"We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that's what this election is about." -- Barack Obama, DNC keynote address, July 2004

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Wednesday, April 30, 2003


Did John Kerry Insult President Clinton?

posted by yoni cohen :: at Wednesday, April 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
"This is a brief moment in history when the United States has pre-eminent military, economic and political power. It won't last forever.... This is just a period, a few decades this will last, and I think that all of us who are Americans should think about this and ask ourselves how do we wish this moment to be judged 50 years from now."
-- President William Jefferson Clinton, 02/22/02.

"No serious candidate for the Presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy.... [It is] surprising and eye-opening to see a major candidate for president even ponder the possibility of not having the strongest military in the world."
-- Chris Lehane, John Kerry's Spokesperson, 04/28/03.


E.J. Dionne on universal healthcare

posted by Scott at Wednesday, April 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Buried inside Dionne's examination of Gephardt's healthcare proposal, one finds a glimmer of support for Howard Dean's alternative.

...the plan would be expensive. Gephardt's own numbers peg its costs in 2007 at $247 billion. Yes, it further subsidizes Americans who are already insured. Dean, a physician who has been saying sensible things about health care for months, wants new money spent primarily on expanding help to the uninsured. And Gephardt's plan won't satisfy those who think the country needs to move away from employer-based health insurance.

Dionne calls it accurately that Dean was an active advocate for healthcare reform much earlier than Gephardt. This contrast also serves to point out that the very existence Gephardt's plan makes it more difficult to paint Dean as a raving loony lefty* as his plan is the more practical of the two.

* This link, by the way, should infuriate all of us. It's dripping with contempt and thinly veiled homophobia. As such, of course, it plays perfectly to the GOP base.


Parody: Bush's hypocritical foreign policy rtsp://

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, April 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I'm not sure how many of you got to see the Daily Show on Monday. If not, you'd better view the video I've linked above (real player required). This is rich! It basically points out how Bush the President is not the same Bush who ran for President.

Some choice excerpts:
Bush in 2000: "I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say 'This is the way it's gotta be'."
"If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the Ugly American is for us to go around the world saying 'We do it this way, so should you.'"
"I don't think our troops should be used for what's called Nation Building."
"Let me say this to you: I wouldn't use force."

Wha-wha-what?!?! ::rubs eyes:: Essentially, this is a good example of how dishonest Karl Rove was when he ran Bush's campaign. He ran Bush as a "compassionate conservative" who would conduct a "humble" foreign policy. Candidate Bush said things that today, the "left" is being berated for. So, was it unpatriotic of candidate Bush to profess a concern that we'd be viewed as imperialists if we went around the world conducting wars? Was it unpatriotic of candidate Bush to suggest that working WITH our allies, as opposed to AGAINST them, would be in our best interests? Was it unpatriotic of candidate Bush to suggest that the United States shouldn't go it alone? Of course not! Just like it's not unpatriotic for anyone opposed to the Bush Doctrine to suggest that we are walking down the wrong path.

Folks, this is the Grand Old Hypocrisy Party in action. Chris LeHane would fit in with them nicely. :^P

Tuesday, April 29, 2003


John Kerry's Hypocritical Attack on Howard Dean

posted by Christopher at Tuesday, April 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Kerry Campaign continues to talk about the Dean campaign. Good news since this continues to raise Dean's profile and elevate his status as the candidate who can beat Kerry, and ultimately Bush. Dean draws the sharpest distinctions between himself and all the other candidates. And, he does it the good old fashioned way - by simply telling it like it is. Dean isn't scripted, he isn't careful - he is confident in his abilities, and confident in his views. Refreshing stuff, indeed!

William Saletan writes in Salon that not only does Kerry's strategy suggest that Dean is the Democratic candidate that he's most afraid of - but that actually Kerry loses twice by attacking Dean: he elevates Dean's visibility and stature; and he reduces his own credibility by showcasing his hypocrisy, having made similar remarks in the past.


Shorter ABC Notepad

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
as a public service, here are condensed versions of today's Notepad entries. I've taken the liberty of reading between the lines as well.

Graham: The Senator schmoozed in Iowa. He talked of everything from health care to education to the weather, except for whether he intends to run.

Kerry: I was a Vietnam War veteran, the horror! Regarding the strongest military, thanks for replying, Dean. Please reply, Dean.

Sharpton: I'm voting for Gephardt.

Kucinich: Kerry and Dean didn't ask me about how I feel about our nation's military, so I'll tell them. They both suck.

Edwards: Following Clinton's advice, I will put the phrase "Ma'am, that may be. But don't forget who won." on a bumper sticker.

Dean: Chris Lehane is an asshole, but our campaign is too nice to say so. These guys, on the other hand...

Gephardt: Sharpton likes my health care plan. I'm voting for Eric Alter.

Lieberman: Dear Strongbad. LINK. I want to start a new website LINK. but I don't have any ideas LINK of what to do for my website LINK. I LINK was wondering if you could give me some ideas for my new website LINK LINK. This website will be cool LINK and I'll e-mail you when I'm done. Sincerely Yours: Joe. PS. Is there really a 200-word lim


attack-dog persona?

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The problem with playing dirty politics is that it works. Bush successfully portrayed himself as a reformer and McCain as insensitive to cancer patients back during the 2000 GOP primaries. He won North Carolina as a result and ended McCain's bid. Much of the reason Bush was able to successfully pull this off was because his team was able to leverage their attacks, through simple repetition and a fat war chest, into the conventional wisdom.

Kerry is clearly playing by the same rule book. He is targeting Dean with aspersions against his character. Rather than elevate himself into "Presidential" stature compared to his rivals, he is pulling the others down. The goal is to increase his relative fitness for the nomination in the eyes of the voters - and the pattern of attacks (always contracted out to flunkies) is a systematic campaign to solidify that desired perception as conventional wisdom.

An excellent example is the MSNBC article linked above. The tag line to the article reads:

While the other Democratic presidential contenders have refrained so far from attacking each other, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has made himself the Democrat who grabs voters’ attention by slamming his better-known rivals. This week, Dean pounded Rep. Dick Gephardt, deriding his health insurance proposal as “a pie-in-the sky radical revamping of our health care system that has no chance of ever being passed.”

Note that this is factually incorrect - the article was written well after the "UN Veto over National Security" flap that Kerry instigated last time. But worse, the article lays out the thesis of Dean as the rogue rabid candidate in the very beginning. The reader is told what to think up front - and the Dean campaign responses downstream are thus viewed from that perspective, greatly undermining them.

Note that the followup article on MSNBC in response to the military-strength flap has already absorbed that CW. Were this a level playing field, MSNBC would note that Kerry is also playing the role of attack dog - and not just on issues like Dean, but rather a personal attack on Dean's character and fitness for office. Mud, not issues. But instead the article tag reads:

With a televised debate among the nine Democratic presidential contenders coming up this weekend, rivals Howard Dean and John Kerry resumed their fractious debate over foreign policy Monday. Reacting to a statement by Dean that the United States “won’t always have the strongest military,” Kerry spokesman Chris Lehane said the remark “raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as commander in chief.”

Note that Lehane's slander against Dean is given top billing. This confluence of repetition, lavish media spending, and deliberate manipulation of the conventional wisdom is straight out of the Bush-Cheney 2000 playbook. Which leads me to think of a new slogan. "A vote for Kerry is a vote for Bush."


What exactly did Dr. Dean mean?

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, April 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
In comments, I keep seeing questions like, "Well, what did Dean mean when he said that the U.S. 'won't always have the strongest military.'" Frankly, I think it is pretty clear. He said that the U.S. won't always have the strongest gosh-darn military. Is that really unclear? And do some Americans really believe that after World War II, God granted America with an eternal gift of a military that would always be strongest?

Cause that's pretty much what you'd have to believe to disagree with this statement.

But, that explanation doesn't seem to satisfy, so here's my full explanation.

Dean is recognizing that within the world, power revolutions occur. Powerful dynasties are destroyed. Empires are pulled apart. Colonies rebel. Regional powers become regional hegemons, play strategically, and soon are close to ruling the world. But nothing lasts forever, not even cold November Rain.

And what these comments imply, to me, anyways is that Dean is pointing out that if the U.S. military is not so superior to all other forces in the world that it renders them needless that diplomacy will be necessary. And that recognizing that we rely on allies for bases, intelligence, and military support, it is important to see diplomacy as a key component of national defense. The sentence right before the one in question deals specifically with diplomacy.

And a lot of people seem to condemn Dean for perhaps suggesting that U.S. superiority could falter in the near future (by which, I mean, next 50 years). While I doubt the U.S. military will weaken, it is likely that China will strengthen very, very quickly. And keeping the peace with another world power on the stage will require more than military might. It will require a strong military, strong diplomacy, and a well thought-out foreign policy.

The best way to make sure that the U.S. comes out of the next century in good shape is to make sure we're ready for all contingencies. Denying likely ones, like Lehane wants to do, is foolhardy. Dean is being honest about foreign policy.

And, of course, there's the fact that no one with foreign policy credentials has attacked Dean for this statement. Lehane was probably a comm/poli sci major in college.


NYTimes on Dean/Kerry Flap

posted by Christopher at Tuesday, April 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here's the NYTimes story on Kerry's misrepresentation of Dean's comments. Dean acquits himself well and gets in the last word.

Monday, April 28, 2003


Not a Gaffe -- A Strategy

posted by Joe at Monday, April 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Matt Singer has a very important post below about the Kerry campaign's latest descent into scorched-earth politics by questioning the fitness of their opponent to serve. Dean supporters and all Democrats should know that this has become a disturbing pattern of behavior from the Kerry camp.

Indeed, the eerily similarity of the latest personal attack to a previous one demonstrates the Kerry campaign has decided to try to take the low road to the nomination. John Kerry needs to own up to this strategy and either repudiate what his aides have said or say these things himself to Howard Dean's face at this Saturday's debate.

The latest below-the-belt punch from the Kerry's spokesman/amoral sniper Chris Lehane:
"Howard Dean's stated belief that the United States 'won't always have the strongest military,' raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as Commander-in-Chief. No serious candidate for the Presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy. [Emphasis added]
Back in February, it was Kerry Campaign Manager Jim Jordan doing the dirty work for his boss:
Kerry’s campaign manager, Jim Jordan, fired back, “Governor Dean, in effect, seems to be giving the U.N. veto power over national security decisions of the United States. That’s an extraordinary proposition, one never endorsed by any U.S. president or serious candidate for the presidency.” [Emphasis added]
There is no doubt that this will be the Kerry line against Howard Dean. With his strategy Kerry has set a new standard of sleaze. It took a certified loss in New Hampshire for candidate George W. Bush to launch the full Manchurian Candidate/he-has-a-black-daughter campaign of character assassination and innuendo against John McCain in 2000.

Write to John Kerry and demand that he repeat what Jordan and Lehane have said to Howard Dean's face this Saturday at the debate in South Carolina. If Kerry really believes that Howard Dean, governor of his state for over a decade, is not even fit to serve as president, he shouldn't rely his whore aides to sacrifice their own credibility and decency with such remarks. Let him say it to Dean's face himself.


Dean Defense Forces: Call to Action

posted by Matt Singer at Monday, April 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
(Before I begin, let me say that this is just my post, wasn't asked for by the campaign, by Aziz or anyone else.)

I just came across the CNN story on the fight that Lehane started and is deciding to continue:

Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi responded with his own written statement, calling Lehane's comments absurd. Trippi said Dean would never tolerate an erosion of American military power, but the war on terrorism cannot be won by relying solely on military power and must include diplomacy.

"Governor Dean believes that even the most sophisticated military in the world acting alone cannot eliminate all sleeper terrorist cells, nor should it be called upon to take on every dictator for the purpose of regime change," Trippi said.

Trippi said if Kerry supports Bush's approach to foreign policy "then John Kerry is running for the nomination of the wrong party, because the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war must stop here."

Lehane said the Trippi statement is a "non-answer response (that) doesn't explain the unexplainable or defend the indefensible, his statement in Time Magazine that America wouldn't always have the strongest military."


In an interview, Trippi criticized Kerry for sending "his boys out" to criticize Dean instead of answering questions about his own position.

"This is crass politics," he said. "This is an important debate about what kind of country we are going to be in the international community and there is no serious candidate running for president of the United States who doesn't believe in maintaining America's military strength in the world. John Kerry knows that, his campaign knows that."

Did Lehane actually just say that Trippi's answer couldn't explain the unexplainable or defend the indefensible? I think he did.

And I think it's time we gave the Kerry campaign a piece of our mind. We're Democrats. We're all Democrats. And it's one thing to have policy disagreements. If Kerry disagrees with Dean's stance, he can disagree, but let them know that you will not stand to see Dean's words twisted by a man running to represent us.

You can e-mail

or go here.

Title your message "Stop Misrepresenting Dean" or something similar so they know that lots of people are a little less than happy with their actions.


Dean Defense Forces: Eroding the Military?

posted by Matt Singer at Monday, April 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Chris Lehane, Kerry Communiations Director, turned on Dean once again yesterday (via the Note):

"Howard Dean's stated belief that the United States 'won't always have the strongest military,' raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as Commander-in-Chief. No serious candidate for the Presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy. A President Kerry, who will bring the perspective of having served on the frontlines to the job of Commander-In-Chief, will guarantee that America has the strongest, best trained, most well equipped military in history," Lehane wrote in a statement.

Is Lehane slow, a liar, or an asshole? The statement that the US "wont't always have the strongest military" seems to me to be an entirely defensible claim. And it seems to me that keeping that in mind is the best way to keep it supreme the longest. A notion that the U.S.'s superiority is inevitable is in fact very threatening to that superiority. On top of that, Kerry's camp is raising doubts about whether a governor has the foreign policy credentials to win the Presidency. From what I've seen, Dean is doing pretty well at flexing his foreign policy muscles. I have a lot of concerns over foreign policy and he's taking care of them, which is amazing even me.

Well, the Dean camp responds:

You see where this goes, Chris? Tit for tat? Never mind that our first instinct was to send you a few history books for your edification. The US will continue to have the strongest military in the world under President Dean. The difference between President Dean or President Bush or Kerry, apparently, is how that military will be used, and in what context, and to what end. Get back to us when Senator Kerry decides where he stands on that issue.


Clarifying the Conventional Wisdom

posted by Joe at Monday, April 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Christopher Curtis has already ably handled the recent New Republic Online piece by Ryan Lizza on the 2004 candidates, but I worry that some of Lizza's many conjectures are seeping into the ether unquestioned. With nine candidates in the field, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is getting complicated. Lizza makes a heck of a lot of presumptions and Dean supporters should be on the lookout for shoddy interpretation of their candidate's situation.

Again, it's complicated, so for your convenience we present a true/false guide to this Democratic candidate round-up piece using the following format:

Reason: If necessary.
From "Field Test" by Ryan Lizza at the New Republic Online:

If Karl Rove had designed the ideal setting to magnify the stature gap between the wartime president and his Democratic challengers on the day tanks rolled through Baghdad, he could hardly have done better than forcing the viable candidates, such as John Kerry, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman, to share a stage with Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, and Carol Moseley Braun, and making all of the above genuflect before Marian Wright Edelman, the [Children's Defense Fund] president and liberal icon whose husband quit the Clinton administration in disgust over welfare reform.
Reason: Only insiders and candidates' supporters were paying attention; there was no inter-party consequence to that event.

Howard Dean echoed Moseley Braun's lefty isolationist belief that rebuilding Iraq would simply cost too much. (Only Edwards made the obvious point that Democrats could actually be in favor of spending money abroad on Iraq and at home on health care.)
Reason: Howard Dean argued that the cost of both disarming and rebuilding Iraq should be borne by a truly global coalition. President Bush, by failing to lead the world and effectively losing a popularity contest to a murderous dictator, increased the amount of American blood and treasure necessary to do the as-yet-unfinished job of disarming Iraq and assuring stable, democratic government there.

Dean then added perhaps the most stunning line from a Democratic candidate during the war: "We should have contained Saddam. Well, we got rid of him. I suppose that's a good thing."
Reason: Dean's point is that the US could have neutralized the threat posed by Saddam -- that was the whole point, remember? -- in a number of ways. For all the maligning of Dean's position on the war, it seems that his idea that North Korea represented the more immediate threat (and, even if we ignore the nuclear threat there, that the US should lead something more than the Coalition of Client States into Baghdad) no one has made a convincing case that Iraq was the greatest threat to the United States. In that way, if the US Army had marched on Harare and liberated the people of Zimbabwe, it would be "a good thing" but not the course of action most likely to furthest advance the US national interest. Dean's line was stunning only insofar as he has not allowed himself to be pushed around by the glib mass media storyline that anyone who questioned the Bush policy on Iraq was somehow proven wrong by victory of the world's only superpower over the conscript military of a backward dictatorship.

[I]f the media's impressive ability to pivot quickly from 24-hour coverage of the war to 24-hour coverage of Laci Peterson's murder is any sign, the Democratic presidential campaign may abruptly emerge from its wartime media blackout when the nine candidates gather May 3 in Columbia, South Carolina, for their first big debate. The format for the evening, 90 minutes split between nine candidates, will only allow for snippets from each of the contenders, but on that day the new contours of the campaign should start to come into focus.
Reason: The relevance of that event will depend on whether each candidate will get a different question or whether all candidates will answer a single question before the next one is asked. The format for the CDF gathering was, as I said at the time, too unwieldy for the size of the field. With nine candidates, debate is impossible unless they are seated around a conference table and allowed to guide the flow of the evening themselves with minimal interruption. That won't happen. At this stage the best way to gauge the candidates would be at an event where each gives his or her stump speech and sits down. To the extent that every candidate speaks on each question there will be the opportunity for some meaningful comparison.

The first postwar question that the Columbia debate will help answer is whether or not Dean remains a force.
Reason: This will be true only if the format allows candidates enough time to speak and viewers the opportunity to compare responses on the same question.

Until now, Dean has been the darling of Democratic beauty contests, hamming it up and basking in the glow of liberal interest-group cheers, from NARAL Pro-Choice America to the Iowa Federation of Labor to the CDF. But, unlike most of the recent Democratic events, the South Carolina debate will be hosted by ABC News rather than an interest group on the liberal edge of the party. There will be a lot less time for pandering and applause lines.
Reason: Dean was the darling of most of those events, but his best performances were to the California Democratic Party Convention and the DNC Winter Meeting, both less extreme audiences than those Lizza lists. Given that much of Dean's support comes from people who haven't been politically active before and aren't part of the special interest crowd, South Carolina itself -- and, really, what are we talking about as far as this debate goes? the studio audience? -- should not be a problem, and will likely be a strength. Not enough has been made in the press about Dean's line that he will aggressively pursue the white vote in the South, and thus roll back the alarmingly prevalent Republican strategy of covertly playing the race card there, by [paraphrasing] "reminding the white guy with the Confederate flag decal on the window of his pick-up truck that his kid doesn't have health insurance, either." Dean's strength is his plainspoken manner -- see his handling of the liberal-label question at the CDF forum. But, of course, one should never underestimate the ability of all the candidates to work in significant pandering and ample applause lines, no matter how tangentially related to the question.

Dean may also find South Carolina a little outside of his comfort zone. Unlike Iowa and New Hampshire, where Dean has spent most of his time campaigning, South Carolina has a Democratic electorate that is 40 percent African American--not a natural constituency for the ex-Vermont governor.
Reason: Dean has been the most outspoken Democratic candidate against the Bush administration's assault on affirmative action. He has repeatedly called President Bush to task for using the word "quota" to describe the University of Michigan policy, which -- even according to his own subordinates' briefs filed with the Supreme Court -- isn't really true. The Bush administration's case against the Michigan policy rests on the highly contentious claim that the policy "amounts to a quota." Aside from actually being black, it's not clear what more Dean could do than having a more coherent agenda on civil rights (and providing health insurance and better education for the poor) than the two black candidates.

Dean's performance in South Carolina and beyond will have a significant ripple effect on the rest of the field. Kerry, whose status as front-runner was undermined during the war when he placed second behind Edwards in the money race, must soon decide if Dean's candidacy represents a mortal threat or not.
Dean's road to the nomination runs over the carcass of Kerry's campaign....
[I]f the governor shows staying power, Kerry will be forced further to the left to dispatch Dean. ... "The question is, can [Dean] keep the lefty real estate?" asks a Kerry adviser. "Do liberals suspend their disbelief on this guy for much longer?"
Reason: This line of reasoning reared its wrong head back in February. The idea then was that the entry into the race of ultraliberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich "leaves Howard Dean without a constituency" and is "Howard Dean's worth nightmare". There has not and will not be any traction to the definition of Dean as the ultraliberal in the race. Those who read Dean's support as coming only from the far left do so at their own peril because the Dean coalition is broader than it is deep and captures something quintessential than his ideology, which is, if anything, pragmatist. Liberals haven't suspended their disbelief; they have swallowed their pride.

Just as Kerry is threatened by Dean in Kerry's must-win state of New Hampshire, Gephardt is threatened by Dean in Gephardt's must-win state of Iowa.
Gephardt's new health care plan, which expands the kind of coverage currently offered by employers (through a new tax credit) and by the government (through opening up Medicare and the SCHIP program), is similar to what Dean has outlined but may be actually more comprehensive--and more expensive--placing Gephardt to the left of Dean on the issue.
The other candidates, especially Lieberman and Edwards, neither of whom is expected to win in Iowa or New Hampshire, seem delighted by the prospect of a titanic battle between Dean and Kerry. "Dean could slay Kerry for us," says an aide to a rival campaign. Without the burden of having to win in the two early states, both Edwards and Lieberman are elbowing for advantage in what might be called the February 3 strategy. That's the first primary day after New Hampshire, and, while it originally was to be monopolized by South Carolina, now Arizona and Missouri are also scheduled for that day, with Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Tennessee preparing to move there as well. Aides to both Edwards and Lieberman envisage a strategy where their candidates do respectably in Iowa and New Hampshire but then break out with victories on February 3. ... Edwards [is] the fund-raising champion who, as a Southerner, may be positioned to do well not just in South Carolina, where he has to win, but in the other states that will hold their contests on that day as well.
Reason: Besides the proximity of their home states, Dean and Kerry are doing well in New Hampshire because they are the only candidates that many voters take seriously. There is no other explanation of why Lieberman -- who is from Connecticut, which isn't exactly on the other side of the world from New Hampshire -- and Edwards -- who, despite having raised the most money of all the candidates, can't buy a double-digit showing in polls there -- should be doing so poorly. Pursuing the February 3 strategy and choosing to sit out Iowa and New Hampshire might deprive Lieberman and Edwards of valuable experience and exposure -- and could mean they never get in the game at all.

Sunday, April 27, 2003


From the Road with Kate O'Connor

posted by Joe at Sunday, April 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Dean Call to Action Blog is beginning to run a series of posts called "On the Road" which will be written regularly by Kate O'Conner , the Governor's traveling sidekick. One of her first dispatches about their exploits in Iowa was posted a few hours ago!


Op Ed on Equal Rights By Howard Dean

posted by Zephyr Teachout at Sunday, April 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
An op-ed out today at, written by Howard Dean, takes Bush to task for praising Senator Rick Santorum:

Equal Rights is the Responsibility of Every American
By Governor Howard Dean

George W. Bush ran for President on the promise that he would be ``a uniter, not a divider.'' Nothing could be further from the truth. Earlier this week, Senator Rick Santorum, the third highest ranking Republican in the Senate, compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. On Friday, President Bush praised Santorum as ``an inclusive man.'' With his praise, this President has once again demonstrated his willingness to follow the extremist Republican tradition of dividing our country for political gain. The President knows that his defense of Santorum's inflammatory words deeply offends millions of gay and lesbian Americans, their family and friends; his praise also raises grave concerns about this Administration's commitment to civil rights and civil liberties.

Click here to read the full article.



posted by Zephyr Teachout at Sunday, April 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Georgia Dean for America group writes:

You asked for it, so we created it…. The original Howard Dean Dance Mix. Lovingly called “What I want to Know”, this song mixes snippets of Dean’s speech to the California Democratic Party Dinner and a popular dance song to give our campaign both momentum and an ANTHEM. This can easily serve as a Democratic anthem against the growing usurping of power by the radical right wing Republicans and corporate affiliated conflict of interest ridden leaders in our nation’s capital.

For this week, GAForHowardDean dedicates this song to Senator Rick Sartorum for whom Howard Dean has asked his resignation. Bigotry can no longer be tolerated in this country. We want our country back……. Rock on Rick!

Saturday, April 26, 2003


Dean's Staying Power

posted by Christopher at Saturday, April 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
An interesting piece from The New Republic wonders if Dean will have staying power following the war in Iraq. Will the anti-war liberals that flocked to his campaign stay aboard when they hear more about his ideas? TNR thinks the upcoming Democratic debate hosted by ABC News is a big one for Dean to find out if his appeal can extend beyond the anti-war vote. They say that it's likely the campaign will try to reposition Dean as the health care candidate. Health care may indeed be an important issue in the race, but to pin his hopes on the health care issue is what everyone expects him to do... a better strategy to separate himself from the rest of the field (and to effectively attack Bush) is to become the "balanced budget" candidate.

Dean can hammer both Bush and the Dems in congress for pushing for tax cuts while state budgets languish, and social programs go down the tubes. Meanwhile Bush (and the Senators and House members) fiddle with tax cuts we cannot afford while the country burns. Dean is the only one who has consistently balanced budgets in this race and he needs to get that message out now and take the domestic debate to a new, and unexpected place. Health care can come later, after he's established his credentials on this issue. The South Carolina test is indeed a big one, but tactically it won't be health care that decides this presidential election - it will be the economy and foreign policy. Dean needs to establish himself as the candidate to be trusted on the economy.

Friday, April 25, 2003


The Nader Factor

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
A piece in Salon details Nader's consideration of running for President again in 2004. Was that the sound of jaws hitting the floor?

Nader, who many Democrats and progressives blame for tipping the last presidential election to Bush in key states like Florida (where Nader won 96,000 votes), has not yet announced his decision about 2004. But according to national Green Party officials, Nader probably will run. "I'm getting that sense," says Ben Manski, one of five national Green Party co-chairs. Juscha Robinson, a member of the party's presidential exploratory committee, agrees: "The co-chairs of the committee met with Ralph a couple weeks ago -- it was a very comfortable discussion. It does look like he's leaning in that direction."

Following Nader's lead, the Green Party is as bent on its scorched earth policy as ever:

Far from being chastened by the way life has turned out under Bush -- the U.S. launched on neo-imperial expansionism and a massive military buildup, civil liberties under wide assault, deficits soaring and government programs being slashed, and the influence of the Christian right being demonstrated in everything from judicial appointments to Pentagon prayer meetings -- many Green Party officials still cling to their line that there's little difference between Republicans and Democrats. "I've never been so disgusted in my life as seeing how the Democrats contributed to going to war in Iraq," says Medea Benjamin. "They simply capitulated, with the leadership telling the party that they should vote for Bush's war resolution to get the whole Iraq thing behind them. It was a repeat of the Florida debacle, where the Gore campaign refused to let their supporters take to the streets. They told Jesse to go home -- I was there, I was flabbergasted! They're not interested in activating people, they're interested in raising money."

Some even advocate running Greens against progressive Democrats, as the California Green Party is considering doing against Barbara Boxer in next year's Senate race.

Dean will be just as, if not more so, vulnerable to a Nader run in 2004 as Gore was. Even Dean's antiwar stance isn't enough - note that Barbara Boxer was the sole Senate vote against the authorization of force in Iraq. Yet she's a Green target anyway.

and yet, the article notes that there is a real opportunity here for the Democrats in drawing Green voters back to the fold to help defeat Bush. If only the Dems can learn to forgive:

Will Greens and progressive Democrats, sharing a mutual alarm about the state of the nation under George W. Bush, begin exploring a marriage of convenience in 2004 -- or as Dugger puts it, "a national emergency coalition"? Medea Benjamin does not expect to hear any such overtures from the Democrats, who continue to treat Greens "as if we didn't have the right to exercise our own minds" -- or in Robinson's words, simply as a "wayward constituency."

There is something self-defeating about the Democrats' refusal to open a dialogue with the Green Party. While some lower-level discussions between Greens and lefty Democrats have taken place, reconciliation has never become a priority of party leaders, who seem to have written off their left flank as irrelevant.
Without this initiative from progressive Democrats, warns Dugger, "It could all drift back to a bunch of disenchanted Greens and Ralph running again, and the makings of a major human tragedy. But if you could peel off a couple million Green voters and add them to the half-million advantage that Gore had over Bush, then you win the election."


Students back Dean in race for president,1413,83~1971~1349685,00.html

posted by Scott at Friday, April 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
College students across the nation are jumping aboard former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's Democratic presidential bandwagon, launching Students for Dean chapters on more than 80 campuses from coast to coast -- the largest student network so far in this nascent presidential election cycle.
"People are really upset with the political process and they're looking for a reason to get involved, they want a change," said Berkeley Students for Dean founder Adam Borelli, 20, a freshman from Ventura County. "He's the real deal ... and he's giving people confidence in the process."


Support for Dean on Sustainable Development

posted by Christopher at Friday, April 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here's a refreshing twist on Dean from a woman who is just back from Quito, Ecuador and recently returned to Vermont to open a new business focused on sustainable development. She lauds Dean's understanding of environment/business/and the need for global collaboration. It's an interesting economic twist on the need for sustainable practices, and, in a sense, foreign policy - though not in the way we wield our military might. There's certainly much more to foreign policy than figuring out which country to invade next. She makes some good points.

Thursday, April 24, 2003


transcript: Wolf Blitzer Reports interview

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, April 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
BLITZER: Last month he called it the wrong war at wrong time. The former Vermont governor, the current Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's policies as far as Iraq is concerned.

With the conflict pretty much over does he feel differently now?

Howard Dean is joining us from Burlington, Vermont.

Governor, do you feel differently?

HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Not really. I don't think anybody could reasonably suspect we weren't going to win. The problem now is how to govern, and that's where the real rubber is underneath the road. The hardest part is still ahead of us, and I think the events that we were watching on CNN showed that. The Shi'a in the south would like in some cases fundamentalist religious state or province, that would be much worse than Saddam Hussein in terms of a threat to the United States it would allow al Qaeda to move in. We seen chaos in Baghdad with the proclamation of somebody claims he's the mayor. And this is going to go on and on. So we've really got to now build a Democratic society out of a...

BLITZER: But governor, nobody -- nobody disagrees there are going to be problems. But aren't the people of Iraq so much better off now without Saddam Hussein on their back?

DEAN: We don't know that yet. We don't know that yet, Wolf. We still have a country whose city is mostly without electricity. We have tumultuous occasions in the south where there is no clear governance. We have a major city without clear governance. We don't know yet, and until we do... BLITZER: You think it's possible -- excuse me for interrupting that whatever emerges in Iraq could be worse than what they have for decades under Saddam Hussein?

DEAN: I do, I do. We have to think of this from an American perspective not an Iraqi perspective. The reason the president gave for going into Iraq which I disagree with is Iraq was a security threat to the United States. I don't believe Saddam was. But I believe a fundamentalist Islamic regime would be. That we have to guard against, that may be very, very difficult. I think the jury is out in terms of what we've created. The other thing is, you have to remember that this president has now created a new American foreign policy a preemptive doctrine. And I think that's going to cause America some serious trouble down the line, too. I don't regret my opposition to the war, I think in the long term interest of the United States, we have yet to see whether the war is going to be successful or not.

BLITZER: Does it bother you, governor, that most of the country approved of the way the president handled the situation? His job approval rating has gone way up into the 70s from the 50s, and including most Democrats approve of the way he's handling the job.

DEAN: If I changed my position every time there is a new poll, I would be like an awful lot of politicians, that's what's wrong with the Democratic party is willing to change positions every time the polls come out. I'm not going to do that. I chose my position on Iraq, because I think in the long-term future of the United States it would have been better had we used other means to get rid of Saddam's and his arms.

Well, that's not where we are now, the president has chosen to go war. But now we have to deal with a chaotic situation on the ground. I hope that we succeed. I'm very proud of our armed forces, I'm delighted Saddam is gone. We have a long way to go, and I think it's going to be a long time before we can prove this is the right thing to do.

BLITZER: Let's move to another subject that you raised earlier today, you called on Republican Senator Santorum, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania to step down because the comments he made about gays.

Tell our viewers precisely what your position is?

DEAN: The Republican party is dividing us by race or income or gender or religion, in this case sexual orientation. Gay people are people first and gay second. And most people's fears about gays is not understanding anything about gays. Gay people are people. There are gay people in Iraq now fighting for the United States of America, they deserve to be treated with the same respect that every other American deserves to be treated with. And I'm tired of having the right wing Republican party make hay by beating up on various minority groups so they can feed their right wing base.

BLITZER: Well, listen to how he responded, he basicly said if you have a problem with him, you have a problem with U.S. Supreme Court, listen to this.


SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R), PENNSYLVANIA: To suggest that my comments which are the law of the land and were the reason the Supreme Court decided in 1986 is somehow intolerant, I just would argue that it is not. It is simply a reflection of the law. Obviously, I can't represent everybody's viewpoint. I mean, there are a variety of different viewpoints in the room. My job is to respect everybody's viewpoint, and I do. I respect your point of view.


BLITZER: He was speak directly to a gay person in the audience who complained about his comments. Go ahead, governor.

DEAN: I don't think this has to do with point of view. I think it has to do with basic respect. Until every single American is equal under the law in this country, then I don't think the country is as great as it could be. Just ask people, you know, almost everybody in America knows someone in someone's family who is gay. And all appeal for is a little bit respect and tolerance in understanding. When you come to know people they're people first and whatever category they might fit into later on.

I think Senator Santorum and the administration have done this country a disservice by, again, dividing us, whether it's by race, as the president did by using the word, quota, which wasn't true or whether it's by sexual orientation or gender or whatever it is, they got to stop that. We have got to bring the country together as a community, and you don't get there by making intolerant comments that single out particular minorities.

BLITZER: All right. Governor, unfortunately, we have to leave it right there. We'll have a longer conversation on another occasion. Thank so much for joining us.

DEAN: Thanks, Wolf.


Friends or Foes?

posted by Matt Singer at Thursday, April 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Libertarians and Dean: A discussion going on around the web, with thoughts from Kos (click on the title):

That's why I like Dean and Clark -- both are avowed supporters of the 2nd Amendment, and both can go far in helping capture the significant libertarian bloc from the grasp of the GOP.


Notwithstanding this entry's title, this reflects the Libertarian bent of The Conspirators more than anything, but I think it's indicative of the alignment of interests of the Libertarians and Democrats (especially Howard Dean). I know, I know, Libertarians hate the Democratic Party's tax policy, but I hope they don't allow this administration to pay them to shut up about civil liberties.

and Eugene Volokh:

I much appreciate the praise, but I think this misses a very basic point about Libertarians: We think that lower taxes and lighter economic regulation are matters of civil liberties. That -- plus other issues, such as gun rights -- are a big part of why the interests of the Libertarians and the Democrats are pretty far out of alignment, on some utterly fundamental matters.

I've been espousing the libertarians and Dean connection for quite some time, and I felt it was time to clarify a bit what with all this discussion going on post-Santorum about who exactly Dean's campaign would take. Personally, I think Eugene is right. His style of Libertarians won't jump anytime soon, much to Kos's dismay. But there is another hope, and I point it out in my own bloggered post over at EzraK:

The true strength of Dean (even more so than Clark) is his ability to tap into pseudo-libertarian ideas. Perhaps we can call this "Maher-Libertarianism" after Bill Maher, who voted for Ralph Nader, but who describes himself as a libertarian (which left the LP scrambling at one point). This strain of libertarian, conservative progressivism believes fundamentally in government taking its noses out of personal business, doesn't have a problem with fair taxation, wants local and state control rather than federal, believes in gun ownership, and wants the environment protected. And that describes a lot of people in the West, like almost every dedicated progressive I know.

And there's more where that came from.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003


A Democrat for the Future

posted by Christopher at Wednesday, April 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Laura Sahramaa of the Daily Cavalier writes that Dean is everything a Democrat could want... and more! I like this column because it's direct and concise (not unlike the qualities many of us like in Dean). A good, realistic take on why Democrats should get behind Dean's candidacy.


Dean on Wolf Blitzer Tonight

posted by Matt Singer at Wednesday, April 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
For all of you folks out there who share Atrios' love of Wolf Blitzer, you can see Gov. Dean on his show tonight.



Spread the word.


Dean Calls for Santorum to Leave Post

posted by Scott at Wednesday, April 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean has demanded that Rick Santorum - number three on the GOP senatorial totem poll - step down from his leadership role in light of his recent comments equating homosexuality with incest, polygamy, and adultery.

"Gay-bashing is not a legitimate public policy discussion; it is immoral. Rick Santorum's failure to recognize that attacking people because of who they are is morally wrong makes him unfit for a leadership position in the United States Senate," Dean said in a statement.

Give 'em hell, Howard!


DeanBlog Interview: Howard Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, April 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Fellow citizens of Deanistan, I'm here to report that we have completed our task. I will submit the text of the questions below to the campaign today. The ball is in Howard Dean's court. I'd like to make a public request to any and all Dean-friendly websites to please link to this post and publicise these questions. We make history today - the relationship of Dean's campaign to the netroot base is as significant to American electoral politics - and as ultimately transformative - as television was to John F. Kennedy. The questions below are just a harbringer of the potential. Everyone who participated in this affair should be proud - of ourselves, of our country, and our candidate.

  1. Israeli settlements

  2. You have openly stated that your views on Israel are "in line with AIPAC's". How do you reconcile your support for multilateralism (as pertained to Iraq) with AIPAC's support of the Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, which are illegal under UN Resolutions 242, 338, and violate the Oslo Accords and the Mitchell Plan?

  3. Media regulation

  4. On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission plans to further relax or eliminate the remaining significant media ownership laws. Do you support regulations that limit how much of the media that corporations can own (and therefore influence?

  5. Human rights foreign policy

  6. How would you tie human rights advocacy into your foreign policy (particularly as relates to national security)?

  7. 9-11 investigation

  8. Will you pledge to call for a full and truly independant investigation into events leading to the 9/11 attacks?

  9. NRA relationship

  10. What is your stated position about the NRA organization and its tactics at the national level? How might you proactively support state deliberation around gun control issues?

  11. War on Drugs

  12. Do you believe the War on Drugs is worth the current costs, both financially and socially?

  13. Campaign finance

  14. What sort of ideas do you have with regard to big business money in politics? Do you believe that you would be able to attract this money without giving business interests more of a say than the interests of your grassroots volunteers?

  15. Cutting Gov't spending

  16. On Meet the Press Governor Dean was asked "But if you had a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, where would you cut? Where would you find $400 billion?" Repealing President Bush's tax cut has been your most mentioned way of balancing the budget, but how would you also cut federal spending to help reduce the deficit?

  17. Farm policy

  18. What are your views towards farm policies, especially those that reward overproduction? Specifically, do you support either the Dairy Compact, or the Iowa ethanol subsidy?

  19. Digital Millenium Copyright Act

  20. What are your feelings on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), especially as it pertains to fair use?

Tuesday, April 22, 2003


raising Dean awareness

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Atrios lauds Dean's condemnation of Santorum. More surprisingly, in the comments thread, there are dozens of regular Atrios readers who seem to be discovering Dean only today! We do have a name-recognition hurdle to cross indeed if he is still unknown to the vast leftwing blogsphere readership.Let's leverage *our* numbers, and make sure the comment threads of all Dean-related posts in the blogsphere have someone linking to the campaign and to the DeanBlog! flood the message boards! go forth, and prosletyze!


DeanBlog Interview: Ask Howard Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

The voting has concluded! These are the final questions, ranked in order from most popular to least. I combined the two Israel questions into one, and rewrote the "legalize hemp" question into a more general one about the War on Drugs. I also edited the questions to make them more succinct, and focus on the main issue (many were actually multiple and distinct questions lumped together). Please leave your comments/suggestions for further editing of the text of these questions in the comments thread, and then tomorrow we will mail them to the campaign.

  1. Israeli settlements

  2. You have openly stated that your views on Israel are "in line with AIPAC's". How do you reconcile your support for multilateralism (as pertained to Iraq) with AIPAC's support of the Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, which are illegal under UN Resolutions 242, 338, and violate the Oslo Accords and the Mitchell Plan?

  3. Media regulation

  4. How would you address growing conservative control over the media, and the demise of regulations that limit how much of the media that corporations can own (and therefore influence)?

  5. Human rights foreign policy

  6. How would you tie human rights advocacy into your foreign policy (particularly as relates to national security)?

  7. 9-11 investigation

  8. Will you pledge to call for a full and truly independant investigation into events leading to the 9/11 attacks?

  9. NRA relationship

  10. For many of us, it is impossible to view the NRA organization as a pro-social organization in any overall sense. What is your stated position about the NRA organization and its tactics at the national level? How might you proactively support state deliberation around gun control issues?

  11. War on Drugs

  12. The War on Drugs drains billions from the economy, obstructs the use of medical marijuana, and leads to imbalances in our judicial system by mandating minimum sentences for minor crimes. Do you believe the War on Drugs is worth the cost, both financially and societally?

  13. Campaign finance

  14. What sort of ideas do you have with regard to big business money in politics? Do you believe that you would be able to attract this money without giving business interests more of a say than the interests of your grassroots volunteers?

  15. Cutting Gov't spending

  16. On Meet the Press Governor Dean was asked "But if you had a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, where would you cut? Where would you find $400 billion?" Repealing President Bush's tax cut has been your most mentioned way of balancing the budget, but how would you also cut federal spending to help reduce the deficit?

  17. Farm policy

  18. What are your views towards farm policies, especially those that reward overproduction? Specifically, do you support either the Dairy Compact, or the Iowa ethanol subsidy?

  19. Digital Millenium Copyright Act

  20. What are your feelings on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), especially as it pertains to fair use?


Thomas Oliphant on Gephardt (and Dean)

posted by Scott at Tuesday, April 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
At the end of today's editorial on Dick Gephardt's plan for universal health coverage, Thomas Oliphant gives Howard Dean his due.

Dean is there on health care coverage off his experience in a state that now has insurance for nearly all kids and 92 percent of adults. Dean also emphasizes a refundable tax credit for business and investment in the other private and public programs. He also advocates a federal-state deal on health care responsibility -- young people to the age of 23 are for states to cover; drug costs and acute care for the elderly are for the national government.

As the fog of war lifts, Gephardt and possibly Dean appear to be candidates who have serious business to transact at those all-important kitchen tables in America. It sure beats horse race baloney.

UPDATE (Chris): Dean was the first candidate with a health care message - and a way to pay for it - both conceptually, and in detail. Notice Gephardt stealing elements of it per Oliphant's column. We cannot cede this issue to Gephardt or the other Dem. candidates. This is Dean's signature issue. Get those letters churning to the Globe!


Governor Dean Statement on Senator Santorum's Offensive Remarks

posted by Zephyr Teachout at Tuesday, April 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean released the following statement today:

In an interview published yesterday with the Associated Press, Rick Santorum, the third highest ranking Republican in the Senate, compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. I am outraged by Senator Santorum’s remarks.

That a leader of the Republican Party would make such insensitive and divisive comments—comments that are derogatory and meant to harm an entire group of Americans, their friends and their families—is not only outrageous, but deeply offensive.

The silence with which President Bush and the Republican Party leadership have greeted Sen. Santorum’s remarks is deafening. It is the same silence that greeted Senator Lott’s offensive remarks in December. It is a silence that implicitly condones a policy of domestic divisiveness, a policy that seeks to divide Americans again and again on the basis of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation.

For the complete statement, visit the Dean Call to Action Blog.

Monday, April 21, 2003


Dean Seeks Broader Support,0,326612.story?coll=hc%2Dheadlines%2Dpolitics

posted by Editor at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Trouble on the Home Front?

I don't put much weight on online polling, even though I have one on my own website for people to pick Gov. Dean's running mate; however, I did think this was interesting. The Hartford Courant ran a story on Gov. Dean and has a poll along with it measuring support for some of the 2004 Democratic candidates. You would think that Hometown Proud Joe Lieberman would be winning in a landslide, right? Not so:

1.1% Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (5 responses)

5.5% Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry (25 responses)

68.3% Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (313 responses)

2.8% North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (13 responses)

16.6% Connecticut's Sen. Joseph Lieberman (76 responses)

5.7% Other (26 responses)

458 total responses


The War at Home

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is a critical piece in the NYT that shows just how off-base the President's policies and priorities are. Billions for Baghdad, Nothing for New York. No to theocracy in Iraq, yes to theocracy in the US. Liberty for the Shi'a, the PATRIOT act for Americans. And rewards to the rich corporations and the wealthy in both. The general election will hinge on whether the Democratic nominee can successfully argue these points.

The president makes a good political general. One of his canniest strategies has been to raise the bar so high that even the smallest of compromises seems like moderation. ANWR has become the red herring of the environmental wars; any energy bill that protects the caribou from the oil drillers will be seen as a victory even if it contains ridiculous tax breaks for the coal, oil and gas industries and does nothing to deal with the problem of gas-guzzling automobiles. Somehow, a budget with $350 billion in tax cuts — at a time of war and enormous government deficits — has come to be seen as a great victory for the president's opponents. With defeats like this, Mr. Bush never needs to win.

Mr. Bush's willingness to take big gambles, to push for what he wants no matter the consequences, are likely to leave an imprint on America far beyond his tenure in office. We hope that he's successful in the fight against terrorism, and that he brings about a more stable Mideast and a democratic Iraq. But on the domestic front, almost every success cripples the nation's ability to move toward a happy, prosperous future. This is one war we hope he loses.

This is perhaps the most comprehensive anti-Bush editorial I have seen in a while, and it comes at precisely the right time - when conventional wisdom dictates that Bush is a juggernaut. We need a political general of our own, a General Grant to Bush's General Lee. We all kow which flag our side prefers. This is war.

UPDATE: Alterman says Bush is AWOL (again). TAP calls Bush the "Most Dangerous President Ever." And The Dixie Chicks are at #1!


DeanBlog Interview update

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It looks like the poll software only allows 100 responses per month. That's why no one has been able to vote since last week. If you have not yet voted on DeanBlog questions, please leave a comment for your top three choices in the comments field of this post. We will run the poll in this fashion until tomoirrow.


Stay in touch through Dean Wireless

posted by Zephyr Teachout at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Do you want to know when Howard Dean is going to be on television? Do you want to be the first to know when Dean for America has an important press release or announcement to make? Do you want to hear important voice messages from Howard Dean himself? Checking this and other blogs is one way to stay in touch, but when you're offline or on the road, you can get the latest news by joining the Dean Wireless Network.

How does it work? It's simple-- all you need is a cell phone that can receive text messages. Click on the link above to be taken to the Howard Dean 2004 Upoc group. Click on "join this group now." Click on "Register now" and follow the simple instructions under "Sign up." That's it! You're ready to receive text and voices messages from Dean for America on your phone.

The FAQ's:

Does this cost money? No. The service is free. Receiving text messages may be an additional charge depending on your cellular service, but it's usually only a few pennies per message received.
Will anyone else be able to text message me? No. Your information will not be made available to anyone else and only Dean for America or Howard Dean can send messages to this group.
Am I going to receive a bunch of messages at inconvenient times? No. We will not spam you or send irrelevant messages. But we'll notify you of late-breaking stories related to the Dean campaign and last-minute upcoming appearances that you won't want to miss.
Give me an example. Okay. Click here to hear a welcoming message that Howard Dean sent out to initial members on April 7th (it was forwarded again ten days later). On April 17th, Dean Wireless members were the first to know about Howard Dean's op-ed in Common Dreams-- a story that became one of the most-linked to stories on the Internet over the past weekend.
What else? Dean Wireless is an important organizing tool. You can read more about the achievements of such SMS/text message groups by checking out Howard Rheingold's blog.


Dean's Message Broadening,0,5924878.story?coll=hc-headlines-newsat3

posted by Christopher at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the Washington Bureau of the Hartford Courant: Already the new storyline on Dean is emerging. He's cleared the first hurdle... can he clear the second? And, will the call he's issued for a balanced budget, universal health care, and a stronger public education system keep those who've signed up this early on board for the long haul? So far, the answer is yes.


For and Against

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Matthew Yglesias points to two posts, by Ezra Klein against Dean and by Matt Singer for Dean. Excerpts of their arguments are below:

Many of us are people who characterize ourselves as third-way liberals, but not in the DLC "third-way-as-conservatism" method, more in the New America Foundation sense. And I see Dean as being the candidate who is coming out to embrace the third-way radical center. He understands the reasons for grassroots democracy more fundamentally than most Greens do, who think that it translates most simply to direct democracy. He understands the Constitutional and Democratic reasons for respecting the rights of states, and also realizes that part of respecting the rights of states involves having the F.G. recognize state's contracts like civil unions. Now, scared Democrats claim that civil unions will derail Dean in the south. Can anyone tell me what state we're going to lose in the South? Florida? Solve that by putting Graham on the ticket if you're so scared. We can't lose the south because we don't win it.

But we can win the West, or, at least, parts of it. Colorado is feasible especially, I believe, with a pro-gun, pro-states, pro-privacy Democrat (in other words, a Democrat who can tap the Libertarian streak that will be ready to bolt over USA PATRIOT). Because the West, fundamentally, agrees with the Dems on a lot of issues. I really would not be surprised to see Western Representatives and Senators start moving into Dean's camp. We need someone like him at the top of the ticket. In Montana, it would do wonders for us and I'm spreading that word as much as I can.

. I don't, however, want Dean to win the primary. The reason, quite simply, is that I don't see how he can beat Bush. It's almost as if he came in at the wrong time. Dean is a master of the lock-and-load, populist campaign. He would have annihilated Bush 1. Dean, however, has no credibility on foreign policy or national defense. None, zero, nada. He has no chance when the debate moves into that arena. He was against going into iraq which, though a viable position before we went in, will be something that Rove could use like a sledgehammer. "Tell me Governor Dean, looking back on the liberation of Iraq and the obvious joy and benefit it had for the Iraqi people, why were you so vocal in opposition and would you change your stance today?" It's not that Dean was necessarily wrong, and it's not that he couldn't competently answer that question, it's simply that unless Iraq descends into anarchy and we go after Syrian and Iran, Dean will be viewed as having made the wrong choice in a truly crucial moment. And to go beyond that, he has no way to bolster his standing, no credibility on protecting the populace from Al-Quaeda and other threats, no ability to project the image of a strong and confident hand at international affairs. Bush could not have won the 2004 election, but having won the 2000 one and having had 9/11 happen on his watch and having done, in the eyes of most of America, a pretty acceptable job dealing with it, he is in a perfect place to win through fear. Domestically, Dean can eat Bush alive. But this election is unlikely to be domestic unless issues of foreign policy can be neutralized early on. Only a few contenders in the field can do that: Kerry, Clark, and Hart (some might say Graham but I see no way for him to be viable).

It's a question of storylines, and as we see with the Republican's decision to hold their convention in New York, the Bush storyline will be that of a resolute leader who prevailed over a time of danger and uncertainty and marshaled Americans to face down the threats, engage the world, and stay strong. barring another terrorist attack before the election, it's a viable spin.

What this boils down to is, what is more important to Americans? America, or Iraq? Do we care more about foreig policy or domestic? Shall we build schools in Umm Qasr or in downtown Detroit? I know my opinion on tghis. What's yours?

Saturday, April 19, 2003


How to deal with N. Korea?

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, April 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Almost everyone is familiar with Dean's piece in Common Dreams by now, where he addresses what is wrong with the Bush Doctrine (and Bush in general). That piece was in response to the above linked article by Charles Knight, who praised Dean for his response. However, the original Knight piece did have more to it than taking Dean to task over Bush Doctrine - it also addressed N. Korea and described how Dean proposed to address their burgeoning nuclear program:

For instance, Dean argues for reopening negotiations with the North Koreans over their nuclear program, while privately making it clear that the U.S. will go to war to stop their nuclear program if they don't settle in the end. In a preferred outcome of this diplomacy the U.S. might end up paying the North Koreans ten or twenty billion to abandon their nuclear and long range missile program. Dean would argue that despite the distaste of having to pay for disarmament, the financial costs would be about one-fifth to one-tenth the cost of a war, and successful diplomacy would also avoid the human costs of the likely hundreds of thousands of Koreans, Americans, and possibly Japanese who would die in new Korean war. In the longer run it is likely that the communist regime in North Korea will collapse in its own decrepitude and a more cooperative government will take its place and seek to reunite peacefully with South Korea.

The neo-conservative Republicans argue that once we get into a 'pay for disarmament' relationship the North Koreans have an incentive to maintain the threat of their nuclear program in order to pressure us to meet their ever-growing financial demands. In the mean time making payments to them just ends up supporting their regime and increases the likelihood that they will become a bigger threat to American interests later on. Much better to do what the U.S. did with Iraq: keep North Korea poor, let their obsolescent Soviet-era Army deteriorate, and when the time is right overthrow their regime and take direct control of their security policy. The war of regime change will be costly, but manageable, and if we wait until later the costs will be much higher.

Are negotiations, and ultimately, pay-to-disarm foreign policy measures appropriate as applied to N. Korea? The counterargument that payments merely support the regime, and holds America financially hostage in a sense, is a solid point. Compare that with the strategy outlined by Steven den Beste, which argues that the best way to deal with N. Korea is to ignore them, since time is not on their side (economically or politically):

North Korea continues to make demands. They continue to denounce us. They continue looking for new ways of provoking us. And it isn't working. And the longer it goes on, the more clear it becomes that most of their threats are empty, and that the only urgency is theirs.

Are they dangerous? Of course they are, though rumors to the contrary the direct risk to the US proper is slight. The big danger is that at some point they'll launch an attack south. They have no chance whatever of winning such a war, but they do have the ability to bring death and destruction and economic ruin to South Korea before SK and US forces defeat them.

Which is why the "hurry up and wait" strategy is the best one for us. What we want to avoid at all costs is any kind of move which would create any kind of sharp stairstep in the attitude of the NK leadership causing them to order the attack. This needs to be a slow and gentle process, a "frog in the boiling pot". North Korean economic and industrial disaster is inevitable as long as it's gradual so that there's no clear point where they may decide to give up.

The one key step was to cut off shipments of oil. That could have been the stairstep which set off disaster, which is why Japan and SK were so nervous about it. But we did it and did it early, and we're safely past it. And without that oil, NK's days are numbered. Now all we can do is wait, and try to make sure the pot doesn't boil over.

Which means, paradoxically, that as long as they think they can continue to create new incidents, it's actually somewhat positive for us, because it means they haven't yet given up and decided to go out in a blaze of glory. Each such incident is troubling, needless to say; but as long as they're not intolerable, each such ends up being net negative for the NK government because each week that passes without negotiations is a net loss for them. The clock is ticking; they're bleeding to death.

The reason they want negotiations is because the only way they can even try to extort things from us is in such negotiations.

This excerpt does not do justice to the argument, I urge everyone to read it in full to get a clear sense of the alternative being presented. It's almosst completely counter to what Dean proposes. Who is right? What's teh best strategy? Deanistan residents, weigh in...


Economy tops U.S. concerns for 1st time since 9-11, poll shows,0,6763021.story?coll=orl-news-headlines

posted by Editor at Saturday, April 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I know this is not entirely a "Dean related" article, but I think it's very important for Democratic primary voters to understand this. If they are hungry for a candidate who can actually beat George W. Bush, Gov. Howard Dean has the credentials that it seems America will be looking for. The Republican mindset is stuck in 1984. They think if they just keep throwing the term liberal around enough, that's all it takes. But when Dr. Dean stands up next to W at the debates and says he has balanced the budget and he can fix the economy, Americans will define what a "liberal" is for themselves.

WASHINGTON -- For the first time since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the American people are more concerned about the nation's economic woes than about terrorism, war or Iraq, a new poll found.

Fully 41 percent of those polled cited the economy, unemployment or the federal budget deficit as the nation's biggest problem, while 29 percent pointed to issues related to war and terrorism, according to the poll released Friday by the Pew Research Center.

President Bush's overall job-approval rating remains high -- 72 percent -- but that apparently has not translated into solid political support. Nineteen months before the 2004 presidential election, 48 percent of registered voters polled said they would support his re-election, while 34 percent said they would prefer a Democratic candidate.

Bush's job-approval rating is up significantly from a prewar rating of 55 percent, but it is still well below the 89 percent approval mark his father, President George H.W. Bush, reached after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.


Vermont Democrat pulls no punches

posted by Editor at Saturday, April 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The crowds continue to pour out in New Hampshire!

By Larissa Mulkern

PORTSMOUTH - Turnout was unexpectedly robust at an early morning reception on Friday for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean; an estimated 150 people stood elbow to elbow in the lobby at Harbour Place punctuating points of the candidate’s speech with thunderous applause.

"This is unbelievable; this is 7:30 in the morning, never mind Good Friday morning - on any morning - I really appreciate you coming," Dean told the crowd. Later at an editorial board meeting with the Portsmouth Herald, he said he was "shocked" at the turnout. He’s been so busy pressing the flesh on the campaign trail, he said, that his hand is partly bandaged.

The five-term former governor of Vermont campaigned in the Seacoast on Friday at stops in Portsmouth, at the University of New Hampshire, and in Exeter at the RiverWoods elderly housing community. To date, his campaign has raised $2.9 million and operates with 14,000 supporters networked on The first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, scheduled for Jan. 27, 2004, is less than a year away.

Dean wasted no time in getting at the issues that separate him most from Republican President George Bush: foreign policy and the economy.

"Most of you know I’ve been very outspoken in support of our troops but very outspoken against the president’s foreign policy," he said.

"The reason I’m running for president is frankly this country is in really serious trouble. There are two things you can’t get wrong if you’re the president ... for the sake of the future of the country. One is foreign policy and another is economic policy.

"The president has done a remarkable job with the economy ... he’s managed to turn the largest surplus in the history of the country into the largest deficit in only two years. We’ve lost 2 million jobs, 141,000 in the month of March; we are not better off than we were four years ago, and we need a change," he said. He joked that instead of waging war against Saddam Hussein, Bush should have sent his economic advisers to ruin the country.



Dean slips slightly in NH

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, April 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The latest ARG poll has Dean losing three points, from 22 to 19, while Kerry gained one, from 23 to 24. Kos has some more analysis and a summary of the numbers. Are there any NH DeanBlog readers who can weigh in with their perspectives from the field? How can we leverage Meetup in New England to try and help Dean's numbers rise? Ideas, people!

UPDATE: Of course, the variation is within the margin of error. As Joe Trippi wrote in Kos' comments:

Every poll that has come out in NH over the past three months has shown remarkable consistency within the margin of error. In ARG John Kerry has been at 23 to 24% for 3 months -- In the Franklin Pierce poll he was at 21% -- even with different methodology those numbers are virtually the same and within the margin of error. Same is true for the entire field including Dean. Dean's numbers in both polls over the same period are 19%, 22% (ARG) 21% (Franklin Pierce) again the same number -- it does not matter what order you put them in -- they are still the same number -- all are within a 3 or 4 point margin of error.

The truth is the pre-war and post-start of war environments have not changed the fundamental structure of the race in NH. Also it should be pointed out that Kerry's favorables fell 4 to 5 points in this same poll -- while Howard Dean's favorables increased 3 points. This fact again points to numbers that fall within the margin of error.

I agree, but my concern is that the statistical significance is not as relevant as the perceived significance. Look at the Aware/Favorable numbers from the poll (click here). For April, Kerry has 87%/65%, whereas Dean has 75%/43%. It's not just name recognition that Dean lags behind in, it's also the Favorable perspective. Given that Dean ranks statistically equal to Kerry despite having only 2/3 the Favorable rating, it's clear that Dean has a massive potential that is going unrealized. If Dean's Aware/Favorable numbers can be increased, that will have a direct impact on his poll rating - whereas Kerry is practically maxed out.

Friday, April 18, 2003


Dean on Civil Unions: 9/15/02's%20Dean%20Would%20Recognize%20Civil%20Unions%20If%20President.htm

posted by Scott at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I would have posted this under the comments section of Aziz's posting, but I felt it was important enough that it warranted more attention. Click the link above if you want the whole story, but here's the bulk of it:

The man behind Vermont's Civil Union law says he would recognize same-sex couples if elected president. But, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean says he would not try to push a Civil Union bill though Congress.
Dean said it was not the federal government’s role to become involved in marriage statutes. He pledged that if elected he would do all he could to undo the Defense of Marriage Act, passed during the Clinton administration, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing marriages between any couples except one man and one woman.

He made a point of emphasizing he was not advocating full marriage rights. Nor was he pressing other states to enact civil union legislation. "What I am not going to do is tell every state they have to pass civil unions," he said. But, he said, if other states follow Vermont’s lead for same-sex couples, the federal government should recognize them.

Even in this very blog there is evidence that shows that Dean is not waffling. Here's Howard Dean on Capital Report, when challenged on the issue by Alan Murray:

I don’t believe that’s the federal government’s business. What I favor is federal recognition of civil unions, but I don’t favor forcing Minnesota and Alabama to have civil unions if they don’t want to. Same reason I think the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional—that is not a prerogative of the federal government. It’s a prerogative of the states.

I'd heard some whispers in the past about possible waffling on the federal civil unions issue, so I've paid attention to the topic ever since. The above statements makes it very clear that Dean has been absolutely consistent in his stance.

UPDATE: After Scott's post, I've changed the title to the entry below. I want to emphasise that I don't think Dean is waffling - but I am personally rethinking my earlier conviction that a federal law is something America isn't ready for yet, solely because of the analogy to segregation. I might have to disagree with Dean's (consistent) position on this, but I still am just not sure. --Aziz


federal civil unions: analogy to segregation?

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is a great piece (fwded by reader Brett Sokol), with some tidbits about Dean's foreign policy beyond Iraq (including a solid critique of Dean's "Marshall Plan for the Middle East" line). One exciting part where Dean spills the beans on the Veepstakes:

"We do low-end fundraisers all the time," Dean said, dismissing any thoughts of disappointment over the lackluster crowd at Nerve. He was more interested in discussing campaign strategy. "Half of [Ralph] Nader's votes will go to me," he predicted, a significant pool of support overlooked by many. Bob Graham as his vice-prez? "He would definitely be on the short list." Getting his message out with limited funds? "Be very clear."

More importantly, however, there's some thought-provoking questioning of Dean regarding civil unions at the federal level. As we all know, Dean's position on civil unions centers on states' rights, and is against trying to enact a federal version of that law if elected. However, Dean asserts that as president, he'd ensure federal benefits flowed to gay couples in states that passed "civil union" laws similar to Vermont's. This is somewhat of a paradox, and when someone presses him on it, we see flashes of his fabled temper:

"I'm not anxious to have more federal intrusion," Dean explained, launching into a defense of states' rights that eerily recalled Southern segregationist governors during the Sixties. But what if some governors, citing the wishes of their constituents, ignored President Dean and simply refused to pass "civil union" laws for gays? "We'll deal with that then," he said testily. "I don't have a plan."

You'll deal with that then? Aren't you the candidate who doesn't stick to safe answers?

"You're now beginning to tick me off," Dean bristled before returning to his measured argument against "too much federal power." Kulchur pressed on over Dean's protests, invoking the image of Alabama Gov. George Wallace embracing the mantle of states' rights as he literally blocked a university doorway to bar a black student's entry, stepping aside only after President Kennedy called in troops. If a president is unwilling to use federal power to enforce civil rights -- for blacks or gays -- how are things ever going to change? "Look, you go ask any of the other candidates for president if they support civil unions!" Dean shouted angrily.

But an awful lot of people in the gay community think a Dean presidency means civil unions will be legalized nationwide. They're going to be mighty disappointed in you when they find out you're waffling.

This, apparently, was the line you cannot cross with Dean. A typical politician would now demur to an aide, issue a platitude ("A pleasure speaking with you"), or just hang up the phone. But again, Dean is no typical pol.

"Don't you ever talk to me like that!" he roared. Kulchur, taken aback, fell silent. But an enraged Dean was just getting started: "I've risked my political career on this issue! I had to wear a bulletproof vest when I was campaigning in some parts of Vermont -- how dare you say that I haven't stood up for this community!"

I confess, I find this gripping - and I'm glad Kulchur pressed the issue, because it certainly does raise the important point that sometimes "states' rights" is an evasion. Of course Dean took an enormous political risk by signing the civil unions bill, but that was in Vermont. It's clear that Dean wouldn't assess the entire country as ready for that - and the analogy to segregation is particularly apt. Was America ready for desegregation and the end of Jim Crow during the 1960s? Ask the Freedom Riders. This exchange gave me a lot to think about - I have personally been against a federal law for civil unions, but I wonder now if I have been wrong- and maybe Dean should rethink his position against a federal law as well. Alas that it's too late to add the question to the poll!


pre-emptive vs. preventive war

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the comments thread of this post comes this email written by Charles Knight, who wrote the original critique that prompted Dean's rebuttal in Common Dreams (and sent out to the campaign mailing list). I think it's a great acknowledgement of how responsive Dean is to critics:

This past Monday a commentary I wrote critical of a Gov. Howard Dean speech to Democratic foreign policy specialists in DC was published by the Website Common Dreams. On Thursday Gov. Dean responded to my piece with his own article on Common Dreams. Dean "sets the record straight", so to speak, in a very progressive direction which strikes hard at key components of Bush foreign and domestic policy. I find myself in agreement with most of what he says, but that matters little. What does matter is that a pointed piece of political criticism has resulted in clarifications from the candidate and the clarifications are in a progressive direction. A good moment for "the power of the pen" or power of the keyboard, in my case.

I do have to nit-pick a bit. Dean still doesn't address clearly the difference between preemptive war and preventive war. It is a very important one and I hope that progressive politicians will learn to talk clearly about it. So I nit-pick! A short article with links to more in depth discussion about this issue can be found at .

Charles Knight, Project on Defense Alternatives

Talk about winning over your critics! Still, after reading the Kroening piece to which Knight refers, I think that the distinction between pre-emptive war and preventive war is indeed one that needs to be addressed.


Dean Emerges as Favorite of Hollywood Donors

posted by Editor at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It's not just President Bartlet and Meathead anymore!

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- What do rock star Joan Jett, actor Michael Douglas and "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David have in common? They all gave to the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont who is now seeking the 2004 Democratic nomination.

With about $2 million in his campaign war chest, Dean is not leading the fund-raising pack among his Democratic colleagues. (Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has about $8 million on hand for his campaign, and Sen. John Edwards reports about $5.7 million in his war chest.)

But Dean is ahead in the unofficial "Hollywood primary," winning donations from an impressive array of Tinseltown's stars and entertainment figures.

Among the others who donated to Dean's campaign: Director and producer Rob Reiner (perhaps best known as "Meathead" from TV's "All in the Family"), M*A*S*H star Mike Farrell, and singers David Crosby and Graham Nash.


You may call me a liberal!;action=display;threadid=86;start=0

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
courtesy Bully Pulpit, here is a transcript of Dean's closing remarks at teh Children's Defense Fund forum. If anyone has a transcript of the full speech, please let me know!

I have two advantages in this race. One of which I share with Bob Graham. I'm a physician and I'm a former governor. We've heard a lot of great things and I would be very happy to support the nominee of my party and I intend to do that vigorously... because I expect it to be me. (laughter) But the advantage of a doctor is that I know what happens when people don't have health insurance and we put health insurance in our state for everybody under 18 and I know how to do that for the United States. The advantage of a governor is that we home-visit 91% of the kids in our state, we've reduced the child abuse rate by 43% and those kids are going to go to college instead of prison 10 years from now.

You know, I want to thank my liberal friend Marian Wright Edelman. People have often called me a liberal too and I appreciate it. Because if being liberal means balancing the budget, which no Republican president has done that in 34 years, then you may call me a liberal. If being liberal means figuring out a way to have health insurance for every single american and joining every other industrialized country on the face of the earth then you may call me a liberal. If being a liberal means investing in early education which we have done and subsidizing child care for working people which we have done and making sure that child abuse is down and college attendance is up then you may call me a liberal.

I am tired of living in a country that's divided by race. I am tired of living in a country that's divided by income. I am tired of living in a country that's divided by gender. I am tired of living in a country that is divided. I want to be a president that brings this country back together. Where we admit again that we are responsible for each other and to each other. Where it's not only important for my kids to have health insurance but for my neighbor's kids to have health insurance. Where it's not only important for my kids to go to good schools but for my neighbor's children to go to good schools.

If you want to help us... (laughter).

Thank you very much.

What we're gonna do, we're gonna give young people a reason to vote again in this country. Let's go to it.


VOTE for DeanBlog Interview questions

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Thanks to everyone who left questions for the DeanBlog Interview! Especially with the various Haloscan comments failures - your patience was appreciated. I'd like to apologise to everyone for the long, inexcusable delays in getting this moving forward.

I've painstakingly gone through the list, trimmed the duplicates, filtered out those that could be answered by Dean's Issues Statements on the campaign website, and these are the result. I also removed a few questions that were either too vague/philosophical, or too Vermont-specific, trying to keep the focus on concrete national issues. If you feel your question was unfairly removed, leave a comment and let me know.

The final questions are in the comments section of this thread, and the poll below has the questions. Please vote for your top three (3) questions, and the ten most popular will be the ones we send to the campaign. Please note, the poll software will allow you to vote for more than three choices, but we are relying on the honor system and asking everyone to please limit themselves to just three choices only. Please.

UPDATE: There is indeed similarity between the "UN Resolutions and Israel" question with the "Israeli settlements" one. If I did it again, I'd combine them, but i can't at this point without restarting the poll, which I'd prefer not to do at this stage. The best compromise I can think of is, please try to address them separately, but if the totals are very similar, we will lump them together and combine to votes. If the totals are very dissimilar, we wil treat them separately. If you want to qualify/explain your vote, please use the comments section for feedback.

UPDATE: The poll has moved to the right-hand sidebar beneath the Zonkboard.

Thursday, April 17, 2003


Bush: It's Not Just His Doctrine That's Wrong

posted by Editor at Thursday, April 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here is an article posted on written by Gov. Howard Dean. Dr. Dean wrote the article to "set the record straight." I know that it is a bit long, so I have only posted the start of the article. You can read the whole article by following the link above.

[Note: After reading a recent article that called into question my opposition to the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war, I wanted to state my position clearly to set the record straight. I appreciate that the editors of Common Dreams have given me this opportunity.]

When Congress approved the President’s authorization to go to war in Iraq – no matter how well-intentioned – it was giving the green light to the President to set his Doctrine of preemptive war in motion. It now appears that Iraq was just the first step. Already, the Bush Administration is apparently eyeing Syria and Iran as the next countries on its target list. The Bush Doctrine must be stopped here.

Many in Congress who voted for this resolution should have known better. On September 23, 2002, Al Gore cautioned in his speech in San Francisco that “if the Congress approves the Iraq resolution just proposed by the Administration it is simultaneously creating the precedent for preemptive action anywhere, anytime this or any future president so decides.” And that is why it was such a big mistake for Congress to allow the president to set this dangerous precedent.

Too much is at stake. We have taken decades of consensus on the conduct of foreign policy – bipartisan consensus in the United States and consensus among our allies in the world community – and turned it on its head. It could well take decades to repair the damage this President and his cohort of right-wing ideological advisors have done to our standing in the international community.

Theirs is a radical view of our role in the world. The President who campaigned on a platform of a humble foreign policy has instead begun implementing a foreign policy characterized by dominance, arrogance and intimidation. The tidal wave of support and goodwill that engulfed us after the tragedy of 9/11 has dried up and been replaced by undercurrents of distrust, skepticism and hostility by many who had been among our closest allies.

This unilateral approach to foreign policy is a disaster. All of the challenges facing the United States – from winning the war on terror and containing weapons of mass destruction to building an open world economy and protecting the global environment – can only be met by working with our allies. A renegade, go-it-alone approach will be doomed to failure, because these challenges know no boundaries.

The largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot eliminate the threat of sleeper terrorist cells. That task requires the highest level of intelligence cooperation with our allies.

Even the largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot be expected to go to war against every evil dictator who may possess chemical weapons. This calls for an aggressive and effective diplomatic effort, conducted in full cooperation with a united international community, and preferably with the backing of the multilateral institutions we helped to build for just this purpose. This challenge requires treaties – such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – that this Administration has sometimes treated cavalierly. In any case, war should be a last resort or an option to be used in the face of an imminent threat.


Majority of Dean funding comes from smaller donations

posted by Scott at Thursday, April 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This article was in yesterday's Washington Post under the headline, "Kerry Leads Democratic Hopefuls in Funds Raised". The point of interest for Dean supporters is that it breaks down who raised how much and from whom. While John Edwards was nabbing $2,000 checks from his fellow lawyers, Howard Dean was getting his money from the street:

Dean, who has been running a campaign geared in part to smaller donors, raised $530,000 -- or 20 percent of his $2.6 million raised last quarter -- in $2,000 contributions. Dean had by far the largest percentage of small donations, many received through direct mail or via the Internet. A total of $760,891 -- or 29 percent -- of Dean's contributions was in amounts less than $250, and 60 percent in amounts less than $1,000.
The detailed reports show interesting patterns of contributions. Dean, a medical doctor, raised $81,500 from physicians, and he also raised nearly $60,000 from educators and students.

Politically, this is great news. It confirms what we already know: that Howard Dean has the backing of an energized, grassroots base. And being in fourth place in terms of cash-on-hand (ahead of the Lieberman campaign by a few hundred grand) is an incredible position for a grassroots campaign to find itself in.

Update: More good news

The Washington Times has some additional information on the sources of Dean's campaign funding:

The second-highest group of Democratic donors were retired people, who topped the contributor list of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who collected $218,000 from them.
Mr. Dean drew from the creative crowd, garnering more than $14,000 from artists, with writers kicking in more than $41,000. Even professors and teachers seemed united behind Mr. Dean, giving him $37,000.

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About Nation-Building

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.