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> Howard Dean Slammed for Speech, Much ado about nothing?
Cube Jockey
post Jun 13 2005, 11:37 PM
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I'm sure that everyone has heard about the Dean speech that caused such an uproar recently, if you haven't you can begin your search here - some good excerpts inside.

As should be expected Dean took heavy criticism from the Republican party, but it seems that some Democrats are also uncomfortable with his remarks. Below is one such example.

QUOTE
Still, the words brought sharp rebukes from fellow Democrats such as Biden, who said on Sunday that Dean "doesn't speak for me ... and I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats."


Well if we want to get technical, I don't think Biden speaks for very many Democrats with his support for the recently passed bankruptcy bill dry.gif

In today's chronicle Jon Carroll writes:
QUOTE
And yet some Democrats think Dean is being too confrontational. We should be nice to the lying liars or people will think we're, gasp, partisan. "Partisan" is a good thing; it's what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The problem comes when one party stays very partisan and the other party starts modifying and mollifying and trying to find some mythical friendly center. I loved Mister Rogers, but I never thought he'd make a good chairman of the Democratic Party.

<snip>

Most Americans are neither ultraconservative nor superrich, and they are interested in hearing the truth. The Democrats should be interested in telling the truth, and telling it in a strong and convincing manner. They cannot flinch when the White House does one of its "gay marriage booga booga" dances. Be not afraid, Democrats. This is not an occasion in which the meek will inherit the earth. Speak for the people, because the people need you to end the madness.


I think he makes a very good point and sums up my opinion on things.

Questions for debate:
1. As a Democrat would you prefer that your party continue to tip-toe around issues and weakly address the opposition or do you believe it is time to start being blunt about the truth?

2. Is Dean being too confrontational? Why or why not?
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nighttimer
post Jun 14 2005, 01:21 AM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Jun 13 2005, 07:37 PM)
Questions for debate:
1.  As a Democrat would you prefer that your party continue to tip-toe around issues and weakly address the opposition or do you believe it is time to start being blunt about the truth?

2.  Is Dean being too confrontational?  Why or why not?



1. Load that question much, Cube Jockey? laugh.gif

The VERY LAST THING I want to see in the Democratic Party are any more wussy, touch-feely, kum-ba-ya PUNKS like Joe The Plagarizer Biden talking about how we must reach out to the Republicans and work together. Biden is a good reason for term limits. He's been a Washington insider for so long that he stopped standing up for principle and started trying how best to suck up to Republicans even when they are wrong, wrong, WRONG.

The accomodation wing of the Democratic Party needs to seriously SHUT UP because the practice of peddling the snake oil of being "bipartisan" does not work when only side is practicing it. The Republicans don't see any need to consult with Democrats. Why should they? They have the numbers on their side. What do they gain by throwing a bone to a party of perennial losers and crybabies?

It's time to counter the vitriol and rhetoric coming from the Republicans with the same coming from the Democrats----and the Democrats don't have to always wait for the GOP to fire off a volley before blasting away themselves.

I almost changed my party affiliation from "Democrat" to "Independent" based on all the hangdog, woe-is-me, "we've gotta go along to get along" Neville Chamberlain Democrats who think being Republican-Lite is a formula for success. It ain't. Appeasing and imitating Republicans just brings the Democratic another day closer to extinction. They've already become irrelevant.

2. Too confrontational? Against who? A president who stole one election and thinks he won a mandate in the other? A Senate run by a stooge like Bill Frist who is all too happy to suck up to the Republican Radical Right? A House of Representatives being run into the ground by a former bug exterminator with delusions of grandeur?

It isn't the REPUBLICANS who Dean needs to give a swift kick in the butt. It's the DEMOCRATS who need it bad. A few weeks ago Dean spoke of how the party had taken black voters for granted. Dang straight, Howie. And if the Dems have a snowball's chance of taking back the White House in 2008, they have got to come strong in 2006. That is only going to happen by energizing and mobilizing the base and then broadening it.

Biden and the weaker than water wing of the party should hold their criticisms until after the results of the midterm elections are in. Deliver some solid wins for the Democrats in 2006 and Dean will be sipping champagne. Lose even more ground and he should pack his bags for a return home to Vermont.

dry.gif
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Eeyore
post Jun 14 2005, 02:30 AM
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I don't have any problem with Dean being a lightning rod. Yet, as I quickly came to a conclusion after my first Howard Dean rally that he was a phenomenon, not because of what he said, or what his ideas were, but for his populism and his grassroots, revolution, fundraising success. In fact I think Dean;s campaign manager should head the DNC. I don't have anything against Dean, but if he;s the best the Dems got then we are shooting blanks.

I have no problem with grabbing the center. As the Republicans schmooze their base they are at risk from even a mediocre charismatic Dem to come around and solidly capture 60% of the vote. Such is the woes of being Democrat today, the votes are there to grab and nobody can reap the harvest. We got Gore and then Gore light from Massachusetts.

Dean is not the answer to the Dems problems, but his style is helpful.

Yet, are there any Dean fans on this thread that have a solid program in mind that would come about if Dean was president. While the Reps deserve to be run out of town on a rail, is an anti-war candidate something that is helpful now.

I'll admit I'd love someone who could come around and tell the Reps how bad they screwed up AND have a clear policy to sell about where the United States needs to be going today. But Dean isn't the idea guy, he is the method guy. The best thing he has going is the movement to try top grow a new grass roots movement.

Edited to add, I am a fan of Biden's and I wish they he had the guts to run in 2004. He and McCain do good centrist work in Washington. Yet for some reason I think that Lieberman is a dangerous centrist dem. I think different people rub different ways.

This post has been edited by Eeyore: Jun 14 2005, 02:32 AM
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Doclotus
post Jun 14 2005, 03:34 AM
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1. As a Democrat would you prefer that your party continue to tip-toe around issues and weakly address the opposition or do you believe it is time to start being blunt about the truth?
Thank goodness for the 2nd amendment, cause that question be loaded w00t.gif Seriously though, I actually think this is a 2 part question. Do I want Dean being the chief watchdog on the GOP? You betcha, but I think he and the rest of the party need to focus on our message, not spending all of our time indicting theirs. Ggranted the latter is easy to do but 2004 proved voting against someone wasn't sufficient to get him out of office. People want something to vote for as well.

2. Is Dean being too confrontational? Why or why not?
I'd like to see him tone down the generalizations a bit, I don't think they're productive and give people like Cheney too easy ammo. Look at some of the speeches in his campaign, like in South Carolina on race (I'll try and hunt down the speech, it was one of the best I'd seen on race in probably 40 years). Man, the message was loud and clear without being hostile. We need more of that in my opinion. He has it in him.

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Cube Jockey
post Jun 14 2005, 03:47 AM
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QUOTE(Eeyore @ Jun 13 2005, 07:30 PM)

Yet, are there any Dean fans on this thread that have a solid program in mind that would come about if Dean was president.  While the Reps deserve to be run out of town on a rail, is an anti-war candidate something that is helpful now.
*


Dean was more than an anti-war candidate, he had some good plans as well such as his health care plan. But I'm not really sure that a discussion of Dean the president is what this is about. He didn't get the nomination and he has already stated that since he is DNC chair he won't seek nomination in 2008.

I think his role is to shake up the party, and he is doing a good job of that so far. He needs to be holding all of these "centrist" Democrats like Biden to the fire. He needs to give the party a reason for being other than being the "we aren't as bad as the other guy" party. But probably most importantly, he needs to turn the Democratic party into a 50 state party again - we shouldn't just be focusing on 12 or 13 states.

I personally think things like this need to be said. I'm tired of everyone tip-toeing around issues. What I've noticed recently is there is a rift starting to form between the traditional "pro-business" moderate Republicans and the moral extremists in the party. This has manifested itself a little bit in recent months, but nothing significant. Dean is really just stating the obvious here in the hopes that some people will wake up and realize what is happening.
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Eeyore
post Jun 14 2005, 04:16 AM
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But what is Dean rallying? Does he have a plan that will get a national healthcare reform?

Should the role of the DNC be to shoot arrows or to get the DNC wrapped around a program.

I don't see a problem with Centrists. Clinton, like him or not, was the most successful democrat since JFK.

He plays into the shrill shrieking liberal image, just as Kerry fit into the Massachusetts liberal, and Edwards fit into the trial lawyer image.

The problem is that no one has been able to sell why being a liberal is a good thing. The sad thing is that it (like feminism+ i.e. women and me should be treated equally) should be extremely easy to sell.

I lost my patience with Dean early because I don;t see substance and I don;t think his style is helpful, heck even Pelosi backed off of him last night as did the local Dem heavyweight Harold Ford, Jr.

I hoped and I waited, and now I have given up.
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Cube Jockey
post Jun 14 2005, 04:46 AM
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QUOTE(Eeyore @ Jun 13 2005, 09:16 PM)
But what is Dean rallying?  Does he have a plan that will get a national healthcare reform?
*


Dean's role as DNC chair isn't to set policy, nor should it be.

Dean's biggest priority at the moment is getting the Democratic party back to a 50 state party. He is going to fund races which previous DNC chairs have written off because they were in "red" states or republican dominated districts. This is in large part one of the main reasons he became DNC chair.

Secondarily he is trying to reform the party and push them towards providing a vision for the country, being able to articulate values and standing for something other than "we're not as bad as the republicans". He is working with people like George Lakoff to whip the party into shape.

He is going to be making changes in the way funds are raised, he isn't courting the big donors as much as they have been in the past. he is trying to bring in a lot of small donors.

Finally, he is focusing intensely on grassroots. The Republicans have huge networks they can leverage, and we don't.

I had the opportunity to speak with his brother, chair of Democracy for America, and listen to him speak - I think that we'll see different results in 2006 and 2008.

This post has been edited by Cube Jockey: Jun 14 2005, 04:48 AM
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Chanteuse
post Jun 14 2005, 05:26 AM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Jun 14 2005, 12:46 AM)
QUOTE(Eeyore @ Jun 13 2005, 09:16 PM)
But what is Dean rallying?  Does he have a plan that will get a national healthcare reform?
*


Dean's role as DNC chair isn't to set policy, nor should it be.

Dean's biggest priority at the moment is getting the Democratic party back to a 50 state party. He is going to fund races which previous DNC chairs have written off because they were in "red" states or republican dominated districts. This is in large part one of the main reasons he became DNC chair.

Secondarily he is trying to reform the party and push them towards providing a vision for the country, being able to articulate values and standing for something other than "we're not as bad as the republicans". He is working with people like George Lakoff to whip the party into shape.

He is going to be making changes in the way funds are raised, he isn't courting the big donors as much as they have been in the past. he is trying to bring in a lot of small donors.

Finally, he is focusing intensely on grassroots. The Republicans have huge networks they can leverage, and we don't.

I had the opportunity to speak with his brother, chair of Democracy for America, and listen to him speak - I think that we'll see different results in 2006 and 2008.
*



I'm not sure what the answer is. But, speaking for myself, I've become so discouraged about being able to "work" with the other party, that at this point, I would be happy with Democrats just speaking fiercely and honestly and let the chips fall where they may. We've been losing anyway ... if we continue to loose at least is would come by us honestly.

Not that I mean to be completely defeatist ..., but I just don't think we can "out spin" the Republican party. I really do believe that we, for the most part ARE altruistic in our intentions to help people live better lives. And I really believe that for the Republicans it's about winning and getting what they want at ALL costs. It's a very different philosophy of life and our country.

How can we "work" with people who, by example have shown they have no intention of "working together" for the betterment of the country?

So, while I can't argue that Dean's speaking out the way he does is the best strategic move ... All I can say is that, personally, it is a relief to finally hear someone say what they think. I'm just sick of we Democrats being so mealy-mouthed.

I'm just saying that trying to speak "reasonably" hasn't been working either. Might as well just be true to ourselves. Perhaps being true to ourselves will make it easier for us to come up with plans that are much more definative and identifyable.

Our message gets mixed up because we're spending too much time trying to be "polite" and "understood".

How about just putting it all out there, what ever it is and see where that leads? Because being the "diplomatic" party ain't working for us anymore.
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A left Handed pe...
post Jun 15 2005, 12:27 AM
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1. As a Democrat would you prefer that your party continue to tip-toe around issues and weakly address the opposition or do you believe it is time to start being blunt about the truth?

Their compromising, and as a minority party, thats about the best they can do. The only way they can get things done, is to lean on the support of Republican moderates, and as a consequence its pretty much impossible to create a passable liberal agenda at the moment. Many people complain that democrats aren't really standing for anything, because they aren't coming up with their own solutions for the countrys problems, but I think their current actions are logical. Presenting solutions that will not be passed, will only allow the republicans to make us look bad by criticizing such solutions.

2. Is Dean being too confrontational? Why or why not?

Hes being over the top. I personally don't like rhetoric, but it may help democrats politically.

This post has been edited by A left Handed person: Jun 15 2005, 12:41 AM
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