, and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is now building on Bradley, doesn't that mean that Howard Dean is relying on an idea originally developed by the Heritage Foundation?
And, more importantly, how does that make him, as the Democratic Leadership Council has alleged, part of "the McGovern-Mondale wing" of the Democratic Party?
It's a pretty impressive sign of how desperate the DLC is to derail Dean that it's now accusing him of being too liberal for the party at the same moment that he's smartly co-opting and building on a plan that was developed at the Heritage Foundation, introduced as legislation on numerous occasions by moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats, and that's backed by the current president.
Al From may disagree. But it sounds pretty New Democratish to us.
ABC's The Note, er, notes that back before Howard Dean began stealing the thunder from Al From's preferred candidate (presumably the tepid Joe Lieberman), the Democratic Leadership Council was full of praise for the former Vermont governor. And indeed, the magic of Google makes you realize just how dishonest the DLC's recent hamfisted attack on Dean was.
That's good, All-American fun. Now, the only question is, when does the DLC go after the Prospect for being divisive? It's not like they've ever liked eachother much from what I can tell.
What Chris Matthews and the DLC Misunderstand
In my mind, this is truly flawed. I truly still do not understand Kerry's stance on Iraq. From what I can tell, invasion in October was OK, but invasion in March (when America's image was on the line) wasn't. That's a bad actual national security policy.
Now, as for Dean being unelectable because of perceived weakness on national security, the argument that Matthews, the DLC, Wolfman Blitzer, and others keep making is that people in 2004 will think Dean made the wrong call on Iraq, a fundamental national security issue. They think this will be people's opinion since polls showed people supported the war in Iraq.
But they're missing some fundamental truths behind those polls. First, poll numbers for wars always go up, as it is largely a way of showing support for troops. Second, a stance on the first Iraq war never really became a large 1992 issue. Third, there is no evidence that Americans equated the War on Iraq and national security and good evidence exists to the contrary. Fourth, polls only measure beliefs, not strength of beliefs, or importance of them.
The only two points that really need to be explicated, I think are numbers three and four. Early polls on the war showed a very divided nation on the question of war with Iraq. As the war continued and people learned of the atrocities of Saddam Hussein, support went up, as always does when the government exploits human rights abuses to justify a decision to go to war (as will always be done, since virtually all countries that threaten us have horrible human rights abuses, but rarely are said abuses our justification for war). Remember, this is a war that the President had to tour the country defending, despite the fact that there were only two Senators really speaking out against it - Byrd and Wellstone. So, now, post-war very little evidence exists that Saddam was a security threat. So, most Americans may still believe that the war was a good idea, but they probably do not connect it to national security. This may be difficult for Washington pundits to understand. Ya know, the world isn't always black and white. Psychology matters in politics.
As for point number four, I think many people in Washington might be amazed at how little the War in Iraq will matter to most voters, precisely because they do not associate it with defense. Ezra is correct that national security will matter and you won't catch me saying otherwise. But the war won't. Why? Well, as anyone who has read me for a while knows, I think the war was not necessary, but not necessarily a bad idea. By the end, I was in favor, as we had gotten ourselves into a position where we couldn't back out. But I don't think Dean's stance is ridiculous. I know other who were also pro-war who support Dean. And I know other people who nominally support the war, but say to me they never really understood why we went in. That's the prevailing mood. "We did it. We kicked ass. And we had a good result. But I never really cared."
Now, 25% of the country cared. 10% were liberals who fought it tooth and nail. 15% were conservatives who would have been happy to see Baghdad (and Paris) nuked. But I don't think most Americans will see it as a defining issue.
Now, I could be wrong. I've been wrong before. But so has Chris Matthews. So has the DLC.
Regardless, I think it's clear that this nation will elect, twice, a man who is disliked by Chris Matthews, who amazes other members of the media, and is capable at building center-left coalitions. I think it's clear that this nation will elect a man who has a falling out with the same DLC that used to support him and even advise him.
Because we elected Clinton twice. And we're gonna elect Dean.
transcript: AFSCME debate http://www.demog.berkeley.edu/~gabriel/weblog/AFSCME_debate.htm
Gabriel has posted the full transcript of the AFSCME debate.
Dean TV http://www.deantv.org/tv.htm
DeanTV.org is an independent site for independent thinking people. It's a resource for those who are sitting on the fence waiting for a leader to emerge from a list of candidates; a leader who is not afraid to take the road less travelled and show up to the debate Bush is having with himself.
Vermont has a special place in history when it comes to independent thinkers, including Democrats, Republicans and Independents. As DeanTV.org offers evidence and research about Vermont's independent tradition, the site asks the community to consider whether or not Dr. Dean is leading in the same spirit as those before him.
Please be patient as the site is still in its early stages and may be harder for some to access than others as we go through a trial and error process. But for independent thinking people wondering who Dr. Dean is and whether or not he's for real: tune in to DeanTV.org.
Heath Eiden, Publisher
This is a great site to point potential Dean supporters towards to seal the deal. Check it out!
Dean's Sunday discussion knocks Kerry's Health Plan back to boot camp
In Sunday’s forum, Gov. Dean had a frank discussion with a questioner about making the hard decisions on how we will have to decide how to spend limited health care dollars. In it, he discussed how important family/doctor discussions about plans people should make about quality of life at the end of their lives are and the need for encouraging those discussions as a part of the national discussion on health care. Most people run away from listening to these “morbid” discussions. I started paying attention to the issue of death with dignity after having briefly been knocked into a coma after an act of random violence that ended up putting me on Social Security disability for the past decade. The idea of being hooked up to a rack of machines and tubes to lengthen lives isn’t just distasteful for most Americans. It’s horrifying. It’s that image that started the “death with dignity” movement in the first place.
So we have two issues here. Health care money is limited and a huge chunk of it is spent at the end of a patient’s life using extraordinary means to only marginally extend a patient’s life when that life has no possibility of being saved and the quality of life during that period is nightmarish and repulsive to the vast majority of Americans in study after study. Howard Dean is the first public figure I ever heard link these two concepts into the possibility of some public policy that makes real sense, costs almost nothing in it’s implementation, and saves a whole ton of money. Why shouldn’t the President use the bully pulpit of the White House to encourage Americans to make living wills? Here we have perfect public policy in action. Americans can make their own choices on quality of life issues at the ends of their life and choose to leave this Earth in the manner of their choosing, and because Americans have been encouraged to make these choices, health care costs in this country will drop dramatically.
Wow. That makes almost too much sense for the American political system to handle.
By the way, one last point on the Kerry proposal. Kerry goes through the entire 10-page policy paper pdf file without managing to mention disabled Americans even once. Excuse me?
Adam F. Smith
Anybody who thinks national defense is not going to be a key issue in 2004 is fooling only themselves. It will not be the sole issue, the economy, tax cuts, health care, possibly civil unions, etc will also be on the table. But let us not pretend we can get through this election by ignoring the very real fear of terrorism which defines the post 9/11 era. We cannot and we should not.
The conventional wisdom says that we must appear strong on national defense. I think that is semantically incorrect. We must appear highly competent on national defense. We do not have to be war mongers, but we must be able to deflect the war monger's attacks. The best way to look at it is we do not want to be the bully, but if we're not going to be the bully than we damn well have to be the karate master.
It is to our benefit to keep national defense in mind and ensure it stays there. To win this election Howard Dean will have to put forth a very clear, very comprehensive, and very convincing plan as to how to strengthen our national security in ways Bush hasn't. Bush is very open to critiques on that issue; our ports remain unfortified, our "homeland security" is hopelessly ineffective, the money for homeland security is being diverted or misspent, and so forth. In addition, I think that the opportunity exists for an anti-terrorism doctrine to be articulated that will make Bush sound hopelessly simplistic. Don't let poll numbers fool you, people do not quite comprehend why we're attacking Iraq and not North Korea, people don't understand why Saudi Arabia remains unmolested as we threaten Iran and Syria. They don't comprehend because you can't comprehend self-contradictory actions. Now, what is understood is that Bush operates only on the level of force, he is willing to bring American force to bear to protect our people. That is important and worthwhile, our military is there for a reason. However, the critique must be made that in order to actualize the war against terrorism in any significant way, we are going to have to attack the poverty and hopelessness that breeds terrorists, we're going to have to improve our image around the world so we're not such a target for hatred, we're going to have to take a complex and multi-faceted approach because this war is unlike any there has ever been. Force will be part of it but not all of it. We are weaker because we have not been diplomatic, we are not as safe because we attacked Iraq before we'd truly finished with Al-Quaeda. Force isn't always wrong, but it is wrong to see it as the sole tool in our toolbox, such an attitude is self-defeating and will only result in more attacks.
We can be strong on national defense and foreign policy and we can do it in a way that is congruent with our morals and ideals. However, that is something we must articulate in order to silence the critics and allay the fears in the general election. Brute strength is the poor man's substitute for true competence, Bush is the former and we must be the latter. The DLC was wrong in their vituperative and divisive attacks, but they were not wrong in bringing forth that critique. It must be addressed and it must be respected, and it will be our own downfall if we refuse to do so.
Monday, May 19, 2003
Excerpts From Iowa
I haven't seen any transcript yet, but here are two good excerpts (via me, actually; here and here) from the first part of the his remarks:
A lot of people say, "Well how's this guy from Vermont gonna win? He wants to get rid of the president's tax cuts! How's he gonna win in the South?" Here's what you do: we're not gonna say, "Oh, let's get rid of the president's tax cut -- all the money went to the wealthy." I don't think class warfare works.And a short while later:
What we're gonna say is: You have a choice, Americans. You can have the president's tax cut or you can have health care that can never be taken away. You can have the president's tax cut or you can fully fund special education so class size can go down and your property taxes can go down. You can have the president's tax cut or you can have the 20% of the federal highway grants that the president cut to every state this year because he couldn't manage the money.
Now, if you put it that way, most people are gonna say, "Well, I want to have the roads, the education, and the health care," -- because they didn't get the president's tax cut.
When I go to the South -- you know how I plan to win in the South? It's a hard place for Democrats to win. I'm going to say to our African-American base, "We support you, we need you, and we're going to talk to your issues."Mathew (not Matthew) Gross over at that other Dean blog has two wire stories with some other bits that emerged in Reuters and AP reports on the event. Be sure and watch the whole event -- it's vintage Dean.
But then I'm going to say to Souther whites, "You've been voting Republican for 30 years. What do you have to show for it? There are 103,000 uninsured kids in South Carolina; most of those kids are white. Has your job gone to Indonesia? Have you had a raise in the last five years? Are you satisfied with the quality of your public schools? Because if you don't like the answer to that question, you ought to think about voting Democratic again. Because when white people and black people vote together in this country, this country moves forward."
Ari "Can't spell 'liar' without 'A-R-I'" Fleischer resigns http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=3&u=/ap/20030519/ap_on_go_pr_wh/fleischer_resigns_18
By RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer
WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Ari Fleischer (news - web sites), the public face of the Bush administration through two wars and a terrorist attack, said Monday he will resign in July to enter the private sector.
"I love this job," Fleischer told reporters at his informal Monday morning briefing. "I believe deeply about President Bush (news - web sites) as a man and I believe deeply in his policies, but it's my time to go."
He would not speculate on who would take his place, but presidential aides said deputy press secretary Scott McClellan was the likely successor, although there are other possibilities.
Fleischer said he wanted to leave the hard-driving job before Bush's re-election campaign geared up.
"I want to do something more relaxing — like dismantle live nuclear weapons," he quipped...."
DEAN URGES BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO ENSURE RATIFICATION OF TOBACCO TREATY www.deanforamerica.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 19, 2003
DEAN URGES BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO ENSURE RATIFICATION OF TOBACCO TREATY
BURLINGTON, VT- Governor Howard Dean applauded the Bush Administration's reversal resulting in the decision to vote in favor of the current version of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) at the World Health Assembly meeting and urged the Administration to shepherd the treaty through Congress to ensure its speedy ratification.
"We have taken great strides to protect the children of this country from the predatory marketing practices of Big Tobacco. Now that the tobacco industry has apparently shifted its sights overseas to developing economies in Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere, it is clear that a strong international approach is warranted. The FCTC reflects the most concrete action the world has ever seen to reduce tobacco consumption, especially among children."
"I just hope that this is not another instance where the Bush Administration's actions fail to match its rhetoric. Once the treaty is approved by the World Health Organization delegates, I urge President Bush and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson to guide the agreement through Congress to ensure its speedy ratification. We cannot permit this treaty to languish."
Governor Dean was referring to instances where the Bush Administration’s actions have failed to match its rhetoric, such as its failure to adequately fund the "No Child Left Behind Act," its failure to allocate sufficient Homeland Security funds to first responders, and its failure to date to demonstrate the necessary commitment to stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan.
DEAN APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT DECISION www.deanforamerica.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 19, 2003
DEAN APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT DECISION
ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG COST CONTAINMENT
BURLINGTON, VT - Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean today applauded the Supreme Court's decision allowing Maine to begin implementing a program to force manufacturers to lower prices on prescription drugs.
"This is a good day for Americans who are struggling to pay for their needed prescriptions. Having worked very hard in support of Maine's effort, I am very pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling," Dean said. During Dean's tenure as Governor, his office worked closely with the Massachusetts Attorney General's office in encouraging other states to sign an Amicus brief supporting Maine.
Dean has long been a leader in controlling pharmaceutical costs. At a time when Congress has failed to deliver any meaningful cost containment legislation, it has fallen to Governors to look for solutions to the problem of skyrocketing pharmaceutical costs. Vermont, under Dean's leadership, received the first federal waiver for a program designed to secure manufacturer rebates to fund a discounted drug program for residents who do not normally qualify for Medicaid. Subsequently, Vermont and Maine worked closely together to develop programs to reduce pharmaceutical costs that could withstand court challenges.
Dean's efforts have included other strategies to reduce drug costs, including the development of a Preferred Drug List (PDL) and Supplemental Rebates. The results have been remarkable: by including a less expensive brand instead of highly-advertised heartburn medicines, Vermont's Medicaid expenditure on that category of drugs has been slashed by 43%.
Dean has also pushed through a number of other cost-containment strategies. For instance, Vermont negotiated an agreement with a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) to have a transparent contract; he signed a first-in-the-nation bill requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to disclose gifts to physicians and other health care providers; and he has strongly advocated for allowing the re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada for personal use. In addition, as founder of Business for Affordable Medicine, a coalition of governors, business and organized labor, Dean has been a leader in advocating the closing of loopholes used by brand name drug manufacturers to prevent or delay lower-priced generic drugs from reaching the market place when patents expired.
"As a doctor, I witnessed first-hand the difficult choice patients often made between food and prescription drugs. As Governor, I knew could not afford to wait for Congress to act on the issue, so I implemented a variety of meaningful cost containment strategies. As President, I will build upon that work as an integral part of my health care agenda for the nation."
A few notes from the trenches http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HowardDeanCoffeehouse/
For those of you who haven’t checked out your local Dean group, please come by and give us a yell. There are local mailing list groups now up for every state and major city in the country as well as many special interest groups such as students, seniors, disabled individuals and more. Think of them as a next stop for people after going to their local meet-ups. People are doing a ton of local grassroots work all across the country and we’d love to have you join us. A good first stop for checking in is the Howard Dean Coffeehouse. It’s a general hangout for Dean supporters with lots of link to your local Dean supporters. There is also a public networking group attached to the coffeehouse group that’s perfect for discussions about organizing techniques with other Dean grassroots activists.
I have a request for those of you who are experienced campaign organizers. Gov. Dean’s campaign has brought an incredible amount new people to the political process already. I would like to see these people get a chance to learn some good organizing skills before the things really get busy. I wrote an article on the basics of running tables at local events that ended up being named as inspiration for it’s own blog. The grassroots people could use more of these type of articles on subjects like manning and running phone banks, working with local party and elected officials, fundraising, and organizing local canvassing. We want more than simple raw manpower in this campaign. We want skilled organizers on the street for Gov. Dean, and you pros can make that happen. I request you guys start sitting down and writing some lengthy tutorials on the basic skills that volunteers need to be effective organizers for the Campaigning 101 series I started. You can post them at the coffeehouse site and I will make sure they get to all the volunteers in their local groups. Getting all the grassroots volunteers up to speed on their campaigning skills could be the most important thing we do in the next few months.
Adam F. Smith
Election 2008 feed
Obama 2008 - I want my country back
Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.