By Rachel Marsden | Bio
McCain called his 2000 presidential campaign the "Straight Talk
Express," then Howard Dean should be coining his the
At this time
last year, if any pundit would have said that he had Dean pegged to win the 2004
Democratic Party nomination, he would have been well-advised to have his head
examined. What a difference a year
success amongst Democrats can be largely attributed to the fact that he has been
able to galvanize and energize certain factions of the Democratic party:
namely the 'new age hippies', and those who are seriously desperate for
either a date or a party.
Dean has used
the Internet to sign up supporters for "meet-ups" in their area.
Essentially, it's a revamping of the "political love-in" from
the 60's, where pot-smoking hippies would use politics as a guise for picking up
dates. Now, Dean--having liberated'
the gays of the State of Vermont by legislating civil unions, much in the same
way he might imagine that Lincoln 'liberated' the slaves--is out to' free' every
sex-starved, party-deprived Democrat, and give them what they really want:
a good time. To that end, the Dean campaign is currently enlisting people
to host "New Years With Dean and Al Gore" house parties.
A host who raises $311 for the campaign through his or her house party
becomes eligible to participate in a--wait for it--CONFERENCE CALL with Dean and
that wild party animal, Al Gore!
is that the Howard Dean gravy train seems to be sputtering toward the end of its
track. One can only play
'rotate-a-date' for so long, even if it is for a political cause.
Looks like the beer kegs are running a little dry on the Dean campaign
trail. They've dropped the fun,
playful pretense and are now resorting to flat-out desperation.
28th, Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi, sent out a mass mailing to every poor
sap who happened to give the "Dean for America" folks his or her email
address: "We need to raise
$1.5 million before midnight on December 31 so we can win Iowa.
With just four days left to go, we're $1.2 million short.
Please take action right now, because these are the most critical days
our campaign has ever faced." The
email ends with a lovely, upbeat, "We need each other now more than ever.
Stand together and do what you can do, but do something."
Perhaps a "get off your arses, you lazy hippies" would have
been more effective?
me to yet another Dean downfall. Man,
is this guy ever angry. And, I
mean, seriously agitated. Then
again, he is the poster boy for the same state (Vermont) that the Drug
Enforcement Administration ranks number 2 in the country in per-person Ritalin
use, so perhaps his constant agitation is fitting.
Dean rants and raves and flings and flails so much during debates, events
and appearances that I honestly don't know how anyone could picture this guy in
the Oval Office, within an arm-fling's distance of the Big Red Button. It seems that once the blood gets flowing to Dean's reddened
face, it all gets diverted directly from his brain, since he has a tendency of
getting worked up and running off at the mouth with unsubstantiated, knee-jerk
recently, he said that Bush was given a 'heads up' about the 9/11 attacks by
Saudi Royals. When he was asked to
back up the claim, of course he couldn't.
back in 2001 when Dean was still Governor of Vermont, he attended the Jefferson
Jackson Dinner in Miami Beach, Florida. While
at this event in Governor Jeb Bush's home state, Dean made some totally false,
glib remarks about the host-Governor--making Dean come off as the kind of guy
you'd invite over to your place for dinner, only to have him whine about the
fact that your lasagna wasn't 'crinkle cut'.
responded to Dean's remarks in a classy letter, dated June 25, 2001, that was
copied to the National Governor's Association.
In it, he very pointedly addressed Dean's false assertions:
"You stated that the number of Florida's uninsured is growing.
In fact, over 81% of all eligible children are now receiving insurance
under the KidCare program – a staggering improvement from the 54.8% being
served under the previousn administration...As it pertains to reduction in
services and programs for expecting mothers, another issue that was
misrepresented during your remarks, I proposed no such cuts in my budget. While the Senate proposed a reduction in Medicaid eligibility
limit from 185% to 150% of the federal poverty level, this recommendation was
not picked up in the final budget.
budget contains no reductions in benefits or eligibility groups for
Medicaid...You also stated that the infant mortality rate has increased under my
watch. In reality, the provisional
infant mortality rate in Florida for the year 2000, the most recent year for
which we have data available, is at its lowest level in Florida history."
his letter to Dean with a subtle suggestion about checking his facts before
running off at the mouth: "In the future, I would urge you to contact me
personally when you have questions regarding my record and I will look forward
to providing the facts about the services and programs offered to the people of
Dean's recent comments about 'Dubya' and 9/11; the 'decrease' in education
spending (when in reality, George W. Bush has increased spending in education by
65%); and about not wanting to pin the blame for 9/11 on poor Osama bin Laden
(even though bin Laden has owned up to the attacks with great pride)--it looks
like he should have taken Jeb's words about reality-checking to heart.
Now the stakes, and the price of mistakes, are much higher.
That's something Dean is going to have to learn the hard way now.
Dean seems to
have cornered the market on anti-war supporters--the same ones who boo George W.
Bush's and Ronald Reagan's names on liberal college campuses, yet cheer
dictators like Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro.
If you wish Saddam Hussein was still in power, then Dean is your man.
Democratic Debate in Columbia, South Carolina on May 3, 2003, Dean said in the
same breath that although he's glad Saddam Hussein was removed from power, the
war was still wrong. In a foreign
policy address at Drake University in February, he suggested that if he was in
charge, he would have spent more time figuring out ways to negotiate with Saddam
on the disarmament issue, and maybe have tried to talk some sense into the
murderous dictator. He also said,
in a Washington Post online Q&A, that more negotiation is needed (ie. with
countries like North Korea) to press for nuclear disarmament.
What leverage would Dean hope to use exactly?
Bush has the
leverage to negotiate by virtue of the fact that he's proven to these dangerous,
dictatorial regimes that he isn't afraid to use military force if the situation
requires it. It's no coincidence that within only a handful of days of
Saddam Hussein's capture, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi volunteered to destroy his
country's nuclear and chemical weapons, and Iran suddenly agreed to open up its
nuclear facilities to inspectors.
The obvious lesson here is if you want a safer world and a more secure
America, vote for Bush; if you want Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-Il in
sensitivity training, then Howard Dean is quite clearly the guy for you.
Even when it
comes to supposedly "left-wing" issues like health care, Dean doesn't
seem to have a clue. One would
think that, since he's a medical doctor himself, this would be the one area
where Dean would really shine. However, when he spoke at a New England
conference on health care in 2001, he suggested that Vermont's health care
system should be used as a 'national model' since 93% of residents (that's
Dean's figure--not that of the Census Bureau, whose number is significantly
lower) have health insurance. Dean went on to say, in the same speech, that Vermont's
insurance program will be $50 million in the red if something isn't done.
Vermont, with a population of a little over 600,000 represents about 0.2% of the
entire national population. If
Dean's model was a national one, covering all 50 states, then America would be
about $22 billion in debt.
exactly does Howard Dean have a handle on?
Well, we know he's good at organizing matchmaking sessions for his
supporters. Maybe he can come up with one that caters to members of
despotic regimes? Dean also let
slip during his January 20, 2000 news conference that he--along with his
driver--have pursued speeding cars. He
said that in one case, they called ahead for help in order to apprehend a person
who may have (gasp!) thrown a can out a car window.
Perfect! While 'Dubya' works
at ridding the world of tin-pot dictators, Dean can work at ridding the world of