Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

January 29, 2004

by J

Continued PushBack

In my line of work, one of the things that I have to do a lot of is what we call "push back." I am lucky to work with very smart people on very interesting subjects. But part of my job is to push back against these very smart people when they're unconvincing or when I think whatever they're saying is nonsense. Sometimes I'm wrong, and what they're saying is correct. But by pushing back I get them to clarify and reformulate and explain their thinking. But sometimes I'm right, and they, no matter how smart they are, just get something wrong. Fortunately, I tend to work with the sort of people who welcome being convinced that they're wrong so that they can adjust their thinking on an issue and be right the next time.

Dr. Dean gave a speech today in Michigan in which he continues pushing back against Republican incompetence (to put it most charitably) and Democratic appeasement.
This campaign is about who has the courage to ask these questions, the judgment to find solutions, and the toughness to fight for real change. In my book, leadership means having the courage to stand up for what you believe, no matter what the polls say. And to deliver results, not just rhetoric.

Today, all my opponents are talking the talk. Even those who voted for the war speak like they opposed it.

Those who voted for No Child Left Behind, now criticize it.

Those who shrank from confrontation in the face of polls and pundits, now compete to outdo each other in their condemnation of George W. Bush.

But in 2004, Democrats must decide: Who will stand up for you against George W. Bush?

I say, only someone who has consistently and firmly stood for change – even when it wasn’t politically popular – can truly lead this great struggle.

I ask Democrats to imagine 2005. Radical Republicans of the Bush–DeLay school will press their divisive agenda:

o more tax give-aways, driving national debt higher;
o phony health care plans that transfer your money to HMOs and drug companies;
o efforts to slice away further at the Bill of Rights, threatening a woman’s right to choose, and giving government greater power to search our homes, read our mail, monitor our Internet use;
o maybe even another dangerous, preemptive unilateral war that puts our brave men and women in uniform at risk and further damages moral leadership.

When that happens, who will stand up for you?

A Washington insider who shifts with every poll? Who cuts deals that sell out the interests of ordinary Americans? Who has spent decades collaborating with the special interests that fuel his campaigns?
Keep pushing back, Dr. Dean -- the Democratic party has been wrong for too long. The lack of a real opposition party signals the beginning of the destruction of the American experiment. That lack, coupled with a contemptuous, bias-ridden, ratings-driven "press" leaves those of us who dread the coming decades little to hope for.

Dean Independents has more on "saving the Democrats from themselves."
Posted by J at January 29, 2004 12:34 PM

This is awesome, thanks for sharing. I didn't give up or despair, but it's nice to see that the doctor is back on target.

Good stuff!

Posted by: fish at January 29, 2004 06:02 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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