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February 27, 2003


The ever-measured and dependable Professor Cooper notes that Washington Democrats are supposedly mounting a new, concerted effort to question President Bush's credibility. It sounds like a great idea, especially when you look at this list of, um, "contradictions" between what Bush says and what he does. Why would anyone believe anything this guy says? Oh, but the list is missing some major, um, contradictions about foreign policy. For example, Bush says almost daily he wants to make peace by making war. Huh? He also says nearly as often that he wants to support the UN by undermining it. But the Dems refuse to challenge the Prez on foreign policy, and that's a serious mistake.

Meanwhile, the field of Democratic presidential candidates includes a couple of candidates who aren't afraid to say that Bush's foreign policy is just plain awful. Check out David Corn's summary of what Howard Dean and other candidates said at a recent Democratic National Committee gathering. Dean was especially (and thankfully) blunt:

He hit the podium with a sharp declaration: "What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the president's unilateral attack on Iraq?" He then blasted the party's leaders for not challenging President Bush on whether there should be any new tax cuts; for obsessing over a patients' bill of rights rather than "standing up" for providing health care insurance for all; and for going along with Bush's "Leave No Child Behind" education legislation, which he claimed would leave behind "every student, every teacher and every school board." After this machine-gun opening, he paused and said, "I'm Howard Dean and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Cue the applause? Actually, applause lights were not needed. Many in the crowd jumped up and cheered.

Yes! It's like a dream come true! Finally, a progressive in a position to get serious media attention who's not afraid to say what he really thinks. Since Bush was elected, I've played with this idea for a short story that features exactly such a figure -- someone who comes from nowhere saying things so shocking, outrageous, yet truthful, that people's heads spin around, they wake from their comas, and suddenly everyone's saying: "You know, he's right! We need national health care?now!" Could Dean really be this person? And if he is, will the tactic actually work? I don't know, but the experiment of consistent progressive candidness in public is one that I'd like to see tried. I really think that if more Democrats would stand up unflinchingly for Democratic values, the Democrats could win back both houses of Congress and the White House. So where's the Dean for President office? Sign me up! (Read the full text of Dean's DNC remarks, or check out the Dean for President blog. )

Of course, there are other Democratic candidates in the race, and some of them sound like they have potential. Judging from what I've seen at this point, Kucinich could be one of the better candidates, and to my great surprise, Gephardt is sounding, well, not awful. I'm also really wishing the press could treat Sharpton as more than a comedy side-show. Maybe he has no chance to get elected, but he could have a chance to move the Democrats in some positive directions if the press would shut up with their "he's funny but completely unelectable" stuff. I also wish we could something about Carol Mosely-Braun other than that the only reason she's running is to be a "first." I'm pretty sure she's got more to say than that.

Posted February 27, 2003 08:06 AM | general politics


Posted by: WatchU F Overtime at February 27, 2003 08:14 AM

Meetup for Dean...

pass the word

Posted by: sfarmer76 at May 15, 2003 08:18 PM

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