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MEAN MEAN HOWARD DEAN--THE REGRESSIVE PROGRESSIVE

A good expose on Howard Dean, who is no different from the rest of the Democratic Party and its pretensions of progressiveness. Do all you Pwogwessives still think that promoting "anybody but Bush" is a viable political strategy?
August 9, 2003

Mean, Mean Howard Dean
He's Regressive, Not Progressive

By JOSH FRANK

Media pundits have been rattling their cages over Howard Dean's so-called progressive agenda, but how wrong they've been. Dean's back seat criticism of the Bush Administration's case for war should enlighten us to the fact that this ex-Vermont Governor's leadership skills are lacking. Prior to the dubious war on Iraq, Dean exclaimed he supported a multi-lateral invasion, but hardly questioned the disinformation spewed from the White House about Iraq's threat to our national security. And to top it off, Dean may well be a Zionist. His unwavering support for the Sharon regime in Israel calls into question his quest for peace in the Middle East. Dean's alignment with the pro-Sharon lobbying firm, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is a stark indicator that this Presidential hopeful's vision for the Arab world is glaringly similar to that of team Bush.

Some Democrats have even been comparing Dean to George McGovern--who back in 1972 lost the Presidential race by a landslide to incumbent Richard Nixon. McGovern was a true liberal Democrat, and many claim that his progressive policies cost him the election.

But what progressive policies could cost Dean the 2004 election? Could it be his support for the death penalty? Maybe it will be his praise of the outlandish Welfare Reform program Clinton and Gore mustered through Congress. Or perhaps it'll have to do with his recent remarks that Iraq simply needs more troops for the ongoing occupation. He sounds a lot like some prominent Republican spinsters on that one. Someone should ask Howard Dean if he remembers a little country called Vietnam.

How in the heck did he get labeled a progressive anyway? What radical changes is he proposing? His rhetoric is simplistic, and his populist mantra is reminiscent of Gore in 2000--passionate, but toothless. For example, he'll say he's for 'grassroots democracy,' but won't support campaign finance reform. He will also beat his chest over 'universal healthcare,' but he won't back any 'sweeping reforms.' How can we have universal healthcare without drastically changing our for-profit medical industry? Who is he kidding?

As for his Israel position, his own website exclaims that the United States should 'maintain its historic special relationship with the state of Israel, providing a guarantee of its long-term defense and security.' Not only has this centrist politician forgotten the Vietnam monstrosity, he blatantly ignores the thousands of Palestinians that have perished at the hands of the brutal Israeli military machine.

Dean is also a neoliberal. He states that he knows 'what it takes to generate economic growth,' and that he 'will work tirelessly to put the American economy back on the road to prosperity.' What Dean really means is that he is willing to disregard environmental safeguards and worker's rights, as long as the wheels of economic capital start churning.

No wonder then that Dean supports the expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). But you won't find much information about this in his campaign propaganda. He wants the progressive vote, so his conformist stances are blatantly spiced up in hopes his supporters will follow blindly. He calls for structural change, but being a centrist, Dean won't endorse repealing any of these repressive agreements.

In the first unofficial Democratic primary, Dean won MoveOn.Org's online poll, garnering 44% of total vote count--this coming from an activist organization. Seems that Howard Dean fooled these lefties into believing he's one of them.

So as he leads the pack of Democratic contenders, keep in mind that Dean is no progressive. He just wants your vote. And like most politicians he'll say what he needs in order to get what he wants. Supporting Civil Unions back in Vermont is one of his only plus marks, but that shouldn't entitle him to outright ownership of your vote. Don't let him fool you into thinking he's anything more than regressive. He's simply not.

Josh Frank lives in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at:  frank_joshua@hotmail.com

2003, by the author.

homepage: homepage: http://www.counterpunch.org/frank08092003.html


beware statistics!! 13.Aug.2003 21:55

nando reis

Beware statisitcs!! There was a great article in indymedia about the truth behind moveon.org - its hardly progressive ! Seems to be about as left wing as Bill Clinton. So why believe that 44% really 'chose' Dean? If they have financial ties/political interests in Dean, which they must otgherwise they woulodn't be 'pushing' him, then its obvious he'll win any poll they have. We really nee3d to learn from Latin America and Europe, countries that have lived under dictatorships not to be so innocent and naive. The rest of the article is GREAT! But we all need to WAKE UP and read between the lines, under the lines, around the lines, throught the lines......

Full disclosure 14.Aug.2003 16:02

Fulldisclosure

Full disclosure: we supported Kucinich for a while, especially around October 2002, until some of us decided to support Kerry, then some of us switched to Dean after the good doctor electrified the Winter Democratic meeting. Some of us don't think it's a good idea to pick anyone this early. Make of that whatever you will.

We saw Bob Harris' compare / contrast chart and found it pretty biased and laughable. We found Mike Hersh's reply which he wrote as tongue in cheek, but we think he was actually pretty accurate. A lot more accurate than Harris. We added to that and put our own special touch on it.

We also took the Feminists for Kucinich article from Hersh. We hope he won't sue us! We're also gonna borrow from Bob and Mike here by saying Kucinich "is basically a good guy, and if he's nominated we'll vote for him in a heartbeat. It's just that it's simply not accurate to refer to him as a progressive candidate."

Not when right wing groups give Kucinich up to 100% favorable grades. We didn't believe this ourselves when we first read it, so we did the responsible thing and looked it up ourselves. (All ratings reported by vote-smart.org). "On the votes that the Family Research Council considered to be the most important in 2000, Representative Kucinich voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time."

That's right (wing). Kucinich got a 100% grade from the rabidly anti-gay right wing Family Research Council. Kucinich won high marks from the anti-choice Right to Life Committee: "On the votes that the National Right to Life Committee considered to be the most important in 2001-2002, Representative Kucinich voted their preferred position 71 percent of the time."

That's an improvement on his recent record when, "On the votes that the National Right to Life Committee considered to be the most important in 1999-2000, Representative Kucinich voted their preferred position 95 percent of the time."

Kucinich even won stunning grades from the fringe right wingers just this year: "On the votes that the Conservative Index - The John Birch Society considered to be the most important in 2003, Representative Kucinich voted their preferred position 40 percent of the time." A fluke? Nope.

"On the votes that the Conservative Index - The John Birch Society considered to be the most important in 2002, Representative Kucinich voted their preferred position 42 percent of the time."

This goes back a long ways with Kucinich. The right wing "Liberty Lobby" - which vote-smart.org says supports "less government spending, and protective immigration laws" - supported Kucinich according to vote-smart.org: "On the votes that the Liberty Lobby considered to be the most important in 1999, Representative Kucinich voted their preferred position 70 percent of the time."

We found all this: here verifying what Mike Hersh and the Nation magazine reported. Kucinich is extremely regressive on issues including women's rights and family planning. See: Regressive Progressive? by Katha Pollitt, The Nation magazine, May 9, 2002.  http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020527&s=pollitt

See the chart:  http://dennisthemenace.blogspot.com/2003_07_01_dennisthemenace_archive.html#105958945157225661


Balderdash! 15.Aug.2003 04:58

Dean Believer!

Oh balderdash!

Heads up -- go see Dean at his rally on August 24th at PSU. Judge for yourself. He is drawing from the entire political spectrum.....and for a good reason. His most appealing characteristic is that he is trustworthy.

oooooo, I wonder why sooooo many right wingers and far, far left wingers are sooooo afraid of Dean? Isn't that odd? Maybe it's simply because he really is committed to this country and our people. That's a nice change in a politican!

belief as dogma 15.Aug.2003 11:32

not a democrat

If you really believe that Dean is somehow different tha other politicians you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. But that is your choice...

More Frank than Honest 28.Aug.2003 01:11

Tell the truth

Getting rid of Bush and replacing him with someone better is a good idea. I am certain of that, however, others are free to have and express a contrary opinion. I respect the right to hold and express any opinion. People are free to help Bush - the worst despot since the other mentally deficient King George - if they want. I have the right to express disgust and dismay for Bush - and those who help him cling to illgotten and illused power.

I can easily prove that Democrats serve the people far better than Republicans. People are free to say the differences between right wing Republicans and center / left Democrats don't matter *to them* but it's factually wrong to deny such differences exist. It's also very dangerous.

I honestly can't understand people who don't care enough about civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, choice, the economy and jobs, the environment, education and several other critically important issues to bother voting for liberal, progressive and moderate Democrats - the viable choices - vs. extreme right wing Republicans - the enemies of all the above.

As long as the Republican Party is dominated by extreme right wing theocrats, voting Democratic means voting for a better future. Empowering the right wing by voting for sure losers isn't part of the solution. It's part of the problem. That doesn't mean you can't do all sorts of other things to make things better. Vote smart, work hard, use the tools we have.

I think people who claim there's no real difference between Bush and the top Democrats are not making any positive impact. To me, this is such an obvious and basic point, I can't really understand someone who claims Democrats are too right wing, but then helps Bush directly or indirectly.

People who attack good candidates with what I think are distortions at best, insulting lies at worst are helping Bush hurt the planet. I can't see the sense in that. The comments in "Howard Dean's Constitutional Hang-Up" are lies and distortions, clearly and cleanly refuted by the facts explained here:

"Frank continues the attacks and starts down the path of outright lies. He accuses Dean of paying only lip service to grassroots democracy, when Dean has more contributors writing small checks than any other candidate in the race. He says he is opposed to campaign finance reform, forgetting Dean's championing of reform in his 1997 Vermont Inaugural Address. He forgets Dean's support of Instant Runoff Voting and other pro-democracy reforms."

"He says Dean isn't a real health reformer because he won't start anew. Again, Frank forgets about political realities and the fact that even good minor reform would take an entirely different situation in Washington than what we've got. An entire revamp and move to socialist medicine would take nothing less than revolution."

Matthew Singer

See:  http://deandefense.org/archives/000661.html

And here:

"First, Dean has no "hang-up" regarding the Constitution. The overblown headline above is wholly off the mark as will be shown below."

"[This charge] Dean Would Rather Execute an Innocent Man, Than Let a Guilty One Walk Free [is] Wild hyperbolic nonsense, wholly unsupported by the facts and a clear example of the unvarnished bias of the piece that follows."

"[The claim] As Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean openly claimed that the legal system unfairly benefited criminal defendants over prosecutors [is an] unsubstantiated assertion ... re-hashing of Scott Huminski's personal crusade against Dean (more about him below). Of course this runs counter to the facts that Dean publicly supported former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who imposed a moratorium on the death penalty because of failings of the legal system. It also directly refutes the absurd allegation in the sub-head of the piece."

"[This attack] Perhaps he was looking to make Vermont more like George Bush's Texas, where defense lawyers are renowned for lacking the resources necessary to provide their clients a fair representation. [makes no sense because] Dean supports narrowing the types of crimes in which the death penalty can be [applied], applauded Ill Gov. Ryan's moratorium on the death penalty, and even the Rutland Herald editorial at the root of this nonsense noted: 'Vermont is not Texas, where the public defender's program is notorious for signing up incompetent, inebriated, or sleep-deprived lawyers for indigent clients.'"

"It should be noted that the source which Mr. Frank is relying on, is himself the litigant [in these cases]. In other words, he (Scott Huminski whom Franks is relying on as a legitimate source) is the one suing those judges (he lost three times on appeal) because of his losing his cases. [and the only other person support these accusations is] Robert Corn-Revere, Huminski's attorney for the lost appeals. [And] It should be noted that nobody was preventing Mr. Huminski from speaking his mind. He simply could not do so on court grounds, after being barred from court for obstruction of justice charges, which were upheld three times by both state and federal courts."

"Read Dean's statement about the Patriot Act: 'Too many in my party voted for the Patriot Act. They believed that it was more important to show bipartisan support for President Bush during a moment of crisis than to stand up for the basic values of our constitution. They trusted this President, knowing full well that John Ashcroft was the Attorney General. Only one senator had the courage to vote against the Patriot Act -- Senator Russ Feingold, and he deserves credit for doing so. We need more Democrats like Senator Feingold-Democrats who are willing to stand up for what is right, and stand against this President's reckless disregard for our civil liberties. We don't need John Ashcroft-or any other Attorney General-rifling through our library records. As Americans, we need to stand up-all of us-and ensure that our laws reflect our values. As President, I will repeal those parts of the Patriot Act that undermine our constitutional rights, and will stand against any further attempts to expand the government's reach at the expense of our civil liberties.'"

"The above directly refutes the assertion with which Mr. Huminski via Mr. Frank's misguided piece tries to paint Dean as an Ashcroft of the left (as he tried to do in his other misguided excursions into the polemic, on Dean) and renders it basically a non-issue."

"Mr. Frank is conflating Deans words 'I haven't gotten that far yet. I think that's unlikely, but I frankly haven't gotten that far' with Vermont Law School Professor Michael Mello's later statement... 'It's why they attacked us, I think our freedom is what they find so threatening, our freedom and the power that I think results directly from that freedom.'"

"The way Mr. Frank has mangled the actual quotes makes it possible to read Howard Dean's words that he think our freedoms are why we were attacked, hence the problem is our freedoms... and right on cue Frank makes that very idiotic leap: 'So according to Dean since terrorists are after our sought after freedoms, we might consider scathing back certain liberties in order to decrease the threat of future strikes. John Ashcroft must be pleased.'"

"As previously noted, the quote Mr. Frank is railing against is his own mangled invention by editing of what was really said. I will leave it to the reader to decide to what end."

Complete debunking of Frank's mangled dishonest attack:

 http://gore4dean.blogspot.com/2003_08_01_gore4dean_archive.html#106075099872369108

This article from Josh Frank is just the latest in a line of shameful, dishonest sucker punches from the CIA-dominated CounterPunch bunch. Known for slamming the most viable progressives in election years - including Sen. Paul Wellstone - with lies and personal attacks, this crypto-right wing stalking horse stable is a favorite of right wingers like Richard M. Scaife and Chris Ruddy.

See:  http://www.notgeniuses.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=744


Dean's Corrupt Vermont 28.Aug.2003 05:28

scott huminski s_huminski@hotmail.com

Simply google search on "scott huminski first amendment" to learn the truth from outside sources. -- scott huminski

humanski lies, lunatics repeat the lies 06.Oct.2003 14:25

humanski is lying

Claiming that false rumors if not outright insane tirades become "the truth" if enough blogs repeat them is stupid. Humanski is lying. His sanity is in doubt.