The Brilliance of Howard Dean
If you swung by the Liberal-Bias Message Board this week, you probably caught the noticeable disagreement in how Howard Dean chose to criticize the Republican Party to a group of journalists Monday June 6th. As many Democratic senators, congressmen, and officials took umbrage with his statements, others were actually glad to hear such refreshing rhetoric. I would say I distinctly fall into the latter category.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware of the way that such direct and caustic language can be misconstrued by the public, distorted by the media, and flat out used as fodder for jerk neocon pundits, Tom DeLay, and other such street vermin. It’s hardly safe language. But that’s just it. The Democratic Party doesn’t need to be playing it safe anymore. Al Gore was a safe choice. John Kerry was a safe choice. Compromising the filibuster was safe. What the hell has that accomplished?
I apologize if any latte liberals don’t like sports references mixed into your political debate, but the Democratic Party is down by 4 touchdowns halfway through the 3rd quarter, and their defense is sucking wind. Right now an off tackle running play or a dump into the flat isn’t going to cut it. Some risks need to be taken to have a chance at winning late in the fourth quarter.
What Mr. Dean said is not all that inflammatory. Was it PC? No. But PC is not what wins elections anymore. Times have changed. The biggest reason I heard from moderates I knew who voted for Bush was that they seemed to identify more with Bush than Kerry, and that Kerry always seemed way too guarded with his answers during debates and interviews, therefore causing them to think that he was saying what he thought people wanted to hear, instead of the way he really felt. I’m a big believer that people don’t appreciate hearing someone sound as if they are reading off a script when supposedly being themselves.
People can’t stand to hear sports figures (sorry again weenie liberals) like Alex Rodriguez, Tiger Woods, and Jim Tressel give homogenized vanilla answer after homogenized vanilla answer at press conferences and during interviews. You learn nothing from it, and tune it out because you can’t feel any sense of sincere revelation from the person. While strong statements may turn some people off in the short term, they will eventually get over it, and in the long term, come to make the connection that Howard Dean is a straight shooter.
Let’s all look at the numbers than can be applied to taking such a statement. The US Census Bureau estimates that by 2010, the population percentage of whitey in this country will decrease by .8%, while blacks will increase .3%, Asians .5%, and hispanics 1.2%. In terms of raw numbers that means by 2010 there will be 7.1 million more whiteys than now, but 2.3 million more blacks, 2.1 million more Asians and 5.1 million more hispanics. That shifts the white to non white balance in this country 2.4 million towards the non-whites. Howard Dean is no dummy. He understands the need to recognize the growing minority in this country and is doing just that.
While no great number, according to CNN’s exit poll numbers in 2004, Bush was still able to get a enough votes from non whites (30% men, 24% women) to get him over the top. The Dems need to cut into those numbers. Look at those numbers. If even remotely accurate, Howard made more of a statement of fact than one of personal conviction. What’s so wrong about saying the Republican Party is the party of white christian males? They are. The numbers prove it.
The CNN poll also showed 13% of people who considered themselves “liberals” voted for Bush. Huh? Did I miss something there? I can clearly see why someone considering themself a conservative would vote for Kerry, but seems impossible for me for someone who is a true liberal would vote for Bush (see my “Convert A Bushie” piece concerning Victims). That’s a clear sign that the Kerry campaign didn’t strut it’s liberal stuff enough to win. What can be more liberal than throwing a dig at “The Man”?
I’m very happy Dean did not back pedal from his statements. Just look at the Bush administration. Despite a huge pile of failures with enough facts behind them to sink The Love Boat, they never ever admit they were wrong. They take nothing back. DeLay practically told open minded federal judges to watch their backs and sympathized with those that would threaten a judge’s life. Where did his followers fall off at? They didn’t. In fact, they all lined up for a $250 a plate dinner to help him pay his lawyers another month.
Don’t think I haven’t thought about or listened to how the neocons will spin this. They will be play the “victim card” for all it’s worth. Oh the those poor oppressed conservatives. Always getting picked on by those big mean liberals. Those mean obstructionist liberals who prevented them from confirming Condi Rice and John Bolton, repealing the estate tax, letting bankrupt CEO’s escape harder bankruptcy laws, and starting an unnecessary war. So now they can label democrats racist and anti-Christian. Good. Let ’em have at it. If after 6 years the American public can’t figure out we have a religiously intolerant, corporatist & fascist administration who doesn’t care about the common man, then I don’t think they’ll be too quick to catch onto the non-fact that democrats are racist Jesus haters beause Howard Dean told the truth.
Howard Dean is just one of the few democrats who has started to figure out what the game is all about these days. He’s giving it a try at beating them at their own game. He’s throwing a forty yard post pattern on 1st and 10, and you know what? I like it. The Democrats have been in dire need of a spine recently, and they’ve finally found one in Howard Dean. Let’s just hope they use it.