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February 18, 2005

Dean of the Demo Demise

Rounding out perhaps the most liberal triad in Democrat leadership history, minority leaders Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. San Fran Nan Pelosi were outflanked this week by newly elected DNC chief Howard Dean. So much for the postmortem on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, which suggested that Democrats could either move toward the center or stake their claim to the bilious backwater of American politics.

Here, the Demos are at an impasse, having attempted to hold contradictory (read: hypocritical) positions on most major policy issues in an effort to be all things to all people. A prime example of this hypocrisy was John Kerry’s attempt to campaign as both an “antiwar hero” and a leader tough enough to keep Jihadi terrorists at bay.

A growing number of Democrat voters don’t buy it – but the Demo hierarchy seems determined to disprove that this juncture is impassible.

Sincere “progressives” worry that the Democrat Party has veered perilously off course in three areas: overall posture (having gone elitist rather than populist); overall worldview (having steadfastly refused to stand for anything); and overall organization (too centralized). Democrats are banking on Dean to come to the rescue on the organizational front, which, after all, is the primary responsibility of the party chairman. Indeed, what Dean’s presidential campaign lacked in substance and seriousness was largely offset by its outstanding fundraising and grassroots organization.

The risk, a considerable one say Democrat analysts, is that Dean will lead the party’s posture and worldview so far left as to negate any progress in its organization. Howard Dean is, first and foremost, condescendingly elitist and relentlessly secularist. This will be apparent during his upcoming debates with newly installed RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, the brilliant and energetic campaign manager of Bush-Cheney ‘04. In contrast to Dean’s livewire antics, Mehlman is grounded.

Dean doesn’t plan on working from DNC headquarters: “I’ll pretty much be living in red states in the South and West for quite a while.”

But which Dean will visit those states – the one who claims, as he did last year, that he wants to be the candidate for “guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks”? Or the one who claims, as he did later, that “people who fly the Confederate flag – I think they are wrong, because I think the Confederate flag is a racist symbol”? These shades of John Kerry notwithstanding, Dean has been largely dismissive of the red states, saying they vote on “God, guns and gays.”

Furthermore, Dean’s elitism has alienated more than just the Dixie Democrats. After his early endorsement by sweaty-toothed madman Albert Arnold Gore in the Democrat primaries, Sen. John Edwards protested, “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 offered his own scathing assessment: “Howard Dean has absolutely zero, no foreign policy, military or national security experience…and [he] wants to raise taxes on middle-class Americans.”

Gore’s 2000 running mate, Joe Lieberman, concluded, “Howard Dean and Al Gore say they want to take our country back. I want to take America forward.” Lieberman added, “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.”

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….”

Even Bill Clinton warned his fellow Democrats, “We can’t win if people think we’re too liberal.” (Fake right … Run left.) Clinton’s former Chief of Staff, mild-mannered Leon Panetta, expressed serious concerns “about Dean’s ability to appeal to the entire country, particularly on national-security issues.” And Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network, said of Dean’s candidacy, “Obviously if our candidate is seen as being weak on defense and pro-taxes, we’re not going to win next year.”

As we continue to prosecute the war against Jihadistan, it is probably Dean’s peacenik rhetoric that worries Democrats most. Recall that when Dean’s Vietnam draft number came up, he dodged that bullet by claiming to suffer from spondylitis (low-back pain), or “Spinal Absentia” as The Patriot’s Board of Physicians tags it. The New York Times editors wrote of Dean’s draft-dodging, “In the ten 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 Clintonian military “service” record didn’t sit well with Vietnam veteran and former Democrat Sen. Max Cleland, either. Said Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in a non-combat accident, “We cannot afford to have a leader like Howard Dean who weaseled out of going to Vietnam on a medical deferment for a bad back and wound up on the ski slopes of Aspen.”

Yet Dean is now just that – the duly crowned leader of the Democrat Party.

In an attempt to ease Demo fears about where he’ll take the party, Dean says he plans “religious outreach.” Indeed, said the passionately pro-abortion and ardently anti-parental-notification secularist, “Even in my campaign I was interested in reaching out to evangelicals.”

Just two weeks ago, Dean said of his opponents, some 93 percent of whom are Christians, “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.” This week, RNC head Ken Mehlman said of his counterpart, “Howard Dean’s energy and passion will add to the political discourse in this country….” (For a snapshot of Dean’s idea of “political discourse, link to

As head of the DNC, Howard Dean will be a tireless mouthpiece for the Left and a formidable master of deceit. He will attempt to build grassroots constituencies by appealing to the dark side of human nature. If conservatives stand their ground, Dean’s tenure will further define what is wrong with the Democrat Party and, in doing so, he will preside over its continued decline. Though Democrats (and Republicans) assert that Howard Dean is the best man to lead the DNC, Dean is bad for America.

Quote of the week…

"In the eyes of Middle America, the Democrat Party has become a value-neutral party. Everyone knows the key issues: capital punishment, late-term abortion, trying violent juveniles as adults, national defense, and the teaching of values in school…. As issues, these trump prescription-drug costs and health care. … Today our national Democrat leaders look south and say, 'I see one-third of a Nation and it can go to hell.’ Either the party is not a national party or the candidates were not national candidates. … There was a time when the leaders of the Democrat Party understood both the policy and political value of cutting taxes.” –Zell Miller, A National Party No More

Open query…

Q: “Governor Rendell, your thoughts are rarely nuanced. Do you think Dean’s the guy? You didn’t like him during the race. You were hoping for somebody better?” –Chris Matthews

A: “Howard wasn’t my first choice because I think we need to talk to that big gap in the middle who really haven’t decided which way they want to go politically but are trending Republican – 47 out of the 50 largest counties in America are trending Republican. We’ve got to get those people back, so I would like someone to talk more to the middle.” –Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell

The BIG lie…

“The Republicans…try to divide Democrats by ideology just as they divide all Americans by race or gender or faith. But there is no crisis of ideology in the Democratic [sic] Party, only a crisis of confidence. Bill Clinton once described the Democratic [sic] Party’s problems…saying that in uncertain times people would rather have a leader who is strong and wrong than weak and right. He’s exactly right. And we become both weak and wrong when we abandon our core values for short-term political gain. But when we Democrats talk straight and stand up for ourselves, we have a huge advantage: We are both strong and right.” –Howard Dean Memo to Howard: You know that dividing America by race, gender and faith is the oldest trick in the Demo-lition Party’s black bag. However, Clinton’s assertions are correct – which explains why he was elected – twice.

From the “Non Compos Mentis” Files…

“You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here.” –Howard Dean to the Democrat Black Caucus, who were less than amused with this witticism.

“You are among the most persecuted people in the history of mankind.” –Howard Dean to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus Memo to Howard: Read up on Hitler and Stalin. Some Jewish folks might beg to differ with your assessment.

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