But I always vowed to support him if he became the nominee. We've got to beat Bush, after all, right?
Never mind that he took this line from the late great Paul Wellstone, and that Paul Wellstone's spokesman Jim Farrell wrote about Dean in The Nation (May 8) that "when held up to the progressive standards of a Paul Wellstone, his deeds are sorely lacking." Specifically, he noted:
While Dean may share some measure of Wellstone's passion, his record and his agenda are very different. As governor of Vermont, Dean targeted for elimination the public-financing provision of the state's campaign finance law--a law similar to the one Wellstone pushed in the Senate. In February 2002, Dean said his big donors are given special access...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. Just last year, Dean proposed deep cuts in Medicaid, which were blocked in his own legislature...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." In the name of fiscal conservatism, Dean's final-year Vermont budget also cut portions of the state's public education funding.
So, Dean's an insufferable, holier-than-thou hypocrite. What else is new, right? I mean his denouncing Bush's secrecy and Cheney's secret energy task force--when he has secret records and a secret energy task force of his own--is one of many clear indications of that. But I didn't reach my breaking point until today when I read clear evidence--an admission from the horse's a...er, mouth, really--that he is a petulant crybaby who will drag the party down with him if he doesn't get his way.
From Monday's NY Times:
AMES, Iowa, Dec. 28 -- Complaining about the torrent of attacks raining down on him from his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean on Sunday criticized his party's national chairman, Terry McAuliffe, for not intervening to tone down the debate.
"If we had strong leadership in the Democratic Party, they would be calling those other candidates and saying, `Hey look, somebody's going to have to win here,' " Dr. Dean, the former governor of Vermont, told reporters trailing him as he campaigned through central Iowa. Referring to one of Mr. McAuliffe's predecessors, he added, "If Ron Brown were the chairman, this wouldn't be happening."
Dr. Dean also implied that many of his supporters, particularly young people, might stay home in November if another Democrat's name ends up on the ballot.
"I don't know where they're going to go, but they're certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician," he said.
That's it. The last straw. If Dean is willing to make ever so slightly veiled threats like this, he is not in my opinion a true Democrat, and I'm going to make one right back. If he is the nominee, I won't vote for him--and I'll try to convince as many others as possible to do the same. Oh, I won't vote for Bush--I could never stomach that--but I'll write in the name of a real Democrat who deserves it. I'll vote Democratic downballot, of course (those "Washington Democrats" Dean seems to despise), and give money to Democratic candidates who are in tough races across the country. Then I'll hold out for '08, for a respectable Democrat as nominee, who won't hold the party hostage to his personal ambition.
So I implore all of you who have already shown the sense not to support Dean, to join me. We need to mount an effort at a kind of counter-insurgency, to "take back" the party for the REAL Democrats who work hard in the trenches for progressive change and put the party's interest ahead of personal pique.
To borrow a phrase: "WE HAVE THE POWER!!" ;)