Mad How

Discussion in 'Politics' started by wonderwench, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. wonderwench
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    Mark Steyn's excellent analysis of Howard Dean's transformation from Dr. Bland to Mr. Angry. Neither personality is compelling to the moderate voters needed to win the election.


    Is this (to use a phrase America's headline writers have become suddenly fond of) Howard's end? A month ago, Dr Howard Dean was reckoned to have the Democratic presidential nomination locked up: he was set to win the Iowa caucuses tomorrow, the New Hampshire primary a week later, and he was cocky enough to have already moved on to courting the big Southern states. Instead, the former Vermont governor is stalled in a three-way tie in Iowa, and in New Hampshire the wacky general Wesley Clark is said to be rising fast while the Dean balloon slowly deflates.

    When precisely did the hot-air balloon receive the fatal prick? Was it when Al Gore decided to endorse Dean and thereby infected him with his own surefire losing streak? Was it when Dean pooh-poohed Saddam's capture and his rival Joe Lieberman said the Governor was living in his own "spider hole of denial"?

    Or is the real reason for the Governor's decline that even among Democrats there is a limited market for the ferocious anti-Bush anger Howard Dean tapped into so effectively last year? With his sleeves rolled up to his armpits and veins a-popping in his forehead, Dean has been urging Democrats to "take back your country". And for a while it worked. Six months ago, looking like a raging finger-puppet with a suit stuck on, he was raking in a huge pile of money from the Hollywood crowd and huge numbers of volunteers from young college kids he had improbably fired with a passion for politics.

    He was sold as this year's John McCain: the outsider with the independent streak. In 2000, McCain was like a coiled spring - that side of him the thin-skinned Dean does very well. But when you went to a McCain rally there would be tributes to veterans and the Senator would cast his appeal in the kind of language few politicians can use without embarrassment - calls to service, our country's noblest ideals, debts of honour to those who wore the uniform, etc.

    Dean, who got a deferment from Vietnam because of a bad back and then spent the next few months on a prolonged ski vacation in Aspen, can't match McCain's resume and doesn't try. When you go to a Dean angerthon, it's all negative: anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-rich, anti-tax cuts. And, in the end, when you've sated your angry base, the non-deranged members of the electorate generally want something positive, or at any rate a little less snarly. There is a world of difference between Clinton saying he feels your pain and Dean saying he feels your rage.

    What is mystifying to those of us who have been around Dean a while is that the Howlin' Howard of the past year bears no relation to the guy we thought we knew. From my perch in New Hampshire, I watched him across the river governing Vermont through the 1990s and, although he was certainly mean and arrogant, the chief characteristic of his political persona was its blandness.

    I like to listen to WDEV Radio Vermont when I am driving - it has great shows like Music to Go to the Dump By and the Old Squire, who does epic doggerel about the North Country weather. And for 10 years the absolute worst day in the WDEV calendar was when they'd pre-empt this fine line-up to go live to the Capitol in Montpelier for Governor Dean's State of the State Address. He would mumble through his script, sticking to the text, barely making eye contact; his forearms stayed clothed. But like a Vermont cow that has picked up BSE, Howard the Harmless Holstein has jumped the gate and turned into Mad How. (more)


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/.../ixop.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=9500
     
  2. jones
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    Why demonize Dean? its just dean. You should be more critical of Shrubs transformation from a 'humble' foreign policy before being elected, to an all out brawl in the mideast, fighting terrorism abroad. The planning of iraq war DID take place only days after taking office.
     
  3. wonderwench
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    Think again jonsie.

    The military is constantly planning strategy for a large variety of scenarios. That is part of military preparedness.

    I am thankful that Busy is combatting the Fundamental Extremist Islamic Jihad - and that the front of the war has moved from the U.S. back to the Middle East.
     
  4. wonderwench
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    And in response to your comment about demonizing Dean - he has done that all on his own. A message of Hate is all he has.
     
  5. Zhukov
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    I don't know how appropriate it is to bring this up and I don't know the full story behind his deferment, but if the army decides his back is bad enough they don't want him how is that his fault?

    That pretty much sums up why this guy is unelectable. He hasn't the temperment to hold the position of President.

    Yeah.....I don't know if you knew this, but terrorists flew a bunch of planes into the pentagon and WTC 1 and 2, killed a bunch of people, it was in all the papers...:rolleyes:
     
  6. jones
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    I was refering to the whitehouse. Im sure the military does do that. Like we need a plan to invade china but we arent going to do it within the next two years.

    Junior calls all regular White House strategy meetings "strategery" meetings in honor of Will Ferrell's portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live. :)

    Im busy exposing the Fundamental religious extremist group in our country. Um, that 2nd statement you made. Im not sure if you're talking about the war on terror or the iraq war, totally different things. Anyway, I still think 9/11 was preventable, and we've never really had alot of terrorism in this country> but now that we are using the Isreali policies for combating terror, Im expecting alot more of it, just like the isrealis. smart ass leaders.
     
  7. jones
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    Hate is not all dean has, thats just wrong. His anger is in response to the OVERWHELMING anger of the american people at this current administration.

    I don't back the guy really, of course i will vote for him, if i have no choice, because this is really the fork in the road peace/death.
    Im a kucinich fan, the END OF FEAR, the BEGINNING OF HOPE.
     
  8. jones
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    Um, didnt know if you knew this, was in the papers. Whitehouse started planning for invasion days after being appointed to office. Wonder why they chose to present the case for war in iraq so soon after 9/11. hmm.
     
  9. wonderwench
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    The American People to not harbor an OVERWHELMING anger towards the Bush Administration. That sentiment is mainly attributable to aging boomer lefties, brainwashed college students and the Dem Career Pol establishment.
     
  10. jones
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    Yes they do.
     

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