Dean Gets It

Stirring campaign announcement speech by Howard Dean. The more I learn about him, the more I like. And more than any candidate I’ve known of, Dean is using the collaborative power of the internet to build support. All politicians and candidates have had web sites, but Dean has a blog and a meetup space. More importantly, he’s somehow managed to generate more backing funds in a shorter period of time than analysts figured he’d be able to. There’s a lot to his platform, bu what seems to be lighting fires is his blunt declaration that we’re not just living through a standard right-wing pendulum swing — the country has been taken over by extremists who don’t represent what most Americans believe America stands for.

Gives me hope. Take it back.

21 Replies to “Dean Gets It”

  1. How do you guys vote for presidency ?
    Seen from Europe there only seems to be two candidates ? one from R and the other from D. Anyone willing to explain ?

  2. Ludovic –

    In the US, the primary political parties are Democrat and Republican (at least for the presidential election). Before the main presidential election, each political party runs a “primary election” which determines which, out of the pool of running candidates, will become the parties endorsed candidate for the main election.

    For instance, there are many democrats in the running for the 2004 election, but after the primary the members of the party will choose the ONE candidate they want to run for presidency in the main election.

    Winning the primary doesn’t mean that the “losers” of the primary can’t continue to run for president, it just means they won’t have the endorsement of their political party (and for all intents and purposes will not win the main election because of this).

    Some of the alternative political parties also run primaries, but unfortunately due to their size they are often overlooked. In addition, there are also primaries for “smaller” local elections for positions such as state governor, city mayor, etc.

  3. “…we’re not just living through a standard right-wing pendulum swing — the country has been taken over by extremists who don’t represent what most Americans believe America stands for.”

    You know ? this is a succinct statement of something that’s been bugging me alot with my church lately, too – The Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. There’s been a HUGE stink made by a cadre of extremist, right-wing fundamentalists (never thought I’d use *that* phrase about Episcopalians ;) over homosexuals and how, or even *if*, they should participate in the life of the church.

    As a life-long Episcopalian, I’m getting pretty pissed off over my church being hijacked by these evangelical nutcases, so I’ve been in a “Take it back” mood myself…

    For them what’s interested, you can browse through these news sites for more info:

  4. Dean is a non-liberal centrist with a tax and
    spend history.

    I doubt Dean would steer the boat much
    differently than W.

    Here is a Kucinich vs. Dean comparasion for laughs.


    Re: “Taking Back”.

    “The Church” by design is “full of nutcases”,
    as seen by the agnostic. Nationalist, religous,
    and racist folks worry me, as all the genocide
    of the 20th century was caused by those idealogies.

    More nuns like these
    though, and I’ll gain some respect for the church:,0,1970427.story

    So, by all means, take back the Church….

  5. The comparison chart is quite an eye-opener. Thanks for that, John. At first blush, it makes the choice a no-brainer. Except for the usual dilemma about whether to “throw away” a vote on a person clearly too liberal to win. Dean’s relative centrism is exactly what gives him half a chance in comparison. The usual bitter pill.

  6. > Sean thanks a lot, could you explain further this
    > “(and for all intents and purposes will not win
    > the main election because of this).”?[/i]

    Ludovic –

    Say a democratic candidate runs in the Primary election but does not win. That candidate can still run for president, but they will not have the backing of the democratic party. In order for this candidate to win, not only are they going to have to do better than the official candidate (which they weren’t able to do in the Primary), but they will also have to do better than the republican candidate. He/she will have to compete on his/her own against the political, advertising, and fundraising machine of the democratic party.

    Therefore, it will be a very, very difficult race for them that they will most likely not win.

  7. Efforts are already well underway to spin Dean as a far-out, unelectable leftie.

    e.g. see this Daily Howler, a daily must-read for me:

    Also, it appears Karl Rove is excited to run against Dean:

    I have to disagree with John’s comment that Dean would steer the boat the same as W. Dean may be centrist, but he’s not going to bring the Christian theocrats (incipient fascists) and the New American Imperium neoconservatives along for the ride. That’s my real worry, the coalition between those two groups. W exploits that mercilessly. Dean would do no such thing. You’re not just electing a president, you’re electing his board of advisors and his rank-n-file political supporters.

  8. I read the announcement speech– clearly Dean is a man who does not believe in human rights. Sure, he cloaks his statemetns ins sugary hate speech, talking about “health insurance for everybody” instead of “enslaving every man woman and child in the country to a governmetn with total control over your lives, total power over your health, and who takes all of your paycheck.”

    The idea that the right wing of the Boot On Your Neck party is any worse (or more “fascist” or “more extremist”) than the left wing of the Boot On Your Neck party is the delusion supported by people who are not strong enough to take the red pill: They are the same party. You might as well be voting for Saddam Hussien– you get no choice. You got a fascist on the left or a fascist on the right. A dictatorial socialists from the Republicans or a socialist dictator from the Democrats.

    Either way you’re voting against human rights, against the constitution and against the Bill of Rights. Remember, not only did Bill Clinton sign the “Defense of marriage act” which criminalized gay marriage, 2/3 of the congressional democrats voted for it!

    Where’s the difference? And this is just one issue where people tend to non-thinkingly assume there is a difference.

    Wake up, before you loose all your rights– stop voting for people who want to take them away, especially when they are offering nothing in return. (When has government ever kept the promises used to try and get away with stealing our money or grabbing more power? The Patriot act was drafted by democrats and signed by a republican. George Bush Sr started the hunting rifle ban, and then Clinton signed it into law.

    You got a license to have your blog? IF we applied the same rules to the first that we do to the second, you’d need one! And if you think it could never happen here… well, you haven’t been paying attention lately.

    Wake up, people!

  9. Gee, An Actual American, how about that. Only a wee bit inflammatory. Why do I get the impression that An Actual American would not want to defend his/her own statements? Maybe because they’re so absurd that I know s/he doesn’t really believe them?

    Sweet troll.

  10. as i’m sure you suspected, i’m sympathetic to AAA.

    why are people who express their ideas labelled troll? i don’t find his post terribly inflammatory nor that far off the mark.

    though i agree with you about the anonymity.

  11. baald, every other line in “I am an American”‘s post was inflammatory. Do you think he REALLY believes that:

    “Dean is a man who does not believe in human rights. ” ?

    Of course not. He is stating way more than the truth — way more than he personally believes (I’m sure) — to get a rise.

    People can post anything they want here, I don’t care if it contradicts my opinions. I want there to be lively debate. But you gotta believe what you say, be able to back it up.

    Unless you think that he actually thinks that blogs should require licenses similar to those doled out for guns, then I think we’ll have to agree that his post was a troll.

  12. ok, a few lines were a touch hyperbolic. more of a form vs. content thing to me. read through the hyperbole, give him the benefit of the doubt, see what he’s really trying to say. i don’t think his intent was to inflame as much as to express his opinion on his fears re: where we might be heading and that we’re heading there regardless of which of the two political parties is in power.

    (ok, cloaked in a bit of insecurity. he probably anticipates that his statements will not be welcomed with a bear hug. yet he does have something to offer. so i can’t write him off as pure troll)

    but his point was not that he thinks that you should require a license for your blog. quite the opposite. he’s worried that at some point you MIGHT need a license for your blog. with the current administration, that’s not a far stretch. is it? and will it get better with the next one? unless we start thinking about this stuff and prioritizing it (yes, some slopes really ARE slippery…) it might not.

    all fair assertions in my book. but then i can be a blustery troll myself, so maybe it blows right by me….

  13. And I love a good hyperbole myself, so fair enough.

    It seems that you agree with him that at some point I might need a license for my blog. That’s what I don’t get. What is it about America today that fills you and he with fears of absurd levels of totalitarianism? What is the connection in your minds between gun licenses and blog licenses? Does the requirement to license your gun not seem reasonable? In contrast, in what universe would a blog license seem reasonable to anyone? Sorry I’m not with you here – this just strikes me as the kind of low-level abstract paranoia (imagine the worst, then declare we’re headed there) that leads to the creation of appalachian militias.

    I don’t think I have my head in the sand about how personal liberties have been compromised since 9/11. I’ve talked about my concerns on that front before. It just seems like you’re both saying that to require gun licenses somehow threatens your freedom or rights. And it seems like you’re saying that blog licenses would be similar, when in fact A) it ain’t never going to happen — no matter how extreme the current administration gets I just can’t see it and B) gun licenses are reasonable, blog licenses would not be — I take the latter as self-evident.

  14. here’s what i’m trying to semantically triangulate:

    – michael powell totally deregulating broadcasting for the haves

    – the economic reductive trend of communications companies (of all sorts), and the resultant concentration of power

    – chomsky’s contention that censorship isn’t overt, but insidious, and exists. (ie, the EIC of the NYT doesn’t issue mandates to his editors on what (not) to write. he doesn’t have to. they’ve been culled from ivy league schools or other establishment positions. the culture is such that they wouldn’t BE at the NYT if they were wanting to subvert the establishment. wouldn’t fit in, wouldn’t get past the first interview). doesn’t have to be anything nefarious about it. i’ve been asked for my opinion of potential hirees and given thumbs down on some just because i didn’t think i’d want to work with them.

    – what other ways can a power structure regulate w/o setting up a bureaucracy and explicitly requiring licensure? this isn’t france – you’re right in that we won’t have a new office of blog licensure.

    – and yet with GLOBAL econmic reductionism (y’know – the new world order and all that shit? EEU. nafta…. WTO. WMF) we are bound by certain laws of commonality that didn’t exist before the economic treaties. well, sure, those are trade laws, you say, doesn’t effect me sittin on the pot. but in a capitalist world, doesn’t everything get monetized?

    – what will keep speakeasy from getting bought out by MSN? OK, but howbout after the next link up the chain (the backbone) is all owned by one conglomerate?

    – is there any practical difference between your ISP blacklisting you because of “objectionable” content and a government entity refusing to issue you a blog license? (or whatever). but isn’t government slowly privatizing itself into a conglomerate? adn aren’t conglomerates slowly replacing government?

    all rhetorical question. i don’t think they can be answered. i certainly am not implying that these are my positions on anything. though it does seem to me that actuallities can be very tenuous before they actualize. that’s why you have to keep your nose in the air. like yogi bear.

  15. You are so right about the extremists.

    After all, Bush wants to:

    Protect America from terorism
    Give us our money back
    Liberate people living in dictatorships
    Save millions from AIDS
    etc etc etc

    What extremists ideas!

    You guys are delusional. You say:”extremists who don’t represent what most Americans believe America stands for. ”

    Have ya checks the polls lately dreamer?

    After months of the Dems lying about Bush he is DOWN to a mere 60%.

    And what is Dean at??????? about 4%?????

    You can disagree with Bush, but don’t make yourself look foolish by denying reality. The only Dem to win the Whitehouse in almost 30 years did so by claiming to be conservative.

    So…. Who is the extreamist…. Bush or you?

    Reality sucks huh?

  16. BTW If Dean is so down to earth, mainstream, centrist blah blah blah..

    Why was Carl Rove stumping for him?

    The republicans would LOVE to meet him in the general. He would make Mondull look like a winner.

  17. >Protect America from terorism

    I suppose, but one has to wonder what he’s doing in Iraq if he’s so concerned about terrorists. Remember the name Osama bin Laden? Didn’t he come from a place called Afghanistan? We’re still waiting for some indication that Iraq might have been a threat to the US or to the world.

    >Give us our money back

    You mean put us billions and billions into debt? Last I checked, tax money is not stolen from us – we the people collectively vote to pool our money on certain projects that benefit us all. I’m so sick of hearing that taxation is theft. Taxation is an agreement on how we should improve society. You may not like that some of it goes to schools, I may not like that some of it goes to nukes, but it’s a collective compromise we make collectively, not theft.

    > Liberate people living in dictatorships

    If you’re referring to Iraq, I don’t recall liberation ever being stated as one of the reasons we were going to fight there – only a convenient card played when the rest of the house of cards fell.

    >Save millions from AIDS

    I’m very much heartened to hear of Bush’s commitment there.

  18. Baald asked “what other ways can a power structure regulate w/o setting up a bureaucracy and explicitly requiring licensure?”

    Following Chomsky I’ll give a couple of answers:

    –by drawing media and government elites from the same pool of talent

    –by linking the media’s interests to those of big business, through corporate ownership

    –by massive public relations efforts – in Manufacturing Consent Chomsky and Herman point out that the Air Force, just one branch of the military, has a PR budget greater than that of all independent activist organizations put together. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” of the right, the talk-radio and fax/email/mail machine, is part of this.

    –by overt intimidation of the opposition, as in Florida. was a meeting ground for gangs of Repubs who shouted down Dems at the recounts. Not of the government, but organized by the same people.

    –by making corporate interests identical with those of the government. Globalism. The corporate right of personhood and free speech.

    –by mobilizing a small but loud cultural group – in the Republicans case, the religious right – in its service.

    The last two points are the essential groundings of fascism, and why I feel we actually are heading in an incipient fascist direction. Read David Neiwert’s “Rush, Newspeak, and Fascism” series at among other sources.

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