Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 10, 2004

by J

Buzz About Dean's Book

Dean's new book will be coming out soon. NYCO's on top of some of the buzz. Someone got an advance copy. Disappointing quote from Bill at the end of this excerpt from the book:
"For me, in the end, the civil-union issue was a straight-forward question of getting people equal rights under the law. But it led to a painful debate in our state, with much more bitterness than we've seen in Massachusetts. Once the House had voted for the civil unions bill and we were getting closer to enacting it, there was an outpouring of anger and ugliness from all over the country. We had established, respectable churches coming to Vermont to tell us that we were all going to hell. Especially me."

"Which, of course, remains to be seen."

"It remains to be seen, too, just how much my support for the civil unions bill will hurt my chances to reshape Democratic politics. Some pretty important Democrats have shown they think it might. When former president Clinton was trying to drum up support for Wes Clark, just prior to Clark's entry into the presidential race a year ago, he called a friend in a large city and said, 'I need you to be for Wes Clark.' The friend demurred. Clinton said,'Look, I'm from Arkansas, and Wes is from Arkansas, we need to be for Wes.' The friend told Clinton he was a Dean supporter. 'Howard Dean,' Clinton said, 'forfeited his right to run for president when he signed the civil unions bill. He can't win.' It was a rare mistake for the president. The supporter was gay and called to tip us off."
NYCO on issues that we as a country will need to resolve and that the Democratic party's allergy to Howard Dean highlights:
To me, the DLC's "winning strategy" only works as long as America's basic direction and outlook does not change. It also clings to the curious assumption that America's tone is directed only from above (in Washington), not below (hence the need to adopt safe positions to win a 51-seat majority). God love Bill Clinton and give him a speedy recovery so we can hear his wit and intelligence on the campaign trail once more. But Clinton's comment, though hardly meant maliciously (and indeed, probably in all concern), quite clearly reveals the DLC's limitations. They, like the Republicans, owe the viability of their approach to greater social forces that no one can control. They are yesterday's heroes. (Clinton excepted, of course. His charisma and eight-year track record as president will always make him a Democratic hero.)

It really isn't about ideological positions at this point - Howard Dean is no ultra-progressive's dream representative - but rather about the party's orientation to very profound changes in America's direction (economic, social, geopolitical) which are already taking place. Simply put, I think the DLC is oriented toward a 20th-century projection of American strength which will not be reflected 21st-century reality. They don't seem to know it, which is sad rather than threatening.
Looks like Amazon is shipping the book now. I'll look for a copy this weekend and if I can't find one, will order it.
Posted by J at September 10, 2004 08:24 AM

Clinton's comment betrays a fundamental hypocrisy on the part of the left. They don't believe what they say they believe. They claim to be for equal rights, but when push comes to shove, they don't believe they can win on it. And the only reason that, at this point, they can't is because they've let the right wing bloviate unopposed for thirty painful years, due to their own inadequacy and insecurity. They're no better than a battered wife who thinks that her husband will stop hitting her if she just learns how to cringe properly.

Clinton said some nice things about fags and dykes, but he didn't actually believe any of it. They believe that a lie will beat the truth -- which it will, if people hear the lie a thousand times and the truth only once, said in a whiney, apologetic tone of voice spoken by someone who clearly doesn't buy it themselves.

They talk a good game about the Wonder Of America and the Noble Fight Of Civil Rights and all that other happy horseshit, but they don't believe it. They are more firmly convinced of the right wing's invincibility and eventual victory than the right wing is.

This is in direct contrast to what Dean said during his campaign -- when you put a left-wing agenda against a right-wing one, mano a mano, the left-wing one wins every time.

The left wing doesn't believe it. They don't believe in their own principles, and they don't believe the truth can win against a lie. Bush and his Nazi friends own this country, and it's the Democrats that handed it to him. On a PLATE. The left-wing agenda has never been PLACED against a right-wing one, not once. The left wing has never actually held its agenda up in the light of day because they believe deep in their hearts that respect for all people, a secure lifestyle, and civil rights for all is a stupid fucking pathetic pipe dream. They don't believe in it, so they won't speak up for it, and they won't fight for it. They sicken me.

Posted by: Janis at September 11, 2004 04:26 AM

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

In Association with Amazon.com