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Reply #78: The question regarded Dean. What do you have against Ted Kennedy? [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-03 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #64
78. The question regarded Dean. What do you have against Ted Kennedy?
Do tell, my friend. I'm not afraid of ideas or people.

In fact, I'm Liberal and proud. I'm also proud of what Ted Kennedy has done for this country.

Dean is another matter. I don't recall him doing anything for anybody other than himself and his cronies.

Unlike most of his supporters, I also can recognize what Dean is. Dean is basically, at heart and in deed, a moderate Republican shooting his mouth off as a Democrat.

Don't take my word for it, here's what someone who knows said (in case you don't know, Jim Farrell was Paul Wellstone's press spokesman):

Dean's No Wellstone

by Jim Farrell

Lately, presidential contender Howard Dean has been likening himself to the late Senator Paul Wellstone. Out on the stump, Dean has used a phrase that Wellstone long employed--that we need candidates who "represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Before audiences of progressives and party activists, it is reportedly Governor Dean's best applause line. No wonder. The Democratic rank and file yearn for populist leadership based on a firm commitment to progressive policies.

Dean acknowledges that his own politics are considerably less "liberal" than Wellstone's but that he identifies with the senator's passion and commitment to beliefs. Certainly, Dean's campaign has many of the trappings of progressive politics. Dean himself is an upstart and outsider, and his call for a grassroots campaign to "take back America" sounds progressive.

But as Wellstone frequently said, it's not the thought that counts but the deed. So how do the records of the two men compare? Wellstone's history included both activism and intellectual support for civil rights, and he took that same spirit to his first Senate election and ran against big money in politics. In the Senate, Wellstone stood for economic and social justice. He supported expanding collective-bargaining rights and universal healthcare. He opposed the death penalty because it is inequitably applied to minorities and the poor. And he was the only senator up for re-election to vote against the so-called Welfare Reform Act in 1996, because he believed it punished children and played into stereotypes of single women on welfare. Wellstone also voted no on the October Iraq war resolution, following a lifetime of advocating for peace and for a US role in the world that fostered democracy and used military intervention as a last resort.

While Dean may share some measure of Wellstone's passion, his record and his agenda are very different. As governor of Vermont, Dean targeted for elimination the public-financing provision of the state's campaign finance law--a law similar to the one Wellstone pushed in the Senate. In February 2002, Dean said his big donors are given special access. While Wellstone fought for people on welfare, Dean said some welfare recipients "don't have any self-esteem. If they did, they'd be working" and scaled back Vermont's welfare program, reducing cash benefits and imposing strict time limits on single mothers receiving welfare assistance.

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