Sunday, June 12, 2005

Dean: winning with morals

Howard Dean is hopping mad:

Dean seemed yesterday to embrace his reputation for volatility, saying he is being buoyed by activists and donors. At one point, a Chicago alderman, Joseph Moore, had trouble being recognized; he joked that next time he would ''jump up and down."

''That's my job!" Dean said, and the room shook with applause.

Dean is definitely a fighter, no doubt about that. I don't think he's good for the Democratic Party if, as he said, the goal is to win some of us lost sheep back into the fold--although I was not a "Reagan Democrat," the constituency he seems most intent on trying to woo.

I can't for the life of me figure out how his stance, which does not foster reassurance vis a vis Islamofascist terrorism, could entice a Reagan Democrat, or even a post-9/11 neocon like me, back to the Democratic Party. And the article's headline, "Democrats can win with morals, Dean says," seems to emphasize morals as a strategic move, rather than coming from personal integrity, a perception, which, correct or not, isn't likely to help Dean or the Democrats a whole lot.


At 4:02 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

I’m not sure that Dean is after the over-35 voters. He seems to be talking to a younger crowd, with no fear that he will alienate a significant number of people. After the election, journals such as the Nation, In these times, etc all ran editorials in which they stated the position that the election was so close (or stolen) that it showed they only needed to “energize” a few more voters to get over the hump (i.e., not change the politics). So the under-35 voters would be the likely group. I regularly encounter (college) students that express a sincere belief that “things are unfair” (which they are), but also believe that their personal prospects are pretty good and worth defending; they are true swing voters, and if you can connect with them on the fairness issue, then you may get their support. Possibly, one of the best ways to connect is to attack the power structure (racist, misogynist, homophobic, classist, western, Christian patriarchal society) that they have been inculcated to believe is at the heart of the unfairness. This group also uses the internet like mad, so this suggests that his focus on internet fund-raising is targeted at this group. Just my opinion.

At 4:21 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

brad's comments are interesting; I really have no idea how young people feel, although they might be getting a bit tired of the orthodoxy of old farts like Dean.

I agree that Dean is having a ball, I bet his balls feel a bit larger after every speech. Wonder if he will start finding the young ladies looking better and better ;-)

I agree on the morals bit. Morals aren't a bumber sticker, they actually have to be reflected in your life.

At 4:42 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

..can't remember where I read it, but it is worth saying again - Dean is a gift to the GOP that just keeps on giving

At 5:21 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger sygamel said...

Dean is Lee Atwater with one-tenth of the cunning.

At 5:59 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Unknown said...

I suspect that the DNC powers that be are uncomfortable with the gaffe master but are waiting to see how fund raising shapes up. I doubt that the Mouth from Manhattan will cost the Dems many votes since Dean will never be on another ballot. He's probably jazzing up the RNC's base, but that's not that tough. But what if the DNC had a moderate, sane, articulate face and a moderate sane and articulate platform? That would keep Mr. Rove et al up at nights. As it stands, Howling Howie is good for a couple of laughs, and he might fill the tip jar, but he's clearly not going to change any minds.

At 7:42 PM, June 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That under-35 voter that brad believes is being targeted by Dean is the age group most in favor of doing something about Social Security -- especially partial privatization. I think it's going to take more than a ranting dnc chairman of a party that is petrified, to win them over. A 69 year-old Ronald Reagan won over the under-35 voter of his time with a substantive and positive program -- and good cheer.

At 8:14 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Mark Daniels said...

I think that you're right: The cynical use of "morality" as a branding ploy is not apt to win much support for the Democrats, although I think that some Republicans are guilty of doing the same thing already.

At 9:57 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Dymphna said...

I read recently that Dean's remarks of late are specifically meant to appeal to non-Christian white folks, of whom there are many. Or enough to put some spark back into the Dems.

According to his pollsters, this group of white people are ready to be polarized against the "Repbulican White Christians." They are the under-40 agnostic, atheist, embryonic stem cell, etc., crowd and Bush and his Christians turn them off.

Unfortunately for Dean, a large part of the group he hopes to win is already in a camp the Dems can't reach: those people (religious beliefs or lack of them aside and science aside for the moment) whose main concern is a strong, coherent foreign policy. Something like, say, the Bush Doctrine.

Dean and his crew are making noises for the 2006 election. Also to distract from the obstructionist behavior of the Dems already elected. They sure don't have a record to run on.

Maybe this a the old Hail Mary..oops...the old go-for-broke play. What do they have to lose?

At 12:42 AM, June 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Line of questions I'd like ask Dean at a press conference:

ME: Mr. Dean, it seems like you're a lot angrier with President Bush and the Republicans than you are with Osama bin Laden or Abu Masab al-Zarqawi. Why is that?


ME: But Mr. Dean, a simple Nexis Lexis search shows you making far more harshly negative statements against Bush and the Republicans, than against Bin Laden or Zarqawi. Why is that?


ME: OK, since you won't answer that question, let me ask it a little differently: how do you and your constituency expect to appeal to the American public, when you usually seem more opposed to Bush and the Republicans than the people dedicated to killing as many Americans as possible?

DEAN: ...

At 8:29 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Stephen M. St. Onge said...


      This all reminds me of the political situation before the Civil War.

      The South had members in both the Whig and Democratic parties, and they insisted that they be accomodated on their single-issue, slavery.  The result was that in 1852, the Whigs fell apart, and in 1860, the Democrats split in two, in each case because the Northern and Southern wings couldn't find an acceptable compromise.

      Right now, the far leftists among the Democrats almost invariably insist that the candidate be someone who does their will.  They've done Carter and W. J. Clinton managed to get past them in the primaries, and Hillary has a shot, but otherwise fuggedaboudit!

      The Democrats' big problem is that the non-white part of their base is highly Christian, while the white part is anti-Christian.  Can this marriage be saved?

      Dean is just a symptom of the disease.


At 9:32 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Alex said...


You've written this "THE SAUDS MUST BE DESTROYED!" tagline before, and it caught my eye. Could you please clarify? Are you saying something relatively moderate like "the Saud ruling family should be removed from power" or something batshit looney like "the people of Saudi Arabia should be exterminated"?

I ask because I suspect and hope you mean the former, but most ready interpretation is the latter. At least it's the one that came to my mind first. I think at least some of the disagreement between left and right (10%? 15%?) comes from ambiguous statements taken the wrong way. So please do us a favor and clarify what you mean. And in the future do consider switching to a less easily mis-interpreted tagline...

At 12:53 PM, June 13, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

I took it as meaning somehow that our dependence on oil based energy must be ended. Part part of me thought it was just word-play on the word "sods", you know - louts, oafs and uncouth, slovenly type people, which I could connect indirectly to parts of the Liberal ideology. I suppose some folks are wondering what I mean at times too.

At 3:16 PM, June 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed about the tagline. I hadn't noticed it previously--although I try to keep up with the comments, I can't say I always read every single one.

But, looking at it now, if I had to guess, I would assume it's an ironic--somewhat serious, somewhat tongue-in-cheek?-- reference to Cato the Elder's recurrent cry (more or less a tagline, acutally) of "Carthago delenda est!", or "Carthage must be destroyed!"

See this.

At 7:45 AM, June 14, 2005, Blogger camojack said...

Maybe he was mis-heard, or improperly quoted. Perhaps he wants to win people over with morels, or more accurately, some other kind of (mind-altering) fungus. Because nobody in their right mind can listen to his ranting diatribes and take him seriously:
"The Scream"
By How Weird Dean


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