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December 12, 2003

The Dean of Demo-derriéres…

“Howard Dean really is the only candidate who has been able to inspire at the grass-roots level all over this country the kind of passion and enthusiasm for democracy and change and transformation of America that we need in this country.” Thus proclaimed Albert Arnold Gore Tuesday in Al Sharpton’s back backyard, Harlem (which, whenever it’s politically expedient, is also Bill and Hillary’s backyard). By choosing to endorse Dean a mere, oh, 328 days before the election, Gore stuck a knife in the back of his 2000 presidential running-mate, Joe Lieberman. “[Dean] was the only major candidate who made the correct judgment about the Iraq war,” insisted Albert, “and he had the insight and the courage to say and do the right thing. Those judgments – that basic common sense – is what you want in a president. … It was a mistake to get us into a quagmire over there.”

“Correct judgement … insight … courage … common sense” – all elements that Gore and his mentor Bill Clinton lacked at every juncture during their White House tenure. As for “quagmire,” even the Leftmedia stopped invoking that hackneyed descriptor six months ago.

Gore’s endorsement represented a coalescence of the ultra-Left, and it sent a terse message to the Clintons about who would control the soap-operatic Democrat Party. Will Bill now trump Arnold by endorsing Dick, John or Joe – or will he nominate Hillary from the Demo-convention floor? Stay tuned.

Suffice it to say that the rest of the “Braying Herd of Jackasses” were none too pleased with Gore’s announcement. At Tuesday night’s televised Demo-debacle, the last of six sponsored by the Democratic National Committee to “introduce” the candidates to voters, the remainder of the Demo field taunted Dean. ABC’s Ted Koppel opened the slugfest by asking the nine candidates to “raise your hand if you believe that Governor Dean can beat George Bush.” Of course, only one candidate – Dean – raised his hand (appropriately, his left hand).

“We’re not going to have any big name come in now and tell us the field should be limited and we can’t be heard,” harrumphed Al Sharpton, pondering whether Mr. Gore had noticed that “Tammany Hall is not there anymore.” Sen. John Edwards angrily added, “We’re not going to have a coronation.” Wesley Clark followed, “To quote another former Democratic [sic] leader, I think elections are about people, not about the powerful – I think it was Al Gore who said that.” John Kerry tried to keep a straight face while claiming, “This race is not over,” and offered this keen observation: “Howard Dean has absolutely zero, no foreign policy, military or national security experience … Howard Dean wants to raise taxes on middle-class Americans.” Joe Lieberman concluded, “The choice in this campaign has now become clear. Howard Dean and now Al Gore say they want to take our country back. I want to take America forward.”

Asked later about concerns that Dean would take the party too far to the left, Lieberman responded: “I’m not going to stand by and let the Party go in the direction I not only think is wrong for the Party but wrong for the country. Howard Dean – and now, I guess, Al Gore – are on the wrong side of those issues.”

Their braying notwithstanding, many Democrats think Gore’s endorsement sealed the deal for Dean. “I’m sure that it has to enhance his campaign, and I think that it probably does lend additional credence to the fact that Governor Dean would be considered by many to be the front-runner today,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. Democrat strategist David Saunders added, “I think that anybody who knows squat about Democratic politics knows this – Dean’s the nominee, he’s in.”

For his part, the populist Demo-gogue Dean was out ranting and raving in typical “Sieg Heil!” style ( into any open mike he could find. “Why can’t we talk about jobs, health care and education, which is what we all have in common,” he blathered, “instead of allowing the Republicans to consistently divide us by talking about guns, God, gays, abortion and all this controversial social stuff that we’re not going to come to an agreement on? … What we want is our community back and our country back. We need to re-make the Democratic [sic] Party; we need to re-make America; we need to take it back on behalf of the people of this country.” But Dean’s candidacy is not likely to provide victory or salvation for the Democrat Party – and certainly not for the nation.

While Bill Clinton’s successful campaign deception in ‘92 and '96 was to “Fake Right and Run Left,” and Albert Gore’s unsuccessful '00 deception was to “Fake Human,” Dean’s strategy is to “Run Left and Fake It back toward the Middle” – the “anti-Clinton” candidate, as some suggest.

Indeed, Clintonistas universally dislike and distrust Dean. Clinton’s former Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta, says there are serious concerns throughout the party “about Dean’s ability to appeal to the entire country, particularly on national-security issues.” Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network, adds, “Obviously if our candidate is seen as being weak on defense and pro-taxes, we’re not going to win next year.” Even Bill Clinton warned Democrats, “We can’t win if people think we’re too liberal.” (Fake Right…)

There are similarities between Dean and both Clinton and Gore – particularly their propensity for prevarication. Joe Lieberman says, “Howard Dean likes to present himself as a straight talker. But he took an extra long walk from straight talk when he sealed his records as governor and recalled his letters from state agencies.” Dean, in turn, defended his decision to seal, for the next 10 years, 146 boxes of official records, letters, memos and other documents, claiming (erroneously), “President Bush…actually had his [records] sent … to his father’s presidential library, where there’s a 50-year seal, so what I’ve said is every Governor does seal their records.” (It’s important to note here that then-Governor Bush’s records are NOT sealed.)

Much of Dean’s campaign rhetoric touts his record as governor in the tiny state of Vermont (population 608,807). While chiding George Bush for cutting taxes, in his campaign promo autobiography, “Winning Back America,” Dean writes: “We cut taxes by 30% over the lifetime of my administration.” His campaign ads say he’s a “fiscal conservative who cut state income taxes – twice.” But in fact, the larger of the two tax cuts Dean claims to have signed was actually signed into law by Richard Snelling, his Republican predecessor (whom then Lieutenant-Governor Dean replaced in 1991 after Gov. Snelling’s death).

Dean also claims he reduced Vermont’s sales taxes (which he did on some items), but in fact he raised overall sales taxes from 4% to 5%. Vermont property taxes rose almost 40% during Dean’s last term in office.

The most prominent of Dean’s campaign themes is his anti-national-defense rhetoric. Of course, Vermont was settled by the French (our apologies to any descendants of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys). His rhetoric against Operation Iraqi Freedom has prompted Republican strategists to brand him a re-warmed George McGovern, the antiwar Leftist Demo nominee who lost in landslide fashion to Richard Nixon in 1972.

At least McGovern wasn’t a draft-dodger. To the contrary, McGovern earned the Distinguished Flying Cross as a B-24 pilot in World War II. Howard Dean’s Vietnam-era shenanigans, however, make Bill Clinton look like a war hero. When Dean’s draft notice came due, he claimed to suffer from “spondylolysis,” a low-back pain that sometimes radiates into the legs [The Physicians Board here at The Federalist calls this affliction Spinal Absentia], and thus was classified by the Selective Service as 1-Y, “qualified for military service only in case of extreme national emergency.” And now he wants to be Commander-in-Chief? According to no less a liberal mouthpiece than the New York Times, “In the 10 months after his graduation from Yale, time he might otherwise have spent in uniform, Dean lived the life of a ski bum in Aspen, Colorado. His back condition did not affect his skiing the way the rigors of military service would have, he said….”

Dean’s military “service” record prompted former Democrat Sen. Max Cleland (who lost both legs and his right arm in Vietnam) to warn, “We cannot afford to have a leader who weaseled out of going to Vietnam on a medical deferment for a bad back and wound up on the ski slopes of Aspen like Howard Dean.”

Dean recently concluded, “We can’t beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross-section of Democrats,” which leaves one pondering why he is running. As best we can discern, he has only one credential that may win him some support from moderate Democrats. He got an A+ from the NRA for advocating Second Amendment rights in Vermont. That notwithstanding, Dean’s virulent anti-national-defense posture, his anti-tax relief posture and his ardently pro-homosexual, pro-partial-birth-abortion views will not resonate with centrist Democrats. He is running Left now, and will have to feign a charge back to the middle by the South Carolina primary, or his ruse may fail and his candidacy will auger in deeper than McGovern’s.

Memo to Howard: You claimed this week that “The president has lost 3 million jobs.” We didn’t know George Bush had held that many jobs, but we’re confident that you’re his best shot at keeping the job he has now.

In other news…

Lt. Col. Allen B. West is scheduled to appear before 4th Infantry Division commanding officer Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno today to receive final word on disciplinary action against him for intimidating an Iraqi prisoner. Thanks in part to almost 135,000 of our readers who signed the Patriot Petition in support of LTC West [], he is no longer facing a court-martial and criminal charges.

As you recall, while a battalion commander in the 4th Infantry Division, LTC West was alerted that an Iraqi detainee had information about a planned attack on his unit. West went to the prisoner’s location, took him outside his quarters and fired his 9mm pistol twice in close proximity to the detainee in order to “convince” him to provide information about the assault.

West’s actions yielded critical information, which enabled him and his soldiers to thwart the attack – thus saving the lives of their fellow soldiers. West’s actions also yielded an Article 32 hearing in which he could have been remanded for criminal prosecution in a court-martial proceeding. (On the day LTC West’s Article 32 Board convened, PatriotPetitions.US released the results of the petition to exonerate LTC West from prosecution to President George Bush, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and acting Secretary of the Army Les Brownlee.)

Concerning his actions, LTC West testified “I felt there was a threat to my soldiers. … If it’s about the life of my men, I’d go through hell with a gasoline can.” It was and remains our position that LTC West’s actions were justified. Indeed, President Bush, on his visit to Iraq Thanksgiving Day, said, “In some cases, the measured use of force is all that protects us from a chaotic world ruled by force.” We believe this certainly applies in the case of LTC West. We contended that LTC West should have received honorable recognition and promotion for his actions.

But Maj Gen. Odierno relieved West of his artillery battalion command (in preparation for his Article 32 hearing), effectively ending his career. LTC West has submitted a retirement request and Secretary Brownlee may retire LTC West at his current rank, or at the reduced rank of major. If he must be retired, we think it should be at O-6 – full-bird colonel. His considerable experience will be missed on the Iraqi front of our war with Jihadistan.

Though some in the Army JAG Corps don’t appreciate such judicious (and life-saving) use of prisoner intimidation, there are now Special Operations “manhunts” underway in Iraq which will be taking no prisoners. The deployment of composite units from the Army’s Delta Force, Navy SEALs and CIA paramilitary units to target Ba'athist and other terrorist groups responsible for the continued attacks on Allied Forces, has proven very effective. The assassination teams undertake aggressive counter-insurgency operations, and are ultimately seeking target-prizes like Saddam Hussein and his top henchman Izzat Ibrahim.

And not a moment too soon… Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, U.S. military commander in Iraq, warned that coalition forces could face heightened attacks from Ba'ath loyalists and Islamist militants in the months leading up to the July 1 deadline for transferring authority to a transitional Iraqi government. “We expect to see an increase in violence as we move forward toward sovereignty at the end of June,” Sanchez said. “The killing or capturing of Saddam Hussein will have an impact on the level of violence, but it will not end it.”

Speaking of Saddam, forensic teams continue to probe Iraqi mass grave sites, this week unearthing one in the central town of Mahaweel, where thousands of Shiite men, women and children were murdered in 1991 by Saddam’s Ba'athist loyalists. Some 3,100 sets of remains have been recovered at this field, one of more than 270 known sites where some 500,000 to 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians were slaughtered.

“It’s as easy to find mass graves in Iraq as it once was to find oil,” said Adnan Jabbar al-Saadi, a lawyer with Iraq’s recently established Human Rights Ministry. “Saddam Hussein was very just: He distributed mass graveyards all over the country,” he added with tragic sarcasm.

Memo to Leftmedia sycophants: Kindly present Howard Dean with these grim facts, and ask him if he still thinks we did the wrong thing by ousting the Butcher of Baghdad.

Quote of the week…

“The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country…. America has put our power at the service of principle. We believe that liberty is the design of nature; we believe that liberty is the direction of history. We believe that human fulfillment and excellence come in the responsible exercise of liberty. And we believe that freedom – the freedom we prize – is not for us alone, it is the right and the capacity of all mankind.” –President George W. Bush

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