portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

government

Dean Vs. Kucinich

Who'll win the progressive vote in 2004? And does any of it matter anyway?
2004 is going to be real test for the progressive movement. George W. Bush will, in all likely hood, win another election in 2004 and America will be united under one-party rule with Dubya at the head. The Supreme Court will become packed for the forseeable future with right-wing extremists. Roe V. Wade could be overturned. Environmental and Labor laws will likely be overturned. America, a nation that has changed so much in Bush's short time in office, will be changed permanently after 8 full years of Bush's administration. There are a whole host of countries that might get invaded: Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba? This one man, our current commander in chief, will be able to an entire century's worth of progressives' hard work. This cannot happen.

In order to rid George W. Bush from office, we need to accept some basic principles which are sometimes hard for Progs to swallow:

*First of all is the idea that electoral politics is worth the hassle. Many activists spend all their time organizing unions, sitting in trees, and leading protest marches that they poo-poo the world of national politics. For this reason, it is undeniable that Republicans have become much better at winning (By Any Means Necessary it would seem) elections. They are not afraid of money, power, or dirty tricks. They play to win, for the sheer egoist motivation of beating some other guy. Progressives tend to have these things called "ideals" and sometimes even "conscience" which have historically been unhelpful in getting people into public office.

*Third Party Politics ain't don' nothin'. I voted for Nader, I'm sure a lot of you did too. Nader didn't win. The Green party failed (did you hear that, let that sink in, THEY FAILED) to stop George W. Bush from becoming president. Granted, the Democrats didn't stop him either, but they came a lot closer, like 40 percentage points closer. We made our statement, our protest, the Dems said, "we heard you, now fuck off" and the Republicans said, "Yes, yes, keep taking away votes from the Dems, we love it! Go Nader!"

*The Democratic Party is loaded with losers. Me, I like Carol Mosely-Braun. She's smart, articulate, has foreign policy experience and she seems kind of like the black grandmother I always wished I had. But look at the front-runners: Joe Lieberman (eek), John Kerry (snore), Dick Gephardt (double-snore), and John Edwards (who?). They all suck. Let's play find the lesser of four evils, Gephardt's for universal health care, but he was for the war, John Kerry was sort of for the war and now he's sort of against it, but his health care plan doesn't cover everybody, John Edwards was the son of a mill worker, and so far that's about all he's been able to tell me about himself. And Joe Lieberman.


Progs have two choices (it seems, we'll see) as far as who to support early on in this election cycle:
Dennis Kucinich, or Howard Dean. Now for full disclosure let me say that I'm a Howard Dean supporter. I support him both out of ideology as well as pragmatism. I honestly think he's the best candidate both on the issues and when it comes to taking Bush out. I think Kerry and Dean have the best shot at taking Bush out, all the rest have no hope. Kerry's got the money and Dean's got the people and I'm placing my bet on the people. I'm a fan of Kucinich (as a poet) but I'm realistically doubtful about his chances. I'm also disturbed by his constituency which seems intent on scaring people away from Howard Dean in order to push Kucinich. Also the way my logic works, Kucinichites are a little racist. Al Sharpton's got just as good progressive credibility as Dennis, he's got a national following/name recognition, and is a much better public speaker. He clearly has a better chance at winning the White House than Kucinich, no? So why not support him? But anyway, I just wanted to get my thoughts out of the way and open up the floor to an Indymedia Debate:

The Question is (and if you don't answer the question, you don't get to play):

"Who is more likely to beat George W. Bush in 2004, Dennis Kucinich or Howard Dean?"

After you answer that question, feel free to expound on any of the following topics:

-Why 4 more years of Bush is actually a good thing
-Why Howard Dean is really a sneaky, lying scumbag
-How to spark a non-violent anarchist revolution in the next 14 months
-Why Dennis Kucinich is really a sneaky, lying scumbag
-Capitalism, what's up with that?

Go Dennis! 06.Jul.2003 15:16

Dean is a Zero

"Who is more likely to beat George W. Bush in 2004, Dennis Kucinich or Howard Dean?"

Answer: Dennis Kucinich

vice pres 06.Jul.2003 15:36

meh

I think it would be interesting to see the 2nd place winner of the primary become the vice presidential candidate for the 1st place winner. In other words, it would be interesting to have a Kucinich and Dean combination, one of them as pres and one as vice pres.

Dean is a Very Poor Choice 06.Jul.2003 16:08

Impeach Ignorance

The reasons have been documented several times on this site. The 'racist' allegation is pretty silly. Is Jumbo a Nazi because he/she isn't pushing for Lieberman?

Meh -- 06.Jul.2003 16:46

James

That's how things were pre-12th Amendment.

I don't think we'll see a Dean/Kucinich combo though. My prediction is that Dean will be the nominee, and the ticket will be either Dean/Clark or Dean/Graham.

addicted to Dean's blog 06.Jul.2003 17:16

yawn

Since last monday I have been hopelessly addicted to Dean's website and blog: www.blogforamerica.com.

I voted Nader in 2000 and I was feeling pretty hopeless about 2004 until I found out about Dean.
Actually I still don't know much about Dean and I definitely don't think he is progressive enough but I am definitely impressed by the movement that seems to be forming around him.
There are 1300 people just in Portland signed up for Dean's meetups : dean2004.meetup.com
He got contributions from 59000 people in the last 3 months. I actually contributed to his campaign last Monday on the last day of the quarter.

I think he has a real chance to win because people seem to be excited about him.
His campaign has been doing what Nader and the Green Party should have been doing for a long time, they are building a grass roots movement,
they are using the internet in a smart way, they listen to the people who are excited about them and take ideas from them, etc....

Dean's campaign seems to be willing to do things differently and not just raise money with 2000$ dinners.
That is important not just for electing him. If there is a strong grassroot movement forming around Dean that will bring a lot more good things happening later.

But anyway it is early enough now that the people who want to support Kucinich should go ahead and support him for now. I just don't want to see
Kerry, Lieberman or Gephardt win the nomination because they will lose just like Bob Dole lost to Clinton. Who is going to be excited about Kerry, Lieberman or Gephardt in the general elections?

Excellent food for thought 06.Jul.2003 17:53

ex-Green Party member, now Independent

Excellent discussion topic. Here's some answers to your questions

-At this point it looks like Howard Dean is more likely to beat Bush than Kucinich primarliy because he seems to a have a more active and excited grassroots base than any of the other Dems, pulling from both progressive minded people within the Democratic Party and independent progressives as well. The primary reason the religious conservatives have taken the (narrow) ascendency in this country is because they have been mobilizing for years at the grassroots level and motivating a certain constituency to get highly politically organized. The Democrats and the progressive American 'Left' in general has utterly failed to do this. The Dean candidacy has the greatest potential right now to bring a politically active progressive movement together to topple Bush and while shifting control of the Democrative Party away from the right of center big money fundraiser types who have been in control the national party agenda.

-I actually don't know enough about Dean or Kucinich to know why either of them would draw the criticism of being 'sneaky, lying scumbags.' They seem to both have a history of trying to make positive social change in their lifetimes. Much better than deliberatly misleading the American people to find support for a war that has killed thousands of Iraqis and roughly one more American dead every day.

-There's simply no way to spark an anarchist revolution in the next 14 months, nonviolent or otherwise. In order to topple a national government, you need a national or international movement that is somewhat organized behind a cohesive goal. You need to be able to tell the masses of people, how your revolution will make things better for them and their kids, otherwise they will join with the military to put your 'revolution' down. American anarchism currently resembles a fad or a scene with little focused political motivation more than it does a cohesive revolutionary movement. Don't let the urge for instant gratification (revolution within the year) get in the way of doing the heavy lifting it takes to set the stage for revolution in our lifetimes.

- Capitalism: In the current national and international system, the free market needs to be heavily regulated by SOMETHING. To reference the above, anarchism doesn't provide much of an answer to that statement other than an idealized worldview that seems to deny the existence of the capitalist impulse with a lot of people in this society. Thus some sort of authority must reign in greedy capitialist behavior (ie, the goverment). But rather than a tool for corporations and the wealthy to make profit at the expense of others as it is now, the government should be crafted into a cudgel by which to crack the heads of those who seek unbridled profits at the expense of people and the planet. It would be really cool if Dean, Kucinich, or any other major candidate would be talking about the evils of capitalism and the need to reign it in to protect the people and the planet. But I recognize that this approach won't likely lead to toppling Bush next November.

Progressive's have to organize electorally IN ADDITION TO union organizing, sitting in trees, and organizing protes marches, etc. It is a critical for radicals and progressives to engage their struggles in the electoral arena as well as the others they engage in. All our hard work in one area can be destroyed if we feel to engage in the battle at the ballot boxes.

But as far as this early in the struggle to support, bear in mind you can't help select Kucinich OR Dean if you aren't registered to vote as a Democrat, what with Oregon's closed primary voting rules. You can however, volunteer for their campaigns and help set the terms of the debate for when these and other candidates visit the Northwest on their campaign tours.

Kerry is Bush & Rove's nightmare, Dean their day dream 06.Jul.2003 18:02

andrew

I will support Dean, if it comes to that. But, putting all cheap rhetorical slogans aside it's Kerry who is from the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.

The Sad Truth About Dean . . . false 'liberal' 06.Jul.2003 18:44

Fred

The thing about Dean . . . .

I had to really dig to find some of these stories that were formerly listed on google, and now are completely gone. Even the search on Commondreams no longer lists the major anti-Dean stories - I had to go to Portland imc just to find one that someone reposted. That sort of thing alarms me, when sites are actively trying to lose all negative mention of someone.

Is Dean really worth all this just because he's pro-gay rights?? He's not an environmentalist (brought big box places to beautiful Vermont), he's against medical marijuana (a doctor!), he only decided to be against the war in Iraq when it became clear that the others he was up against would support it (so he could distinguish himself), he is a self-described pro-AIPAC Zionist, and he believes the Palestinian violence is not due to the occupation but to 'terrorism itself.'

Wake up Dean supporters! Switch to Green or vote Kucinich. Dean will sell us all out in a heartbeat. He only appears 'liberal' because Vermont voters forced him to be. Take a look at some of these stories, and decide for yourself.

Dean has also publically stated that he will NOT TOUCH the military budget. Right-wingers love to paint Dean as a 'liberal,' but the fact is, he's right of center on most issues. Remember, if you vote for him, you're voting for Bush-lite, and many many more deaths by US military. But Gay rights will have a false front of being intact, and so many will vote for him on that alone. They're fine with murdering more third worlders for the sake of gay rights.

Kucinich has all his own issues, but they're pretty much out in the open. Deans are VERY hard to find, a well covered trail that leads to something unfortunate . . . Nixon-esque.


Published on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
Howard Dean: Hawk in Dove's Clothing?
by Stephen Zunes

". . . when it came to Israel and Palestine - the former Vermont governor declared that, while the United States should become more engaged, he did not have any fundamental objections with President George W. Bush's policies. Dean called for an end to Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians, but he did not call for a cessation of Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians. Similarly, there was no call for an end of the Israeli occupation, for Israeli compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, or a withdrawal from Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied territories or even a freeze on the construction of new settlements."

"When asked by the Jewish newspaper Forward late last year as to whether he supported APN's perspective, Governor Dean replied 'No, my view is closer to AIPAC's view.'"
 http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0226-04.htm


Published on Monday, April 14, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
As Baghdad Falls Howard Dean Folds Back into the National Security Establishment
by Charles Knight

"In effect this supposedly 'anti-war' Democrat has announced his support for a policy in which Washington will decide which countries are allowed to have nuclear weapons and will reserve for itself the right to forcefully disarm those who do not voluntarily disarm by U.S. dictate. In this crucial regard Dean's position is in close accordance with the Bush doctrine of coercive disarmament and preventive war."
 http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0414-09.htm


Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Presidential Hopefuls Push Energy Alternatives, Pan Kyoto
by Katherine Stapp

"Former Vermont governor Howard Dean has sided most closely with the Bush administration, endorsing the National Governors Association policy, which opposed the Kyoto Protocol unless it included mandatory emissions cuts for developing countries. The policy recommended that the United States "not sign or ratify any agreement that would result in serious harm to the U.S. economy."

"Of the Democrats now running, only Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has stated, "the U.S. must ratify the Kyoto Protocol."
 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0610-01.htm


Published on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 by the Madison Capital Times
Kucinich Draws Crowd, But Not Media
by John Nichols
"Dean, a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative with a so-so record on issues of concern to working people, has been dubbed the acceptable "liberal" by the inside-the-Beltway crowd."
 http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0603-06.htm


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 3, 2003
3:23 PM
CONTACT: Marijuana Policy Project
Bruce Mirken, 202-462-5747 x113
Medical Marijuana Becomes Presidential Campaign Issue Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana Begins Organizing in New Hampshire

"Vermont Gov. Howard Dean killed a medical marijuana bill that was on the verge of passage in 2002, ignoring pleas from the medical community, AIDS patient groups, and others."

"This week, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio became the first Democratic candidate to stand up for patients, telling the San Francisco Chronicle on May 29 that he supports legal access to medical marijuana 'without reservation. ... I have known people who have had cancer and who have been in horrible pain. Anything that can alleviate their suffering should be available.'"
 http://www.commondreams.org/news2003/0603-08.htm


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 25, 2002
4:31 PM
CONTACT: Marijuana Policy Project
Bruce Mirken, 202-462-5747 x113
Vermont Senate Panel Approves Medical Marijuana

"'The pundits in Montpelier and elsewhere pronounced the medical marijuana bill dead on arrival when Representative David Zuckerman (P-Burlington) introduced it earlier this year,' Rogers said. 'H. 645 has overcome powerful opposition from Governor Howard Dean because courageous medical marijuana patients -- who risk arrest and imprisonment every day -- delivered powerful testimony in House and Senate committees. Patients convinced legislators that seriously ill Vermonters shouldn't go to jail for the simple act of taking their medicine. A vote for H. 645 is a vote to protect patients and a vote against H. 645 is a vote to put sick people in prison.'"
 http://www.commondreams.org/news2002/0425-08.htm


Voter Guide
Name: Howard Dean
In short: Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is the only candidate who has actually killed a medical marijuana bill. Because of Dean's actions, Vermonters with AIDS, cancer, and other terrible illnesses still face arrest and jail under state law for using medical marijuana. In recent statements he has attempted to sound reasonable, but his actions have shown that medical marijuana patients can never trust him. The only reason we give Dean an F+ and not a straight F is because the latter grade should be reserved for Bush, who is as cruel and heartless as anyone could possibly be on the medical marijuana issue.
 http://www.GraniteStaters.com/guide/dean.html



February 22, 2003
Meet Howard Dean
The Man from Vermont is Not Green (He's Not Even a Liberal)
by MICHAEL COLBY

"As the son of a wealthy Long Island family (his father was a prominent Wall Street insider), Dean's used to having his golden path well greased. After dutifully attending Yale and then medical school, Dean looked for a state to launch both a private medical practice and a political career. He chose Vermont as much for its beauty as its lenient mood toward carpet bagging politicians, thus joining Brooklynite Bernie Sanders as a born again Vermonter.

Dean became Vermont's accidental governor in 1991 after Governor Richard Snelling died of a heart attack while swimming in his pool. Dean, the lieutenant governor at the time, took the state's political reins and immediately followed through with his promise not to offend the Snelling Republicans who occupied the executive branch. And Dean carried on with his right-leaning centrism for the next eleven, long years."
 http://www.counterpunch.org/colby02222003.html


Dean replacing critics on environmental advisory panel
April 8, 2001
(from the Regional news section)
By JOHN DILLON
Staff Writer

MONTPELIER - A leading environmentalist was asked to leave Gov. Howard Dean's council of environmental advisers after she criticized the governor's short-lived proposal for a coal-fired power plant in Vermont.

Elizabeth Courtney, executive director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, was one of 20 members of the governor's environmental council, which meets about once every three months with the governor.

But after Courtney wrote a newspaper opinion piece faulting Dean for his brief advocacy of a coal plant, she learned she was no longer welcome on the council. David Rocchio, the governor's legal counsel, wrote her late last month to say she will be replaced on the council by VNRC's board chairman. The move came after she had written the governor on energy issues and showed his staff her draft newspaper piece, Courtney said.
 http://timesargus.nybor.com/Archive/Articles/Article/23996

Is Howard Dean For Real? Well, Not Entirely
By Morton M. Kondracke
Roll Call Contributing Writer
January 27, 2003
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean ought to do well in the Iowa Democratic caucuses — unless the anti-war folks out there find out where he really stands on Iraq.
 http://www.rollcall.com/pub/48_51/kondracke/273-1.html

Gov. Dean's Slander of Mumia / Protesters
Bob Witanek ( bwitanek@IGC.APC.ORG)
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 21:13:31 -0700
More on Vermont Governor Howard Dean's slanderous attack
against the six protesters arrested last summer during efforts to
halt the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The following is an excerpt from Peter Freyne's column "Inside Track" in the August 7, 1996, issue of Vermont's weekly newspaper, Seven Days.
 http://venus.soci.niu.edu/~archives/ABOLISH/summer96/0173.html

Dean very Clintonesque, remember Gays in millitary and health care for everyone? 06.Jul.2003 19:13

Chris Marksberry

I agree with both sides of the Howard Dean debate. He isn't very strong in a lot of important progressive issues, which leads me to Kucinich. But, he knows we are his meal ticket, and is willing to play to us for now, like Clinton in '92. Clinton waffled on his gay issue, and who really believes he can do for the USA what Vermont has for gay marriages? Congressmen won't touch that with a ten foot pole. Clinton billed himself on the imperitave need for health care. He put his own wife's name on the proposal, and lost. Would Dean succeed? Perhaps, but I'm skeptical on that one too. But unfortunately, I miss Clinton pretty bad right now. He was very globalist, hit us with NAFTA and takes credit for leading the WHO and World Bank to prominence. If he was on our side, we don't need any other friends like him. But this guy Bush hits us with his daddy's lack of charm and his daddy's VP's intellect. He tries to pick a fight all the time. Before he screwed up diplomacy in Iraq, he bullyed China pretty openly, and he constantly freaks out those unstable North Korean's. Frankly, if Gore had been elected, we'd have the same problems we had under Clinton, but since Bush was elected, thousands of people have been killed that wouldn't have, and he is duplicating Clinton's biggest failure (Rwanda) while letting the Congo pile up hollocaust-like death tolls. So, if Kucinich can't win (which I haven't made up my mind about) I would volunteer for Dean, but I wouldn't trust him to deliver. I'd take Clinton if I had to, but I'd rather have Kucinich than anyone who's ran for president in my lifetime, but if it is unrealistic nationally, I don't want to make another suicide plunge for four years just because he's a better man.

so funny to hear Dean supporters parrot the Dean line 06.Jul.2003 19:23

x

There's a trend of messages posted on IMCs about how Dean is the most courageous, the most passionate, etc. That's just bogus. The guy is a faker. To the person "addicted to Dean's blog," don't read what other people are saying about him. Start reading the guy's own comments and policies. And go and listen and watch videos of him speaking, and of Kucinich speaking. Think for yourself.

Kucinich first choice 06.Jul.2003 19:26

mom

Thanks to all of the contributors on this site I spent the last hour or so going over the Kucinich and Dean websites that have been sited and thinking along with you about where to put my energy.
My vote at this point would be for Kucinich but I would support Dean if he comes up first after the primaries.
I am among the group of people who would at this point in time vote for anyone who could beat bush., so I will move as needed in order to get his dangerous regeime out of the white house.
I am still hopeful that it is possible to have a free election but not totally convinced.
I believe that the progressives (sane people) need to get thoroughly organized in order to mount a campaign that will win.
Thanks to everyone who posts here.
I just wish more people would take the time to get educated.

okay, let's see 06.Jul.2003 20:09

lemme think

would Nader vote for Dean? I think not. In fact, just a wee while ago someone quoted him here hinting that with such a progressive candidate as Kucinich, this could be a two-party deal. I suspect he'd vote for Kucinich, and so would I.

And I'm not going to go recriminate myself because voting Green took votes away from Dems in a rigged election, either; that'd be silly. Nader was the right guy, I voted for him, Kucinich is the right guy, I'd vote for him. Imagine Dean turning out to be at least half as horrible as Bush, and knowing you voted for him. Yuk.

to andrew 06.Jul.2003 20:16

x

Kerry isn't the Bush/Rove nightmare. Hardly. In order to be the nightmare, a candidate will have to call the Bush lies what they are. Lies. The contender need not go after all lies -- or all lies at once. But Kerry is as spineless and as compromised as they come. I'll support the guy if he gets the ticket, but never before then.

Kucinich, in truth, is the Bush/Rove nightmare because the guy would come after them over and over and over and over again, with a populist stance and a desire to shine a light on the lies Bush tells us, about a nation of fear, not a "land of the free and home of the brave." Kucinich has the guts and damn-the-torpedoes-to-political-career attitude to not spin every god damn thing that comes out of his mouth. Kerry does that, and because of that, Bush/Rove will use the generic tactics to crush Kerry should Kerry get the ticket.

People don't get it yet, but the hopefully will soon. Kucinich is the most sure bet of beating Bush. But Kucinich's chance of getting the ticket is the actual battle. It will be harder for Kucinich to win the Democratic nomination than to beat Bush!

Americans are sick and tired of our media and our leaders lying to us. The polls show it. Over 70% of the American public falls into this category. The corporate media can turn away from Kucinich now, not covering him. But if he were to win the ticket, he'd have to be covered, and the power of his words would get the votes, regardless of the money Bush would get.

Now, the perfunctory: do I like democrats? Hell no. Do I think Kucinich is perfect? Hell no. But it's darn obvious that he should be supported at this juncture by all activists, and that Dean is a liability.

The Green Party Did Not Fail 06.Jul.2003 20:39

Owen R. Broadhurst

I'm really not interested in bickering with anyone. I can tell that Bush has many very worried, and I can understand that. He's worrisome.

However, he's hardly unique and cannot be divorced from the climate that produced him. Whether we like it or not, it is in his direction that the two major parties are traveling right now. The present electorate is an electorate that lends its consent to party primary processes through which the major parties determine who shall best advance the concentration of wealth in fewer hands and growth in exploitable markets worldwide. Even a liberal saint like Jimmy Carter had CIA thugs in Iran brutally shoving electric cattle prods up the body cavities of dissenters against the Shah. Democrat or Republican, our next President shall also be- just as Carter was- a brutal bloody monster who supports and enforces murderous policies for the financial benefit of a few. Some construe Bush to be fascist. I believe he is. I furthermore believe, however, that the Democratic Party has lent its assent to his fascist policies and shall only modify the direction of those policies. Fascism is an inevitable stage in capital's trajectory.

My goal is far less to stop Mr. Bush specifically than it is to put an end to the processes, powers and principalities that made Mr. Bush possible as a politician in the first place. No matter who wins, we face grave danger simply due to the fact that the powers controlling both parties are very dangerous. These powers shall emerge victorious regardless of November's election results, simply due to the fact that our political primary process will once again have served the purpose for which it was created in screening out all candidates who shall not advance the wealthies murderous interests that own these parties.

What we must do, my friends, is to continue doing what we do best and what we have had some remarkable success in doing these past four years in spite of all the barricades that have been erected in our path. We must expand the nation's electorate and thereby build the party. This will become increasingly dangerous work in the days ahead no matter who the wealthiest murderous interests install as their figurehead. It is work that must, however, be done no matter how many people shoot at us and no matter how many party activists begin to join the "disappeared."

The Democrats will not expand this electorate. They're very comfortable with the very small electorate we have right now. We, however, shall find our strongest base of support among those who have known no reason up to this point to get involved. There's more than a few people who stayed home in the year 2000 having felt that their time was better spent trying to prevent the rats infesting their homes from gnawing on their sick infant's face than in supporting a Democrat called Al Gore who would have done nothing whatsoever to help their situation. These are the people we need to build the Greens, and we need to mobilize and organize around their concerns in order to build the party.

--------------------------------

I couldn't possibly support our bolting the Greens to support yet another Trojan Horse for the Democrats any more than I could support the Rensenbrink-Sevigny plan. For those who would accuse us of being "spoilers" or suggest that we should devote more time to building another party than to the one party that matters, I say this:

I could never, never, never support a Green endorsement of any candidate running for president under the Democratic Party banner. Let genuine Democratic Party progressives abandon the party that has consistently betrayed them and wage their campaigns from within the Green Party. Those interests presently controlling the Democratic Party's direction and destiny shall never permit a progressive candidacy to survive.

Being realistic means understanding that the "front-loaded" Democratic primary season is intended directly to prevent any candidacy such as that of Kucinich, for instance, from ever becoming a threat to the controlling interests.

Kucinich has neither the funding nor the grass-roots organizational framework that will allow him to become even a credible "dark horse" within the Democratic Party presidential race. He will fail, and the candidacies of Mosely-Braun and Sharpton shall fail as well. They shall fail because they were fated to fail from the start. This thing is fixed. Not one of these three candidates can possibly counter the full weight of those established Democratic Party machines in each and every state that shall be brought to bear, poised against them. The Democratic Party's own internal structure, together with the very design of the primary process, has already disqualified their candidacies.


So, yes, let us therefore please BE realistic. The Democratic Party will advance as its party's own candidate he who can best promote the realpolitik interests of its financial backers. The party's nominee shall persist in that party's right-ward trend. Forget attempts at influencing that party's direction. Progressives have tried and failed at that for more than thirty years.

That is why we created the Greens. The single most important and vital thing for Greens to continue doing is building the party, because it is THIS party- not any single other party- that is humanity's final and last chance to stop the creeping fascism that the Democratic Party has quite knowingly become complicit in implementing. The Democratic Party has had its chance to prove its worth. The Democratic Party had the numbers in the Senate to prevent Bush from ever securing the White House, and they failed. The Democratic Party had the numbers in the Senate to prevent Bush from ever having John Ashcroft as his Attorney General, and they failed. The Democratic Party had the numbers in the Senate to prevent Bush from ever having Gale Norton on his Cabinet, and they failed. The Democratic Party had the numbers in the Senate to prevent the Patriot Act from being passed, and they failed. The Democratic Party had the numbers in the Senate to prevent Bush from eviscerating environmental regulations, and they failed. The Democratic Party had the numbers in the Senate to prevent a tax give-away to the rich, and they failed. The Democratic Party had the numbers in the Senate to prevent a neo-colonial war with Iraq, and they failed.

They failed because they wanted to fail. They failed because they were paid to fail. They failed because their puppeteers told them to fail. If Greens support the Democrats in 2004, then the Greens will fail. We will fail because we will thereby lend our support and endorsement to the failure to challenge neo-conservative policy. We will fail because we shall thusly be lending our tacit support to fascism with a softer face. We will fail to be relevant. We will fail to be meaningful. We will fail to be the party that I joined. We will fail to become a party that is at all worth supporting.

The Democratic Party has had opportunities after golden opportunities to demonstrate that a Green challenge would be both counterproductive and superfluous, and they have failed. They have failed and betrayed their progressive base for more than thirty years, and have amply demonstrated a strong desire to fail again. This did not have to be the case. It wasn't necessary for this to be the case. The Democratic Party could easily have deactivated the threat of a Green Party challenge. They merely had to pretend to be human. They didn't do that. They failed.

I have been a great fan of the Lesbian Feminist thealogian, Dr. Sonia Johnson, now for many years- and it was with an eco-feminist ecosophy such as hers in mind that I became involved in the Green movement in the first place. I rather like what this pyromantic author had to say re: this-

"Some people were shocked that I didn't vote in the 1988 election. I was shocked that they did. The day after, I overheard a conversation on a plane in which one man was lamenting to the other: `It seems to me that we never have a decent candidate any more, that we have to vote for the lesser of two evils every time. I can't understand it." If he had realized that by voting for the lesser of two evils, he helped create a world in which he would always have to vote for the lesser of two evils; if he had understood that by voting for evil at all, even if for a lesser evil, he was still voting for evil, and that since everyone who voted, voted for evil- either a lesser or greater one- surely there was no possible way to get anything but evil; if he had understood that what he was doing every moment of his life was determining future moments, he would have been shocked to see his collusion in the deteriorating political situation that he deplored. We cannot compromise our integrity and have a reality with integrity anymore than we can have peace by waging war."

Voting evil encourages evil, and generates evil for years to come. Evil begets evil. As the first ecosophists of both the social and deep ecology movements had been inspired by the satyagrahi, so then am I. There can be no greater force on Earth than soul-force or conscience. I vote accordingly.

We're not the spoilers, and no one understanding the role of the Democrats in implementing Bush policies and proposals can seriously suggest that we have ever been spoilers. Indeed, no one is accusing us of being spoilers beyond those who want our party to disappear from the national stage, period, in any case. Let's not humor them.

Owen R. Broadhurst
Agawam, Massachusetts

Nazi-note 06.Jul.2003 20:41

Jumbo

Good discussion guys, don't want to interfere, you've been coming up with good stuff. I just wanted to clarify that racist slur I made. I don't support Joe Lieberman because he is far to the right of Howard Dean. He likes to censor CD's and I don't like that. Howard Dean (as far as I know) doesn't like to censor CD's and if he did I'm sure he'd leave it to the states. Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich, however, are nearly identical ideologically only Sharpton has a better chance of getting elected. The progs are given two choices: Kucinich or Sharpton, and they always seem to go Kucinich. Seems oddly racist to me.

Second, to the guy who only votes for people Nader would vote for (lemme think, I think). That's creepy. It also sounded really really ego-centric. The comment about something like, How could I live with myself if Howard Dean turned out to be half as bad as George W. Bush....First, let's all agree that Howard Dean is undeniably better than George W. Bush, probably a 100% improvement but I'll spot you a hypothetical 50. That means that you would rather vote for Nader or some other Bush-helper to avoid "Bush-lite". That means in order to protect your own personal sense (or Ralph Nader's) of righteousness you would help Bush get elected. Is this all a big ego trip for you people to make sure when you get into Leninist heaven you're voting record is perfect?

Go Howard Dean!
Go Noam Chomsky!

Jumbo

Agree with x 06.Jul.2003 20:55

Aaron John Shaver

It's too bad that people who think they have to "be realistic" in voting for someone who "has a chance of winning" (e.g. Dean) don't understand that if we progressives voted en masse for someone (e.g. Kuninich), they *will* win. An earlier poster was correct--the right has solidarity, the left is filled with bitter in-fighting.

Same-sex marriage 06.Jul.2003 20:58

bkind2animals bkind2animals@mindspring.com

A clarification on an issue of importance to at least some of the progressive community. Vermont does not allow same-sex marriage, nor does any other state. Vermont has "civil unions", and Howard Dean has stated his oppostion to same-sex marriages. Of the nine Dems. running for prez., only Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton and Carol Mosely-Braun are in favor of the government allowing same-sex marriages. I hope and pray progressives who think they are getting a progressive in Howard Dean come to their senses before it's too late. As others have pointed out (thanks for those posts) Howard Dean is NOT a progressive. Why are progressives thinking it's true allowing themselves to be fooled?

-------------------------------------------
July 3, 2003, 12:39AM

Debate over gay marriage puts Bush, Dems in same leaky boat
By NICK ANDERSON

WASHINGTON -- Fueled by a landmark Supreme Court ruling and other legal developments, an emerging national debate over gay marriage has thrust both President Bush and his Democratic challengers onto treacherous political terrain.

Bush and the major Democratic presidential candidates agree on a core point: They do not support granting same-sex couples the right to marry in the United States.

The Republican incumbent and most of the Democratic candidates agree on something else: They would rather change the subject.

That may prove impossible. Court cases in Massachusetts and New Jersey are testing whether same-sex marriage should be legal in those states. Gay and lesbian couples have been trekking to Canada to wed since same-sex marriages became legal there last month. They are now returning to their homes in the United States, and many may soon be pressing for U.S. recognition of their Canadian status.

Legislation to expand rights for same-sex domestic partners is advancing in California, and major companies -- such as Wal-Mart -- are announcing nondiscrimination policies to protect gay employees.

Above all, the Supreme Court ruling last week that struck down state anti-sodomy laws is continuing to reverberate, intensifying the debate over same-sex marriages.

"This issue creates a challenge for both parties," said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster. He said the court ruling, which came in a Texas case, "raised the prominence of homosexual marriage on the political agenda and will force some politicians to address the issue who would otherwise have chosen to remain silent."

Bush is feeling some heat from social conservatives, who are pushing for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Asked Wednesday whether he would support that measure -- backed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. -- Bush said: "I don't know if it's necessary yet. Let's let the lawyers look at the full ramifications of the recent Supreme Court hearing. What I do support is the notion that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Frist, when asked on a Sunday talk show if he supported the amendment, said: "I absolutely do. Of course, I do."

Bush's caution over the proposed amendment, and Frist's enthusiasm for it, reflected the political tensions it causes among Republicans.

Social conservatives are worried that gay marriage could soon become legal somewhere in the United States, perhaps as early as this summer in Massachusetts, pending the outcome of the lawsuit in that state's highest court. But some GOP centrists are quietly sympathetic to the idea. And pragmatists are loath to alienate any sector of the electorate that would otherwise tilt toward Bush.

The issue is no less difficult for Democrats. While the party's nine contenders for the presidential nomination are, on the whole, proponents of gay rights, they are mindful that President Clinton in 1996 signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act.

That law, which gay-rights organizations strenuously opposed, established a federal definition of marriage as limited to the union of a man and a woman. It also allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages should they become legal in any other jurisdiction of the United States.

Of the five Democratic candidates then in Congress, three voted for the measure: Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri and Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bob Graham of Florida. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts opposed it, but said at the time he also was against same-sex marriage.

Carol Moseley Braun, then a senator from Illinois, voted against the legislation and has endorsed gay marriage. But she and the two other Democratic presidential candidates who back gay marriage -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York -- are the longest shots in the field.

The two other Democratic candidates, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, have said they do not support gay marriage. Dean, however, opposes the 1996 federal law.

He also signed into law in 2000 a Vermont measure that established "civil unions" as an alternative to marriage for gay couples. The law -- the first of its kind -- confers on Vermonters more than 300 benefits traditionally enjoyed by married couples. But such unions are not recognized by other states or the federal government.

When Democratic contenders roundly praised the Supreme Court ruling last week, conspicuously absent from many comments was the issue of gay marriage.

 http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/1978066

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As has been said before, take time to do your own research. Dean is pro-NAFTA and against medical marijuana, these are just two areas where (he differs with Kucinich and) progressives supporting Dean should pause and reconsider. My support of Dennis Kucinich is about standing up for principles. Go to  http://www.kucinich.us to learn more.

what's up with the Chomsky/Dean juxtaposition? 06.Jul.2003 20:59

x

what's up with the Chomsky/Dean juxtaposition? That's downright odd.

Anyway, Kucinich co-chairs 126 progressives in the progressive caucus in the Congress. He's a leader that inspires and he knows how to bring about consensus and work political systems. I think Sharpton is a great guy, and his progressive politics isn't in question. But he doesn't even come close to having the level of experience that Kucinich has. That is a real reason why most progressives favor Kucinich over Sharpton. I agree, however, that racism is there. You make a good point. But don't build a mountain out of it.

'Jumbo'--Dean Vs. Kucinich? 06.Jul.2003 21:02

oh

well,

if--MIRACULOUSLY--Kucinich became the Democratic party nominee, sure I'd vote for him.

but pResidential elections no longer matter (how do you think Bu$h arrived in the White House?) . . .

i sincerely believe that pResidential sElection 2000 is the last one this country will ever see--

that is, the 2004 pResidential sElection is going to be cancelled/suspended outright,

or will be so extensively rigged that any (even passing) similarity to "representational democracy" or "vote counts" will be strictly unintentional.

Democrats are part of the problem - smiling strangers won't help you 06.Jul.2003 21:37

GRINGO STARS

Willie Nelson endorses Kucinich, and so does Nader (conditionally);
 http://dc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=75560&group=webcast

Mind you, reformist politics don't work. Elect a democrat and activists will dwindle down again to Clintonian levels, all the summer soldiers believing the televised lies.

Voting just encourages them. The less people vote, the less support the "leaders" have. Bush is no different than Kucinich. You don't believe me now, but you'll remember this later with a frown. If you must feed the monster and vote, vote for someone you actually like, rather than are settling for. Don't let pundits push you around (me included) and think for yourself.

Don't fall for lesser-evilism

Liberal and progressive voices are sounding the alarm over what they see as impending disaster if President Bush is reelected in 2004. "What is at stake, then, is nothing less than the attempted transformation of a tolerably free society into a variant of the extreme regimes of the past century. In that context, the national elections of 2004 represent a crisis in its original meaning, a turning point. The question for citizens is: Which way?" Sheldon Wolin wrote in the May 1 Nation. Antiwar activists Carl Davidson and Marilyn Katz, in "Moving From Protest To Politics," a widely distributed paper urging antiwar forces to turn to the 2004 elections, call for defeat of Bush's "War Party" or else "this party will move to control the world."

While anyone who opposed the war or who detests other parts of Bush's program would like to see him and his cohorts defeated, the problem comes in the options of what might replace them.

For most who are looking to the 2004 election, this isn't a big problem. They say that "anybody but Bush" would be better. The people who say "anybody but Bush" don't really mean it. Instead, they mean "anybody who seems to have a reasonable chance" of beating Bush. By this logic, even Senators Bob Graham or Joe Lieberman-who criticized Bush for not pursuing war in the Middle East more aggressively-would be better!

At the same time, many liberals and almost all professional Democrats are now waging a preemptive war against the Greens, Nader or anyone else who might want to mount a credible electoral challenge from the left in 2004. Mimicking the right that attacks any criticism of the Bush regime as treasonous, the anybody but Bush crowd is doing their best to demonize Nader and the Greens.

"A third party presidential challenge from the left would be reactionary and traitorous in the 2004 election," wrote Marty Jezer, a liberal Vermont activist, on the Common Dreams Web site.

Yet if they really want to assign blame for the advance of Bush's right-wing program, they should look no farther than the nearest mirror. Advocates of "anybody but Bush" usually cite the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and attacks on abortion rights are three principle reasons to get rid of Bush in 2004. These are certainly good reasons to oppose Bush.

But, if you look closer, you find that each of these examples of Bush extremism wouldn't have succeeded without Democratic support. Democratic leaders Gephardt and Daschle helped Bush pass the Iraq war resolution last October. Then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) engineered a last-minute deal with the White House that pushed through the Patriot Act-which only one U.S. senator voted against. Democratic senators provided 16 votes and the margin of victory for one of Bush's central promises to the Christian right-the ban on late-term abortions.

The conventional wisdom holds that any Democrat who aspires to the Oval Office can't get there on promises to reverse Bush's disastrous domestic policies alone. He or she will need a "credible national security" platform as well. In their May 3 debate in South Carolina, Democrats fell all over themselves to prove their national security credentials.

In fact, Davidson and Katz concede this argument.

"In 2004 the Democratic national security platform must be an all-sided attack on the national security policy of the Bush hegemonist clique, showing how the future it proposes will make our country and the world less secure, not more secure. Far from defending our freedoms, it will be at great cost to our liberties. Given the relation of forces, this will be mainly the critique of the multilateral globalists-a position that is some combination of the critiques currently espoused by former Presidents Carter and Clinton and major voices of global capital like George Soros."

So they urge the antiwar movement to hitch its wagon to a foreign and military policy that's nearly indistinguishable from the one the last President Bush espoused when he pummeled Iraq in 1991. Davidson and Katz's logic is a perfect illustration of how the politics of supporting the "lesser of two evils" leads to a dead end.

Just what this all means in the real world became clear in the silly public spat between Democratic presidential candidates Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. Dean apparently had the affrontery to suggest that the U.S. military couldn't be Number 1 forever.

Kerry immediately shot back: "No serious candidate for the presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy." So don't expect the Pentagon budget to decline under a Kerry administration.

And just to make sure that no one got the wrong idea about a Dean administration, Dean told listeners at the South Carolina debate: "No commander in chief would ever allow our military to shrink."

Dean has won the media mantel of "antiwar candidate" because he was the earliest and most vocal critic of Democratic reluctance to challenge Bush's tactics during his buildup to war. Dean didn't really oppose the idea of war altogether.

Last fall, he proposed that if Saddam Hussein didn't meet a 60-day deadline to comply with United Nations resolutions, "we will reserve our right as Americans to defend ourselves and we will go into Iraq."

The Reverend Al Sharpton regularly speaks to issues like racial justice and class inequality, which most of the other candidates won't touch. And unlike the rest, including Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Sharpton spoke at major national antiwar protests in the fall and spring. Of the nine announced Democrats, he has the most genuine claim to be the "antiwar" candidate. But like other progressives who have run as Democrats before him, he will ultimately deliver voters he activitates into the hands of a more conservative or "electable" candidate.

As Bush's administration continues to push its hard-right agenda at home and abroad, the pressure on activists to cave in to the anybody but Bush argument will only grow. Given further economic decline or increasing resistance to the U.S. occupation in Iraq, Bush's invincibility will fade and the Democrats might gain momentum in opposing him. As thousands in the antiwar movement and millions more debate whether they must work to force a regime change at the ballot box in 2004, they should remember that the Democrats are part of the problem.

How about registering as Democrats just for the primary... 06.Jul.2003 22:27

stevie

The only Democratic candidate I get excited about is Kucinich. I also agree with one of the previous posters that he'll have a harder time in the primary than in the general election. If only registered Democrats can vote in the state primary, why not register solely for the purpose of voting for him and then re-register afterward? How about encouraging other Independents, Greens, Socialists etc. to do so in order to support Kucinich. I can see his candidacy, win or lose, bringing issues to the fore on the national stage that haven't been discussed. The mainstream press would not be able to avoid addressing them when coming from the presidential candidate of one of the two major parties. I don't see Dean having this same commitment to truly progressive causes. So how about it? Are we ready to make the temporary switch?

right on, Stevie 06.Jul.2003 23:52

x

'twas I that noted Kucinich will have a harder time winning the Democratic nomination than beating Bush (he'd kick the stuffing out of Bush if Kucinich got past the DNC gate keepers; his honesty, true progressive populism and willingness to call Bush a liar and document it is something Bush's millions and partial media censorship will not be able to stop - Americans are sick of being lied to and Kucinich will resonate with them if they only have a chance to be introduced to him).

Your idea about temporary registration switching interesting, and I think it would work for some people.

I don't know why "purists" within the progressives, greens, socialists and others fail to see the simple logic of supporting Kucinich all the way up to the day the Democratic frontrunner is nominated. No offense to Gringo Stars or others, but why the massive missive on dynamics we understand? The Democratic Party is part of the problem. Tell us something we don't know!

Kucinich is a real progressive, and getting this guy into greater light increases the level of discussion on progressive issues, and that's good for the left, regardless of where one is on the left.

I've blabbed enough. I'll leave the rest of the discussion to others.

Fronting 07.Jul.2003 04:20

Erik

Does anyone care that Kucinich was anti-abortion until he decided to run for President? I love the guy and all, but for all this attacking Dean as not being progressive enough (you're right, he's NOT a Naderite), or for being an opportunist, why doesn't anyone care when Kucinich does the same thing? If he's so principled, why the change? Could it possibly be that no one can get the democratic nomination (and rightly so) if they're anti-abortion? I like Dennis, and I like Howard (why is it that the "progressive" presidential hopefuls all have regrettable names (okay, I guess Al Sharpton doesn't)? Howard, Dennis, Ralph...), but why do people only attack Dean?

And I don't like to bring up cold hard realities, but the perception has been that Kerry and Dean split part of the vote, and Gephardt gets the other part, but in the case of Kucinich and Dean, as shown here, it's not just perception but reality that Dean and Kucinich split their vote. It may not be pretty, but Kucinich is trailing and picking away at Dean, and that's not going to help Kucinich get the nomination, just Kerry and Gephardt. And even the most die-hard uncomprimising progressive, or the most die-hard Anyone But Bush has to see either Kerry or Gephardt as a Bad Thing. Dean has the ability to challenge Bush, so does Kucinich (outside the state of Ohio, that is, he's not exactly seen as a terribly viable candidate in his home state), and either is better than Gephardt.

Why is Dean a Zionist 07.Jul.2003 08:43

porky the prig

why is Dean a Zionist, supporting the Zionist organizeation AIPAC?

Anybody wonder why? think about it. Why?

Isn't it interesting that Dean and Bush have the same position on Israel?

Is that democracy, for two politicians from supposedly two different parties have essentially the same policy on one of the most importan political situations in the world?

why? why? why?

it IS a question which can be answered.......

Dems Have Lost Me Forever 07.Jul.2003 08:57

Den Mark

I won't repeat points from the many excellent posts which make clear that dems are part of the problem. Let me cite two extra thoughts. 1) The selection of lieberman in 2000 made it VERY clear just how cynical dems are. lieberman: more republican than many republicans (e.g., Lincoln Chaffee). 2) The most telling incident for me in 2000 was when democrats joined republicans on the self-styled "Commission on Presidential Debates" & refused to allow Nader & buchanan into the debates, in even one of the four venues! If gore were so progressive, what was he afraid of. Having Nader debate surely would've corroborated gore's "progressiveness", were that the case, but gore was as afraid of being exposed by Nader as NOT progressive, as bush was afraid of being exposed by buchanan as NOT traditionally conservative. So, once again, dems & reps got together to divvy up all the perks of this "democracy", with the help of the corporate power behind each of those two bogus political fronts. From that point on, this activist is third party, forever. Period.

Why Not That Charlatan Sharpton? 07.Jul.2003 11:53

?

<I>Al Sharpton's got just as good progressive credibility ... So why not support him?</I>

<BR><BR>

<B>Tawana Brawley</B>

Where's Nader Been 07.Jul.2003 16:11

me

All this talk from Nader supporters leaves me wondering what the heck has Nader done since the last election? Has he made any noise at all about the debacle in Florida.... I mean he must have read somethine by Greg Palast in the past 3 years. I voted for the guy twice, and it seems to me the man has done nothing since the election. <br><br>

Ok next question. Does anyone here not understand that Kucinich is unelectable for 2 big reasons, and one smaller reason. First his name is foreign sounding. It doesn't sound English, it sound ethnic, that won't play well to most Americans, and don't forget we are talking about the same Americans who believe that WMDs have actually been found already in Iraq, and that Saddam Housein was directly involved in the 911 attacks. Second, Kucinich is weird looking. Once again, middle Americans, bloated on TV "news" like pretty boys... and Kucinich is not going to fair well against Bush in this way. 3rd point, Americans like to elect Governors, not Senators, and not Mayors. Reagan was a Governor, Clinton and the current Bush were also both Governor. I think this last reason is perhaps the most valid (as the first two points are ridiculous rationalizations, however true they might be). Govenors are looked at as "outside Washington" while at the same time they are seen as having "experience". <br><br>

So out of the crowd of 9 Democrats, there's only one Governor, who also has the most organized activist base any candidate for President has ever had... and that is Howard Dean. <br><br>

Finally, for those of you that don't like the Democratic party, that's absolutely your right. I voted for Nader myself, and have never voted for a Democrat in national elections. However, to say that there is no difference between Bush and hjs Neocons and the Democratic party is just retarded. We wouldn't even be having this conversation if in fact that was true. I agree with the good cop bad cop theory that has been espoused in these Portland IMC pages, however, to have Bush in the White House for another term will be a complete and total fucking nightmare. I think the Green Party, the New Party, and all the other 3rd parties have a long way to go before they can come close to winning a national election like the Presidency, and would encourage people to vote for 3rd party candidates to their hearts content in local elections (which use to be the Green's Strategy). However, the Greens got way ahead of themselves and thought they could get 5% of the vote. How weird is that anyway, sucking up to the Federal Government for money. Anyway, look what it got them instead-- a big ole black eye. And again I ask the question.--What have the Greens done since the last election to counter the media's propaganda that they gave the election to Bush? Not much. Greg Palast seems to be the only one around who has done anything on this scale. The Greens however are acting like the party they are becoming.. inaffectual, marginalized, and politically incompetent.

Howard Bean beating GWB 07.Jul.2003 20:09

Wack'em One

Howard Dean or Bean or whatever his name........LOL, LOL................LOL. The State of Vermont 3 freaking electorial votes....................LOL.......LOL....... Bring on Sharpton, at least we can have some fun!

Why the Democrats should pursue defeat in 2004 07.Jul.2003 20:11

losing battle

Losing battle

Why the Democrats should pursue defeat in 2004

By Alan Wolfe, 7/6/2003

RESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH and his Republican allies, following a course of avid partisanship and truth-be-damned rhetoric, have changed the rules of American politics. Would-be Democratic presidential candidates in 2004 therefore face a dilemma. They can play by the new rules and increase their chance of winning, but at the risk of weakening the country. Or they can opt for responsible, moderate proposals that would strengthen American society-and almost certainly consign themselves to immediate electoral defeat.

Politicians are intensely partisan creatures. Still, they have typically agreed to practices that placed restraints on win-at-any-cost tactics. Three such practices in particular once played an important role in Washington life but no longer seem much in evidence.

The first is that sometimes a leader ought to do the right thing rather than the politically advantageous thing. No better example can be provided than Lyndon Johnson's decision to back effective civil-rights legislation in the 1960s. LBJ knew that his action would doom his party to electoral defeat (as it did, in 1968). Yet he also understood how poisonous segregation had been to American democracy. His choice, however politically suicidal at the time, is now widely admired; even conservatives who oppose affirmative action proclaim their allegiance to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Second, policies have usually been viewed as more legitimate when agreed to by broad bipartisan coalitions than when passed by narrow partisan margins. This is especially true of foreign policy. Republican Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg supported Democratic President Harry Truman's Marshall Plan for aiding postwar Europe because he knew the Soviet Union would take a unified United States more seriously than a divided one. But the preference for bipartisan agreement also holds for domestic policy-and even for legal decisions. Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican, relied on his previous experience as governor of California to fashion a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education because he knew racist diehards would use any dissent to encourage disobedience to the law.

Third, politicians often put loyalty to their institution ahead of loyalty to their party. The US Senate in particular has been viewed by its members as a club with its own distinct rituals and responsibilities. In the past, liberal Democrats often chafed at such seemingly arcane practices as the allocation of committee chairmanships by seniority or the filibuster, which were often used in defense of segregation. But the institution nonetheless worked to temper ideological and partisan extremism. Even a firebrand liberal like Hubert H. Humphrey, who entered the Senate as a devoted reformer, eventually won the respect of his colleagues by adhering faithfully to the Senate's way of doing business.

In contrast, Bush and his allies in Congress have followed in-your-face strategies that abhor all restraints on partisan priorities. Politics for them is an effort to create a self-sustaining Republican machine that offers benefits to the already advantaged in return for past and future campaign contributions that will enable the party to offer even more of the same. Some may believe that it is wrong for government to reward those who need its help least and to punish those who need its help most. But if any of today's Republicans question the notion of rewarding the rich at the expense of the poor, they have been remarkably quiet about it.

The best example of Bush's partisan philosophy of governance is provided by his judicial nominees. In his appointments to federal courts, Bush has consistently sought extreme conservatives capable of winning confirmation by the narrowest majorities rather than less reliably ideological candidates who could win bipartisan support. (Some nominees, in fact, are so conservative they may not win even narrow confirmation.) That the decisions of judges chosen this way will likely be contested and controversial seems to mean as little to him as the fact that his foreign policy is wildly unpopular throughout most of the world. Bush does not want merely to win-he wants his opponents to know they lost.

Institutional traditions are an obstacle to such a conception of politics. This explains why Senate majority leader Bill Frist is trying to change the filibuster rule to help Bush win confirmation of his judges, just as House majority leader Tom DeLay would never allow the long respected practice of redistricting congressional seats every 10 years to stand in the way of a chance to stuff some more Republicans into Congress. Although politicians generally do not read moral philosophy, they have, at least until now, understood implicitly the point made by the philosopher and political theorist John Rawls: The fairest rules are those to which everyone would agree if they did not know how much power they would have. DeLay and other Republican partisans in the Congress, by contrast, believe that power gives you the right to change the rules in whatever way you can.

There is nothing to prevent Democrats from deciding that they can play the same game. Yet they have chosen not to do so, even though two recent examples of Republican overreach give them the opportunity.

Consider the recent debate over a Medicare prescription drug benefit. No issue in American politics works more to the advantage of the Democrats and less to the benefit of Republicans than health care-especially health care for the elderly. Fully aware of his vulnerability on the issue, Bush dropped his usual insistence on ideological correctness and signaled his willingness to support a bipartisan plan for adding prescription drug coverage to Medicare, a plan endorsed by Democratic senators Edward Kennedy and Tom Daschle.

As filled with inexplicable coverage gaps as the resulting bill is, it breaks a longstanding logjam on the issue and offers real benefits to the elderly, which is no doubt why many prominent Democrats support it. (They also promise to improve the benefits, but if they lose badly in 2004 they may not have a chance to do so.) True, of the four Democratic senators running for president, only Joseph Lieberman voted for the bill. But by uniting with Republicans to pass this law, the Democratic leadership permitted Bush to take his weakest issue off the table in 2004. If he campaigns as he has in the past, they also made it possible for him to distort the role key Democrats played in the legislation's passage while assigning full credit for its passage to the GOP.

The story is similar with taxation. In their tax-cutting zeal, Republican congressmen recently passed, and the president signed, a law that failed to extend a $400-per-child tax credit to those earning the minimum wage while dishing out expensive benefits to the wealthy. Had they been as intensely partisan as the Republicans, Democrats would have done their best to allow the law as written to stand. It would have provided them in 2004 what they lacked in 2000: an easily understood example of the way Republican tax-cutting violates basic conceptions of fairness.

But they chose not to engage in such ''the worse, the better'' tactics. Instead a Democrat, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, introduced a bill to give the credit to the working poor. Ironically, Democrats may win a political advantage on this issue anyway, since DeLay's House of Representatives passed a version of the bill so laden with additional costs that it may be doomed in the Senate-House conference committee. Still, it is noteworthy that the Democratic Party's first instinct is to correct a wrong, not to make a point.

At least one law passed by the Republican majority gives Democrats an opportunity to play their own kind of politics of deception in 2004. Nothing in the law banning so-called partial birth abortion prevents a woman from having an abortion in the first trimester of her pregnancy. Democrats could nonetheless try to energize their female base by grossly exaggerating the number of women who would be deprived of their right to choose under the new law. Or they could borrow a tactic popularized by Republicans and take unusual cases-a women deprived of the right to terminate a pregnancy caused by a rapist, for example-and treat them as if they were typical.

Even if Democrats could become more aggressive and commit themselves to the no-holds-barred rules favored by their opponents, should they? My answer is no. There is more at stake in the election of 2004 than who wins. The slash-and-burn approach to both domestic and international politics taken by the Republicans has been very effective, but only in the short-term. Eventually, the United States will pay in lost international prestige for its unprovoked war in Iraq; indeed, it may have done so already. And at some point in the future, Americans will pay in high interest rates and economic stagnation the costs of the tax cuts passed now. Were they to follow Bush and his allies' strategy of dividing the country, lying about their objectives, and treating loyal opponents as enemies, Democrats would add to the poison that is damaging the trust that makes democratic politics possible.

Forced to choose between the responsible course and the winning course, Democrats may be better off insisting on doing the right things in the right way, no matter what the immediate political disadvantage. For only then can they position themselves to become the governing party when Americans begin to care about the unhappy state of their country.

Perhaps that moment will come before the 2004 election. But even if it does not, it will come some day. Americans do not want their society to violate elementary rules of fairness, nor are they in favor of a foreign policy that costs us the respect and admiration of the world. It is a safe bet that most of what President Bush accomplishes will some day need to be undone, and that large numbers of Americans will come to believe as much. The sooner that day comes, the better for the fortunes of the Democratic party-and the United States.

Alan Wolfe directs the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. His book ''The Transformation of American Religion'' will be published in September by the Free Press.

For comments and suggestions, email  ideas@globe.com

This story ran on page H1 of the Boston Globe on 7/6/2003.


Glad to see Tawana is still around 08.Jul.2003 03:26

anonymous

I'm glad that someone here knows about Tawana Brawley. But that story is just too ugly to discuss. Maybe because Sharpton has no chance it is not important? Just the same, for those who are curious, please check out Al Sharpton's past before considering that he is any different or any better than any other politician... Maybe he is the worst kind.

I think I am leaning toward Kucinich. As for his change on the abortion issue, I believe it had something to do with religion. If I am not mistaken, he is a Catholic and that has effected his view toward abortion. However on deciding to run for president he realized that he couldn't let his personal, religious views dictate policy on this issue. It is an understandable change in political stance if you ask me. Freedom of choice is not necessarily pro-abortion.

This thread has helped me come to some conclusion, so I thank all contributors. I will not vote for the most electable democrat, I will vote for the one that I like the best, based on the issues, and take it from there.

Clinton beating Bush 08.Jul.2003 13:11

James

William...Billy Clinton...whatever his name is...LOL, LOL......LOL the state of Arkansas 6 freaking electoral votes....LOL.....LOL....bring on Ross Perot, at least we can have some fun.

just curious 08.Jul.2003 16:14

--

James: what are you referring to? I can't find it in this uber-long thread.

Heh 08.Jul.2003 18:12

James

I was referring to this comment:

Howard Bean beating GWB 07.Jul.2003 20:09

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wack'em One


Howard Dean or Bean or whatever his name........LOL, LOL................LOL. The State of Vermont 3 freaking electorial votes....................LOL.......LOL....... Bring on Sharpton, at least we can have some fun!

Vote for the right guy/gal 09.Jul.2003 10:09

Scott

Much of the thinking behind who to vote for sounds like hedging. It's this hedging that always puts the wrong person in office. Vote for the right guy/gal! If you know that Kucinich is it, then vote for him, don't hedge by voting for Dean. Get the message across to everyone, don't let hedging continue to intimidate people into voting for the wrong guy/gal. If everyone who truly believed that Nader would be a better president than Gore actually voted for Nader, perhaps he'd be the president today, perhaps it was Gore who was the spoiler and prevented Nader from winning! Vote your conscience, that's the only way out. Hedging is fear-based, and fear is what swirls souls into the cesspools of darkness.

Kucinish is the only one who deserves the office 10.Jul.2003 14:08

FluxRostrum

Kucinich is the only one attacking the same issues that we ususally see addressed on IndyMedia and that's why I think he's the only candidate that CAN beat Bush. He is the antithisis of Bush, the antidote. If you truely disaggree with EVERYTHING Bush has done since Stealing the Presidency then Kucinich MUST be your pick.

He's the one with answers and the will to execute them.

I wouldn't mind a Kucinich/Dean pairing.

I continuously hear people saying how they think Kucinich is the best candidate but they don't think he's got a chance. Well, That's exactly the kind of thinking that will insure that whoever wins WON'T be The Best Candidate.

Edwards, Kerry & Liberman are all BUSH IN DISGUISE.

I can't yell this loadly enough KERRY IS SKULL & BONES... BUSH IS SKULL & BONES.... I want U.S., The People to choose our President NOT THE SKULL & BONES. I don't care how much money Kerry raises he's not the best candidate. By selecting a candidate based on how much financial support they have (takes money to win) then we elect a government of the rich, by the rich for the rich. Vote for the candidate who raises the least money; THEN we'll know who's being represented.

Let the Man Speak!
 http://fluxrostrum.com/MindFlux/DennisKucinich/kucinich.htm


About Nader 10.Jul.2003 14:31

FluxRostrum

"The diminutive Democrat got another boost this week from Ralph Nader, whose third-party foray into the 2000 presidential race drew enough votes away from Al Gore to cost him the election.

While Nader is intimating he may do the GOP the same favor in 2004, he told CNN's "Crossfire" this week, "If Dennis Kucinich gets the nomination, it'll be less reason to have a third-party challenge. He's a very progressive Democrat. ..."

NADER wants Kucinich.
Granny D Wants Kucinich.
GHANDI wants Kucinich.

earth

Against Dean 10.Sep.2003 19:51

Owen R. Broadhurst

1) Flip flops on Iraq!!!

On January 31, Dean told Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times that "if Bush presents what he considered to be persuasive evidence that Iraq still had weapons of mass destruction, he would support military action, even without U.N. authorization."

On Feb. 20, Dean told Salon.com that "if the U.N. in the end chooses not to enforce its own resolutions, then the U.S. should give Saddam 30 to 60 days to disarm, and if he doesn't, unilateral action is a regrettable, but unavoidable, choice."

On Feb.25, on PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Dean said United Nations authorization was a prerequisite for war. "We need to respect the legal rights that are involved here," Dean said. "Unless they are an imminent threat, we do not have a legal right, in my view, to attack them."

Source:  http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-geraghty032803.asp

"Dean has won cheers from Democratic audiences by saying he would not have voted for the war resolution his congressional rivals helped pass, saying it is "the wrong war at the wrong time." But he has said he would support military action if it was proved Iraq had nuclear weapons and refused to disarm within 60 days.

"Axelrod said Dean has not always been clear about his own position, pointing to his refusal to say whether the troops should be pulled out of Iraq at a Wednesday night appearance in Boston. Last week, Dean told reporters in Washington the troops must stay and finish the fight now that they are on the ground. "

Source:  http://www.primarymonitor.com/news/stories2003/nh__war_democrats_2003.shtml

FMR. GOV. HOWARD DEAN: Sure. Look, I don't have a problem with the second resolution because the United Nations will ultimately make the decision about how Saddam is to be disarmed. My own preference is that we give the inspectors some more time-- we're making some progress there-- but that if Saddam refuses, for example, to destroy the missiles as the United Nations has demanded, then I think the United Nations is going to have an obligation to disarm him. I think our role in this has been pretty awful. We really have made it more difficult for the United States to carry out its policies by alienating practically everyone, including our friends, in regard to this matter of Iraq, and I think that's a mistake. I think it would have been a lot easier for us had the president not last July essentially declared that we were going to go in, and if people didn't like it, that was too bad for them. That was the wrong way to handle it.

GWEN IFILL: It sounds more like you disagree with our approach to this war than to the idea of waging war.

Source:  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june03/dean_2-25.html


2) Sprawl and Act 250

Q: What about C&S Wholesale Grocers and their decision to expand in New Hampshire? Critics would perhaps blame the lengthy Act 250 process several years ago that may have soured the company on Vermont.

Dean: That was the local residents that did that. Ten years ago they had a big fight with C&S. You know Act 250 gets the blame and a lot of times it's local zoning and all that stuff. The local residents had a big fight in Brattleboro about whether they wanted C&S to expand. And they chose not to do that. Well,
obviously that does set a bad tone. But for every story like that there are 10 stories of people who get their plants up and running and get going and it's not a big problem. But those stories never get in the paper because they're not controversial.

Q: If you had your druthers, how would you streamline the permit process for Act 250?

Dean: I would limit party status and really make sure the parties are really contributing something to the process. They really have to live next door. Right now, the party process is such that pretty much anyone who wants can come by with a little dough and a lawyer can throw a monkey wrench into a project. And I think that's a mistake. But other than that I think Act 250 works pretty well. And it's important who you appoint (to the local commissions). The coordinators stay on too long in one place and they should be rotated in some way. The problems oftentimes are because the coordinators have more power than the local boards. I don't get a lot of complaints about Act 250 any more, except from two districts with very long-serving coordinators.

Q: OMYA has had some major difficulty in expanding its business. It's lost several appeals to increase its ability to haul marble ore from Middlebury to Florence and there is strong opposition to its plans to build a new quarry in Danby. What do you say to a company like OMYA that wants to expand and has hit a stone wall?

Dean: You have to work through the local process to get your expansion. OMYA has not applied for any permits for Danby as far as I know. Of course, they have local opposition. Everybody has local opposition. I've been traveling all over the country for the last year and a half. You pick up any local section of the paper and somebody has a lawyer that's suing somebody else because they don't want something in their backyard. That happens everywhere in the country. The question is how you moderate through that process.

Source:  http://rutlandherald.nybor.com/deanspeaks/

""EP under Governor Dean meant Expedite Permits, not Environmental Protection," proclaims Annette Smith, the director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment... Smith is no stranger to Dean's environmental record, having tangled with the Dean administration on everything from the OMYA Corporation's mining to
pesticide usage on Vermont's mega-farms... "He's destroyed the Agency of Natural Resources, he's refused to meet with environmentalists while constantly meeting with the development community, and he's made the permitting process one, big dysfunctional joke." ...

"Stephanie Kaplan, a leading environmental lawyer and the former executive officer of Vermont's Environmental Board, has seen the regulatory process under Dean become so slanted against environmentalists and concerned citizens that she hardly thinks its worth putting up a fight anymore.

""Under Dean the Act 250 process (Vermont's primary development review law) and the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) have lost their way," contends Kaplan. "Dean created the myth that environmental laws hurt the economy and set the tone to allow Act 250 and the ANR to simply be permit mills for developers."

"Kaplan points to the "Environmental Board purge" in the mid-90s that allowed Dean to set the pro-development tone. In 1993, the Board issued an Act 250 permit to C&S Grocers in Brattleboro with conditions that restricted the diesel emissions from its heavy truck traffic. After C&S execs cried foul and
threatened to move to New Hampshire, Dean broke gubernatorial precedent by publicly criticizing the Environmental Board for issuing what he called a "non-permit."

""After the post-C&S purge," says Kaplan, "the burden of proof for Act 250 permits switched from being on the applicants -- where it's supposed to be -- to being on the environmentalists. That's why 98% of the permit requests are approved and only 20% ever have hearings.""

Source:  http://www.counterpunch.org/colby02222003.html

3) Gay marriage

"Dean, however, does not support gay marriage, as he believes the concept of marriage is a religious issue. As he recently told the Advocate magazine, "the issue for me is not marriage but equal rights under the law. If the Catholic Church doesn't want to marry gay people, I think that's the Catholic Church's right.""

Source:  http://www.baywindows.com/news/407444.html

[Dean doesn't venture to say why religions that DO marry gay people should not have those sacramental bonds recognized as sacramental bonds in other churches are.]

4) "Preventive" War

"Iraq does not have a nuclear program. It does not possess nuclear weapons and there is not really any evidence they are giving weapons to the terrorists. If they were we would have the right to defend ourselves," said Dean.

"On the other hand, North Korea has nuclear weapons, has a nuclear program and is selling missiles to people who mean us harm. And for the life of me, I can't understand why the president won't even talk to North Korea while we have 250,000 troops about to invade a third-rate military country that we have been able to contain successfully for the past 12 years."

Source:  http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/local/5414322.htm

"In effect this supposedly 'anti-war' Democrat has announced his support for a policy in which Washington will decide which countries are allowed to have nuclear weapons and will reserve for itself the right to forcefully disarm those who do not voluntarily disarm by U.S. dictate. In this crucial regard Dean's position is in close accordance with the Bush doctrine of coercive disarmament and preventive war."

Source:  http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0414-09.htm

5) Vermont austerity program

"Despite the partisan difference Dean kept Snelling's team in place. Hogan continued to serve as Secretary of the Human Services for another eight-plus years. Dean also carried through on the austerity program that Snelling and Speaker Ralph Wright had brokered to address the state's $65 million budget deficit. Veteran Vermont journalist Peter Freyne says that, "He [Dean] stood right up to the Democratic liberals right away... He was never part of the tax and spend liberal Democratic wing, ever.""

Source:  http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/dean/dean0702/deanmain.html

6) Regressive taxation

"The debate over education funding, which came to the fore with the Vermont Supreme Court's ruling in Brigham v. Vermont in February 1997, has been one of the most contentious issues facing Vermont in recent years, and not a few Vermonters have faulted Dean's leadership on this matter. For example, Vachon at National Life Insurance speaks admiringly of Dean but expresses disappointment with his handling of the
education funding debate. Dean, he said, "basically said the legislature has to come up with a proposal." Rep. John Tracy (D-Burlington), now House Minority Leader, rebuffs these criticisms stating, "I would say that he knows the role of the legislature... It was clear that he had some ideas as to where he wanted us to go."

"You knew he didn't want a straight income tax. He made that clear. Because he knew, he looked at the financial stability and the needs of the state," says Tracy. Moving relatively quickly, the legislature passed the controversial "Equal Educational Opportunity Act," commonly known as Act 60, which established a statewide property tax with an income sensitivity provision. Act 60 was a significant issue in the 1998 campaign, and, says Gierzynski, the UVM poli sci professor, "He [Dean] stood up and defended Act 60 very well back in 1998. He's taken a lot of heat for that." "

Source:  http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/dean/dean0702/deanmain.html

7) Agriculture

"Progressives also find much to fault in Dean's record on agriculture. Lee Light, who with husband Bob runs the Hollister Hill Farm in the Marshfield area, states, "He's been governor for 11 years and we've lost a lot of farms, and we've also been a state that hasn't fought against the bovine growth hormone factory farms... He has a commissioner of agriculture that hasn't bucked that trend toward bigger agriculture. The Agriculture Department he never fully funds; he's always cutting the budget." Likewise Rep. David Zuckerman, leader of the four Progressives in the House and an organic vegetable farmer, states, "He's done almost nothing for agriculture." Zuckerman says that slaughterhouses have been closing, and there has been very little money to help them upgrade; that transition money is needed to help farms convert to organic; that there is a need for an organic dairy bottling plant; and that Vermont should be kept free of genetically modified organisms. "

Source:  http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/dean/dean0702/deanmain.html

=================

8) Israel/ Palestine

Stephen Zunes reports: "In his major foreign policy address to date, a February 17 speech at Drake University in Iowa, Dean blasted the Bush administration's foreign policy regarding Iraq and several other areas, but - when it came to Israel and Palestine - the former Vermont governor declared that, while the United States should become more engaged, he did not have any fundamental objections with President George W. Bush's policies. Dean called for an end to Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians, but he did not call for a cessation of Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians. Similarly, there was no call for an end of the Israeli occupation, for Israeli compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, or a withdrawal from Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied territories or even a freeze on the construction of new settlements.

"...Dean also appears to reject the widespread consensus among Israeli peace activists and Middle East scholars that Palestinian terrorism is a direct outgrowth of the 35-year Israeli military occupation. Instead, Dean seems to argue that terrorism itself is the core issue. He also rejects calls by APN and other liberal Zionist groups that Israel's requested $12 billion loan guarantee be linked to an Israeli freeze on constructing additional illegal settlements on confiscated Palestinian land, arguing that such aid should instead be unconditional. Pushing for such a dramatic and unconditional increase in financial support for the incumbent government just before Israelis went to the polls in January was widely seen as a not-too-subtle endorsement of Sharon's re-election.

"This has raised concerns within the peace and human rights camp that Dean's apparent embrace of such a hawkish position comes not out of political expediency, but because he essentially supports the Sharon's perspective that security comes from conquest and repression, not negotiation and compromise. In supporting Israel's rightist government, so it is argued, Dean is taking the position that United Nations Security Council resolutions, human rights, and international legal principles like the Fourth Geneva Conventions can be ignored when they involved a strategic ally. And while he may not be as reckless as the other major Democratic contenders in supporting an invasion of Iraq, he clearly is not the progressive alternative to President Bush for whom so many are searching..."

Source:  http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0226-04.htm

Ahmed Nassaf reports: "...Last December, Dean told the Jerusalem Post that he unequivocally supported $ 8Billion in US loan guarantees for Israel. "I believe that by providing Israel with the loan guarantees...the US will be advancing its own interest," he said. His unconditional support for the loan package, in addition to $ 4Billion in outright grants, went further than even some of the most pro-Israel elements in the Bush administration, like Paul Wolfowitz, who wanted to at least include some vague restrictions like pushing Israel to curtail new settlements and accept a timetable to establish a Palestinian state.

"On the illegal Israeli settlements, Dean seems to be waffling of late. A pro-Dean blog quotes his campaign as calling for the ultimate removal of only "a number of existing settlements." (The link back to the official site was no longer operational as of this writing.) However, in what may signal a softening of his position to woo progressive voters in the upcoming MoveOn.org Democratic "Primary" vote, Dean called last month for "ultimately dismantling the settlements." So which one is it?..."

Source:  http://www.muslimwakeup.com/mainarchive/000119.html

Howard Dean: "...I cannot leave the subject of terrorism without bringing up a subject President Bush unaccountably neglected to bring up during his recent State of the Union address - and that is the need to end the seemingly endless cycle of violence in the Middle East.

"Here, I do not differ with the President's stated policy; I just wish he would actually apply it. Since taking office, the Administration has been disengaged from the Middle East, then engaged, and then disengaged once more. This is another example of the President trying to distance himself from President Clinton, even though the Clinton Administration's approach reflected decades of bipartisan support for a comprehensive Middle East peace.

"When they have bothered to state them, the Administration's guiding principles in the Middle East are the right ones. Terrorism against Israel must end. A two-state solution is the only path to eventual peace, but Palestinian territory cannot have the capability of being used as a platform for attacking Israel. Some degree of separation between Israelis and Palestinians is probably necessary in light of the horrible bloodshed of the past two years. To be viable, the Palestinian Authority must become democratic and purged of corruption.

"But none of this will happen naturally. The United States is the only country with the ability to give both sides the confidence to move toward a future of co-existence. Appearances matter, and if we are not engaged, it looks like we simply do not care and that we have condemned the entire Palestinian people because of their leadership. In my view, this hurts the United States, it hurts Israel, and it makes it less likely the violence and the terrorism will end..."

Source:  http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5606

E. J. Kessler reports: "... Asked if his appearance at the Peace Now event should be read as a signal of his views on the Middle East, Dean said, "No, my view is closer to AIPAC's view." He said he was bestowing the award because the honoree and fellow Vermonter Barr "is a remarkable humanitarian who has served her state and me. I would not turn down an opportunity to honor her."

""At one time the Peace Now view was important but now Israel is under enormous pressure," he continued. "We have to stop terrorism before peace negotiations.... I don't do things for political reasons. I'm very loyal to my friends. Nobody should read anything into my ideology."...

Source:  http://www.forward.com/issues/2002/02.11.22/news3.html

Howard Dean: " "Israel is a democracy, the only democracy aside from Turkey in the region. Israel has incurred severe economic damage as a result of being forced to fight this war. I believe that by providing Israel with the loan guarantees and thereby enabling Israel's economy to grow, the US will be advancing its own interest," he said..."

Source:  link to pqasb.pqarchiver.com

PITT: Would you say this has been a failure of leadership on all fronts - Palestine, Israel and America?

DEAN: I think the biggest failure of leadership has been with the President. Other Presidents have succeeded in making significant progress, particularly Presidents Carter and Clinton. Were we to apply that kind of energy to those discussions, I think we could make progress. Of all the Arab people, the Palestinians are most likely to be able to maintain a democratic state. Many Palestinians have lived in democratic states, including a million Israeli Arabs. Women among the Palestinians play a larger governmental role than any other Arab society.

But we've got to stop the terror. You can't get the Israelis out of the West Bank if, all of a sudden, a bomb goes off and kills 26 kids at a bar mitzvah. Of course they're going to go back. You stop the terror by changing our oil policy and confronting those who are funding the terror, and then you begin the process of moving out and ultimately dismantling the settlements, and setting up the states side by side. But the key is the terror, and the key to stopping the terror is America.

Source:  http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/printer_052203A.shtml

Kareem Fahim reports: "...Jacques Englestein found fault with Dean for "supporting Israel, but not supporting the Palestinians." He also criticized the candidate for not speaking out against the so-called separation wall—the wall the Israeli government is building ostensibly to deter attacks by militants. Many have accused the Sharon government of using the wall to annex more Palestinian land. Even George Bush, in a joint appearance with Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas, said, "It is very difficult to develop confidence [between the two sides] with a wall snaking through the West Bank."

""Security is a great thing," said Englestein. "But this is a land grab."

"Publicly, Dean has said only that "some degree of separation between Israelis and Palestinians is probably necessary." He is expected to take a more defined stand on the issue..."

 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0336/fahim.php

9) Iran

Ahmed Nassaf reports: "...In fact, Dean thinks President Bush is way too soft on Iran. In a March appearance on CBS' Face The Nation, Dean even claimed that "[President Bush] is beholden to the Saudis and the Iranians," something that would certainly come as a surprise to the current regime leaders in Iran who've been labeled as part of the "axis of evil" by the current US president.

"Dean even left open the possibility of preemptive strikes against that country in that interview, adding that "we have to be very, very careful of Iran."

"Once again, sounding very much like President Bush, Dean charged during a New Hampshire campaign stop this month that Iran (along with Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Libya) was "funding Palestinian terrorists and fueling terrorism throughout the world.""

Source:  http://www.muslimwakeup.com/mainarchive/000119.html

SCHIEFFER: Well, are you suggesting we take military action against North Korea?

DEAN: No, I'm suggesting we start to talk to them.

PRIEST: What happens if that doesn't work, and they go ahead with their nuclear processing? Can you imagine a unilateral preemptive strike on North Korea?

DEAN: We could be forced into that. If they develop a missile that could reach the West Coast of the United States, which they are in the process of doing -- such a missile has been tested on the ground but never fired -- we would have a very serious, much more serious problem than we have with Iraq, because then they would become an imminent threat to the United States of America and to our people.

PRIEST: Would you say the same for Iran, whose nuclear capability is very sophisticated, much more sophisticated than Iraq?

DEAN: Yes, we have to be very, very careful of Iran. One of my criticisms with this president is that because we have no oil policy of any kind here, other than drilling the national parks, he is beholden to the Saudis and the Iranians.

Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/03/ftn/main542530.shtml

10) Welfare Reform

Jim Farrell reports: "...While Wellstone fought for people on welfare, Dean said some welfare recipients "don't have any self-esteem. If they did, they'd be working" and scaled back Vermont's welfare program, reducing cash benefits and imposing strict time limits on single mothers receiving welfare assistance..."

Source:  http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030526&s=farrell

11) Social Security Flip Flop

Jim Farrell reports: "...Just last year, Dean proposed deep cuts in Medicaid, which were blocked in his own legislature. Now he calls Representative Dick Gephardt's healthcare proposal, which would roll back the Bush tax cuts in order to provide a tax credit for employers mandated to deliver health coverage to workers, "a pie-in-the-sky radical revamping of our healthcare system." Dean has said that a constitutional amendment to balance the budget "wouldn't be a bad thing" and that the way to balance the federal budget is "for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70 and cut defense, Medicare and veterans' pensions."...

Source:  http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030526&s=farrell

Russert: ...calling for that, and this is what Howard Dean said. "The way to balance the budget, [Gov. Howard] Dean said, is for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70, cut defense, Medicare and veterans pensions, while the states cut almost everything else. 'It would be tough but we could do it,' he said."

Dean: Well, we fortunately don't have to do that now.

Russert: We have a $500 billion deficit.

Dean: But you don't have to cut Social Security to do that.

Russert: But why did you have to do it back then?

Dean: Well, because that was the middle of—I mean, I don't recall saying that, but I'm sure I did, if you have it on your show, because I know your researchers are very good.

 http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/912159.asp?cp1=1

12) Environmental Racism

Jim Farrell reports: "...Dean advocated sending nuclear waste from his state to the poor, mostly Hispanic town of Sierra Blanca, Texas. Wellstone called the proposal "blatant environmental injustice" and fought to delay the measure in the Senate. It ultimately passed but was later determined unsafe...."

Source:  http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030526&s=farrell

13) Afghanistan

Howard Dean: "...Let us turn our attention to postwar Afghanistan. I supported the president's invasion of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was and continues to be an imminent threat to the United States. However, insufficient security assistance and economic investment are opening the door to civil strife and tribal warfare again - the very conditions that bred the Taliban in the first place. Our repeated assurances of aid and reconstruction have resulted in lost hope, empty promises for the Afghan people...."

 http://www.cfr.org/publication.php?id=6080

14) Death Penalty

Russert: Another debatable and controversial issue is the death penalty. This was the headline in your home state paper the other day: "Dean Aligns With Bush On Death Penalty. Former Governor Howard Dean appears to be shedding some of the liberal tendencies that have won him national attention as he now expands his support for the death penalty...His shift on the death penalty...has some questioning his motives." "'This doesn't surprise me. I think Dean's willing to do what he has to do to win,'" said Frank Bryan, a political science professor at the University of Vermont and longtime observer of Dean. 'I really believe he's very ambitious and he wants to win badly. He has to get to the final plateau, and I think he will take risks with his inconsistencies being discovered in order to get to the next step.'... "Eric Davis, a Middlebury College political science professor," also from Vermont, "summed up Dean's change in two words: South Carolina. ...'I think what's going on here is Dean is trying to appeal to electorates in more conservative states...'" South Carolina being the third primary after Iowa and New Hampshire.

Dean: It's a very interesting article, and turned out to be wrong, which was kind of embarrassing. In fact, I figured I was going to get asked this. In 1964—excuse me, in 1994, in the very paper that this was printed in, they ran a series of articles saying I was rethinking the death penalty. This has nothing to do with running for president. It happened while Bill Clinton—before Bill Clinton had even run for his second term. I began to rethink the death penalty in 1994 because of the Polly Klaas case. The Polly Klaas case was the case of a young girl who was kidnapped from her house, abducted and raped, and murdered by a felon who never should have been let out of jail. We had a very similar horrible case in Vermont a few years earlier, and I began to rethink my position on the death penalty as a result of that, and the article was just plain wrong.

 http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/912159.asp?cp1=1

15) Defense Spending

Russert: Would you cut defense?

Dean: You don't have to do that either. Here's what you have to do. You got to get rid of the tax cuts, all of them, and then you have got to restrict spending....

 http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/912159.asp?cp1=1

William Saletan and Avi Zenilman report: "...Defense spending: On June 22, 2003, after rival candidate Dennis Kucinich proposed cuts in military programs, Dean replied, "I don't agree with Dennis about cutting the Pentagon budget when we're in the middle of difficulty with terror attacks."..."

 http://slate.msn.com/id/2086440/

16) Unilateral War

SCHIEFFER: Well, are you saying, Governor, that under no circumstances should we ever take unilateral action? I mean...

DEAN: No.

SCHIEFFER: ... do we leave the defense of this country to the United Nations?

DEAN: No, absolutely not. I've never said that, and I don't say that now.

SCHIEFFER: So under what circumstances?

DEAN: If a country is an imminent threat to the United States, I believe we have the right to defend ourselves. Had we known five days ahead of time before al Qaeda blew the World Trade Centers up with planes, we of course would have defended ourselves and done everything we could to stop it.

If Saddam possesses nuclear weapons, if he has a credible nuclear program, if he's giving weapons of mass destruction to the terrorists, then we have a right, I think, to intervene unilaterally. But there's been no good case made for those things.

Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/03/ftn/main542530.shtml

17) Occupation of Iraq

Russert: How many troops would have in Iraq?

Dean: More than we have now. My understanding is we have in the neighborhood of 135,000 troops...

 http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/912159.asp?cp1=1

18) Occupation of Afghanistan

Russert: All right, Afghanistan, we have 9,000. You would bring it up to what level?

Dean: Well, I believe that we need a very substantial increase in troops. They don't all have to be American troops. My guess would be that we would need at least 30,000 and 40,000 additional troops.

19) Cuba Embargo

Paul Pederson reports: "..."If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have said we should begin to ease the embargo in return for human-rights concessions," Dean told reporters at an August 24 dinner in Seattle, according to the Miami Herald. But, "we can't do it right now." He cited as a reason the April trials and convictions of 75 individuals in Cuba for collaborating with and accepting money from U.S. government representatives to undermine the Cuban Revolution..."

 http://www.themilitant.com/2003/6731/673105.html

Jim VandeHei reports: "...Last weekend, Dean shifted his position on the trade embargo against Cuba. Dean, who had supported rolling back the embargo to foment human rights improvements, said he has become convinced such a move would be unwise. Cuban Americans, who generally support the embargo, are an important voting bloc in several states, including Florida. Bush won four out of every five Cuban American votes in 2000, but Democrats are hoping to chip away at that support before the election.

"Dean said his new position reflects nothing more than his pragmatism. He said Fidel Castro's recent crackdown on dissidents in Cuba makes it impossible for the embargo to be lifted anytime soon without it looking as though the United States is "rewarding" his oppressive regime...

 http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/912159.asp?cp1=1

20) Criminal Defense

Bister, Estrin and Jacobs report: "...Dean's approach to criminal justice is regressive and draconian. Dean the governor was no friend of the public's right to legal defense. According to various attorneys in public defender's offices around the state, Dean under-funded public defense, pouring monies into state's attorneys, police, and corrections instead. According to the Rutland, Vermont daily, The Rutland Herald, this meant that state's attorneys were able to round up ever-increasing numbers of criminal defendants, but public defenders were not given comparable resources to respond. This, too, helped to fill the prisons. Its not that crime increased, but that police had more laws that they could arrest people for (and more resources with which to do so). As an illustration of his opposition to a fair defense for all, Dean once stated at a meeting of criminal defense lawyers that he believed his job as governor was to make the defense attorneys' job as tough as possible. He also tried to block a $150,000 federal grant aimed at assisting defendants with mental disabilities.

"Why would someone want to do that unless he had doubts about the validity of the 6th amendment to the US constitution? Is he motivated by a need to appear tough on crime? As Governor he claimed the legal system unfairly benefited criminals over prosecutors. According to his own words, he wanted to "quickly convict guilty criminals,"(so much for the presumption of innocence), and opined that the US needs a "re-evaluation of the importance of some of our specific civil liberties." John Ashcroft, perhaps there'd be a job for you in a Dean administration..."

 http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles8/Bister-Estrin-Jacobs_Dean.htm

21) Discrimination Against Native Americans

Bister, Estrin and Jacobs report: "...All Vermont schoolchildren learn about Vermonts first people, the Abenakis, in their lessons about the history of Vermont. Despite this acknowledgement of the Abenakis special status, the Dean administration, released a 200-page document in 2002 that was prepared by out-of-state consultants, and without a request from the Bureau of Indian Affairs or anyone else, concerning "The State of Vermont's Response to the Petition for Federal Acknowledgment of the Abenaki Nation of Vermont." This legal opinion asserted that the tribe does not meet the criteria for recognition. The document has been criticized by local experts -- Vermont historians and anthropologists -- as being "highly biased and wildly out of date." Because the legal opinion would have raised a ruckus among many progressive Vermonters, it was released quietly in the final days of his governorship.

"Contemporary Abenakis are currently petitioning the federal government for official recognition as a tribe -- which would give them legal minority status with access to relevant civil rights laws, help them with grant-writing for schools, scholarships and health care, and make available cultural grants to help preserve the language and oral traditions. As the aforementioned report indicates, Dean is opposed to this petition. This type of vehemence towards Native Peoples rights does not bode well for other First Nations within US borders. Even Vermonters are mostly unaware of this gratuitous and mean-spirited attack..."

 http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles8/Bister-Estrin-Jacobs_Dean.htm

David Gram reports: "..."Abenaki school children had been scornfully told that they were not Indians ... because the government said so," said Frederick Wiseman, a professor of history and archaeology at Johnson State College.

"He and others said that attitude was the result of the state's stance that the Abenakis do not constitute a formally recognizable Indian tribe, and they attributed that stance to racism.

"The comments came a day after Gov. Howard Dean told reporters he was urging lawmakers to be very careful before endorsing a resolution saying the Abenakis should be granted limited state recognition.

"Dean said even such a limited government endorsement could lead to much more powerful federal regulation for the state's estimated 1,700 Abenakis. He said that could lead to extensive legal battles over Abenaki land claims and possibly allow the Indians to build casinos in Vermont..."

 http://rutlandherald.nybor.com/Archive/Articles/Article/40922

Sick of it all 25.Nov.2003 12:40

a pissed of youth

im tired of all of this. It's time for pussy liberals to grow a sack. its time to get angry. its time for something to be done, not said. dont vote, get your gun.