Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

December 5, 2003

by J

Brilliant Counterpunch

In September 2003 Stephen Moore, president of the anti-government "Club for Growth" wrote about Howard Dean:
Dean charmed nearly everyone in the boardroom. He came across as erudite, policy savvy, and, believe it or not, a friend of free markets

[...] The charismatic doctor had made believers of several hardened cynics. Nearly everyone agreed that we had finally found a Democrat we could work with. Since then, I've watched Dean's career with more than a little interest and we chat from time to time on the phone.

[...]Dean admirably left Vermont with a $10.4 million surplus when he left office this past January--which would certainly be one of his trump cards against Bush. If Dean were ever elected president, I'm convinced he would be monomaniacal about balancing the budget--though certainly not in ways that would please conservatives.
He makes some snide comments too about Vermont and implies things that are not true about Dean, but one theme of the article is that Dean is responsible with money.

Flip the calendar ahead to now. The Club For Growth has launched an attack ad against Dean implying that he's a crazy tax-and-spender (seems that these guys are ok with crazy tax-the-children-and-spenders like Bush, though...) and spreading all sorts of FUD about him in Iowa and New Hampshire. This says one thing and reaffirms another: 1) Republicans, for all their tough talk, fear Dean's campaign and 2) They'll lie like dogs on a rug on a hot summer day in the South to keep their crony in office.

The Dean team is responding with a new ad and have put up a small bat (a 'club for truth') on their website to pay for it. The brilliant counterpunch, to my eye, is the last line in Dean's new ad:
Footage of HD on the campaign trail. / "Howard Dean balanced budgets 11 years in a row. He's a fiscal conservative who cut state income taxes--twice. Raised the minimum wage. And provided health care coverage for nearly every child in his state."

HD voice over under footage. / "I'm Howard Dean. I approved this message because they’re not trying to stop me, they’re trying to stop you."
They're trying to stop you. Masterstroke from Obi Wan Trippi! That's got to have felt like a kick to the gut for a few Republican consultants out there.
Posted by J at December 5, 2003 06:40 AM

And just for the record, we've definitely arrived at Gandhi's Third Stage:

"Then they fight you"

Now, it's 333 days till we win.

Posted by: V at December 5, 2003 09:00 AM

The link to the Weekly Standard piece is no good. Is that coincidental or by design?

Posted by: Scott at December 6, 2003 10:20 AM

By the design of the Weekly Standard, I'm implying.

Posted by: Scott at December 6, 2003 10:20 AM

here's another link to it:


Posted by: Scott at December 6, 2003 10:24 AM

The original link seems to be working again. Momentary glitch, I guess.

Posted by: J at December 7, 2003 11:12 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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