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Howard Dean redux

DCblogger's picture

Susie tells us that Howard Dean is seriously thinking about running again. So, if Howard Dean or anyone close to him is reading this, here is my advice.

Don't go to Iowa.

Go to New Jersey.

The Democrats have clearly decided to cut off Barbara Buono. Go to New Jersey, take your DFA organization with you and campaign your heart for her and any down ballot Democrat who wants your support. If she prevails against Christie you will have helped to take down the Republican's best prospect for 2016 and demonstrate your continuing popular appeal and political muscle.

After that target some key races in 2014, not just in Iowa and NH, but anywhere you think that you can make a difference. Show that you are still a winner.

Or, burn your bridges and go Green. Now you will have to reach out to Jill Stein and other former Green Party Democrats to see if they are receptive. I have no idea about what sort of reception you would get. But if you are to do this, it will have to be all or nothing, and you will need to take your DFA organization with you. And once again, you would have to spend all of 2013 and 2014 campaigning for Green Party candidates, demonstrating your commitment to the party and your ability to deliver the vote.

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par4's picture
Submitted by par4 on

Fuck Howard and every other Democrat in this country, and the jack-offs that keep voting for these criminals.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

that Governor Dean is not a "lefty," LOL!

All he's done since he ran in 2004, is support one DLC and neoliberal policy after the other, both under Bush and the President.

Heck, I just can't imagine that "left activists" would be sucked in again. (I supported him over the other pathetic choices: John "I Don't Believe In Redistribution" Kerry, the ultra right-winger from Missouri Gephardt, etc.--but hey, look at the lousy field that year.)

He is only marginally to the left of the DLC/Third Way/New Dem/No Labels ideology. And we know this camp will be represented in the 2016 cycle.

Now, if "Dominionism" becomes an issue, he would certainly have an advantage. Dean, like Obama, Rev Wright, Barry Lynn of Americans United For Separation Of Church And State, and "moi" are at least affiliated with the most left church denomination. (This may be one of the only issues that I've been in agreement with PBO.)

But from what I'm hearing on XM Radio, it would not surprise me completely if there is a challenge from the left. The field would start out so overwhelming right-wing, neoliberal and corporatist, if there isn't a challenge, we may as well all go home--or toss a coin to see if a Dem or a Repub wins.

I have a couple of ideas along the lines of "what" the left should look for in their primary challenge candidate, to post later.

I suspect that this may all be a trial balloon on Dean's part. But many activists who were loyal to him have not forgotten that he literally left his own organization (DFA) to be run by his Brother, Jim Dean. Don't think memories are that short!

Or, at least, I hope not. ;-)

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

all for HD to run again with the machine he built if he can find any of it. I'm for as many so called demodogs running against one another as possible and just maybe it will bring the demo party down. Then again I'll be voting Green from now on so I really don't care what happens to either party and change has to start somewhere so why not vote for a party that like Main Street.

I've think I've have talked my conservative neighbors into voting Green, their all blue collar and have woke up to the fact that neither party works for them. Go figure.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

regarding wanting "primary challengers."

My only reservation about HD (whom I did support when he ran, but also "thought" he was liberal--and guess what--he's not, LOL!) is that he might "co-opt" the so-called left nominating someone who is much more than "marginally left."

OTOH, last time I checked, in a democracy, anyone who cares to run, should have the right to do so.

So in that vein, I guess--"The more, the merrier." ;-)

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I don't know--I'm real leery of Dean, now. I was one of those "idiots" that got writer's cramp churning out "handwritten" letters for his 2004 campaign, LOL! (Just to find out that he's really a fiscal conservative). But I don't dislike him on a personal level.

Anyway, love the 12-Word Platform.

Wondered--if you should revise it, would you want to include some kind of "trade protection" plank? Or, is that included in "a jobs guarantee"?

And how 'bout a minimum guaranteed income for all (above poverty level)?

[I believe that one of the "regulars" here--just can't remember who it was, right now--suggested this recently.]

For sure, it's as "well put" a twelve words as I've seen!

Submitted by lambert on

.... a guaranteed annual income.

And I wonder also about debt related points, as substitutes for or in addition to: A debt jubillee, for example.

Submitted by lambert on

... and gave him a little money, if you can believe it, at a fundraiser.

I wanted to talk to him about electronic voting machines, and made my pitch to a staffer who was trailing behind him, a couple yards. And Dean turned right around and said "That's very important!"

So we know at least that Dean can pick up a voice (my voice is soft) in a noisy bar from six feet away, and react to it.

Now, I don't remember what he said, and I'm a good deal more realistic in my appreciation of the Democratic Party and its politicians today than I was then. But nevertheless I think it's a good thing that Dean can actually listen and react -- has anybody heard of a similar episode with Obama? And I think if there were to be a "happy warrior" insurgent campaign in the Democratic Party, Dean has the stones and the personality for it, and could even have "the fire in the belly." I won't ever vote for a Democrat again*, and I'll chew his ankles as much as necessary, which would be a lot, but he could run an interesting campaign.

* Unless he endorses the 12-word platform, of course. I'd vote for anybody who did that!

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Pretty persuasive argument, Lambert. It is encouraging that Governor Dean displayed that degree of engagement (many pols wouldn't have, IMO).

Frankly, I like Dean's blunt style. I am so tired of the usual Dem Pol and their constant "parsing of words."

Hey, if ANY candidate of ANY party endorsed your 12-Word Platform (present version or revised), AND I COULD BELIEVE THAT THEY WERE SINCERE--I would vote for them in a heartbeat.

Guess we can dream. ;-)


As an aside, don't despair Correntians. Mr. A heard earlier today that the "liberal" icon--Senator Amy Klobuchar--is making the rounds in Iowa this week (Harkin's steak fry?).

Just what we need, LOL!

Submitted by Hugh on

A vote for any Democrat or any Republican under any circumstances is a vote for more of the same evil we live under now.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Roaches go in but they don't come out. And I agree with John Oliver on The Daily Show. There must be a ban on talking about 2016 until 2016.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

I never liked Howard dean and like him even less after 2004. "Oh", you'll say, "it was that big deal over the scream, wasn't it?"
No, actually, I just never liked him-ever. I can't see average working people voting for him. He doesn't resonate with them. I'm not sure what fire he had in his belly but i suspect it's heartburn. And it was during his tenure as head of the DNC that we got Obama. Now, you might think Obama was forced on him or he was deceived. Either way, he just looks out of his depth where cut throat politics is concerned and his message magic doesn't extend beyond the deaniacs.
So, go ahead and waste your precious time on him. I'm sure the Obama backers would like nothing better as they line up their ducks to nominate Obama's successor, Banker Toe sucker number 2.
As for Hillary, I really wish she would focus Democrarts' attention on the here and now by bowing out of the 2016 race in 2013. Holding out some kind of implicit assumption at she is going to run is doing enormous damage. It's making everyone sit on their anger and wait. Bad, bad, bad.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Whatever one thinks (or thought) of Howard Dean, I could never figure out how on earth anything "negative" was made of "the scream." At least, not if viewed in the proper context.

So, I appreciate the segue and opportunity to address the infamous "Dean Scream."

At one time, I watched all the Sunday Talk Shows--including Chris Wallace's show on Fox News (Fox News Sunday?--sorry, can't remember, for sure).

Don't know about today, but during the 2004 election cycle, Mara Liasson was NPR's national political correspondent, and also the representative of the "putative left" on Fox News Sunday.

I don't have time to search for a video (if one exists), but I remember so clearly hearing her express her amazement at the absurd "ruckus" made over the pep talk that he gave, which ended in the infamous scream.

Liasson was at the Dean event on caucus night in Iowa in 2004, and even recorded it.

She mentioned that there was an unusual circumstance with the microphones, which grossly amplified Dean's voice and scream (on the video). But that if you were actually in the room at the time, his pep talk didn't come across at all the way it did on the video that went viral.

And as far as the context of "the scream," as Liasson stood in the room with literally hundreds of supporters, including many college students who had converged in Iowa from all over the US to knock on doors for Dean, she found nothing "untoward or unhinged" about the candidate's pep talk to his fervent (yet discouraged) supporters.

She said that she was literally stupefied when she later saw what the Cable News networks were doing with the "distorted" video.

Here's an account which backs up Liasson's recollection of events (remember--she was there and recorded the campaign pep rally).

You've seen the clip. . . . Dean is addressing campaign supporters after he lost the Iowa party caucuses in January. He's screaming for no apparent reason, practically shrieking, ticking off the states where he's vowing to continue the race. His face is red, his voice breaking. He looks deranged. It's a portrait of a man out of control. It's documentary evidence that Dean lacks the temperament for high office.

The Dean Scream footage takes a man who was acting reasonably and ... transforms him into a lunatic.

In fact the Dean Scream was a fraud, probably the clearest instance of media assassination in recent U.S. political history.

[My Words: The worst and most blatant that I've witnessed in my lifetime.]

Last year, a young cable news producer attended one of our twice-yearly Ethics Institutes at Washington and Lee University, in which students and journalists gather to discuss newsroom wrongdoing. He brought two clips.

The first was the familiar pool footage of Dean in Iowa. The candidate filled the screen, no supporters were visible. Crowd noise was silenced by the microphone he held, which deadened ambient sounds. You saw only him and heard only his inexplicable screaming.

The second clip was the same speech taped by a supporter on the floor of the hall. The difference was stunning. The place was packed. The noise was deafening. Dean was on the podium, but you couldn't hear him. The roar from his supporters was drowning him out.

Dean was no longer scary, unhinged, volcanic, over the top. He was like the coach of a would-be championship NCAA football team at a pre-game rally, trying to be heard over a gym full of determined, wildly enthusiastic fans. I saw energy, not lunacy.

The difference was context. As psychiatrist R.D. Laing once wrote: "We see a woman on her knees, eyes closed, muttering to someone who isn't there. Of course, she's praying. But if we deny her that context, we naturally conclude she's insane."

The Dean Scream footage that was repeatedly aired rests on a similar falsehood. It takes a man who in context was acting reasonably, and by stripping away that context transforms him into a lunatic.

But that clip was aired an estimated 700 times on various cable and broadcast channels in the week after the Iowa caucus. The people who showed that clip are far more technically sophisticated than I, and they had to understand how tight visual framing and noise-suppression hardware can distort reality.

True, some network news executives commented afterward that perhaps the footage was overplayed and offered the bureaucrat's favorite bromide, that hindsight is 20/20. But the media establishment has never acknowledged this as a burning matter of ethical harm.

Although (as my posts indicate) I've VERY unlikely to support Governor Dean as a Presidential candidate again, I have long chaffed at the injustice that he suffered.

My "guess" is that the Democratic Party "Elite" directed the ensuing media extravaganza, in a deliberate and obviously successful attempt to terminate his candidacy.

Just one more reason that I no longer trust the Democratic Party Establishment.

sj's picture
Submitted by sj on

The Democratic Party elite no doubt benefited from that media assassination. But corporate media benefitted even more. Just one month before, Dean had made public his intention to break up the media conglomerates. Even I knew that bit of indiscretion was going to cost him dearly.That was one situation where he should have kept his plans to himself.

Although, at the same time, I find his comparative lack of guile to be really admirable.

Submitted by lambert on

Both on Dean's comparative lack of guile, and on the "harm" done.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

But should begin at: You've seen the clip. . . .

And goes through final sentence
: But the media establishment has never acknowledged this as a burning matter of ethical harm.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

According to a Julie Mason interview with David Catanese of the "Run 2016" blog--either the Dem Party (or the Clintons) appear to have "put the quietus on" Howard Dean's brief run for President.

Apparently, Dean showed up in Iowa, and instead of talking about running--says he supports Hillary.

How's that for a quick "turnaround," LOL?

(Which may very well be for the best. Dean may not be as "corporatist," but he is a "centrist" and a fiscal conservative. So, at best, his run could have served to simply co-opt an "actual" progressive/liberal candidate from considering a run.)