Stop pre-apologizing; Dean will get us back on offense

I am so sick of this crap, so listen up. Here we are again, playing defense, preparing - ooh! ooh! - to defend Howard Dean from attacks by Republicans about things he may have said that, if twisted or sound bit the right way, sound terribly impolitic, to say the least. WE LOST, people; it's time to go on offense. We are being complete girly men about this - and they're banking on it. We need to walk right up and slap them in the face, and then do it again, harder, just for good measure.
Defend? THEY are the ones who should be defending, but because we're all so "correct" all the time, they push back first.

I know, it's a problem, we actually READ things. We actually take the time to THINK when they toss their latest half-reasonable-sounding smear at us. Bull, I say. Speaking of, remember the Kevin Costner line from Bull Durham - "Don't think, just throw". Our instincts are right and our arguments are right and we need to just fire away and stop cowering all the time.

Here's Harry Reid, "Wah, wah, George told his buddies to say bad things about me! Mom!" Let me get this straight - we're worrying about attacks on someone like Reid, or Dean? This from a party whose President is, at the very least, a likely deserter, cocaine user and alcoholic, a man who wants to take money from our retirements and give it to Wall Street, a man who took us to war for reasons that, at the very least, turned out to be wrong if not outright lies, a man who we have THREE WHOLE BOOKS of stupid things he's said? And we're worried about what Reid or Dean said?

Here's a sample of the latest, from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's contribution to the Right Wing Media Machine, the Washington Times:

"Critics say Mr. Dean hurt both his candidacy and party with some of his statements during the Democratic primary campaign. Mr. Dean said terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden should not be judged until he has had a jury trial, expressed doubt about whether Iraqis were better off with Saddam Hussein out of power, called Hamas terrorists "soldiers," and angered Jewish Democrats when he said that the United States should be "evenhanded" in its Middle East policy rather than always favoring Israel."

  1. Gee, let's see. Hmm. Well, Dean was right, this is still the United States and, Ashcroft notwithstanding, we still do have that pesky "Innocent until proven guilty" stuff on the books. I mean, I know in my bones that Bin Laden is a mass murderer of Americans and should be extinguished as quickly and painfully as possible - but have YOU seen any of the actual evidence? Neither have I, and neither has any other jury in the US. All we have, you and I, is two years of important people saying, "Yup, he's our guy." I'm sure Senator Kerry's seen the stuff, and McCain and others, too, but it's never been inside any courtroom that I know of, and my relatives (starting with Valley Forge) fought for things like this kooky idea of trial by jury, so I'm sticking with it for now. Score, 1-0; Dean was right.

  2. Next, well, let's see, I'm guessing that the families of the 15,000 or so civilians that have died since George decided we needed to blow them up for oil might agree with the former Governor of Vermont. Hussein was a murderous madman and I'm glad he's gone, but we needed to have SOME freakin' idea of What Comes Next before just taking him out. He was the lid on a garbage can, but he was in a box and the UN inspectors almost proved it conclusively before Bush stopped them. So now we get the Democratically Elected Shiite Islamic Republic of Iraq, or Iran II as some call it. Terrific idea, George, thanks a lot. Score 2-0, Dean was right, again.

  3. I'm going to score the Hamas quote a tie; the man's stepping to the big stage at the time he said it and doesn't have an entire State Department around to decode things before he speaks - and the list of stupid things Bush has said in the area of foreign affairs would fill a bathtub if not the Fleet Center. So that's 2-0-1.

  4. Gosh, the US should be evenhanded with Israel and the Palestinians? Anyone out there read "Imperial Hubris"? Certainly Israel is an upgrade from anything around it. By a couple of touchdowns. But the United States is at war with some murderous psychos who have great PR skills. We have to start making some hard choices about the Middle East if we're going to turn the region around, for our own safety, and one of them has to be trying harder to be an honest broker in the region. No thinking human is going to be attracted by the idea of "Come stand over here with my friend, shake hands and agree with him" approach we've had so far. So Dean had the temerity to suggest as much during a Presidential campaign? I call that leadership. Score 3-0-1, Dean was right again.

Plus what he said about the reasons for the war, plus civil unions (first in the nation), plus fair trade instead of just free trade, plus...get the idea? Oh, and Dean said that the Iowa caucuses were too much in the pocket of special interests? That one was right, too, and the only ones saying otherwise either live there or want to run for President themselves someday.

So let's tell those unnamed, allegedly-centrist Democrats that we want to WIN, not just capture the good sportsmanship award. Power is never given, it is taken - and the Republicans took it from us starting most recently with Gingrich. They think we're weak and BS like this from weenies who won't go on the record in the Washington Times backs it up.

But you know the #1 reason Dean is great for our party and is going to be a great Chair? Go back to and listen to his speeches to the DNC that started it all, around the end of 2002. "What I want to know..." We need someone out there leading the charge - let someone else be the generals, the Senators and Governors who think they can be President. We need someone who can lead us over the barricades, someone not afraid to get passionate about things, someone who is...right. I can't stand some of the ridiculous insider crap that Carville's been shoveling for the past year, but his book, "We're Right and They're Wrong" is spot on target.

We need to hit back. We need to hit first. Screw what they might say, and screw those Dems who worry too much about it. I want to win. I want my country back. I want a Democrat to be back in the White House and in the Speaker's chair, where we belong. And we are not going to get there by wringing our hands and playing defense. Oh, and those red-state voters we're so worried about? They get it too, about us, so until we change how we fight, they're sticking with Walker Bush's team. Oh, and DON'T call him "Dubya", anymore by the way. It makes him sound so friendly. He ain't. He's folksy-sounding shill, a bought-and-sold tool of the rich. We're the ones who get all worked up about loving our neighbors as ourselves. Us, the Democratic Party.
Taking the fight to the other side starts Sunday. Count me in, Howard. I'm bringin' my bat.

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Who's apologizing?
I hope Reid is getting fed up and will forget about the myth of bi-partisanship. Here's a comment  I posted yesterday.

Attack their methods.

I think Dean should say this campaign against him is a perfect example of why he said what he said.
"I hate Republicans who smear the good name of their opponents instead of debating the issues."

"I hate Republicans who are smearing Sen. Reid instead of trying to work with him on solving our nations problems."

"I hate Republicans who slimed Max Leland's reputation in Georgia."

"I hate Republicans like Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity who call Democrats traitors and evil."

"I hate faux Republicans like Bill O'Reilly who smear people's reputations with inuendo and comparisons to Hitler and Stalin." (Just yesterday I heard an O'Really promo during a different show that listed "Hitler, Stalin and NOW" as an example of our problems)

How about:

"I hate Republicans like Dennis Hastert who accused George Soros of making his fortune from running a drug cartel." (This was one of the last Faux News shows I watched. That was too bizarre and over the top.)

"I hate Republicans like Rev. Pastore? who accused Democrats of hating Bush's Christ."

"I hate Republicans who accuse Democrats of hate."

I'm just getting warmed up. Any other examples of slimy accusations against Democrats that we hate?

What's not to hate? I'm glad we're getting somebody like Dean in there who has the capacity to fight back.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-02-09 09:58AM | 0 recs
"I'm bringin' my bat."
"Count me in, Howard. I'm bringin' my bat."

You've been in this town too long and seen too many Al Capone movies.  Put. The. Bat. Down.  That's better...

Plus, you cannot possibly expect everyone to be a badass Deaniac like yourself.  I mean, if we all stopped acting like the kids who get beat up on the school yard, folks might start respecting us and (dare I say it?) vote for us.  Yikes.

But seriously, we are slowly making progress.  We didn't even have any RR a couple of years ago.  So just getting the dems to respond to any attack is some kind of improvement.  And while we do need to buy less into the whole liberal victimhood thing, we also don't want to turn around and become the bullies ourselves.  Bad idear, that.

Also, going on the offensive is easier said than done when the GOP has the media in its pocket and control of every branch of the govt.  

So, just my few cents.  And I will keep defending Howard, because they are attacking him.  

by poemless 2005-02-09 11:01AM | 0 recs
Thanks, T - I forgot the Untouchables analogy
"You want to get Capone? Here's how you get him: He pull a knife, you pull a gun. He puts one of your boys in the hospital, you put one of his in the morgue. THAT's the Chicago way."

As someone who moved to Chicago and started being active in local politics in 1987, for Harold Washington, then became a D precinct captain in my ward, this hardball thing is a known quantity for me.

I saw another example. I read this:

"It's not as good as Al Sharpton, but I guess it will have to do,'' quipped California-based GOP consultant Dan Schnur. "This is a mistake. It's always a mistake for either party to allow its most ideological members to drive their decision-making.''

My first reaction was to want to say that no, Dean' not one of the party's most ideological members. Wrong. The response to this is not to defend, but to attack, to focus the response on their weaknesses. Like:

"Gee Dan, I guess this means it was a mistake for Republicans to allow one of its most ideological the Oval Office! George Walker Bush is the most ideological President we've ever had, more even than Reagan, lamely trying to dismantle Social Security so he can please his conservative base. See, we CAN agree on some things!"

by ericd1112 2005-02-09 12:07PM | 0 recs
They're already trying to muzzle him
And I'm talking abou Democrats like Harry "My constituency is bigger than yours" Reid and John "We don't need a Party spokesman (cuz I'm doing such a great job)" Kerry.

I'm worried that in his desire to placate the Congressional Wing of the Party, we won't hear more "What I want to know is" type speeches from Dean -- speeches the Party needs to hear!

BUT if we all flood the DNC with cash after Saturday and show the Reids, Pelosi's, and Emmanuels of the world (Kerry is hopeless -- he will always have his own agenda) where the real power lies (and to them money=power), they won't be as anxious to tell Dean to stop doing what he's doing, because they will see that it works.  Just like all the other candidates started aping Dean in the primaries -- only this time we have to push hard enough that when they copy Dean they really "get" it and mean it.

by Jim in Chicago 2005-02-09 12:15PM | 0 recs
Ready to fight
I can't wait to really get into this.  I hope that we take a scorched earth policy in the Congress and at the DNC.  I will not apoligize to any wingnut for the truthful and logical comments of our leader, Gov. Dean.  We must take a hard line against these hypocrites.
by Max Friedman 2005-02-09 01:53PM | 0 recs


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