What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 13, 2005

Why They're Wrong On Both Counts And What You Can Do About It

June 13, 2005 WASHINGTON - Howard Dean is "over the top," Vice President Dick Cheney said, calling the Democrats' chairman "not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party."

"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," Cheney said in an interview to be aired today on Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes.
Yep, Dean is getting it from all sides. The current GOP Talking Points:

1. Democratic National Committee (DNC) fund raising under the chairmanship of Howard Dean has been "disappointing".

2. He says crazy, mean things and is bad for the party!

First. let's quickly debunk the first claim. As mediamatters.org notes:

Media echoed baseless claim that Dean is a fund-raising failure

In recent days, media figures have repeated the baseless claim that Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Howard Dean is not an effective fund-raiser. These claims echo an assertion in a June 6 Business Week article that misleadingly compared DNC fund-raising with money that the Republican National Committee (RNC) has raised this year. But a more relevant metric of fund-raising by the Dean-led DNC -- a comparison of this year's receipts with receipts in 2003 and 2001, the most recent election off-years -- proves that Dean's fund-raising efforts have surpassed those of his predecessor.


In fact, Dean raised $14.8 million between February and April 2005 (the latest data available), compared with the DNC's $8.5 million during that period in 2003, the previous non-election year, and compared with the DNC's $13.7 million in so-called "hard money" raised in the first six months of 2001. (It should be noted that since 2001, the contribution limits to national parties have increased as a result of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.)

Moreover, the DNC has raised more in comparison to the RNC over the past three months than it did during 2003. The RNC raised $32.4 million between February and April, about 2.2 times the rate of the Democrats, as Media Matters for America noted; over the same period in 2003, the RNC raised $25.7 million, more than three times the rate of the DNC. Media Matters compiled statistics from February through April, rather than the first-quarter statistics that BusinessWeek used, because Dean did not assume leadership of the DNC until February 12.
Now, as to the second charge:

"Crazy" and "mean" is the Vice President of the United States saying in September 2004 that a November win by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry would put the United States at risk of another "devastating" terrorist attack.

"Crazy" and "mean" is when the Republican Majority Leader threatens judges by saying "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior..." at a time when judges are under threat of real violence.

"Crazy" and "mean" and IRONIC is the Republican Senate Majority Leader participates in a rally subtitled "Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith" that is overwhelmingly Christian and White and then the Republicans cry that Dean says that the Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party."

Need we remind any one of what their leadership looks like?

(Another great picture -- courtesy of Exit Stage Left -- is available here.)

The real shame is when other "Democrats" pile on providing grist for the Repug propaganda mill like Democratic Sen. Joe Biden saying that, "He doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric and I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats." That statement was gleefully quoted at NewsMax and Free Republic.

However, as this article notes:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic National Committee leaders embraced feisty party boss Howard Dean on Saturday and urged him to keep fighting despite a flap over his blunt comments on Republicans.

After a meeting of the DNC's 40-member executive committee at a downtown hotel, members said Dean was doing exactly what they elected him to do -- build the party in all states and aggressively challenge Republicans.

"I hope Governor Dean will remember that he didn't get elected to be a wimp," said DNC member Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a South Carolina state representative. "We have been waiting a long time for someone to stand up for Democrats."
Furthermore, Biden's own mail is running is running heavily against him and for Howard Dean as this screen capture shows:

So what can you do to support Howard Dean? Here's a start:

1. Sign the petition that tells everyone that HOWARD DEAN SPEAKS FOR ME

2. Nothin' says lovin' like somethin' in the...err...cash box. Make a contribution to the DNC. This link to Act Blue will tell the DNC that "We've Got Howard's Back." And, don't forget that adding a penny to the amount that you're giving anytime that you make a contribution to the DNC, PA Dem party, etc., let's them know that you're a Dean Democrat.

3. Call/Email Democratic Elected Officials (Why not start with Biden?)

4. Write Letters to the Editor

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And -- shameless plug -- you can always display DEAN SPEAKS FOR ME gear (buttons/bumperstickers) available here.


dayvoe said...

I find it amazing that the man who, on the FLOOR OF THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, told a Senator to "fuck [him]self" is lecturing anybody on what constitutes good manners in public discourse.

Maria said...

Fuck! (lol) I forgot about that one!

Patrick said...

This is exactly how the Chairman and the Democratic elected officials are supposed to act.
The Chair makes inflamatory comments and throws red meat to the base, while our elected officials scold him and look moderate to the voters. It's a win-win. Kudos to both Dean and Biden.

Maria said...

Hmmm...when do the Republicans criticize their Chairman?

Patrick said...

True, Republicans rarely criticize other Republicans at all. But when Newt was in office, many in the GOP were forced to back track, go on the defensive and distance themselves from some of his more cooky comments.

The Democratic Party Chair is in a unique position to say controversial and negative things about Republicans, leaving elected officials "above the fray" and not in a position to have to defend their own foot-in-mouth issues.

While I love what Dean says about Republicans, those comments are good for riling up the base, not building a majority...and a majority is what our elected officials need to get into and stay in office.

Anonymous said...

If Dick "F*** Yourself" Cheney says someone is "crazy" and "mean" he obviously means it as a compliment.

It's been clear since 2000 that the Republican leadership admires those qualities.