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HOWARD DEAN’S BIG FAT MOUTH
By Doug Krieger
“The only time I open my mouth is when I exchange feet . . . man, we’ve gone from Deep Throat to Dean’s throat in space of one week!”
These and other hilarious comments have been made of hysterical doctor from Vermont of late who, as DNC Chairman, is determined to make wedge politics a thing of present Democratic Party in its attempt to widen already polarized American electorate.
When likes of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank say that Dean’s remarks regarding people like Tom DeLay are “out of line” and that Dean doesn’t represent them when it comes to such blather, then you know that Dems. have actually elected likeness of their national chair to match their mascot.
Now, let’s probe wisdom of this lightning rod of rhetoric and why all fuss—especially concerning his latest gaff.
First of all, Howard Dean “hates Republicans.” (“I hate Republicans and everything they stand for,” former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean told Democrats gathered at a Manhattan hotel, in quotes picked up by New York Daily News. Jan. 29, 2005)
Then after hating this despicable lot he determines that this much hated Republican Party is primarily (like himself) a bunch of “white Christians” (“pretty much a white, Christian party.” June 8, 2005).
HISPANICS ARE PART OF THE CONSPIRACY
Now, it only gets better . . . i.e., it’s time to exchange feet again! When interviewed by Matt Lauer on NBC Today Show (June 8, 2005), Lauer asked what Dean thought about 40% of Hispanics voting for Bush in last election. Mind you, this question was fast on heels of comments Dean made about Republican Party being taken over by Christian conservatives. Dean continued his foot work when he reinforced his “White Christian” remark in response to Lauer’s questioning by including Hispanics in on “conspiracy” of “White Christians.”
Dean continued to defend his remarks before Lauer . . .
“‘By a series of recent initiatives Republicans have transformed our party into political wing of Christian conservatives.’ That was written by former Senator John Danforth, one of most respected people and Episcopalian minister. I think it is true that Republicans are in fact a largely white Christian party. There’s nothing matter with that, I’m a white Christian myself, but they don’t include other folks and this is a very diverse country. In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to use other kinds of people as scapegoats in order to win elections.”
So, it’s O.K. that Republicans have had their party transformed by Christian conservatives (“ . . . there’s nothing matter with that . . . (and, oh, yes) . . . I’m a white Christian myself”) . . . but Dean points out that while this transformation takes/took place by these conservative Christians, they, nevertheless, exclude “other folks” (e.g., gays, blacks, etc.) from “their party.”
Furthermore, these “white Christians” scapegoat these NarDoWells. Interestingly enough, according to CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll data, 82 percent of self-described Republicans are white Christians - but so are 57 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of all Americans. Note: The actual survey can be found HERE. And, all this one week after Dean remarked that many Republicans “have never made an honest living in their lives.”
LET’S HAVE A GROUP HUG FOR DEAN
As you can imagine, all this white, fundamentalist Christian bashing (with Hispanics thrown in as well for target practice), really has provided a great deal of “fun and games” by Democrat watchers . . . actually, guys like Rush Limbaugh have come up with a bizarre explanation for all this regal rhetoric: Hillary Clinton looks moderate compared to Dean and, therefore, is more electable!
However, when your “point man” starts to take severe flack (self-induced) it’s time for a “group hug” . . . let’s circle wagons. Thus, was a Thursday evening bash planned to honor man with golden tongue.
Party faithful will extol gift that keeps on giving . . . or does it? As it turns out, big time “donors are upset that DNC under Dean's stewardship is falling behind in fund-raising, failing to appeal to party high-rollers. In first quarter of this year, DNC raised $14.1 million, compared with $32.3 million by Republican National Committee.” (Boston Globe)
Howard appears to have caught focus of his party in more ways than one . . . and, though likes of Rush Limbaugh contend he speaks for soul of party (which may be correct), he certainly needs to be more coy about his party’s intentions . . . badmouthing heartlanders, Red States, and feigning to be both a “white Christian” and, at one time even a “Red Neck,” smacks of a stupid, disingenuous, political numbskull whose tour of duty is about to end real soon (probably for financial reasons as well).
WHAT’S THE REAL STORY HERE?
Dabbling in political analysis, especially when it comes to “Christian” comments like those of Dean, that border on blatant racism and extreme stereotyping, is not exclusive purview of secularists . . . so, let’s have a gander. First of all, Dean’s remarks truly do reflect his party’s philosophical core and anxieties. The intensity of polarization between secularists and so-called conservative Christians who have seemingly taken over Republican Party (in appearance only) grows more intense each day.
Public articulation of this national polarization has grown to such a pitch that this type of irrational exuberance is not only tolerated, it is seen by many Democratic faithful as a breath of fresh air! Why not “tell it like it is” . . . we’ve nothing to lose, since we’ve little to gain (satisfied as we are with fringe of Americana Blue and all else red).
Dean’s remarks are so “out there” (though they assuredly do not distort facts . . . i.e., conservative Christians have literally taken over “external” rein of Republican apparatus), that there’s got to be something else going on here.
There really is a deep seated fear, even trauma, afflicting scores of Americans who see in this “religious take over” of Republican politics, final “death throws” of secular state allegedly envisioned in Constitution. To them so politically frightened, there is but little hope left; thus, to “break out” in a frontal assault akin to Dean’s and simply go for broke is their only alternative . . . letting chips fall where they may.
To do and/or say nothing would be greatest of errors—for a future structured by fundamentalist Ayatollahs is not Hollywood and Broadway of Left . . . no, no, no . . . it is worst of worlds; one that would confine and consign American dream of expressive liberty for all to trash bin of deviant history.
OF GREEKS AND ROMANS (again!)