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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:39 PM
Original message
An Open Letter to Anti-Dean Partisans
I have some question for all of the anti-Dean partisans out there, and I would like an honest answer.

For months, Howard Dean has been attacked as a waffler, a flip-flopper, unelectable on foreign policy, his position on the war, just about any statements that he has made, the supposed lack of minority support for his campaign, and so much more. This has been going on for months and months and months.

Each of those months, Howard Deans support has grown stronger. He has raised more money, he has piled up endorsements, including that of our rightful President Al Gore (who suddenly became a loser for doing so). He has started being attacked by the GOP before he has even been nominated. He has been attacked by secretive Democratic groups trying desperately to stop him from getting the nomination (for whatever reasons).

Even though Dean has dished out criticism (Bush-Lite comes to mind), he has always tempered them by saying any of the Democratic candidates would be better than Bush and he would wholeheartedly support the nominee whomever that would be. He has said this during debates. He frequently mentions that no votes have been cast, and does not like the "front-runner" label, as the voters make the final decision.

As a backdrop to all of this, the other candidates numbers have been going down - some of them catastrophically. Now, of course we all know numbers mean very little, but just by virtue of sheer number of supporters, grassroots work being done - and money being raised, Dean certainly has accumulated the most support of any of the Democratic candidates.

Finally, my question. Do you anti-Dean partisans really think all of us Dean supporters are morons? Do you think we are supporting Dean out of some mass delusion, and not a well-thought rationale? Do you really think we are incapable of reason - and ability to see spin from truth? And why, finally, have your candidates been unable to build the same kind of momentum and teflon as Dean?
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slinkerwink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. they actually do think that us Dean supporters are morons
:shrug: beats me. I've done my own research on Dean before I joined the campaign.
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Not all, just some
and certainly enough to make a difference. But whatever, there are certainly enough, for whatever reason, can be persuaded to change their minds.
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KaraokeKarlton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
40. Kindly back that up with proof
Point out some of these "morons". This common meme is nothing but a lame attempt to discredit what Dean supporters say and to attempt to shame them into silence. In fact, isn't that what all the insults and degrading remarks about Dean supporters are all about? When the anti-Dean people can't convert Dean supporters to their way of thinking they try to shame us into silence. This is the same ploy conservatives have used against liberals for how long now? It's not going to work.
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Racenut20 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Naw, none of that
I just think he doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell to beat Bush. Couldn't beat him with a stick if he was bent over. We have seen these bandwagons before. Think back at how many college kids Senator McCarthy had following him around in New Hampshire. Like New Hampshire means much in the overall scheme of things come November. Sure, Gore could have won carrying NH you might tell me. Gore could have won had he carried his own state, or the state of his same party President. So as Ross Perot told Bill Clinton during one of the debates. Your being a Governor of a small state is errelevant.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. by bandwagon what do you mean?
mass delusion?
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Yavonne Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
89. You all are proud that so many of the Dean people are new
New people to politics, by definition, don't have experience. Experience guides people in making smart decisions. Inexperience makes people more vulnerable.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #89
99. Why do you think
Dean draws so many new people into the process?
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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. Dean is a whore for the NRA&Cato institute
Dean used the Confederate flag as a marketing tool for almost a year until someone finally called him on it. Dean supporters have demonized a good man like John Kerry who both fought for his country in Vietnam and then helped lead the peace movement while Dean was playing ski bum. Surely we can find a better candidate than a quasiRepuKKKe governor of a virtually all white state with less people than the district of Columbia.
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Hep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. You didn't answer any of the questions.
But then, we didn't think you would.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. are you saying John Kerry has run
a good campaign? And couldn't a good campaign overcome demonization as Dean has?
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Nazgul35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Maybe you should do a little more research...
on your own candidates....

See back in 1991, Senator Kerry gave a speach attacking affirmative action in an effort to seem more centrist in his bid to be Clinton's VP choice....he came under considerable attacks from minority groups and didn't appoligize....

So I ask you...how is this different than what you say Dean has done?

perhaps people need to get off their high horses and start engaging in a debate about the issues and not gotchya politics...
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amazing grace Donating Member (23 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
44. Citation?
When did Kerry give this speech? What did he say? Exactly who attacked him for it?

Also, Kerry must be a pretty good prognosticator to know as early as 1991 to position himself as Bill Clinton's running mate, since as anyone who was around then will recall, Clinton was far from a sure thing until mid-1992.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #44
97. While the reason given may be bogus
the speech itself is quite famous. It got a lot of attention at the time and was seen as a criticism of AA by many African Americans. If I have time I will see if I can find it.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Take that Mac avatar off your posts!
Your simple, Limbaughesque, unsubstantiated attacks bring shame to Mac users everywhere.
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. Um, Limbaugh uses Macs
I see your point but it is a fact that the Dittohead King uses Macs exclusively.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #25
35. Everyone knows that, but thanks for the reminder.
I've written Rush and asked him to go Dell, too.

;)

Sheesh.

A little humor never fails to get lost around here.
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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #35
47. There's nothing funny about the NRA , Confederate flag or Cato Insitute
and if they're part of Dean's wing of the Democratic party, than I don't want to support that that wing.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #47
53. There's plenty that's funny about your out of context attacks.
If dishonest attacks are part of your wing of the party, whatever wing that might be, I suspect I'll withhold my support for that wing.

SO THERE! BOOGEEBOOGEEBOOGEEBOO!

:evilgrin:

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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. What have I said that is not true?
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 02:03 PM by billbuckhead
Did Dean not get endorsed 8 times by the NRA? Did he address the Cato insitute? Has he not used the Confederate flag to try to win over voters? Like the wise man said "You can fool all the people some of the time...........So I'm evil because I hate the NRA, hate the Cato institute and think the Confederate flag has becaome a loathsome symbol that should not be respected?
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #55
58. When you criticize without context, it's no different than lying.
I think you know that. Thanks for playing the oldest Internet board game in the world. Next time, try to be a little less disingenuous. You might get farther.
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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #58
71. Did Dean address the Cato institute? Yes or No?
Did Dean say he STILL wanted to be the candidate of the guy in a pickup truck with a Confederate flag bumpersticker? Has Dean been endorsed 8 times by the NRA? Yes or No? Still no answers from the Dean camp, just ad hominem attacks.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. Are you criticizing out of context? Yes or no?
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 03:09 PM by HuckleB
These matters have all been addressed repeatedly and thoroughly on these boards, including by me. I've got no reason to waste my tiime with someone who refuses to discuss with honesty, looking at the true overall picture. You say I am offering ad hominen attacks, yet that is all you have offered thus far. You pick a "fact" or a "quote," ignoring context and blast away. That's not worth anyone's time. That's just playing games.

I will not bother replying to your game playing again.
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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #72
102. Spin, spin, spin,reality is that Dean is the NRA-Cato-ConFlag candidate
and when he quotes Paul Wellstone about being from the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, Dean's distorting his record at best. Paul Wellstone would never tell the Cato institute that he was a "different" kind of "Democrat" like Dean did. What's out of context about that?
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #71
80. I'm not calling you a Republican.
However, you are "arguing" exactly like many I know.
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JaneQPublic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. With each post of yours I read, the more I'm convinced Dean's the one
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 12:56 PM by JaneQPublic
"Dean used the Confederate flag as a marketing tool"?

"Dean was playing ski bum"?

"a quasiRepuKKKe governor"?

I don't buy that kind of inflammatory hyperbole when a Freeper spouts it, and it's not any more convincing when it comes from someone supposedly on the Dem side.
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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
29. I STILL want to be the candidate of the guy with a pickup truck with a ...
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 01:23 PM by billbuckhead
Confederate flag bumper sticker. Did he say it or not? Was Dean endorsed 8 times by the NRA? Couldn't he find something to argue with these notorious kulturwarriors and gunlords about in 2 decades? Did Dean tell the Cato institute he was a "different" kind of "Democrat"? Did Dean himself not say he could have went to Vietnam but went skiing instead.Dean ever held accountable by his supporters?
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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #29
63. You are a Clark supporter , so answer this
Is Clark anti-NRA? Anti-gun? Is the question about kulturwarriors applicable to him in the past two decades? I don't remember a lot of Clark Statements and Clark op-ed pieces over the past two decades do you? What about use of Spent Uranium in Kosovo? Is there an answer from Clark for the havoc this is wreakinfg?

Finally, is robotic obeisance to the military industrial complex's manufactured illegal war in Vietnam a good talking point really?
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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #63
73. Clark said if one wanted an assault weapon, one should join the military
That's good enough for me in this election.
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seventhson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
38. I resent that . Kerry demonized himself way before I became a Dean fan
I opposed Kerry when I thought Gore was still in the race and WAY before I settled on Dean as the best chance to beat Bush with a progressive candidate.

Kerry's membership with the Bushes in a secret "order" makes him unfit for the Presidency.

Dean had nothing to do with that.

I STILL oppose Kerry in the primaries or as a VP (because I fear for Dean) and I oppose Clark.

But I opposed Kerry way before I even knew anything about Dean.
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
41. Dude, your over the top smears and slurs have no redeeming
value.

They aren't even amusing, especially considering the fact that you're a moderate.
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KaraokeKarlton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
43. This rhetoric is not going to work
Dean supporters will NOT be cowed into silence when anti-Dean people try to intimidate and shame us into silence.

Dean in 2004...now MORE than ever!
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Sir_Shrek Donating Member (340 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Here's what I think
Please note that I am NOT a rabid anti-Deaner.

Dean essentially represents the "party" in Democratic Party. In other words, he's what's happening right now. And folks want to be where the "happenings happening", so to speak. They don't want to be at the Joe Lieberman craft fair, the Dick Gephardt flea market, or the John Kerry book discussion, they want to be at the Howard Dean Mardi Gras.

This what I partly attribute to his rise in the nomination process. But it also makes him vulnerable in some ways, and it's why I'm not sold on him yet. Honestly, he's yet to win me over in some of his analyses. But I don't think anyone is a moron for supporting him.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. there's a big difference between "anti-Dean partisans" . . .
and loyal Democrats who desperately want to defeat Bush and honestly don't believe that Howard Dean will be the strongest candidate . . . I like Dean, and have tremendous respect for what he's accomplished, but I truly think that he'll get creamed by Bush . . . jmho, of course . . . I'll support him wholeheartedly if he's the nominee, but I think we may be making a huge mistake if we do indeed nominate him . . .
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. but why do you think your candidate
has been unable to convince primary voters up to this point that he is the better man to beat Bush?
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Primary voters and the general election
are two very very very very very different voting pools.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. true
but it doesn't tell me why your candidate has been unable to get those primary voters as enthused about their campaigns - since that's what it takes to become the nominee. That is, after all the name of the game, is it not? To be the nominee?

And do you honestly think that these hundreds of thousands of Dean supporters would vote for him if they didn't think he would be the best candidate to take on Bush?
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. Give me a break
Are you seriously arguing that I should believe Dean will beat Bush because he has alot of supporters in the primary?

I already explained why Dean has gotten those primary voters enthused. The other candidates have approached the primary much more cautiously. This may cost them the nomination, but I think it puts them in a much better position to win the general election.

Usually I would love to see a populist movement in a democratic primary beat the establishment, but, in this election we cannot sacrifice general election electibility in order to make a statement to the democratic party.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. That's not at all what I was arguing about
I'm just trying to understand why you think we are all incorrect in believing that Dean can take on Bush better than any of the other candidates - and it's clearly because you think we are trying to sink the party. That's fine - but can't you see that Dean supporters might just completely disagree with that premise?
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Because you are all far far
too enthusiastic about Dean way too early before the election for me to believe your concern is electibility. If that was your concern youd be holding out till primary day to pick the candidate that looks to be best suited for the general election.
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #32
66. Wrong.
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 03:33 PM by stickdog
We want to oust Bush. We are currently WORKING FOR and FINANCIALLY SUPPORTING the candidate that we've determined has the best shot of kicking Bush to curb.

If and when another equally or more tenacious and trustworthy candidate emerges who can as clearly and strikingly define his myriad strengths vs. Bush's myriad weaknesses, most Dean supporters would/will consider switching. Until that time, we're backing the strongest horse in the field to the hilt.

Would you rather we do nothing because you're still undecided?
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9119495 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
34. Thanks OneBlueSky!
I'm a proud Dean supporter because I think he can beat Bush...by pulling in non-voters and bringing in labor votes that defect from our party over the gun issue. I think our message of a better America with good education and health reform will carry the day. But you like Kerry you say...well I do to. He is a great man. I hate some of his opportunism as of late--such as comments on Dean's foreign policy speech. I thought the speech was great. However, I would gladly support Kerry. I currently work as a volunteer for Dean but I would for Kerry if he were the nominee in a second. Its nice to hear that in spite of the bitter crap between some at DU in our respective campaigns, some of us still have our eyes on the prize.
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dansolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
37. There is a serious flaw in this argument
If they really want to beat Bush, then they should be illustrating why *THEY* are better than Bush. I believe that the greatest attraction to Dean is that he is the anti-Bush. When people see Democrats helping Bush by attacking other Democrats, they are not going to be persuaded. It is only going to cement the impression that the other candidates* aren't really willing to fight Bush.

*except Clark, Kucinich, Sharpton, and Mosely-Braun
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
13. Dean took risks
if Dean had played conservatively, he wouldnt have anything right now. So he has played fast and loose and challenged the established democrats. This is why he is being painted as a radical even though his views are pretty moderate. So he did an end run around the democratic establishment, and in doing so his words resonated with alot of people who are dissallusioned, frustrated, or dissatisified with the establishment. This is a very large group of people. He made them feel like someone was working for them for a change and they responded with alot of support.

The only problem is, Dean isnt an anti-establishment progressive. He is a moderate democrat playing the politics game. If he does get elected president, hes not going to act as a liberal fire-brand, hes going to act like a moderate democrat and probably dissapoint his passionate supporters a great deal in the process. I wouldnt be surprised if, either way, after this election Dean is absorbed into the democratic party establishment.

I think people who passionately support Dean do so because he is currently fighting an establishment they are angry with. I understand that completely, but I think, if your goal is to change the system, Dean isnt your man, and in the process we will lose sight of our immediate goal or removing Bush if we get too caught up in the Dean movement. A grassroots liberal movement in the dem party is one thing. But we need Bush out first, and we need that grassroots movement to not be centered around one man.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. In other words
you think we are all delusional and don't realize that he is a centrist - and would govern as such?
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. He is a centrist and has and will govern as such
if you think otherwise, Im sorry. But his record is moderate and his views are moderate. Other than taking more risks with his stance on certain positions, most notably Iraq, his views dont differ much from the moderate democratic establishment.
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goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #22
45. yes
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 01:39 PM by goodhue
I step into this with some trepidation but since the open letter seems sincere and I feel very strongly about the matter, here it goes.

Dean is centrist and will govern as such. I'm not certain about how many of his supporters are delusional, but I know the media coverage of him last spring was delusional when it suggested that he came from the liberal wing of the democratic party. Dean himself acknowledged at the time that he was no liberal.

My belief is that many folks read and took the media at its word. This was no accident on the part of the Dean camp. When Dean said that he came from the democratic wing of the democratic party, he knew exactly what he was doing. As a lifelong Minnesotan and former student of Wellstone, I was personally very offended by Dean's attempt to co-opt the progressive base with a mere stolen slogan. Once media saturation on point had been achieved, Dean's statements moved quickly to the right.

Dean jokes that he must be doing something right if he is attacked for both being too liberal and too conservative. The problem with this clever comeback is that the attacks as too liberal were not based on reality, whereas the criticisms that he is too conservative have merit.

Many, many good liberal Minnesotans are now squarely behind Dean. Most of these folks have never heard of Kucinich, and if they have, they believe that he is a fringe longshot with foolhardy ideas. They believe this because that is what they read in last paragraph kiss offs. The irony is that this is exactly the characterization given to Wellstone before he shocked the system in November 1990.

Now certainly there are Dean supporters who are very savy and well-versed and support Dean with eyes wide open. But IMHO much of Dean's support is based on acceptance of media positioning without much critical thinking about the field of nine.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #45
59. Thanks for your response
and while I can see how some people would make up their minds based on the media coverage - most of us (especially if we have donated money and effort) know exactly who our candidate is.

Dean is obviously hard to define - his support of civil unions, and his position on gun control leave some people very confused - but as you said, Dean has never sold himself as a liberal. I like many others saw his use of the Wellstone line (and I LOVE Paul Wellstone by the way), as a full throated proclamation that he was a Democrat with spine. That he would stand up and fight for what he believed in, unlike so many in our party. He has also emulated Wellstone in the spirit of his campaign being grassroots driven. The progressive label is a little harder to pin on Dean, but he does have some very progressive positions - and that as well has helped him capture the hearts and minds of many progressives across the country.
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Code_Name_D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #22
75. I though you wanted a centrist Candate?
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 03:23 PM by Code_Name_D
First Dean can not win becae he is too far to the left. Now he can't win becase he is too much of a centrist? I have seen tornadoes with less spin that this, and I am from Kansas.
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Yavonne Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
92. Fast and loose are not attributes i look for in a candidate or a
president.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
16. While I Wouldn't Say "Morons"
Finally, my question. Do you anti-Dean partisans really think all of us Dean supporters are morons? Do you think we are supporting Dean out of some mass delusion, and not a well-thought rationale? Do you really think we are incapable of reason - and ability to see spin from truth? And why, finally, have your candidates been unable to build the same kind of momentum and teflon as Dean?

My opinion is that a significant proportion of Dean supporters are acting more out of emotion (often anger and frustration, with the current regime, with Dem leaders, etc.) than logic and pragmatism.

As for momentum, I think Clark has plenty of it, especially since he's only been in the race for a couple of months. Things are going to get very interesting in the next few weeks, mark my words.

DTH
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edzontar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #16
61. How do you feel about some of the tactics employed by Clarkies on DU?
Like the "Stop Dean Movement" thread?

That really turned me off from your guy.

I had drifted from Kerry to Dean on the basis of Dean's much better campaign and his anti-IWR stance.

Seems to me that there are issues I don't agree with re-Dean AND Kerry.

In the end, though, what I am looking for is someone with the ability to beat Bush.

I have taken Clark very seriously for prescisely this reason.

Until the tactics of some of his supporters have repelled me so much that I am not re-evaluating my position.

In sum, I am not convinced that everyone who speaks for Clark on this board is trulty dedicated to a Dem victory in the fall--they seem to be all too willing to use dishonest and divisive tactics to push their case.





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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #61
81. How Do YOU Feel About The Tactics Of Some Tactics Employed By Deanies?
Frankly, having Dean supporters tell me to just give up because Dean already has a lock on the nominatin is reminiscient of how the GOP bullied the Democrats in 2000.

Further, having Dean supporters tell me that ALL Democrats and Democratic Candidates must "vigoursly and vociferously" denounce some attack ad is also a HUGE turnoff.

And then, we have Dean's own campaign. Dean has made it his trademark to attack and slander the other Candidates. How do you feel about that?
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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #61
83. Pay attention to the candidate...
Until the tactics of some of his supporters have repelled me so much that I am not re-evaluating my position.

Clark can't always manage what his supporters do.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #61
84. Shrug
Until the tactics of some of his supporters have repelled me so much that I am not re-evaluating my position.

People support or decline to support candidates based on all kinds of reasons, some logical, some not.

Choosing not to support a candidate based on what his or her supporters do is not logical, IMO. Especially when NO camp on this board has been innocent, and when the candidate himself, Clark, has been nothing but positive and inspiring.

DTH
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
17. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. If you are so confident
why are you bothering to chime in on a Democratic message board?

Anyhoo, I look forward to discussing these matters further with you in the general election... it's going to be fun ;)

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Jerseycoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
18. Not a "Dean Hater" at all
I do not think Dean supporters are incapable of reason and ability to see spin from truth, obviously. They're standing with their candidate no matter what. That's loyalty and I respect it.

They've made a decision on who they want to replace Bush, and so have I.

My candidate doesn't need teflon, because he is who he is. In the two and a half months he has been campaigning, he has built considerable momentum, a loyal following, strong grassroots activity, quality endorsements, a large web presence, solid fundraising capability, excellent democratic platforms, and presented a leadership sensibility and experience that whacks George W. Bush off the planet. Dean is number one after considerably more time than Clark has taken to be number two.

Finally, I want Wes Clark to be president instead of Howard Dean. If that somehow translates to "Stop Dean," so be it. But hate doesn't enter into it. I believe Clark would be a better president than Dean. I believe he has better odds against Bush. Nothing more than that.

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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
20. I just don't like Dean
I think he has mis-represented himself as a Liberal and he will not have a chance against chimp. My opinion has nothing to do with his supporters. It does upset me when I'm told to get with the program as if he has the nomination locked up and I have no basis to question his policies and past actions. I think he is unelectable and I also don't think he is very liberal or courageous.


I also find many of his supporters to not consider any of his weaknesses and how best to counter them if he wins the nomination. I sure hope the campaign managers are not doing that because they need to be thinking about how to counter the upcoming attacks. That is the only thing I find moronic about some of his supporters on this board. It sometimes seems like the thinking is because you like him, then everyone will. I just don't see that. I also find it scary that so many supporters talk about what he has done for the Democratic Party and campaigning instead of focusing on the General Election. This election is not about reforming the Democratic Party or campaigns. I want to get George and the madmen and women out of power. Dean will be attacked and Dean supporters have to figure out a way of countering the criticisms.

I will support him in the general election if he wins the nomination.

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kaybea Donating Member (129 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #20
49. I'm there with you, Cally. I just don't like him, though I want to...
I try to view each new appearance of him with an open mind, but every time I see him I'm left with a feeling like I've been hectored rather than inspired. He strikes me as a dick, to be blunt.

Why???? Dean supporters say that some "just don't get it." They're right in my case. I just don't get it. I'm trying but I just don't get the vibe from him that he truly cares about people's concerns, their needs.

I want to understand what everyone else sees in him that I don't see. I guess I want to be assured that most of the voting public don't feel as I do. I want him to have mass appeal in the general election if he's nominated.
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
86. Please explain yourself.
I think he has mis-represented himself as a Liberal and he will not have a chance against chimp.

How can the fact that Dean has a strong record of fiscal responsibility hurt him against Bush?
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #86
104. If Dean can get that message out
than that will help in the General Election. My gut feeling is that the media has already defined him as the angry liberal and I just don't know how he will re-define himself. Take a good look at the angry liberal commercial on the Republicans site. It pushed all the Dems as angry, but highligted an angry faced Dean. It scared me!

My comment on him not being that liberal. It's why I never completely joined the Dean camp. I think the media paints him as a New England liberal when he is not.
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John_H Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
23. Smart people get fooled all the time
Plenty of samrt people don't know how politics works these days. And plenty of smart people can't or won't take the time to do a hard comparison between Dean's record and his rhetoric, apparently.

But your intelligence won't matter a lick when Dean tries to move right--and he will try, has to--and the media and his left wing supporters won't let him. And it won't matter a bit when he gets eaten alive on foreign policy in both paid and free media.

Tell you what? If Dean gets the nomination you have my word I'll work 24/7 to prove that I'm a moron for believing that the paragraph above is obvious to anyone looking at this election objectively.

If Bush beats Dean soundly will you admit you were a moron for not believing it?
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Cogito Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
24. An open response
Do you anti-Dean partisans really think all of us Dean supporters are morons? Do you think we are supporting Dean out of some mass delusion, and not a well-thought rationale? Do you really think we are incapable of reason - and ability to see spin from truth? And why, finally, have your candidates been unable to build the same kind of momentum and teflon as Dean?

First, as someone who has contributed to Dean, marched in parades, attended meetups etc I have trouble thinking of myself as an "anti-Dean partisan." But, I am sure you have people like me in mind so I will take a shot.

No, I don't think Dean supporters are morons. I think they are making an honest mistake with potentially disasterous consequences for the party, the nation and the world. The mistake I think Dean supporters are making is thinking that they can win the election, or even come reasonably close, with a candidate who will not attract swing voters in key Southern, Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. I think the Dean supporters and campaign have bought into the idea that swing voters are not the key and that instead mobilizing committed Democrats and attracting former Green party supporters will be enough.

I do think many Dean supporters are capable of reason but I disagree with their reasons. On the other hand, I don't think Dean supporters are different from the supporters of any other candidate in terms of their ability to reason.

You ask why the other candidates have been unable to get traction in the way that Dean has? I think that many people correctly recognize the innovation and basic decency of the Dean campaign. This back to basics approach to Democracy has given many people hope in a situation that often appears hopeless. The Dean campaign is a strong network of people linked to one another by personal connections that come from working together and sharing a cause. Having coordinated on Dean during the summer and early fall they have a great sense of loyalty to one another and to their candidate that makes them (1) unwilling to pull up stakes and move to another campaign; (2) unwilling to brook much criticism of their preferred candidate; (3) their is an echo chamber quality to the Dean core who spend a considerable amount of time cheering each other on and dismissing critical information that goes against their candidate; and (4) 2/3 of Democrats think they should support the candidate they like the best in the primaries rather than the candidate with the best chance of beating Bush.

The dedication and committment of the Dean supporters has also inspired others who are unsure to jump on board the Dean bandwagon. The Dean campaign has worked tirelessly the last three months to build an air of inevitability so that supporters of other candidates will simply give up on their guy as hopeless even before the first vote is cast in the primaries.

In sum, the Dean supporters are no better or worse than the supporters of any other candidate. The opposition to Dean from people like me comes chiefly in the form of trying to demonstrate what we firmly believe: that a Dean candidacy is going to squander what little chance we do have of beating Bush on a theory that has been tried by McGovern, Wallace and Goldwater in the past with similarly bad results. Maybe we are wrong and the Dean supporters are right. People can have different opinions but the costs of being wrong are miserably high and that is why the tenor of debate within the party is reaching such a pitch.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. thank you
Couldn't have a fairer or more rational response, and since you worked on the campaign at one time, that bolsters your insights more than credibly.

Be prepared to be flamed though. Even being reasonable and fair doesn't grant immunity.
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Cornus Donating Member (720 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. Exactly
You really do *think* and have pinpointed all of the reasons why so many of us do not support Dean.

If he gets the nomination I will definitely work for his election and will vote for him. However, I feel that Clark has the best chance to draw those votes from disillusioned Repubs who are fed up with *. Those same voters would be unlikely to vote for Dean or any of the other candidates....except for Clark.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. A gamble either way
I think the "centrist" approach has been tried and is failing. Maybe a clearly different campaign like Dean's will fail too. But it's a roll of the dice eitehr way, and I'd rather see us fail with something that hasn't already failed. And, like Goldwater, may actually pave the way for long trerm success.

Clark is a good man. But I see him as equally a longshot. If you are worried about "image" I guarantee that if Clark is the candidate the GOP will paint him as a baby-killing Napoleon who is a disgraced general and a commie on domestic policy...WHOEVER is nominated will be subjected to smears and distortions.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #24
39. Thank you
for your well reasoned response. As you can probably tell, it is the insinuation that Dean has somehow "pulled the wool over" his supporters eyes (supporters whom are parting with hard-earned dollars to help him get elected) that gets me a little chapped. We know who Dean is better than anyone, and we wouldn't give him our money otherwise. And on top of that, the failure for those who insinuate we are somehow ignorantly throwing our chances at the Presidency off a cliff - to explain why their own candidates are failing (up to this point) to match Dean's support-level.

Yes, we will have to agree to disagree - as people should be able to do. I truly hope that if Dean becomes the nominee, you will work as hard as I will to make those "electability" sentiments become yet another of the failed conventional bits of wisdom about Dean.

And as I have said repeatedly, I will do the same for any of the nominees.
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Yavonne Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #39
94. The one thing Dean has done right was to hire Joe Trippi.
That is not enough for me to vote for him. Trippi understood the worth of the internet. Trippi maximized the home party meetings. Trippi is a marketer. I generally ignore marketing and look inside the package. The other candidates haven't taken off as Dean has because they didn't hire Trippi. Trippi could have done the same thing with any of the candidates.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #94
100. unfortunately
other campaigns have tried to follow Trippi's example - to limited success, negating your point. Trippi found the right candidate and message in Dean, and it snowballed from there.
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chiburb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #24
42. Excellent post!
To which I'll add:

My fear is that the fervor demonstrated by some of the Dean supporters will evaporate if he does not win the nomination. I remember how Gene McCarthy invigorated the young, anti-war crowd in '68 (much like Dean is doing today). When Clean Gene lost the nomination to "stale, old-party, Johnson/VietNam-tainted" Humphrey, MANY supporters took their ball and went home. Many refused to hold their noses and vote for Hubert. That resulted in 8 long years of Nixon, and we CANNOT afford EIGHT years of BushCo.

I have the utmost respect for the Dean organization's money-raising apparatus and the genuine enthusiasm with which supporters have made him the front-runner. They are NOT morons, and I'm not convinced Dean can't win the whole enchilada. But like my 1st sentence says, my FEAR is that the emotional high enjoyed by this grassroots movement will preclude them from fully backing a candidate other than Dean. If that happens, BushCo remains in office.

Still undecided, still leaning Dean or Clark, still ABB (even Lieberman)!
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #24
57. It will take movement passion to beat Bush
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 02:05 PM by Tom Rinaldo
It will take an extremely dedicated effort on behalf of the supporters of the Democratic candidate for that candidate to have a chance of beating Bush. To be honest that is probably the main reason why I would support Dean over Edwards or Kerry. Overall (not in every single instance) I prefer those men's political stands slightly over Dean who has a proven track record, in my opinion, of governing from a point a little closer to the center. I will always be grateful to Dean for speaking out early and often against going into Iraq, and he gets points from me for that.

I recognize that a movement is aided incredibly by excellent staff work, and Dean has had excellent staff, but ultimately the political figure him or her self has to inspire that loyalty, and I give credit to Howard Dean for doing that. I think Dean's supporters accurately recognize the potency of their mutual dedication as a powerful political force. Being inside that movement, if human nature serves as any judge, the power of that movement probably feels even greater than it is in reality. I will never forget an otherwise intelligent college friend of mine, who lived in Eugene Oregon at the time, who was convinced until Election day that McGovern was going to wallup Nixon, because EVERYONE was excited about McGovern lol.

Movements can change a nation and still lose an election. Barry Goldwaters movement in 1964 did just that. Inside his movement loyalty was white hot. Goldwater swept the nomination from the more mainstream perceived Republicans like Rockerfeller, and he got swamped in November. That did not disprove the power of his movement. It went on to lay the seeds for a right wing resurgency across America. This year, with the Supreme Court hanging in the balence, with America alienating the entire world with terrorists recruiting right and left, with the environment melting before us, I don't think we can afford to lose this election while laying the ground work for a future reversal.

I do not believe that Dean the man is the Democrat best able to win the 2004 Election against Bush. I Dean supporters have already heard the list of reasons why, given by other backers of Wesley Clark, who is my candidate, and we all can and I'm sure will keep discussing stuff like that on other threads. But no, I do not think Dean supporters are brainless zombies not looking at obvious reality. I think they are weighing the significance of various factors differently than I do.

I agree with many of your conclusions made in the opening post in fact, as noted in the title I have given this post of mine. Except for Wesley Clark all of the other Democratic Party Candidates have been campaigning for President for well over a year. Except for Wesley Clark and Howard Dean and perhaps John Edwards, all of the leading Democratic Party Candidates have had significant previous national exposure and name recognition. Except for Wesley Clark and Howard Dean, none of the other Democratic Candidates have inspired a strong internet and meetup based grass roots following. Dean was a pioneer, and the Draft Clark movement had a similar profile. Dean has done extraordinarly well at fund raising, but Clark too is doing well in that regard.

I think the arguments raised against the other candidates not matching Deans strong grass roots support fits for everyone except Wesley Clark. Dean is significantly ahead of Clark in that regard, true, but Dean has been at this significantly longer also. I think Clark is intrinsically much better positioned as a candidate to defeat Bush than Dean, IF you factor out the strength of the relative movements behind each man. However Clark has sufficiently demonstrated to my satisfaction that he is able to generate the type of grass roots movement he will need in the fall campaign to defeat Bush, unlike everyone other than Dean. So I support Clark though I understand how others might support Dean.
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
30. It's a matter of looking at Dean's record/speeches and making a choice
I personally don't like a lot of what Dean says and then does flip flop on. I don't like his A+ rating with the NRA. I find that he will say anything to get approval and all you have to do is look at how he is going to become more "centrist" to gain more followers.

That tells me he is not really to be trusted. Imagine what a President Dean would do based on having a rolling opinion on issues. That was one of the things I hated about the Clinton administration and I'd rather not see those shenanigans again.

I've seen Dean in live speeches and always walked away feeling like he really didn't offer tangible solutions, merely rhetoric.

I don't think Dean fans are "morons". I think they might want to step back a little bit and look at some of the criticisms that people have on Dean and make up their own mind.

My number one candidate I support is Kerry. I do step back and look at what he says and make up my own mind about him. I do wish his campaign was run better and think it's picking up substantially recently.

But I don't think Kerry is God. I suggest Dean fans not put Dean on that impossible pedestal either.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #30
46. I agree
and have taken the same approach, as I believe most do when deciding whom to support. I think you will find zealots in any camp - it's inevitable.

As for criticisms, Dean supporters have had non-stop opportunities to hear them voiced for about 6 or 7 months now. I think I speak for a majority of us when I say - we know our candidate. There is a reason, I believe, beyond zealotry and financial binding, that he has some teflon. The message is resonating - and no matter how that message is framed by other candidates or the GOP, we know exactly what Dean hopes to accomplish - and support it fully.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
48. there are levels of disagreement, although that doesn't seem to get heard
Must you be so aggressively thin-skinned? I mean, really.

The thrill of the shrill may give you joy and make you think that you're taking back the night, but telling everyone else on earth what a bunch of dupes, weasels, turncoats, lightweights and killjoys they are isn't any way to make friends.

I think Slinkerwink's header says it all: everyone who's against you is just a complete dick.

Many of us have modulated our concerns in many ways, and to the credit of the Deanies, many of you have qualified the passion too.

People who have to automatically dismiss their opponents on every category with sanctimonious derision are just plain silly. Many of you guys are just plain silly.

No, many of us don't think you're of substandard intelligence, so please don't wear your hearts on your sleeves as you stab deep into those of others. Much of the appeal of his campaign is a raging insult, and it's incomprehensible: insult, hate, misrepresent, provoke, smear, bark dismissals and then rage with victimhood to take any shots in return, even if they're mere corrections of his distortions. The very idea that Deanies think they're victims is beyond hypocrisy; it's sociopathic.

I do think there's an emotional groundswell that clouds reason in your movement, and the scorched earth policy may very well leave you a pyrrhic victory. Should he be nominated, even if those of us supporting other candidates rally with all our hearts--which we will--he may have left such a bad taste in the mouths of swing voters and possible moderates that it will be an unsuccessful campaign. I fully expect to be broadsided with accusations of not having worked hard enough should that come to pass, and it's just another aspect of this movement that's most nauseating.

Dean and his supporters hasn't just dished out criticism, they've gushed complete dismissal. The Democratic Wing of the Democratic party rings deeply offensive when there's only one candidate in the race more conservative than he is. Bush-lite and cockroaches are hate terms of the first order. Characterizing honorable public servants as going along with tax cuts when they all vigorously opposed and voted against them is scandalous.

More than anything else, what's alarming is the selfish amplification of outrage within the movement. One can't point out flaws or inconsistencies--not outrage, like I've just done, but minor things--without being beaten into the ground and painted like some kind of baby-killers. This would have weight if it came from gentler folk like the Kucinich supporters, but from shriekers it's simply abuse.

As for reason, it's certainly questionable why so many of his progressive supporters refuse to see how inherently centrist he is. When there are other choices out there more in tune with their personal tastes, why do they just ignore them? It smacks of religion, as I've said before: all things good are his doing, and nothing bad is his fault.

Far too much of candidate affiliation is some kind of referendum on the supporter's personality, and it gets far too personal. If the participants grant the same spiritual depth to their opponents that they demand to command themselves, it's a lot easier, but to loudly dismiss opponents as ethical sub-humans and then expect immunity from it calls the group personality into question in a deep way.

No. The intelligence issue is not the big one, the character one is.

Many of us have been very politically involved in many ways for decades, and to be constantly barfed at by the people who uglified the tenor of the debate in the first place and have systematically raised the bar of nastiness to ludicrous heights is a tad provoking.

When you tell people they suck, they don't like you.

When you have no subtlety and tolerance for others, they react.

When you premise all on the demand to be treated as towering giants of ethical beauty, the inferiors tend to drag their heels a bit.

Get it?
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. I'm very sorry
you misread my question.

I do not think less of anyone for supporting a specific candidate. I understand that coming to a decision about a candidadate is often a time-consuming and heart-wrenching choice. My post was designed to make that point that many (if not most) Dean supporters have engaged in this process - and do not appreciate the insinuation of us that you just accused me of.

That is the entire purpose of my post. I'm not asking you to support Dean. I'm not telling you you are a lesser person for supporting someone else. I am asking you to respect my decision - honestly debate about it if you must - but at the end of the day, understand that I am just as qualified to pick a nominee as you or anybody else.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #51
101. That was nice; perhaps I wasn't clear
Much as it's impossible to say the incendiary things I did without it being taken personally, the intent was truly meant to explain things from the other side. Admittedly, I took liberties to loose a few volleys, but you did too--and not nastily, I might add--and that's sort of the nature of the beast.

It's funny how some will yelp at being lumped together with the extremists, and then turn right around and do the same, and I've got my share of guilt for this too.

Were all of your faction this level-headed, much of the late disturbances wouldn't have happened. Remember, too, that these are peak frustration times, and there's going to be some ickyness no matter how we comport ourselves; this, too, shall pass.

Listen to those on the other side of the divide; should Dean be the nominee, he's already got some serious character and utterance issues that'll come back to haunt him. Part of the purpose of a primary, after all, is a rehearsal among friends.

Above all, accept the fact that the guy and his people have rubbed many the wrong way, and it's not just an agglomerations of contrarians and spoilsports who're making the Deanies' lives miserable for no real reason.

Thanks again for the civilized reply; it's an adventure.
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Cogito Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #48
76. Its the Internet not the Dean campaign
Purity,
I think many of the outrages you feel have been directed your way have been perpetrated on the Internet, on forums like this. But the Internet with its text based communications and lack of face to face contact leads to a shrillness that you would not experience with any of these people face to face. I think we are all going to have to compensate for the emotional reactions we engender and experience online.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #76
103. Unfortunately, not
Following along with the premise that campaigns take on character or their own, which is a derivative of that of its candidate, I see much evidence of this. I travel in a few different socio-economic circles, and have friends and acquaintances of many age groups. The zeal and self-righteousness is often there in person, too.

There is an overall belief among many that this campaign is the only "clean" one, which is helped along by the systematic ignoring of the bottom three. To resist the tide is a version of blasphemy to many, and the foregone conclusion of inevitability is palpable.

Remember, MOST of everything in life is in the middle, but we're defined by our extremes. Testy though I am, I'm inherently an optimist; I just have a difficult time with polyannas, privilege, hypocrites and the concept of fate. It's a fluid world out there, with virtually everything in shades of grey and subject to unexpected change.

Hell, just for the advantage of sitting on the fence for a little while and keeping the Republicans guessing and dividing their resources I'd want the decision to be put off for a while. Panic sucks.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
50. Money != Support
This paragraph has me wondering:

Each of those months, Howard Deans support has grown stronger. He has raised more money, he has piled up endorsements, including that of our rightful President Al Gore (who suddenly became a loser for doing so). He has started being attacked by the GOP before he has even been nominated. He has been attacked by secretive Democratic groups trying desperately to stop him from getting the nomination (for whatever reasons).

It seems like so many Dean supporters are buying into the same arguments Ted Koppel made last week regarding our candidates. As Dennis Kucinich pointed out, it's not about how much money a campaign raises, or what politician endorses who, it's about the issues.

And that is why I do not support Howard Dean.

I don't agree with him on almost all of his issues: the IWR, health care, the defense budget, media reform, the drug war, and many others. Just because he is "feisty" and creates a lot of heat does NOT mean he'll be any different from any of the other centrists running, as his gubernatorial record clearly indicates.

Even if his "feistiness" makes him fight, I don't want what he's fighting for: further corporatization of health care, continuation of the insane "war on drugs", a bloated military budget, and his fervor for balanced budgets no matter who or what gets cut.

His popularity for all practical purposes has peaked. Sure, he's able to raise more money, but how much of that "new" money is from new supporters? Besides, BushCo will STILL outraise and outspend him in the end, so why is this campaign so obsessed about trying to beat Bush at his own game? Why do Democrats continue to play the Repubs game by their rules?

I recently heard from a friend who has a contact in the Dean campaign locally that the campaign is trying to recruit 5000 volunteers to canvas Iowa the week before the caucuses, but they're having trouble getting their folks from the MeetUp lists to participate. This just proves to me that most of Dean's support is of the casual supporter or "armchair activist" variety, who are willing to write checks at the drop of a bat, but who can't (or won't) take the message to the streets.

This election, I want a true blue PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT to be president, one who's not afraid to challenge the corporate interests who dominate this country, and who has a record of standing up for what's right. And I simply don't see Howard Dean as being that person.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #50
54. It's not just money
though that Dean is raising. I agree that people can have differing opinions on his positions and what he will fight for - but you can't ignore that his message is clearly resonating with larger and larger numbers. If it wasn't resonating, the money would not be rolling in. People would not be donating their time to canvassing, writing letters, and building the largest grassroots movement in history if the message was not resonating. We want to win, and we will work as long and hard as it takes to make sure a Democrat is in the White House in Jan 2005.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #54
90. "largest grassroots movement in history"?
I think you're overexagerating by quite a bit on that one. I would consider the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the pro-civil rights movement in the US, and the Indian independence movement to be much bigger grassroots movements than the 500,000 or so Dean has had sign up on his website.

And as far as his message, what is it? I know he posts his positions on his website, but I think a lot of his supporters project their views and wishes on to him more than anything. I bet if you took an informal poll at the next Dean MeetUp on his position and record on many big issues you'd find quite a wide variety of opinion.

Are his supporters really in favor of a corporate-run healthcare system that will not provide universal coverage? Are they really in favor of a foreign policy that does not rule out pre-emptive attacks by the US? Are they really in favor of not holding the Pentagon accountable for the money it spends, despite the fact that it can't account for $1 BILLION dollars?

My problem with the Dean "movement" is that there are a lot of his "supporters" who are more than willing to send him money and attend his MeetUps but don't actually understand what his "message" is (other than "beat Bush") or have any idea what his platform is all about.

And I also don't see his campaign going through too much trouble to make the distinction, either-- probably because they know if they did, they'd lose supporters.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
52. Once again I say...
that I don't consider Dean fans as morons any more than any other partisans are morons. Some are, most aren't.

I just don't think Dean's early successes translate into either him being the best choice as President or as the best choice for beating Shrub.

We haven't even had one primary yet, so we don't have the foggiest idea, other than polls, how his campaign is really working on actual voters. And even then, we won't have much of an idea how his campaign would work in the general election. I am afraid they will McCain him and make him look like a raving loon.

And, again I say, put your efforts into your own primary, and not squabbling here. The more time you spend here, the less time you have to work with actual voters who WILL make the difference.

DU is a great place for a lot of things, but it is not the place for electioneering and fighting.

It is a resource for the real fight in the real world.

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Ficus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
56. a response from a DK supporter
Finally, my question.

I think you mean questions.


Do you anti-Dean partisans really think all of us Dean supporters are morons?

No. I think he has convinced you that his message is the way to go. However, does not supporting Dean make you a "anti-dean partisan?"

Do you think we are supporting Dean out of some mass delusion, and not a well-thought rationale?

Mass delusion? Nope. As a group, it's hard to say. I quite frankly think that his "take your country back" rethoric is misleading. This man wants to be President of the United States. He has been mulling a run since 2000 (Gore's people convinced him not to run.) This ISN'T all about Dean supporters, it's about Howard Dean. Which is okay, I just think it's kind of a silly thing to buy into.

Do you really think we are incapable of reason - and ability to see spin from truth?

This is a vague question. Truth concerning what? Dean's supposed "waffles?" This goes for EVERYONE: Everyone thinks that their candidate is telling the "truth" and everyone else's response is "spin."

And why, finally, have your candidates been unable to build the same kind of momentum and teflon as Dean?

Because many people think Dennis Kucinich is "unelectable." I see Dean folks whine to no end about him being called "unelectable" yet throw the same barb at DK. It's okay to call other candidates things, but when it's your candidate, OH NO!

And also, I think Dean came out earlier than Dennis on being anti-war. I quite frankly hold current elected office holders' positions in a different light than Al Sharpton, Carol Mosley Braun, and Howard Deans' because they had to actually vote on things like USA PATRIOT Act and the IWR.

So that's my 2 cents. Flame away!
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
60. What constitutes an
anti-Dean partisan? Someone who wouldn't vote for him in a general election or someone who is supporting someone else in the primaries?

Personally, Dean has alot going for him. He has managed to gather support from liberal to centrist democrats in a nice grassroots campaign. I still have reservations on whether he can win the general election. This opinion I have is nothing more than an opinion. Fact is, I will support him if he is the nominee.

Do I think Dean supporters are morons or supporting him out of mass delusion? No. I just prefer Clark, nothing more, nothing less. Do I think Dean supporters see any possible weaknesses in Dean? I can't answer that, though sometimes it seems there are some that don't see any weaknesses.

Bottomline, go ahead and support whoever you will. That is what the democratic process is supposed to be about. Don't become too defensive as to dismiss any real discussions
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
62. I think a lot of Dean supporters are inexperienced
Let me preface this by saying that I am in awe of the energy that Dean has brought to the Party and I am thrilled that he is bringing new activists into the fold.

My statement is simply that a lot of the Dean supporters need to develop a thicker skin. Politics is a full-contact sport. It's ugly.

In a campaign, there can only be one winner so don't expect compromise or fair play.

And for God's sake, don't take it personal when your candidate gets bloodied.

Politics is a brutal sport. Brett Favre does not get "insulted" or leave the field in a huff when a linebacker picks him up and drops him on his head. He gets up and and has one of his lineman punch him in the groin on the next play.

And they everyone shakes hands afterwards.

This is what Primaries are like. You brutalize each other for a year. Then you declare a winner, shake hands, and move on.

I think a lot of Dean people (and Clark people for that matter) are too personally invested in their candidate. I like passion, but there needs to be some perspective too.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. No, I agree with you 100%
but I would point out that Dean hasn't really been bloodied - and the thin-skinnedness applies to partisans of all the candidates - especially here at DU.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #65
69. Like I said, inexperience on both sides
From what I can tell the Clark and Kerry people are more experienced in politics, but we really haven't had a primary fight since '92 so everyone is out of practice. '96 was Clinton's second term. and '00 was Gore beating the holy hell out of Bradley in every state. It was nasty for a little bit at the beginning but never close.

I think a lot of the really vocal Dean backers have never been behind a candidate before and have been stunned that other people don't see their man the same way.

And I'm not sure Dean himself has enough scar tissue. Clinton's biggest advantage in my mind was that he was defeated when he ran for governor the second time. He had tasted defeat and was experienced with the attacks.

Scar tissue is very important in politics.
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #62
88. Yeah. Like Al Gore, Bruce Babbit and Paul Simon. (nm)
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #88
95. I meant at the grassroots level
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 04:49 PM by theboss
I don't think Al Gore is whining about how mean Dean is being treated.
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TexasSissy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
64. McCain & Dukakis said the same thing,,,,,
when they were running lead, early campaigns.

As far as attacks, no one has attacked the other candidates more than Dean has. They're not really attacks, you know. It's pointing out what's wrong with the other candidates, in comparison with what's right about yours.

Exception: I didn't see that recent ad about Dean with Osama bin Laden. So that may be an attack; I don't know since I haven't seen it. BUt, it SHOULD be pointed out that what Dean says are the reasons he should be voted for NOW have not ALWAYS been his positions on issues, and that he's skirting the truth in saying so. "I've always been against the Iraq War." Well, nnnnnn, hmmmmm.....n'sorta yes, sorta no. He backed a resolution authorizing Bush to decide, ALL BY HIMSELF W/O CONGRESS, when and whether to bomb Iraq w/o U.N. support. I don't know if I care that much, but that becomes an issue BECAUSE HE'S MADE HIS POSITION ON THE IRAQ WAR A FRONT AND CENTER ISSUE OF HIS CAMPAIGN. So it's the DUTY of the other candidates to point out untruths or inconsistencies.

I support Clark. Was it an attack for Dean to imply that Clark is not a Democrat? Well, Clark wasn't always registered a Dem., I guess,.....it's fair game to point out Clark's political background. Was it an attack for Dean to say that Clark supported the Iraq War when he didn't? You be the judge. But you don't hear the Clark supporters whining about it, even though it was an UNTRUE statement. But that's politics.
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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
67. To answer your questions...
Do you anti-Dean partisans really think all of us Dean supporters are morons? Do you think we are supporting Dean out of some mass delusion, and not a well-thought rationale? Do you really think we are incapable of reason - and ability to see spin from truth? And why, finally, have your candidates been unable to build the same kind of momentum and teflon as Dean?

No, I certainly do not think Dean's support comes from morons, and I respect anyone here who supports him enough to think that you all have perfectly good, reasonable logic behind your opinion.

One thing I do notice is that right after Wesley Clark declared his candidacy (which is about when I started reading this board), it seemed that all the talk was about him. It was as if he was a god walking... the answer to everyone's fondest hopes... the one who could beat Bush.

OK, that's cool. Enthusiasm is great and motivation and optimism is most emphatically a plus. But now that Gore has thrown his endorsement to Dean, I am seeing the same kind of explosion of support for Dean. Now Dean is a god walking.

I am really glad to see so many candidates in the running because I see people who are bringing issues into the discussion that otherwise would not be heard.

In terms of defeating Bush, Democrats have strong ammunition... the war, the economy, the attacks on our constitution, Bush's own sorry personal record, and on and on. But I'm worried. I think we can beat Bush and get the nation going in a different direction from the one it's been taking since Reagan and maybe even somewhat before him. I think that can be done by hearing more from Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley-Braun, Dennis Kucinich, and even from John Kerry.

I think that if what we're interested in doing is simply getting rid of Bush, that's all we'll do. That's certainly a fine goal and I'm not knocking it. But I just think we can do more than that. I think we can not only get rid of Bush, but at the same time we can lead the country away from greed, from throwing our weight around all over the world, from me-first-ism, and from a lot of other things that aren't good for any of us.

It's that old thing about shall we model by force of example or by example of force. I vote for force of example, I think we need to take a look at the kind of example we offer to the world, and I really don't hear Dean speaking to the kinds of things I'd hope a candidate (especially one running against Bush because Bush makes some things that are wrong so obvious) would speak to.

BTW, as for numbers, look back over the past four or so months at the numbers. Numbers come and go. A lot can still happen, I think. OK?

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Justice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
68. Once I Decided to Open Up Your Post Even With the Very
Charged "anti-dean partisan" heading, I saw that the post itself was actually sincere, and most of the discussion very good.

I share the sentiments so eloquently expressed by cognito in post 24 and Tom Rinaldo in post 57, and I will admit that for certain dean supporters who are particularly intolerant of another viewpoint - post #48 by Purity of Essence.

I have really tried to open up to Dean because of his poll numbers and I will support him in the GE if he is the nominee.

I don't think he has the best chance of beating Bush. As Clinton always said, elections are about the future, not about the past. In my view, people want solutions to getting out of Iraq, they want to restore some semblance of safety and believe we are prepared to defend ourselves without being arrogant. For me, Clark is that solution - I can see a path toward an improved world with Clark. I don't see that Dean has that ability/experience.

I really don't like it when Dean wrongly says Clark supported the war, then complains that is he wrongfully accused of waffling.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #68
87. thanks
I can appreciate your position. I think (from my perspective) there is some room to debate Clark's position on the war at various points in time (Clark himself has said he stumbled out of the gate) - but personally I really like Clark tremendously. He brings some very strong credentials to the table - that are a perfect compliment to the credentials Dean brings to the table. I do have some concerns about Clark and answering questions straight - but I think he's still just adjusting to the process. I see wisdom in Dean for seeking Clark's advice well before Clark decided to run. I've said before I would really like to see a Dean/Clark ticket - as I think the combination would be very potent. However, politics is politics I guess - and they are all playing to win.

Anyhow, thanks for not taking my post as flame-bait - I truly believe we need to find our common ground amongst the candidates and figure out ways to channel our synergies into victory in 2004. I think all of our candidates have very strong points - for me Dean epitomizes leadership, and is doing what needs to be done to become President.

People are not "owed" the Presidency - Presidents make themselves, and I truly believe Dean is on the path to victory in that regard.

Time will tell.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #87
91. Thank you also
For establishing a positive tone to this discussion right out of the gate. It is a real relief to participate in a truly open discussion about candidates and campaigns here for a change.
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
70. "Anti-Dean partisans"? Will that choice be included on the primary ballot
or should we continue to compare and contrast the differences of each candidate?

Dean suppporters are not morons and supporters of other candidates are not necessarily "anti-Dean partisans".

I'm a "Kerry partisan" therefore I am anti- Dean, Gephardt, Clark etc.

IMO, a conversion of the solidly committed Dean corps here at DU would be a nearly impossible task. Many of the threads here which point out some of the Doctor's shortcomings, are for the recruitment of the undecideds.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
74. I think there are a lot of Dean supporters who are ignorant
I have a neighbor who's very much for Dean. But he has no idea what Dean's policies really are! He thinks Dean is going to deliver significant changes. In fact, the platform he thinks is Dean's is actually Kucinich's, but when I try to explain that he gets annoyed with me: he knows that can't be true; Kucinich is a far-left loony. Dean is the one who's going to deliver healthcare, cut the war budget, end the drugs war, etc.

So is he a 'moron'? No. But he is deluded. He's been sold a bill of goods by Media Inc. and Dean's mendacious campaign and he thinks voting for Dean will produce a different effect than it actually will.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #74
82. In the case of Dean delivering significant changes, your
neighbor is right. It may not be the scope of changes Kucinich supporters want, but there will be changes because Dean will be a force that can deliver them. Of all the candidates, he is the one who stands out as being able to deliver. Promising changes are one thing, but to be able to drive them through a conservatively dominated Congress will take a smart and forceful guy like Dean to do so.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #82
105. I think you must have mis-read what I wrote.
Because my neighbor is NOT right. Dean is NOT planning to deliver universal non-profit healthcare, he's NOT planning to cut the war budget, he's NOT planning to end the drugs war, and he's not planning to do a lot of other things my neighbor thinks he is either.

But the fact that YOU TOO seem to be ignorant about this more or less makes my point.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
77. A good example of how animosity is started
Look at the the "Anti Dean Movement Underway" thead which finally spawned a "Stop Dean Movement: a Dean supporter trick" or some other such title.

In the original thread someone stumbled onto a "Stop Dean" Yahoo Club and posted about it. Next thing you know accusations started flying there that the Clark campaign was behind it. Direct accusations that Clark operatives were to blame, point blank with no proof. Anyone can start a Yahoo Club in 10 mins or less and I proved it there by the way. This is a big country, there are thousands of Yahoo Clubs, dozens of new ones everyday. It's a free country. Suddenly it was all part of a conspiracy against Dean led by Clark operatives.

After enough of that some Clark supporter got fed up and started the reverse spin thread. It was oh so predictable. There it all is in a nutshell.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
78. Joe Trippi
will not be on the ballot. That is who is doing a good job in Dean's campaign.

Dean is mediocre at best.
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Scoopie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
79. Morons, no.
Delusional, yes.
Look... do I have to shout it through the rooftops?
Dean is NOT appealing to anyone but very partisan Democrats - which, unfortunately is good for the primaries, but is HORRIBLE for the general election.
Bush will sop your guy up with a buscuit in the South and will cancel your collection plates in the Heartland.
I'm an Independent and, if the goal is to beat Bush, we cannot have someone up there who looks like he's going to explode every time he's criticized. Bush remains pretty calm (all-be-it most of that is because he has no clue he's being slammed. He's an imbecile).
I'm sure Dean has his positive points, but they don't translate well.
And - while my next comment may be mush for this group since you follow politics so closely, I'm going to say it anyway: Dean doesn't LOOK presidential and, I'm sorry guys, but that appeals to some voters in the General Election. It's the truth and we must deal with it. Dean looks, as one of my co-workers just this very day said, like a "goober." He doesn't have presence unless he's yelling. That WILL NOT translate well in the general election, either.
Oh - and my friend - she's voting for Clark because "he's a babe and a hero and I'd feel safe under him." Maybe her view is simplistic, but this IS America we're talking about here.
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #79
85. IMO, that's just about it in a nutshell. Good post, Scoopie. Welcome to DU
:hi:
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cthrumatrix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #79
96. I'm sure Gore thought who was the "most capable" before endorsing Dean
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
93. Answers:
Do you anti-Dean partisans really think all of us Dean supporters are morons?

No.

Do you think we are supporting Dean out of some mass delusion, and not a well-thought rationale?

Mass delusion? No. A not well though out rationale? Yes.

Do you really think we are incapable of reason - and ability to see spin from truth?

No. However, the capability of reason and the inability to see spin from truth are not the same thing.

And why, finally, have your candidates been unable to build the same kind of momentum and teflon as Dean?

Because democrats have a long and distingusihed legacy of backing the wrong horse, getting excited for the wrong reasons, believing elections are won and lost of reasons they're not, funadmentally underestimating the opposition, and making assumptions in primary season that have little or no bearing on the general election. Might does not make right. Many of the candidates who would probably make the best presidents are frequently the worst politicians, and many of the best politians are frequently the worst presidents. Howard Dean is an outstanding politician.
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thinkahead Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #93
98. I would disagree with your last point
I don't see Dean as a great politician. I think he is a decent politician. "Straight shooters" are never great politicians, because they are always eating their own words, or defending them. Dean's teflon stems from his supporters not letting others get away with twisting Dean's words out of context.

Dean has a great record as an executive which is what has drawn me to him, and makes me believe he would be a superb President, especially for these times. His leadership skills are second to none - and he has shown that he can adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. These are all traits of great leaders.

As far as politicians go, John Kerry is a great politician. Dick Gephardt is a great politician. Dean. not so much - so it's a good thing he has such a strong base of support.

Al Gore also was not such a good politician - but he would have made a fine President. Unfortunately, Gore had too many handlers trying to smooth over his political image - and it came back to haunt him.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-16-03 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #98
106. That's well argued... I think you make some good points.
Edited on Tue Dec-16-03 08:21 PM by Selwynn
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