Sunday, June 12, 2005

Darth Vader--I mean Dick Cheney--sets his sights on Dean

The current "let's laugh Dean out of office" campaign by Republicans is cynical beyond what one would expect, even from them.

In case you've been living in a cave the last few months, Howard Dean now runs the Democratic National Committee. He's not minced words when citing his distaste for the direction Republicans have guided ( and I use that term loosely) this country in the last several years. Because of that, he has raised the hackles of Republicans.

Or is it that simple?

Fundraising: Despite flawed comparisons by right-wingers, Dean's raised more money than any predecessor. Regrettably, that's one of the position's primary functions.

Public Relations: The Republicans would have you believe he's a walking talking disaster. Common sense will tell you that walking, talking disasters don't outpace all predecessors in fund-raising.

Here's what's really happening: Dean's determination and willingness to speak the truth--even if the Republicans scream like stuck pigs--plus his not backing away from his words, is exactly what we need. If he continues, Republicans will begin to see what many of us already know: Dean is what Democrats need to overcome 8 years' worth of namby-pamby Presidential candidates.

The Republicans realize that Dean's got the policy wonk intelligence of Clinton, but also an unwavering confidence in his beliefs. That combination makes him extremely dangerous to Republicans. So what do they do? They do this.Vice President Cheney goes on the attack. While you'd expect an attack, you'd at least expect an attack which wasn't provably stupid. I mean just s-t-u-p-i-d.

Cheney: "I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything, as best I can tell."

Besides the bizarre tactic of dragging Dean's mother into it, Dean was quite popular in Vermont, and his campaign attracted millions of Americans. And then there's the quote about Dean never having won anything. Perhaps it escaped Cheney's attention that Dean won five Gubenatorial races in Vermont. And then there's his winning of the chairmanship of the Democratic party, after his catastrophic defeat in the primaries. Most pundits thought his political career was dead and buried after that.

But then this idiotic statement about Dean follows: "That's not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party."

Perhaps he would prefer someone running the party like...say Tom DeLay. Ol' Tom's been the subject of three ethics investigations. He exploited the Terry Schiavo case for political gain. He's taken junket after junket after junket on the tab of companies who stood to profit from legislation before the house.

In fact, Cheney probably would prefer someone like Tom DeLay to run the Democratic party. If he were corrupt he'd be a much easier target.

But while Dean is clearly the target of the Republican slime machine, he's not an easy one. Here's what he said in Iowa:

"We need to be blunt and clear about the things we're going to fight for. I'm tired of lying down in front of the Republican machine. We need to stand up for what we believe in."

Now that's how we're going to beat the Republicans. Standing up for our beliefs, and not backing down when the fecal matter starts flying.


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