Comments On Howard Dean
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The general population speaks out on Presidential Candidate Howard Dean.

I agree with you that this is a sign that Dean is a major player. The statements Rush made were in reference to the fact that Dean when he was chair of some governors group a few years back suggested raising the retirement age to 68 or 70 as one possible way of helping cutting spending and balancing the budget. Kucinich pointed this out and Dean said he is not for raising the retirement age. Not so much misleading as a change in priorities about where to make changes to balance the budget in my view, but I think Dean can expect more of such attacks now that he is possibly the Democratic frontrunner.
Comment by Wayne in Missouri

I recently heard on Rush Limbaugh that Howard Dean made some misleading statements at an AFL-CIO function. I don’t know what it was in regard to, but the fact that Rush Limbaugh felt a need to address that specific instance illustrates to me that the Republicans are viewing Dean as a serious contender, so to speak. It seems to me that Rush wouldn’t feel a need to discredit Dean if there wasn't something to fear. Just an observation.
Comment by Michael Bohannon

Howard Dean passed the 75,000 mark recently on people signed up for Dean meet-ups. They decided to track down the ordinary person behind the number. I thought it was worth posting here as I think Dean has considerable appeal to moderate Republicans and Independents (I met some at the meet-up in my town):-excerpted from blog for America. "We couldn't help but wonder who that 75,000th Dean Meetup member was when we passed the milestone on Tuesday. So with the help of, we worked to find the real person behind that number. It’s our pleasure to introduce you to Brandon Schadt from Nashville, Tennessee. We asked him to tell us a little bit about himself, and here’s what he replied: This will be my first meetup and Dean event. A CNBC profile yesterday motivated me to sign up. I am twenty-three years old and have actually been registered Republican for '03 as I spent the last year involved with a gubernatorial primary in Kentucky on that side of the aisle. I am in the process of registering in Tennessee and, of course, will return to the Democratic Party when doing so. I first started paying attention to Dean a couple of months ago after an interview on Meet the Press (I think) in which he articulately challenged the admininstration's pre-war assurance to the world and, more importantly (as far as I am concerned), the American people, that the Iraqi government was actively pursuing WMDs. This was right at the beginning of the only real accountability era (or lack there of) of this presidency. There have been none with Enron, environmental setbacks, cutting of Veterans' benefits, budgets run amok, etc., etc., and I have been impressed with Dean's tenacity in leading this effort in seeking answers to such important questions. I am also attracted to Dean because after spending a year working in politics, I have lost my idealism (naiveté) that best candidates can win without fundraising. Dean is obviously putting in the time to do what will be necessary to get his message out to the American electorate. What he has been able to accomplish as a relative unknown (no longer, fortunately) in large crowd only proves what he would be able to accomplish as the party nominee. I believe that most of the other candidates in the field represent the old Federal level party guard that somehow dropped the message, and the new face is just a little too unprepared and unproven. Finally, and most importantly to me, I want someone to challenge this administration on its fiscal irresponsibility. I am so sick and tired of record deficits and excuses to follow.
Comment by Wayne in Missouri

For sure we need an insider to tackle this mess,DEAN will lose to's still all about oil,and KERRY will rid of us of this problem..not DEAN ! This is a different time,and perplexing complex issues,that only an insider has access to the information. Now Powell is saying;"how deeply moved the President is about humanitarian issues,he's well versed on how to bring order to the world, and this economy will turn around." This is a nightmare of the worst is a betrayal of the American people,and we need him out.THAT has got to be the goal here,and to get that done KERRY IS the only one that will confront him and remove him !!The world according to KING GEORGE >>>>>>>>RULES !
Comment by Patti Ferschke

I went to a Dean meetup tonight...I've never been involved politically in anything unless you consider petitions and passing along information or reading up about it. Dean's campaign is inspiring in ways I never imagined possible. It's not just a presidential campaign, it's any one and everyone getting active. Though I admit the meetup was different than I thought it would be. I have a feeling I should have been in the group that Keith and Wayne were in instead of trying to write letters! But I'm glad there are other means of keeping in touch and meeting up weekly. I'm going to need it. It'll be a crash course and a long haul wrapped in one! Hillary said she wouldn't run. Dean called her before beginning his campaign to ask. I believe her to hold to that. If Al Gore runs, I've lost the last shred of respect I have for him. But I don't think he will either. I think Dean has way too much momentum to be bothered even by well established names like them. The Moderate Right would certainly not go for them is my guess too.
Comment by Lysa

I just came back from a Howard Dean meet up. I am happy to note that several of the people there were people that voted for Bush in 2000 and a couple voted for Nader in 2000 (so did I, for what its worth), and at least one didn't even vote in 2000, so Dean is not only mobilizing Democrats but he is already bringing Republicans, Greens and non-voters into his grassroots coalition.Now it isn't that amazing that a Republican or an independent will vote for a Democrat--it happens frequently. However, it is remarkable that people who voted for Bush are already working on Dean's campaign over a year before the 2004 election. I'm curious which people on this board are thinking of switching allegiances from who they voted for in 2000. Anyone vote for Bush and now looking at a Democrat? Anyone go for Gore last time who is going for Bush now?
Comment by Keith Brekhus

Dean seems to have the most support right now. Every time I hear about him, it's always something good. It's something better than the last time before.
Comment by Jimmy

Dean's gonna win. I will vote for Dean. He's got alot of people on his side. I read over this debate a little. Looks like Dean's the man to go with.
Comment by Brad

Keith,Ann's got a point.If the media is already picking up on how this internet is changing how we campaign, {the DEAN camp has done a terrific job doing that} why not these "blog sites"? They are a great way for "we the people" to do something constructive,rather than chose to do nothing. It's certainly a voice "for the people",especially those people that feel frustrated about our officials,and those that we put in office to work "for the people". It's no different from the "LIMBAUGH" phenomenom that the "right" have a voice. Now all people have a voice, an opportunity to learn from one another,and one thing for sure the people that do go there are passionate about this country. That's patriotism in it's best form,not the flag rallying we have seen this past year ! One thing for sure, it beats screaming at the Jerry Faldwells and the Ann Coulters from your couch!
Comment by Patti

I got a chance to hear all nine Democratic candidates tonight on radio at the AFL-CIO debates. This should be Gephardt's forum but I thought Dean outshined him, especially with a great closing statement. Al Sharpton was terrific too...too bad he has so much baggage in his past... he has humor, charisma and fire! Patti will be happy to know that Kerry sounded well...presidential. Lieberman was dreadful, and Kucinich didn't come across well.Moseley-Braun and Graham did respectable. Edwards talked too much about his humble beginnings and not enough about what he would do as president
Comment by Keith Brekhus

i saw dean on cnn's larry king live yesterday. he stated that he would like to have somebody who is a washington insider for vice president. he spoke that sometimes the way he says things gets him in trouble. most of the labor endorsements have gone to dick gephardt. he said that he was honored to be have come in behind gephardt in getting most of the labor and union endorsements. he was very excited when a caller from new york told him that she was going to her first dean meetup meeting.
Comment by Sindhu Kumar

Dean is popular with the party's base not the establishment, but don't let the Mcgovern comparisons fool you. All the Dean naysayers are kind of reminiscent of the Reagan naysayers in 1979 and early 1980. This article comes from the Nation magazine's online beat....
Comment by Keith Breckhus

While Dean is rising faster in the polls than Kerry I think either of them can still win the Democratic nomination. As could Lieberman or Gephardt. I would much prefer Dean or Kerry to Lieberman myself. Actually I think Dean will do very well in the debates because debates are all about expectations and as such heavily favor outsider candidates over Washington insiders. I'm not saying this is necessarily the way it should be, but it is the way it is. Remember Al Gore was supposed to be the master debater and Bush was supposed to get creamed in the debates in 2000 and yet even though Bush looked shaky in the debates the perception was that Gore was "too polished" and "too rehearsed" and that he didn't eat Bush up and this then become a major victory for Bush. As a Dean supporter I hope the meme that "Dean will get creamed in the debates" continues. It plays right into his hands. I suspect Bush will mostly try to duck such debates but will end up having to agree to two debates. This time the high expectations will be on Bush not his opponent. Beating Dean in a debate is a bar I don't think Bush can clear.
Comment by Wayne in Missouri

We need Dean's fiscal discipline in Washington. When Republicans talk about being conservative with money don't believe the hype. The CATO Institute just released a report illustrating how Bush has way outspent Clinton and how his economic policies are ruinous to the country. Its time to restore real fiscal responsibility to the White House! {text below from daily kos with excerpts from CATO Institute report} The CATO Institute, that bastion of libertarianism and worship of free unfettered markets, is a natural ally of the GOP. Or used to be, back when Republicans where responsible stewards of the budget. The Bush administration's newly released budget projections reveal an anticipated budget deficit of billion for the current fiscal year, up another billion since February. Supporters and critics of the administration are tripping over themselves to blame the deficit on tax cuts, the war, and a slow economy. But the fact is we have mounting deficits because George W. Bush is the most gratuitous big spender to occupy the White House since Jimmy Carter. One could say that he has become the "Mother of All Big Spenders."Woah! Since Jimmy Carter? He was a -- gasp! -- a "liberal"! But Bush is certainly better than Clinton, isn't he? Clinton was evil, and also a "LIEberal". Wasn't he? That the nation's budgetary situation continues to deteriorate is because the administration's fiscal policy has been decidedly more about politics than policy [...] Such blatant political maneuvering can only be described as Clintonian. But perhaps we are being unfair to former President Clinton. After all, in inflation-adjusted terms, Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent. This is contrasted by Bush's three-year total spending increase of 15.6 percent and a 20.8 percent explosion in non-defense discretionary spending.The numbers are startling. In the first three years of the Clinton presidency, government spending increased just 3.5 percent. Total. Non-defense discretionary spending actually went down 0.7 percent. For Bush, the numbers are a 15.6 percent increase in spending, and a massive 20.8 percent increase in non-defense discretionary spending. Note the "non-defense" part of that last sentence. They can't pin this mess on the "war on terror". But this CATO report saves the best for last: Sadly, the Bush administration has consistently sacrificed sound policy to the god of political expediency. From farm subsidies to Medicare expansion, purchasing reelection votes has consistently trumped principle. In fact, what we have now is a president who spends like Carter and panders like Clinton.
Comment by Keith Brekhus

Comment by PATTI

I just saw Dean on News Night with Aaron Brown on CNN. They said it's probably not just a pasting height in support. They said it will probably last.
Comment by Ann Stewart

After reading through the threads and watching some news,I have to give DEAN a huge amount of applause and I'm glad he's doing what he's is doing.I think the DEMS needed a big time shake up,however do I think he can win?..absolutley not!
Comment by Patti Ferschke

The Dean phenomena reminds me of Jimmy Carter. A darkhorse governor. An open nomination without an incumbent. I just hope his presidency turns out better than Carter's!
Comment byJonathan in GA

I think this site is a microcosm of how Dean has been successful. He has built an invisible army of enthusiastic volunteers who work for free on their own time at a keyboard spreading Dean's message. People like myself, Alison Brown and Charles in Montana, etc. who each give our own independent perspectives on why we support Dean and spread it without taking our talking points from party organizers--we just do it because Dean's message empowers us and in turn we empower him. It is a dialectic where people-powered Howard is being run by Howard powered-people. The invisible army of mousepads clicking in unison across the nation, will be joined by an army of foot soldiers banging on doors in New Hampshire and Iowa in the dead of winter, and we are mailing letters to voters there already. Sure the other campaigns have their loyal volunteers and supporters. Kerry is indebted to folks like Patti, for example. But no other candidate in this race, perhaps in electoral history has generated so much support so early and so quickly. It could be just a passing fad before Dean flames out as just another insurgent who had his fifteen minutes of fame, but I doubt it. It could also be a political earthquake that is just beginning to register with faint rumblings on the national seismograph, but that will shake the foundations of how politics is done in this country, and returns power to the grassroots.Time will tell, but my sincere hope is that the Dean campaign is like no other and that come next November George Bush, the Democratic Leadership Council, the media and the pundits all wake up the morning after the election scratching their hands and asking themselves "what the hell happened? How did Dean win so decisively?" The answer of course will be brutally simple--its called "democracy".
Comment by Keith Brekhus

I think Dean's rise is largely based on his successful use of the internet and especially the web-blog. He has been able to develop a huge grassroots following through the internet and has been able to compete financially by getting small to donations from thousands of people who donate to his campaign by clicking a few buttons on the web. His fundraising and grassroots organizing sucess over the internet has then lead to the TV news and newspapers reporting more on his campaign and it is this secondary effect that is now taking effect. The other candidates really haven't capitalized on the web the way Dean has. I think their campiagn managers are reluctant to have a blog which sacrifices some of the top down organizational structure because they are afraid putting the campaign discussion in the hands of ordinary people will not allow them to control their message as tightly. Perhaps the sad reality is that campaigning has become so much about a controlled and calculated image directed by a campaign manager, that some campaigns are reluctant to take advantage of a technology that sacrifices some of their control. Dean and his campaign manager took a risk when others were too cautious and right now it looks like that risk is paying off. I think it could change the future of campaigning and in ways that slightly enhance the power of the ordinary individual at the expense of lobbyists. The change isn't as revolutionary as some in the media are now hinting, but it is a significant and positive change nonetheless, imho.
Comment by Wayne in Missouri

To you DEAN fans,you need to be aware of Carl Roves operatives...using the info from AUG 4th issue of Newsweek, I believe the following concept will be goes..SCENE:Footage of vietnam war in view,fighters taking of and Americans getting shot at from all sides.......then CUT: skier shaloming down the slope,skids to sudden STOP ,lands in front of Tv camera.Newsman points camera and mike at skier ,and says:"Howard Dean,what are your thoughts and priorities about the Vietnam war"? Actor resembling DEAN replies:"oh, I don't have to go as I got a medical leave deferment for a bad back"..that's what we're up against,and ROVE will stop at nothing,that's how the BUSH camp operates..the end always justifies the means! Are you guys getting the message ..yet?? You /we..will be brutalized! That's going to be the defining moment of this next election !Who can take Carl Roves brutality ?????!
Comment by Patti Ferschke

I'm back to defend my canidate Howard Dean. We have had a fantastic weekend. 70,000 people are now signed up with Dean Meetup. Campaign supporters rose from 233,000 to 251,000. Pundits say this momentum will some die out, but I seriously doubt that veiw. I'am a 30 year Rebulican so a debate with Bush supporters is welcome. I must warn you I'm not an intellectual, but I watch the Cabel closely. I, like Howard Dean, am angered. I have a compassion problem.
Comment by Charles in Montana

I think the Dean team is doing shock and awe right now, but the Kerry team might have the better long term strategy and team Dean might flame out after the "shock and awe" phase. If you want to use the analogy that would be my spin if I was on the Kerry team. One of Kerry's weaknesses in my opinion is that he doesn't shock or awe anybody. He is bland and usually predictable---he is both less likely to offend and less likely to inspire than Dean. Running against an incumbent I think Dean's risk-taking gives him the better odds. If Kerry were already the President it would be different, then his safe unassuming persona would work in his favor. But the Democrats are underdogs in this race, and the way they need to win is to shake things up--Dean is better equipped to do that in my opinion.
Comment by Keith Brekhus

Look you guys, I have many Republican friends that detest what BUSH has done to this country. However, these very same folks will vote for BUSH again, if DEAN is the candidate! I don't want to take that chance and LOSE this election, it's much too important to do that! Running a great campaign is one thing ,and no argument, DEAN has done that. Standing up to BUSH thugs and Carl Rove will be something else, and getting those "swing" votes is the key to winning. Go, JOHN my opinion, DEAN only attracts those who oppose BUSH. the issues are much more broad than the one's DEAN proposes !He has NO foreign policy experience, and that's what the voters will be watching!..
Comment by PATTI

Dean can address his lack of foreign policy experience the same way Bush did in 2000, by choosing a Vice President who has a reputation in foreign policy.The traditional method of raising money is to give a speech at a ,000 a plate fundraiser attended by lobbyists and wealthy influentials. Cheney raised ,000 at a single dinner this way recently. Most of us here, I'm guessing, can't afford a ,000 dinner to get the presidential candidate's ear ;-). But the Dean campaign has changed fundraising by successfully using the internet and a blog to get many small donations from ordinary people. He outraised Cheney's ,000 a plate dinner on the same day with internet donations averaging around 50 dollars from several thousand people, while eating a turkey sandwich at his computer. The other campaigns are starting to see the grassroots power of internet fundraising and while they aren't likely to master it the way Dean's campaign manager and web staff have in this campaign, I think regardless of who wins the nomination this time, future campaigns will rely increasingly on the internet for fundraising and keeping supporters involved in the campaigns. I think the effect on voting itself is probably less significant for some groups and segments of the population than others. Some people still get most of their news and politics from television and use the web primarily for email and don't surf for news, information much. But that is probably changing too.I think General Wesley Clark from Arkansas would make a good choice for Dean in that regard and I also think many voters who support our military but are unsure about Bush's Iraq war and it's lack of an endgame plan would lineup behind a ticket with Clark on it. I think Dean/Clark is a potential winning ticket.
Comment by Wayne in Missouri

You say "Dean only attracts those who oppose Bush." True. This is a contest - people who like Bush will vote Bush. People who don't like Bush will vote for the Democrat. How is this a bad thing? By criticizing Bush's mistakes, Dean is increasing the number of people who are aware of those mistakes, and who are less likely to vote Bush in 2004.
On the issue of foreign policy: Bush had no foreign policy experience. Neither did Clinton. Or any other governor who has become president. What governors do have, however, is experience running a state. Historically, candidates who have the experience of being a governor are more successful than those who come from the Senate.
Comment by Alison Brown

I admire your tenacity and loyalty to Kerry, but I can't agree with you. My dad is a republican. This could have been written about my dad, the two are so alike! There is a school of republican thought that believes in less government less taxes. Granted I don't think less taxes will happen with Dean, probably more, but the economics of it will be sound rather than Bush's frivolous fat cat driven idiotic tax schemes. I can't agree with you that Kerry has a better chance of beating Dean. Kerry comes across as a 100% DEMOCRAT. Dean is getting the swing votes because he comes across as 100% HOWARD DEAN. The republicans you talk about not liking bush and voting for bush even so are fanatics. A fanatic won't listen to reason. But the percentage of fanatical republicans versus those that are republican and conservative with minds is small. Those with minds capable of thinking Far outweigh the blind fanatics. People are sick and tired of arrogant politicians that play the political game wining and dining fat cats, making promises they don't and can't keep. Howard Dean isn't like that. Anyone can go check it out Open Secrets, who's donating to whom
Comment by Lysa

Comment by JIMMY

Ralph Nader has stated publicly that he will not run if Dean wins the primary. Without Nader, Greens are unlikely to pose much of a threat to the Democratic candidate. However, Nader probably WILL run if Kerry wins the nomination... Green votes made the difference in 2000, and they might in 2004 as well - keep that in mind when talking about "electability." Dean has a sufficiently strong environmental record and agenda to win over many of the environmentalist voters who supported Nader in the last election.
Comment by Alison Brown

To me, part of what makes the Dean movement so invigorating is that his message has inspired people all over the nation to get involved with the process again. Yes, Patti, he IS an outsider in the Washington beltway, but that has its advantages. Politics has been described as 'the art of compromise,' but I fear that our government increasingly compromises the safety, security and rights of Americans and puts monied interests first. I don't want an Enron government -- look what Bush's buddy Ken Lay has done to the state of California and imagine that on a national scale. Terrifying.Governor Howard Dean has given the public new hope that it doesn't have to be this way. Tens of thousands of people are scraping together what they can and donating it to Dean -- including many who are unemployed, or elderly, or single moms, et al -- because they believe that in him they have found a leader who will represent the best interests of the country as a whole. In fact, most of Dean's financing to date has come from ordinary people like you and me. And HE was the leading fundraiser in this last quarter! Believe me, I'll support Kerry in a heartbeat over Bush, and I do believe he's a good man who has done great service for this country. However, Patti, I just don't think he has the 'big MO' going in the way that Dean does. Being a Washington insider doesn't count for much with me... may I ask you to elaborate; specifically why do you feel Dean is unelectable? Because he lacks experience in foreign policy? (He has travelled extensively and met with many prominent world leaders). In Dean I see a leader who is practical and who is moral. He has done a great job for us in the state of Vermont. He's highly qualified, he's blunt but articulate, he's a practical decision-maker, AND he will make the right decision even if it's unpopular. While he is willing to say "I don't know" sometimes, you can bet that he will weigh all the evidence and learn all he can on the important questions of state! We need someone in the Oval Office who knows the true meaning of 'good intelligence!' I can't wait for election day so I can shout: "THE DOCTOR IS IN!!!"Thanks everyone and sorry for the long post...
Comment by Little Ann

It is a tie between Kerry and Dean. I would vote for dean because not only is he a physician, he also knows about Medicare and Medicaid as he and his wife are both physicians and they deal with patients who have Medicare and Medicaid coverage when they come for monthly visits to get their prescriptions ordered and refilled and how to balance the two entities.
Comment by Sindhu Kumar

Since Gerald Ford was defeated by Governor Jimmy Carter, only George H.W. Bush has won a Presidential election and did not have previous experience as governor. Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush 2 all "ran" their states. Of the Democratic candidates, only Howard Dean has this experience. It makes sense as Congressmen tend to "gray" the issues to avoid offending anyone. This Republican's tired of it from Republicans or Democrats. I never voted for Howard Dean for Governor here in Vermont because of his signature on Act 60, our statewide school property tax bill. I'm fully supporting him in his bid for a number of reasons detailed below. He doesn't mince words, tell you what you want to hear or "backtrack" after he signed a bill. He had the guts to sign our civil unions bill after the Vermont Supreme Court put this hot potato in the legislature's lap. Both extremes went into "outer space". Some wanted the term "marriage" inserted in the bill, the extreme right wing warned of destruction, violence and mayhem. Thankfully, none of this happened. Dean had to sound judgement to sign a bill that was in keeping with the Court's mandate, not "grandstand" the issue and to take the heat afterwards. It's called guts and leadership and is far too rare in politics today! That will win the White House. Votes for the Iraq war without any questioning, trying to steal the issues from George Bush with the same policies and "pandering" to every-one is a receipe for defeat. The D.L.C. and all those whiners had better stop the attacks because Dean's the only one who has any forward momentum right now. It will come down to Kerry, Dean and possibly Lieberman. How long it will take for a frontrunner to emerge is anyone's guess.I say take the plunge and support the guy who's got the message right. That guy is Howard Dean!
Comment by Joe Mathews

I am for Howard Dean because he is a moderate with intelligence, honesty and passion, somebody who stands up for what he believes and I believe can restore common sense and integrity to the leadership of this country. We are floundering under the current administration which wraps inself in misquided wars, the flag and the Marines while we go down the tubes nationally and internationally.
Comment by Allen Peters

For what it's worth, on the abortion issue, I think you really can't say how you feel about it until you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy.
I used to think abortion was wrong and I'd never have one. I didn't condemn others who did but I couldn't fathom the idea myself. Well, I ended up with a pregnancy in this totally untenable situation. My partner's children from an earlier marraige could not have handled it. My parents could not have handled it. I would have ended up estranged from everyone I loved and with a child for whom I could not provide and whom I couldn't bear to give up. It was the most difficult decision I have ever made to terminate my pregnancy at 6 weeks, but it was the right one. I now have carried two beautiful children and have a strong happy family that includes my teenage stepchildren.
The vast majority of women do not end their pregnancies lightly. The only thing that every person can agree on from both sides of this issue is that the rate of unwanted pregnancy should be brought to an absolute minimum. All the available information shows that the only effective way to achieve this is through sex education and access to birth control, which allows women to make a concious choice whether to bear a child.
Bush may be a Christian man but his actions blocking funding for international family planning will cause thousands of women to have abortions or to carry children for whom noone can properly care. Many of these women will have no access to prenatal care and some will effectively receive death sentances themselves when they develop fistula from treatable complications during delivery. Please educate yourselves to the reality of this situation, all you who favor Bush on this issue.
Comment by Little Ann

Abortion is not murder! Until the point of viability an embryo is not a baby, it is at most a potential. At the stage when most abortions are performed the embryo is a tiny mass of cells, and it is so Orwellian to call it murder. You might as well call masturbation murder (I guess Catholics even go that far). Deciding at what point an embryo acquires human rights is a difficult question, I'll grant you, but the point of viability is the only point that makes sense. Until then the potential child is part of the mother and her rights must prevail. The new child should acquire rights equal to the mother's rights only when it is capable of existing apart.
As for Homeland Security we are certainly much less safe now that Bush invaded Iraq, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to find some new sources of information (turn off Fox, CNN, et al). America is now dispised around the world. Every child left orphaned or maimed by our bombs will grow up vowing revenge. Personally I'm ashamed of this once great nation. I never thought I'd live to see the day when the U.S. of A. sank to the status of imperialist invader. Killing civlilians is, if nothing else, simply a bad way to solve problems. Doesn't work! Never has. Why can't people see that bombing Baghdad is identical to bombing Baltimore; there is no such thing as "us" and "them", there is only us. Bush says we won the war! Oh Boy! What did we win? It's costing two billion dollars a month to be there, and we are stuck there, and our soldiers continue to die.
For the life of me I just can't understand how someone who is so against murder that they would refuse to remove a ball of cells from a mother that doesn't want it and can't love it or afford it, can at the same time condone the vicious killing of whole families including living children that are loved and wanted. Is it just because they're brown, and don't speak english? Anyone who really hates murder could not support such policies.
Comment by three

I agree with you on the war it is heartbreaking and frustrating. But rest assured Dean is the only one who is standing up and telling the truth about this stuff right now. Check him out!
Comment by Lisa DC

I'll start off by saying I'm a big Dean fan.
I'm 21, Male, and a Centrist Dem.
The president has very little power in the realm of abortion except when it comes to appointing supreme court justices.
Although I'm not an enthusiastic supporter of abortion, the alternative is unthinkable.
If Row v. Wade is overturned, you'll have some states outlawing abortion, some states legalizing it. Women driving across borders to get abortions. Poor girls getting illegal abortions performed.
It's a mess.
I trust a Doctor (Dean) to set high standards for health care and to get every American insured.
Bush didn't change any late term abortion laws. Late term abortions are already illegal.
The partial birth abortion ban is extremely vague and will probably be overturned just as the Oregon state law was overturned.
Comment by Jonathan in GA

Dean is pro-choice. Actually all nine Democratic contenders are. While I certainly wouldn't suggest anyone who is strongly opposed to abortion violate that by selecting a pro-choice candidate, I do think it is worth mentioning that more abortions were performed in this country during "pro-life" Reagan's 8 years in office than in "pro-choice" Clinton's two terms as the link below illustrates.
There are several reasons for this but one is that when prenatal health services, social services, contraception and sex education are funded abortions decrease and when those services are less available abortions increase.
Since abortion laws are passed at the state level, the President has little impact on the rate they occur (and ironically it is not the President's position on abortion but the strength of the economy and the availability of prenatal care that makes the most difference). In any case, neither Reagan nor either Bush has had the political courage to lead a concerted effort to outlaw abortion because they know it is a politically divisive issue that could lose them votes if they actively campaign to abolish it.
However, the Republican controlled House and Senate did recently pass a bill that would end most third trimester abortions (quite a few Democrats voted for this late-term ban as well).
Like I said, if one is pro-life to the point that they absolutely will not vote for any pro-choice candidate as a matter of conscience, I respect that. On the other hand, since the President generally doesn't set a nation's policy towards abortion but is the central policy maker in military matters, if you oppose Bush's handling of foreign policy you might consider voting for Dean or another Democrat to change the course, even if you are pro-life.
Dean comes across as a straight-shooter. Whether you agree or disagree with him, you have to admit his candor is refreshing. He was against the war when it wasn't fashionable to be against the war. He bravely signed into law a provision in Vermont that allows same-sex civil unions.
He has shown political courage like no other candidate in the race. While Gephardt, Kerry and Lieberman were sheepishly following the president into the Iraq quagmire, Dean was showing leadership by speaking out at a time when speaking out was not popular.
The Democrats lost a bunch of House and Senate seats in 2002 because they were too timid to take a stand against Bush's war or his economic policies. Given the choice between Bush and Bush-Lite, beer drinkers everywhere will choose Bush :-). Given a real choice, not many prefer Bush. Dean offers a real choice.
True cost of Bush's policies: trillion debt
Bush tells us that his tax cuts are returning "your" money back to you. If that's the case, who "owns" the trillion in debt his policies will inflict on our nation?
And no, that number is not liberal partisan hyperbole -- it was determined by Bush's Treasury Department:
from the Financial Times...
The Bush administration has shelved a report commissioned by the Treasury that shows the US currently faces a future of chronic federal budget deficits totalling at least ,200bn in current US dollars.
The study, the most comprehensive assessment of how the US government is at risk of being overwhelmed by the "baby boom" generation's future healthcare and retirement costs, was commissioned by then-Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill.
But the Bush administration chose to keep the findings out of the annual budget report for fiscal year 2004, published in February, as the White House campaigned for a tax-cut package that critics claim will expand future deficits.
The study asserts that sharp tax increases, massive spending cuts or a painful mix of both are unavoidable if the US is to meet benefit promises to future generations. It estimates that closing the gap would require the equivalent of an immediate and permanent 66 per cent across-the-board income tax increase.
Uh oh -- how to explain this away? Wasn't the tax cut supposed to boost the economy, leading to the shrinking of the defict?
When the Treasury Department's own studies show tax raises are needed to rescue the nation from incomprehensible debt, pushing and signing a tax cut is the height of irresponsibility.
And the economy, while showing anemic growth (1.9 percent in Q1), is still bleeding jobs.
About 3 million jobs have been lost since Bush took office. New jobless claims remain at troubling levels -- over the magical 400,000 mark for 13 weeks straight. While the number of people receiving continuing benefits is at 3.76 million -- the highest level in 18 months.
Bush's initial tax cuts did nothing for the economy except sink it further into the red. The states will be burdened to pick up the tab for the feds, services will be cut savagely, or we will be saddled with perpetual debt.
As Governor of Vermont Howard Dean raised the state's minimum wage twice, cut taxes once and balanced the state's budget consistently.
While Dean opposes the current wave of federal tax cuts as fiscally irresponsible, he had a record as a fiscally conservative Governor who raised the living standard of low-income workers in his state but still managed to balance the state's budget so that tax cuts could be made responsibly without incurring debt or cutting essential services.
I do think Gephardt's health care proposal would be so expensive that he would have to raise a lot of taxes to pay for it, but I don't think Lieberman, Dean or Kerry would unduly saddle poor people with excessive new taxes...they would merely return the top marginal tax rate to 39% instead of 33%...this would primarily effect only those who are affluent.
Comment by Keith Brekhus

The hidden costs of Bush's federal tax cuts (copied from Steve Gillard at web blog):
while federal taxes are being cut for some, the massive increase in state and local taxes, due in part to an utter lack of federal relief and federal budget cuts for mandated programs, are hiking your taxes.
It doesn't matter if Bush cuts your federal taxes if your property and sales taxes climb, costing you hundreds of dollars more a year. Any federal refund will be more than gobbled up by local and state hikes on everything from parking tickets to hunting licenses.
Because the Bush Administration was completely uninterested in offering aid to states and localities, the states, which cannot print money, can only raise costs to cover the services that people want.
For nearly two decades the GOP has hammered the theme that lower taxes are good. The Dems have never, until recently, explained that there is a cost for this: which is lower services.
In New York, the governor, instead of looking at the state's dire fiscal condition and working with the legislature to raise taxes and cover costs, he wanted to place 4,000 slot machines around the state to raise money. Slot machines. Our governor, while amazingly lazy, is not stupid. Of course, he was angling to work for fellow Yalie George Bush, but he wasn't going to be able to make the cut.
But the point is this: federal tax cuts cost states money. They cost citizens money. While the President is talking about cutting taxes, the governors have to do all the heavy lifting and fund the programs which people demand.
It's time to shift the argument. Lower federal taxes not only mean higher state taxes in bad times, it means a lower standard of living. It means prisoners in your streets, schools operating four days a week, higher sales taxes, higher property taxes, dirtier streets and fewer teachers. States may have management issues and have overspent during good times, but the lack of federal support means that there is no cushion for bad times and states catch it in the neck.
Low taxes may not be bad, but low services are. There is a limit past which no state can go without making life worse for people in a real, concrete and defined way. A few hundred dollars is going to the credit card company, not the economy. All that money, combined in an aid to states and locality grant means keeping libraries open, more cops, more teachers, more children in health care programs. All these things cost money.
At the end of the day, you need to ask: do you want a federal tax refund and convicts released early from jail or aid to the states and localities which could prevent the worst budget cuts? I think most people might pass on the to keep from firing teachers and emptying jails.
Steve Gilliard
Comment by Keith Brekhus from Steve Gilliard's blog

I believe that Howard Dean is not into all the political jargon. When he speaks I can understand what he is saying to me. I think all the other candidates are just trying to act like they are smart. Howard Dean seems more real. I support Dean.
Comment by Brad

I have a number of problems with the current administration, namely that the American people are totally closed off from it and from the GOP-led Congress, particularly the house. For a long time I have not felt that so-called representatives listen to anybody other than pollsters and lobbyists. I think that where the media sees Bush as an "optimist" they're seeing an administration hiding its head in the sand. I know way too many talented people who are out of work to think otherwise. (Don't know if y'all saw Lou Dobbs last night. The Editors Roundtable scared me. Does Steve Forbes live on this planet?)
I don't know how different Dr. Dean would be as president, but the campaign so far has been a breath of fresh air. I'm not a joiner, I never have been, but I am really into this.
The thing that impresses me most about the candidate is that he is willing to say "I don't know" instead of dodging a question. I think that deserves an enormous amount of respect. I got on the bandwagon earlier, shortly after the DFA site went up, even before there was a blog.
I'd like to see more effort made to get press coverage in every town with a newspaper and a two-watt radio station on the reawakening of the average American's interest and participation in politics. We the People need a press kit! I guess I'll mention that at next week's Meetup.
Anyway, I think it's a good way to get the mainstream media on the bandwagon. If we can get the media behind the Good Doctor, then we can win this thing.
Interestingly enough, I saw Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) on Larry King last week on a show about the 9-11 report and the war, and he spoke in terms that were by no means certain that Bush would be able to win a second term. I know that a lot of real people are talking that way, but to hear a House Republican say that shocked me.
Washington, D.C
Comment by ACW Capitol Hill

I just applied for citizenship specifically so that I can vote for Howard Dean. The media likes to portray him as "left wing" or "ultra-liberal". In fact, some of his views might infact be considered liberal while others would be considered conservative.
- he believes in fiscal responsibility: in a Dean administration, we would move back to balanced budgets; Gov. Dean will be announcing more details of his economic plan tomorrow in Iowa (watch for more details)
- he would continue to support the assault weapons ban and the background check requirement on gun purchases, but would leave further gun control in the jurisdiction of the states;
- he is the first candidate for president to make the link between sound environmental policy and national security; our dependence on oil requires us to import from countries with unstable governments - diversifying our energy requirements would enable us to have more direct control over energy fuels; (a sound environmental policy also makes sense for a sound health care policy)
- as a doctor, Gov. Dean understands the healthcare system all too well; he was able to ensure that well over 90% (I don't recall the exact figure offhand) of Vermonters received medical insurance - he would recommend the use of existing federal and state programs, only slightly expanded, to ensure that many more Americans have access to affordable health insurance (and he would pay for this by repealing the tax cuts - cuts from which I personally have not benefited);
I could go on and on... you will find many many Dean resources (including his stance on various issues) at the Dean for America website: I think it is telling, however, that 67,000 people have signed up to participate internationally (yes, even ex-patriates are getting involved) in Meetup. aids in organizing local groups to meet all on the same day, with the same agenda. It is even more telling that over 222,000 people have signed up to receive email updates directly from the Dean campaign. Finally, over 9400 people contributed just this weekend alone to raise over ,000, in response to a challenge from campaign headquarters, to out-do the /head luncheon where V.P. Cheney spoke on Monday.
Gov. Dean's passion emerges in his speeches - you can download them for your personal viewing pleasure from the Dean for America website. His passion and his message are inspiring thousands of people who had become completely disillusioned with American politics. He is garnering support from traditional Democrats, traditional Republicans, and Independents.
Comment by bluets

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