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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Tuesday, 9 December 2003

Topic: Election Notes

Gore endorses Howard Dean and things come to a head...
What to expect in the new year by way of "the buzz" about it all...

Okay, so Al Gore has endorsed Howard Dean. That may mean that it comes down to Wesley Clark and Dean, and pretty much no one else, as potential opponents to Bush in the next election - in spite of Al Sharpton's amazing performance on Saturday Night Live where he proved he actually can sing and dance. Well, he was for a time the stage manager for James Brown, so the "I Feel Good" thing just flowed naturally. In any event, the others running against Dean might well be toast now.

We shall see. I'll glance at the newscasters and pundits on television who say they have a sense of what's happening here - particularly CNN's Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt's son, who now tracks the pulse of America on his own news show.

Perhaps things are shaking out and we will begin to see what the next year will be like, politically.

If it is now Dean against Bush, or Dean-Clark or Clark-Dean against Bush-Cheney or Bush-Rice, or Bush-Limbaugh perhaps - just what will be said to "get" the Democrats?

Bush has two hundred million now to flood the media. So?

The irritatingly anonymous Hesiod at Counterspin Central has some thoughts:
THE LATEST ATTACK ON HOWARD DEAN: This one is coming from the Anti-abortion activist community [probably with Karl Rove's blessing].

They are hinting and suggesting [without a shred of proof] that Howard Dean performed abortions when he was a medical intern in the 1970's. What's their evidence? Dean "served as an intern in an OB/GYN rotation at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Burlington [Vermont]."

Dean, for the record, says the neither he nor his wife ever performed abortions [they are both physicians], but that he staunchly defends the right of women to make that choice.

Look for that to be a prominent "push poll," or "whisper campaign" item next year when Dubyah is desperately trying to hold onto his job.
Okay. That's one line of attack.

The second is that "Howard Dean is an elitist, pampered, arrogant snob."

Hesiod notes these are both "general election" style criticisms.

He says the Republicans see the handwriting on the wall, and are now road testing their negative attacks on Howard Dean.

"They are trying to get these memes and themes into the media bloodstream. The same way they started tagging Al Gore as a serial exaggerator more than a year before he even announced his candidacy for President."

That seems about right. Start the buzz early.

The sources?

Dean's Planned Parenthood Ties Raise Questions About Abortion
Marc Morano, Conservative News Service (CNS), December 08, 2003

The opening:
As the current frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and the only physician in the field of candidates, has been clear about his support for abortion rights, but adamant that he never performed an abortion himself.

"I did not perform abortions. I'm a medical doctor. Nor did my wife," Dean told a Boston television station in July. Dean's wife Judith also is a physician.

Yet, Dean's extensive ties to the Northern New England chapter of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., including his internship and work as a contract obstetrician/gynecologist at one of the group's Vermont clinics in the late 1970s and early 1980s, are producing more questions about the nature of that involvement at a time when Planned Parenthood was cementing its role as America's largest abortion provider.

While Dean may not find his Planned Parenthood connections too politically damaging in Iowa and New Hampshire, site of the nation's first two major political contests, he could face some fallout in the crucial Feb. 3 Democratic primary in South Carolina, where voters are more culturally conservative.
And so on and so forth...

Morano notes that Dean has been one of the Democratic field's most vocal supporters of legalized abortion, including the procedure known as partial birth abortion, which Congress and President Bush moved to ban this year until three federal judges blocked the ban from taking effect.

On Nov. 6, the day the president signed the ban, Dean called it a "dark day for American women, who are seeing their reproductive freedoms restricted by a President acting in concert with a right wing congress. As this controversy moves to the judicial system we are reminded anew of the importance of electing a pro-choice president next year."

Well, who should make medical decisions? On medical matters you have to trust the Republican politicians, after all, don't you? What is moral and right trumps what is called for medically. Some of us disagree, but that question is well on its way to being settled.

The link will take you to a detailed history of Dean's medical training, his residencies, and his record on abortion and the law. It's long.

The other "meme" that's starting - Howard Dean may justly be called the Jacques Chirac of America - is documented here:

His Indignant Majesty, Sir Howard Dean
Scott Shore, American Daily, December 8, 2003

Here's the opening:
Every generation or so, our great Republic manages to give birth to a political figure so obnoxiously certain of his moral and intellectual superiority over the "booboisie" that we lowly, simple folk eventually begin to heave with nausea.

The insufferable Governor Dean is the latest incarnation. Born deep in the heartland of Manhattan's Upper East Side, schooled at only the best of New York's private preparatory institutions before entering the real world of the Ivy League, young Howard spent his summers in the Hamptons. Certainly these early life experiences prepared Mr. Dean to empathize with the average, middle-class American.

One might assume that this upbringing, while not disqualifying one to represent the great expanse of America, would insulate Howard from the common man. This is not to say that Howard was not nice to the family's "domestics." In fact, I would gainsay that Howard was very polite with the "help" and probably engaged in conversation from time to time. At Yale we learn over and over and over again that Master Howard actually had not one, but two black roommates!! Ultimately Howard received a medical degree and chose the life of a country doctor in Vermont. Vermont is a place where "real people" live. Of course this was no longer the Vermont of old Yankees, but ex-hippies and the counterculture. The spoiled little snots of the Sixties had found their little haven in Vermont. As an illustration, look at Vermont's only Congressman, Bernie Sanders. He's yet another ex-New Yorker who ran and won to become the only openly socialist congressman in the US House of Representatives. Indeed Vermont is as American as...well, crepes.
And this goes on this vein for quite a while.

In the middle you'll find this:
Howard Dean's Manhattan-prep school-Hampton-Ivy-Vermont frame of mind is, in fact, a little island of democratic socialist Europe within America. Howard Dean may justly be called the Jacques Chirac of America. Like the slightly overweight Chirac, Dean nearly bursts out his suit and ties with indignation and outrage over the small mindedness of anyone who can not see the secular, multicultural worldview of himself and fellow "progressive-minded intelligentsia." His worldview reminds me of a professor I had at Harvard who would begin each pronouncement of opinion by stating, "As we all know..." The problem was that the rest of the sentence was almost never an obvious fact or "given" but rather the ideological assumptions of the Left which were to be taken as unassailable to them as the Nicene Creed to orthodox Christians.
And it ends with this:
The interesting thing about Howard Dean is that he is, in a sense, the mirror image of Bush hatred. Howard Dean's elitist Archangel stance has made him far more of a perfect figure one loves to hate than George Bush. Howard Dean joins the ranks of other humorless, self-righteous prigs like Woodrow Wilson or Jimmy Carter. Unlike the aforementioned, Governor Dean is unlikely to occupy the White House. He does appear increasingly likely to become the leader of the Democratic Party and, by all accounts, lead it to a defeat unseen since George McGovern or Alf Landon. Circling like vultures around the carrion of the Democratic party are the Clintons and their merry band of Soft Money Marxists of the George Soros variety. Unlike the pompous and preposterous Dean, the Clintons are more dangerous because they are more cunning. Like chameleons they blend with political landscape until they can show their true colors. Unfortunately for the Democrats and the rest of us, the Clintons have the same real agenda as Howard Dean sans the ridiculous persona. That is the real danger to the future of the Republic.
So things are settling out and the fun begins.

It should be an interesting political year.

Posted by Alan at 09:30 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 9 December 2003 13:29 PST home

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