Showing posts from December, 2003

Dean can't win

At least, not with some people... Tom Tomorrow explains.


The Heathers post continues to draw attention from the blogsphere. Regular readers know that the bloggers at Dean Nation are not a monolithic bloc. That is by design. Dana has been a strong and clear voice for what I like to call the conscience of the grassroots - an unflinchingly liberal voice who sees great hope for the first time in 3 years. I respect his opinion even when I disagree and I'd rather shut this blog down than censor the viewpoints of my fellow bloggers here. Being a cheerleader is necessary. We need more of them. It's not through aloof debate that this election will be won - it's through passion and commitment. What will undermine that effort is the tendency to treat the raw enthusiasm that drives many Dean supporters as some kind of crude and unsophisticated impulse, as if admitting and glorifying your bias somehow leaves you tainted. This is a form of condescension that is on display in the response to Dana's post that I find chilling. A perfect

What Makes This Campaign Different

I'm not right all the time. (I'm not left all the time, either.) There are a lot of disagreements on this blog. And a lot on the O-blog as well. Differences of tone, of opinion, of attitude, and more. But I want to point out, before the actual Election Year gets going, how important these differences are, and how they make this campaign different from anything that has come before. For generations we've had campaigns run by insiders. Only a few hands got near the wheel. The rest of us were extras. We went from the smoke-filled rooms of the early century, through the "Making of a President" strategems of the mid-century, to the "War Rooms" of the late century. And always it was the same. Here is the message. Stay on it. We're not that way, here, on the O-blog, or in the streets and living rooms where minds are changed. Anyone can contribute ideas. They all can make a difference. Let me give one concrete example. When Mathew Gross

electoral calculus

Frankly, I'm leery of the electoral-predictions game. On one hand, Steven Den Beste argues that Bush's win is inevitable because "white males are Jacksonian" and "prefer cowboys to metrosexuals." On the other, E.J. Dionne rebuts by pointing out how Dean has energized the base ( echoed by TNR in more detail). And Kos illustrates the point that Dean can win without the South with some numbers: Sure, many Red States (mainly in the South) are getting redder, but many Blue States are as well. With Nader mostly out of the picture, we're talking a lot bluer. That means the battle for the presidency will not be fought in Alabama or California, Georgia or New Jersey, or Kentucky or New York. It will be fought in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and a couple more states. We may very well see $500 million or more spent by both sides on just a dozen states. Let's look at it another way: I co

open thread: Friends of Dean

I think Dana has taken more than enough heat in the comment threads for his post below - I'd like to try and swing the topic 180 degrees. Who in the media has been the most fair (note: not obseqious) to Dean? Virtually the entire staff at The American Prospect - including Dean Nation blogger alumnus Matthew Yglesias - are contenders, but if I had to pick two names specifically it would be Garance Franke-Ruta or Nick Confessore. And of course we have Eric Alterman of So-Called Liberal Media fame. Who else?


The term “Heathers” has come into vogue describing “liberal” columnists such as Matthew Yglesias and Joshua Micah Marshall. Its origin is as the title of a 1988 movie starring Winona Ryder as a high schooler desperate to join a sorority where all the girls are named Heather. It’s a touchstone among “Generation X,” (the baby bust, born between 1964 and the Reagan era.) I first saw the term used to describe the media in a story by David Podvin . He credited the term to Peter Hart of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting , who said “reporters tend to be clique-ish sorority-like ‘Heathers’ who are put off by the personalities of (all) liberal candidates.” Podvin’s view is darker. He sees them as the GOP’s Stepford Wives (the remake comes out in June (goody)) In fact, the serial sliming of Democrats has absolutely nothing to do with Clinton or Gore or Dean or Kerry – it is all about the profit motive. The anti-Democratic bias in the media is directly proportional to the level o

The Army Times is running photos of the fallen

In introducing the pictures, under the headline "Faces of the Fallen," the Army Times said: "More than 500 service members died in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in 2003, a group that represents the full, rich face of American diversity. [...] The pictures are small and run in neat columns. The names, ranks and date and place of death are in small type underneath the small pictures. The understatement is devastating. The paper's senior managing editor, Robert Hodierne, was saying yesterday, "When I looked at the pages, I felt the same as I did when I walked along the Wall." [...] And the dead are brought back here almost furtively. There are no ceremonies or pictures of caskets at Dover, Del., air base, where the dead are brought. "You don't want to upset the families," George Bush said. That the people might be slightly disturbed already by the death doesn't seem to register. The wounded are flown into Washington

A letter to Joshua Marshall

Josh Marshall takes issue with Dean's factual statement that we supporters are not robots whose loytalties will be transferable upon command: The price of admission to the Democratic primary race is a pledge of committed support to whomever wins the nomination, period. (The sense of entitlement to other Democrats' support comes after you win the nomination, not before.) If Dean can't sign on that dotted-line, he has no business asking for the party's nomination. In response, I emailed Josh Marshall the following: Josh, I'm sure you recall that during the 2000 election, Gore was consistently held to a higher standard than Bush by the media and the punditocracy. I think you're somewhat guilty of the same thing here - note that Dean is the ONLY candidate who has said he would explicitly endorse the Democratic nominee, whoever that may be. Contrast that explicit statement with the fact that none of the other candidates have agreed that they

Daily Review

Dean, Gore team up for call, house parties Dean Raises $14 Million and Sets Record, Aides Say Dean visit puts focus on jobs Dean Wants $100B for New Jobs in Cities Dean Labels Bush 'Reckless' It's party time for Howard Dean

WE are getting Gored

When Gore got Gored by the media, he lost. When Dean gets Gored by the media, WE lose. It's OUR campaign! As has been said in the comment threads: "Don't worry about what they're going to do to you. Make them worry about what you're going to do to them." And what are we gonna do? FEED THE BAT . We are at 92% of our goal of $35,000 and every penny is gonna go to fighting back. We're not gonna take it. NO! We ain't gonna take it! We're not gonna take it - anymore. UPDATE: Steve Gilliard issues a call to arms .

The Lessons of History

This post by Matthew Yglesias reminds me of something I hate about political commentary: Using the past to predict the future. In this case, we read that unemployment trends for the first six months of an election year are a sure-fire indicator of which party will win the White House. The problem is that every election is different. I understand that political scientists need models to work from in describing voting behavior, but especially as applied through the media, the predictive value of these models seems limited at best. Remember 1998? All the talk was about how the President's party always loses Congressional seats in an off-year election. Except it didn't happen then, and it didn't happen again in 2002. So much for that rule of thumb. Presidential elections within my memory follow a similar pattern. In 1988, we heard how sitting Vice Presidents can't win. After all, it hadn't happened since Martin van Buren. Enter Bush '41, and in 2000 A

tarring Dean with Bush and Cheney's brush

I have to confess some delight at the way this story uses the inherent wrongness of Cheney's secret energy task group meetings as the foundation stone. The basic story is that Dean, as VT Gov, also had a closed-door energy task force meeting, and now the media is using this to try and paint Dean as a hypocrite for demanding that Cheney release records of his own. The two are not the same however - and the story gives Dean a chance to play up the problem with Cheney's approach: In 1999, Dean offered the same argument the Bush administration uses today for keeping deliberations of a policy task force secret. "The governor needs to receive advice from time to time in closed session. As every person in government knows, sometimes you get more open discussion when it's not public," Dean was quoted as saying. [...] In an interview with The Associated Press, Dean defended his recent criticism of Cheney's task force and his demand that the administration re

Gephardt campaign is still a threat in Iowa

This Washington Post article bends over backwards to recycle the "doubts" about Dean even as it acknowledges his domination of the race for the nomination. But buried in the tripe is an important nugget about Gephardt's Iowa strategy: In Iowa, the race is more competitive, with Dean battling Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.) for first place. Dean holds a narrow lead, according to private polling done for several campaigns. Bill Carrick, one of Gephardt's advisers, said all the other candidates should be rooting for Gephardt to stop Dean in Iowa. "Every one of them needs us to win," he said. "We have to win Iowa. For better or worse this is Dean-Gephardt right now for the other candidates." What Carrick is referring to - in code - is the fact that the Iowa caucuses are not just a simple vote, but rather a series of them - and delegates are free to change their vote. As Kos explains : The Iowa Caucuses are a peculiar beast. People cast an i

Dean vs Nixon

This editorial in the LA Times is a rare breed of political analysis - the kind that uses history to lend perspective, rather than whitewash fodder. It discusses the legacy of Nixon and the beginning of the Republican Southern Strategy of using coded racism as an appeal to white men. In discussing the campaign ahead, Howard Dean has said on several occasions now that the Republicans will "do what they've been doing since 1968." But what exactly is that? As far as I can tell, what they've been doing is winning presidential elections. They have won six of the last nine if you count the last one that they did not exactly win. Of course, that's not exactly what Dean meant. He meant that for him to win in 2004 he has to defeat a system established in 1968 by Richard M. Nixon. Never one to mince words, Dean has described that system as one of "coded racism." And its key code phrase was "states' rights," an old Southern favorite going back

what about the poor and working class?

A few weeks ago, Matthew Yglesias had a devastatingly accurate critical observation about the economic platforms of all the presidential candidates, including Dean: All campaigns, whether funded on the Bush model or the Dean model or something in between, must place more value on supporters who give money and votes than to supporters who have merely votes to offer. Hence, the interests of people with money to spare -- not "the rich" necessarily, but the upper middle class, at least -- will be represented out of proportion to their numbers. One will note that none of the Democrats has what one would call an ambitious anti-poverty agenda at the heart of his domestic policy proposals. This is not a coincidence. and looking at Dean's economic proposals, one is indeed struck by the lack of policy devoted to issues of addressing outright poverty - the emphasis is entirely upon the middle class. This is not a new critique. Jerome Armstrong posted on Dean Nation back i

death for Osama, gag for Dean

Well, that didn't take long - Dean is already being forced into defense mode on the Osama issue. Typical example of the way the issue is being framed: the Newsmax story headlined " Dean defends bin Landen ". Dean's response to this was quick - a telephone interview with the AP: In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, Dean also said he wants Osama bin Laden to get the death penalty, seeking to minimize fallout from a New Hampshire newspaper story Friday in which he was quoted as saying the terror leader's guilt should not be prejudged. "As a president, I would have to defend the process of the rule of law. But as an American, I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves," Dean told the AP in a phone interview. The former Vermont governor, who solidly leads the field of Democratic presidential candidates in both polls and money, said he was simply trying to state in The Concord Monitor interview that the process o

against great evil, a fair trial's value is highest

Professor Juan Cole, an expert on the mideast and Iraq, was recently interviewed about the issue of where to try Saddam, and had this to say about the value of a fair trial: Q: Is it possible for him to get a fair trial? A: That's another issue. One of the persons who is calling for a war crimes tribunal in Iraq is Shiite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, current president of the interim Governing Council. Sixty-three members of his family were killed by Saddam Hussein. I'm willing to concede that the man is an upright man, but I don't know if saints exist to that extent in the world where he has no sense of vindictiveness about this. That's a problem that a lot of the people involved in this have talked about, and for those reasons I really think it is important that any trial occurs in The Hague. Q: Are there other reasons why any trial should be conducted by the existing format of international war crimes tribunals? A: There has never been such a tribunal in I

optimistic about the pessimistic ploy

This NYT piece details the emerging Bush reelection strategy which is centered on Dean as the nominee. I agree with Kos that trying to de-personalize the race makes little sense: WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 — President Bush's campaign has settled on a plan to run against Howard Dean that would portray him as reckless, angry and pessimistic, while framing the 2004 election as a referendum on the direction of the nation more than on the president himself, Mr. Bush's aides say. Some advisers to Mr. Bush, increasingly convinced that Dr. Dean will become their opponent next fall, are pushing to begin a drive to undercut him even before a Democratic nominee becomes clear. But others said the more likely plan would be to hold back until after the Democratic contest had effectively ended, probably no later than March. well, okay, we Dean supporters certainly would welcome an issues-driven campaign! But what is notable is the attempt to link Dean to pessimism - in fact the word is re

Dean on tort reform

interesting but unverified letter to the NYT editor from Howard Dean in 1988, on the topic of tort reform: To the Editor: Randall Bezanson and Gilbert Cranberg detailed a situation that I hope will get far worse. As a physician, I have been frustrated for years by the reluctance of state legislatures and the United States Congress to deal with liability problems of all kinds. I have long maintained that until the legal profession and the news media are also afflicted with the increasingly severe consequences of a tort system that benefits few people outside the legal profession, there will be no return to a fair and reasonable system of justice. The trends toward lawyers suing one another for malpractice and toward outrageous-size punitive damages in libel cases give me hope that the crisis in our tort system may finally come to the attention of those who can make this a public issue and improve the situation for all of us who require liability insurance to do business.

A Winter's Tale, by Tony Farber

Regular Dean Nation denizen Tony Farber's epic three-part screed of a ghostly visit to the newest graveyard of the Internet simply must be shared with all.

Peace on Earth

Merry Christmas, Dean Nation. From Dean for America... FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 25, 2003 On Peace on Earth BURLINGTON--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., today offered the following message: "Today, for just a single day out of the year, much of the world recognizes a day of peace. It is a day when we set aside our differences and come together to celebrate an ideal of a world free from hate, free from want and free from war. "Over the 3,500 years of recorded human history, we have seen thirteen years of war for every year of peace. Today, as we gather with families and friends, we must remember the hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers separated from their families, serving overseas. We must remember the people of Africa who have seen too much war, destruction and want this year, and we must remember all of the other humanitarian crises that escape our notice on other days of the year. "On this day more than most, w

Washington at War: against Dean

Eric Alterman has a landmark essay in The Nation that addresses the Anybody But Dean mentality pervading the media establishment. Alterman starts out with a review of the recent political hit-jobs that various pundits have trotted out just in the past week, noting that it's hard-line neocons and liberal institutions alike that have jumped on the anti-Dean bandwagon, including The New Republic, The New York Times, even the new Center for American Progress. Intriguingly, much of the liberal criticism is schizophrenic. For example: My colleague at the Center for American Progress, Matthew Miller, attended the speech and found it lacking, not in substance, which he thought properly Clintonian, but in presentation. "When Dean barked it out, it felt smaller and shabbier, as if he were lecturing us on simple facts we ought to have known." Miller worries at length about what it means that Dean accidentally thanked US soldiers for their "services" rather than &quo

Bush's uranium "goof"

I'm beginning to suspect that far from being a political genius, Karl Rove is actually a complete fraud. How else to explain this? In an effort to draw support for waging war with Iraq, Bush told the nation in his January speech: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The source said the report concludes there was no intention to deceive; instead it was "a goof" as the administration searched for examples to share with the public of why the United States believed Iraq was attempting to build a nuclear program. [...] "They truly believed when it landed on their desk it was right, but they should have checked the information, asked more questions," the source said of senior White House officials. "They truly believed what landed on their desk; they trusted what came out of the CIA." To summarize, the White House line is now "we didn't mean to

Holiday open thread

Don't forget to feed the bat! Have a great holiday everyone ...

We're ready for our closeup, Mr. DeMille

As the year winds to a close, Liberal Oasis takes stock of how far liberals have come this year -- and the implications for next year. And LO's feeling generous -- even quotes (favorably) (gasp!) Dick Morris. The gist of LO's argument: Liberals have exerted significant and growing influence within the party since the debacle of Election 2002. The strength of the Dean campaign is but the most obvious evidence of this shift. So a hearty congrats to us all but a word of caution: the ball's in our court now. We need to be ready for our closeup, as it were. Frankly, all of us who are part of this amazing grassroots campaign need to take this responsibility very seriously...and maybe take some time over the holidays to not only rest but get ready for what promises to be a very challenging year. Here's an excerpt but be sure to read the whole thing (there's some excellent stuff about Dean in this post, too: LiberalOasis believes. But you can’t expect those w

Daily Review

Howard Dean rejects Washington Post charge In the Van With Howard Dean Dumping On Dean Hey, Dems! Put lid on the fratricide Editorial: Dean's truth/Saddam didn't threaten U.S Editorial: Lautenschlager and Dean

using Charlie to smear Howard

Political apologists for Bush seem to turn a blind eye to their candidate's shady record of military service - and positively exult when Bush wraps himself in a flight suit to try and borrow our servicemen's honor for his political advantage. It makes their sudden righteous outrage about Howard Dean's brother all the more transparent. That doesn't mean they won't try and repeat these attacks. Here's the latest iteration: It goes like this: in August the Quad City Times submitted a list of 20 questions to all the Democrat presidential candidates, one of which asked them to complete the following sentence: "My closest living relative in the armed services is...?" Dean responded by saying "my brother is a POW/MIA in Laos, but is almost certainly dead." This is technically true (the DoD did end up classifying Charlie Dean as MIA) but grossly misleading and deceptive. For those who don't know, Charlie Dean was a civilian and an antiwa

Nader won't run as a Green

Via Kos comes the welcome news that Ralph Nader won't be running for the Green Party nomination. He might run as an independent, but without a national infrastructure I don't think he could get on the ballot in most states. What pleases me most is the impression that the Green Party may have learned some valuable lessons after the 2000 election: The Green Party is debating whether to take a nominee on a full state-by-state campaign or to adopt a "safe state" strategy. Under that method, the party would mostly avoid states up for grabs, in order not to jeopardize the Democratic candidate's chances against President Bush. Sounds good to me. If they adopt the "safe state" strategy, both Greens and Democrats will benefit. I am very hopeful that both parties will be able to work towards the most important goal: defeating Bush and replacing him with a Democrat.

Dean for America Press Office: No Deal Was Ever Offered To Clark

Statement from Dean for America Communications Director Tricia Enright: "While it's flattering that the Clark campaign has spent the past two days doing nothing but trying to prove that Governor Dean offered General Clark a Vice-Presidential slot, saying something 100 times doesn't make it true and this isn't." What's going on here with this Clark strategy? Too me, it smacks of a reality check for them resulting in a little re-positioning. What do YOU think? Crossposted at DeanTV. Happy Holidays and Safe Travels to All! --Heath UPDATE (Aziz) : Just wanted to point out Trippi's perspective, via the CNN story on this issue: Trippi, who said Dean and Clark had "a great relationship," said he thought the issue had been discussed in a separate meeting. "In the meeting I was in, the governor told him that if he wanted to be president of the United States, the general should run for president of the United States," he said.

Holy Hypocrite, Joe-Man!

With no comment -- except to say that fools can be bright and pious -- Dean National Hoffman relates this at home, and at Points West: Joe Lieberman's sure been coming to Bill Clinton's defense lately when he feels that Howard Dean is slighting Clinton. Nothing like using Clinton to boost your own political standing among Democrats. But as American Stranger asked me this morning: Wasn't Lieberman one of the most critical Dems back in the impeachment days? Absolutely. In his speech during the impeachment proceedings, he was quite the good soldier in voting against it. But he still took the opportunity to spank Clinton several times (presented in small type since there's so stinkin' much of it): As I have stated previously on this Senate floor, I have been deeply disappointed and angered by this President's conduct--that which is covered in the Articles, and the more personal misbehavior that is not--and like all of us here, I have struggled uncomfo

no safer

a new poll reveals that the general public agrees with Dean that America is no safer after Saddam's capture: Dean has been a vociferous critic of the Iraq war. Most voters believe, as Dean does, that the U.S. is no safer from terror in the wake of the arrest of Saddam Hussein. And while Dean’s rise may have been helped along by former Vice-President Al Gore’s recent endorsement, most primary voters say Gore’s nod makes no difference to them. Dean has the backing of 23 percent of likely primary voters, the same as he did in the days just prior to Saddam's capture, and up from 14 percent in November. His nearest rivals today are Wesley Clark and Joe Lieberman, both at 10 percent. [...] AFTER SADDAM'S CAPTURE, THE TERROR THREAT IS…? Increased: Democratic primary voters 22% All voters 17% Still the same: Democratic primary voters 63% All voters] 61% Decreased: Democratic primary voters 13% All voters 18% Looks like the Department of Homeland Securi

The AP Gets Half the Story

Well, the (so-called) liberal media picked up the "Bush Tax" story by trying to point out that Dean was responsible as Governor for property tax hikes . Hi-larious. One man deals with the impact of a national recession on his local budget by choosing to limit spending growth rather than raising taxes in a state that already had fairly high tax burdens. Another man walks into office and proposes tax cut after tax cut after tax cut, with very little stimulus in any of the packages, all of which negatively impact state tax collection and do little to help states deal with a recession. These two situations are "similar"? Hmmmm. Now the distinction in this situation goes back to something that has confused some folks in other situations. Dean points out in the AP article that when faced with a recession, and making the tough choice that fiscal responsibility was in order, Dean slowed the rate of growth of Vermont government. Local governments chose to

Dean For America Legend Mathew Gross Is Nostalgic About Dean Nation!

One of the things you have to keep in mind about video taping is that you constantly kick yourself for not rolling when certain things are said. That's a trade-off to get people to feel comfortable with you, however. I wish Aziz and Anna at Dean Nation could have heard the praise for them from Mathew Gross, Dean For America Internet Legend , and the little crowd that gathered around us when the camera was off. Oh well, I'm sure they know they are loved. Here's a little appreciation for all of Dean Nation from Mathew (via ) for all that you are doing. Thanks Mathew! QuickTime 56K Download file 100K Download file Windows 56K Download file 100K Download file DeanTV archives--University of New Hampshire at Durham (12-9-03)


By a clear majority, the Backbone Award goes to the troops for the incredible job they are doing in Iraq under never-before-tested circumstances. Just this week, 200 of Vermont's bravest were shipped out to join the fight for Democracy. We at Dean Nation will say a prayer and wish during these holidays for their safe return. (Tom Kean, R-NJ gets a special tiki gift in his stocking for having the guts to speak the truth in the hope that 911 will remain a catastrophic lapse in intelligence sharing and cooperation). Hands down, you voted for a special Jellyfish in a Jellyroll award for "Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values." We asked you if this was a time to directly hold other candidates accountable for such attacks by opening up the voting to the competition. As a testament to why we will win this election--no one at Dean nation pounced at the chance to take our Democratic "leaders" down for winking at blatant, despicable

Let's Do it this Weekend

I was just looking at the Dean Nation fundraising goal and realized how close we are. Let's make our own goal for the weekend! Go ahead and donate today! Goal: $35,000.00 Achieved: $32,327.47 We're 92% of the way there. Trippi didn't give us a bat this weekend, but let's just do it ourselves. Let's do it to show the pundits and the critics, that not only will we meet the challenges the campaign gives us, but we'll make and meet our own goals as well. Because this is our campaign, and we have the power to take our country back!

The Bush Tax

I believe one of our fine fellow bloggers, Nathan Newman , says it best when he called this new DFA website -- The Bush Tax -- "brilliant." 'Nuf said. Now it's our job to make this The Mother of All Memes. :-)

Michael Reagan is bad at math

Isn't it amazing how all these conservative ideolouges all claim to know the "real story" ? Case in point, Michael Reagan, son of the former President and cloned angry conservative radio talk show host #34,725, who offers up his theory about Dean's VP pick: Despite talk about Howard Dean asking Hillary Clinton to be his running mate in November, it’s not going to happen, says top talk radio host and nationally syndicated columnist Michael Reagan. "As far as Dean’s probable pick for his running mate, I’m willing to bet that he’ll choose Tennessee congressman Harold Ford," Reagan told NewsMax. "Right now Dean is desperate to win the black vote in the South, and Ford is one of the most attractive and articulate people in politics today." Let's just say that the headline for this link on FARK is "Conservative thinks that Howard Dean wants a running mate who can't legally be vice president until May 2005." 'Nuff said.

Dean = Dole?

Last night on FAUX news, Greta Van Susteren spoke with Laura Ingraham, and she tossed in a whole new comparison that I had yet to hear: Dean is like Dole . No transcript -- unlike CNN, FAUX picks and chooses -- but to paraphrase: " Like Dole in 1996, Democrats really like the guy but he's not going to beat the incumbent . And like Dole, it looks like they are going to nominate him anyway." What a great illustration as to why we shouldn't take campaign advice from the opposition. Ingraham obviously has zero clue what is happening right now in the Democratic Party. The battle, in my view, is to not make the Republican mistake of 1996 -- namely, nominatiing some old party hack-saw like Gephardt, Lieberman, or Kerry. Dean is nothing like Dole. Dole received a consolation prize for years of service, something the Democrats are poised to avoid by nominating Dean, or perhaps even Clark, not vice-versa -- thus their appeal. Dems don't just wanna fight Bush, as the

Will Nader run if Dean runs? PROBABLY.

thus spake the snake in the garden: "Dean's record as governor is nothing to shout about," Mr. Nader says, noting that his preference would be Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich. But Mr. Nader waxes on about how preferable Mr. Dean is to President Bush. In 2000 the consumer advocate suggested there was little difference between candidates Al Gore and Mr. Bush. "Unlike most of the other candidates," Mr. Nader says, the Vermont governor "is not compromised by votes for the Patriot Act or for the Iraqi war resolution." Let's take note of several things. First, Nader will choose to run irrespective of how much you or I hate him. This means he does hold a real influence over the presidential race, by virtue of (not just in spite of) his 2000 spoiler role. The fear of a Nader run is a tangible one that should give all Anybody-But-Bush voters serious pause. Nader has political capital and he will use it - he would be a fool not to use the Fear Of Nad

Kermit the Frog

For those who haven't heard, we've gotten Kermit the Frog on our side. On that note, here is an open thread, as requested below.

Hope blooms as a cactus flower, not a magnolia blossom

There's been much discussion here at Dean Nation and elsewhere in the Dean community about the Confederate Flag flap and the larger issue of the Electoral map for 2004 and the red/blue state breakdown. The conventional wisdom, repeated ad nauseum by the RNC and dutifully parroted by the right wing and supposedly unbiased mainstream media, as well as many of the other Democratic campaigns, is that the Democratic nominee must appeal to white swing voters -- basically, white suburban voters, especially men aka NASCAR dads -- in the South in order to win against GWB. Many folks have seen this as one of Dean's biggest weaknesses, he being from a granola-loving, tree-hugging Northern state. But is this really the case? There's some fairly convincing evidence that the conventional wisdom is baloney (shocker! LOL). For example, Dean is leading in Georgia and Virginia and has garnered extensive endorsements in both states. But there's also another way to look at the E

Muslims and Dean

Via al-Muhajabah , I found this Shadi Hamid article in Muslim WakeUp calling on American Muslims to mobilize in the 2004 Presidential campaign, specifically for Howard Dean. It's definitely worth reading in full. Sometime in the near future, Islam will pass Judaism as the second largest religion in the United States, and Howard Dean has the best chance of bringing this demographic closer to the Democratic party. This goes beyond the context of the battle against terrorism to the broader issues of what kind of country we are. I've had many American Muslim friends and students, and they are patriotic Americans who yet feel misunderstood and left out of American political culture. As a grassroots movement, the Dean campaign represents the best chance yet for Muslim political expression at the national level. Dean understand that to be a uniter and not a divider, you have to lead on the issues that unite all people, and Muslims need health care, education, and jobs just