Sunday, May 22, 2005

''Give ‘Em Hell Howard!''

Let the punditry begin: "In his interview on Meet the Press this morning, Howard Dean was his usual feisty, combative self. I’ve never been a “Deaniac,” particularly, but I’ve got to say that I admire a guy who doesn’t back down in the face of bullies, whether those bullies happen to be Tom DeLay, Dick Cheney, Bill Frist, or the right-wing media.

This morning, for instance, Russert hounded Dean relentlessly, as if Russert were reading from Karl Rove’s opposition research memos, trying to get Dean to back down from his statements about Republicans (”I hate…everything they stand for”), the corrupt Republican House Majority Leader (”I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence down there courtesy of the Texas taxpayers.”), etc. Here are a few highlights from “Meet the Press” this morning, as Dr. Dean demolishes the Republicans simply by speaking the truth:

“Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings….I don’t think we ought to be lectured to by Republicans who have got all these problems themselves.”

“This gentleman (Tom DeLay) is not an ethical person, and he ought not to be leading Congress, period. And it is endemic of what happens in Congress when one party controls everything.” Later, Dean added, “I don’t think it’s appropriate for Tom DeLay to be in Congress, Tim. I really don’t.” You can say that again!

“Look, we’re not going to stoop to the kind of divisiveness that the Republicans, are doing and we’re not going to stoop to the kind of abuse of power, but we are going to be tough as nails. This is a fight for the soul of America between the Republicans and Democrats.”

“I don’t hate Republicans as individuals. But I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country. I really do. I hate deficits…I hate the dishonesty….the insinuation that the president continues to make to this day that [Saddam Hussein**] had something to do with supporting terrorists that attacked the United States. "

**Dr. Dean mistakenly said “Osama bin Laden” here, although it was clear from the context exactly who he was talking about. This just goes to show you how much this Administration’s conflating of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden has confused the American people!

“I’m not going to be lectured as a Democrat–we’ve got some pretty strong moral values in my party…in contradiction to the Republicans…we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night. Our moral values say that people who work hard all their lives ought to be able to retire with dignity. Our moral values say that we ought to have a strong, free public education system so that we can level the playing field.”

“I don’t know anybody who thinks abortion is a good thing. I don’t know anybody in either party who is pro-abortion. The issue is not whether we think abortion is a good thing. The issue is whether a woman has a right to make up her own mind about her health care, or a family has a right to make up their own mind about how their loved ones leave this world. I think the Republicans are intrusive and they invade people’s personal privacy, and they don’t have a right to do that.”

“I am sick of being told what I and what I’m not by other people. I’ll tell you what I am. I’m a committed Christian. And the fact of whether I go to church or not, people can say whether I should or shouldn’t, I worship in my own way. It came out in the campaign that I pray every night. That’s my business. That’s not the business of the pharisees who are going to preach to me about what I do and then do something else.”

“I’m a congregationalist. People say, “Well, those are liberals.” Well, since when do Christians get tagged liberal or conservative? You either believe in the teachings of Jesus or you don’t. I do. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. But I don’t go around wearing it on my sleeve.”
This is great stuff, especially for all those right-wingers who just love to stereotype Howard Dean - and all Democrats, actually - as a bunch of crazed, immoral, tax-loving, bible bashing, religion hating, unAmerican losers.

Well, sorry to disappoint all you right wingers out there, but we Democrats and progressives are the true Americans, fighting for real American (and Virginia) values like ethics, honesty, the Constitution, freedom, personal responsiblity and patriotism. Maybe what you don’t like is that we stand for “liberty and justice for all,” not just “tax breaks and favors for rich corporations and special interests”

By the way, we know that you right wingers would like nothing better than for Democrats and progressives to sit down and shut up, but that’s not going to happen. So sorry. Instead, what we’re going to do is follow the lead of Howard Dean (and Wesley Clark, and of course Harry Truman) and “give Republicans hell!” Oh yeah, and we’re going to “raise some Kaine” while we’re at it, too."-from the Raising Kaine blog, in support of Democrat Tim Kaine in the Virginia governor's race.

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