By Rachel Marsden
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 makes!
Dean's 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 claims.
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
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 previous 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 Florida."
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
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
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
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
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.
So what 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 tin-can offenders.
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