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Friday, June 10, 2005
 
The Last Word On Dean - For This Week Anyway...
by Cordeiro
I'm not piling on. Really I'm not.

Ok. Maybe I am.

The Jackass Company (aka Congressional and Senate Democratic Leaders) met with Howard "I Have A Scream" Dean on Capitol Hill yesterday. While I hesitate to define this meeting as a type of Woodshedding (as I doubt the Jackass Company capable of anything similar) surely it was their intent to bring Howie back on the reservation.

As it was, they emerged from said meeting unified in their message of the day: Change the Subject.

Some highlights:

I think we all understand what's happening with you all. The right wing has got the agenda moving. Fox [News Channel] and everybody's got the agenda. It's all about Howard Dean. You've bought into it." - Senator Dick Durbin
Excuse me, Dick. All we're doing here is quoting, verbatim, what your boy is spewing out there.
As all of you know, there isn't a single person, whether it's any of us in this room or Governor Dean or [Republican National Committee chairman Ken] Mehlman, that haven't misspoken.- Senate Minority Leader Dusty Harry
Umm, Harry, Howie didn't "mis-speak" anything. In fact he went on TV the next morning and defended his statements.
Members of Congress who sit there and kind of parse it for a week on end don't help. With all due respect, you don't hear our friends on the other side engaging in this sort of thing. They'll get back to the issues that people really care about. - Senator Christopher "Half-A-Waitress Sandwich" Dodd
Good point, Chris. We've learned that when your opponent is hanging himself, its best to get out of the way and feed him rope.

Here's a brief review of Howie's Recent High Points.

[Republicans] couldn't get this many people of color in a single room unless they invited the hotel staff to come in.

[The Republican Party] party is basically a white, Christian party.

Many of [the Republicans] have never worked an honest job in their lives.
Despite "Bella" Pelosi's insistence these comments were "taken out of context", I beg to differ.

There is no context which could make these comments appear to be mainstream. In other words, we couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.
7 Comment(s):
Thanks for the great posts guys. I followed up a little on my blog, basically wondering why everyone is suddenly proudly standing behind comments that just a few years ago would have brought shameful resignations. The Amnesty stuff fits right in here, as they seem proud of what they've done, not apologetic.
Now, don't get me wrong, I think the Democratic party definitely has its problems too. And now doubt, I wonder the intelligence behind bashing in one party while head of another.

But it's not like Republicans haven't said similarly bad things about the Democratic party being primarily made up of "ex-hippies" and "tree-huggers". Besides, isn't the Republican Party made up primarily of White Christians? And are most Republican leaders really self-made men in the business world or from good family connections?
Let's be honest: Picking on Dean is easy. It plays really well into what the national image of Dean has been since the Iowa concession speech. And it provides the Republicans with something to point at and say "At least we're not doing that" amid all the slip-sliding they've been doing in the polls these days.

In reality, though, Howard Dean is merely throwing red meat at the Democrats. This is what party chairs do; they're cheerleaders trying to gear up support and funds. And so far he's done OK even if he is making news for his outrageous comments (the downside of having a well-known public figure as your chairman).

One point of contention, however: Now that the scream speech has been debunked, isn't it time we stopped the namecalling? Pick on what he says all you want, but let's leave the names behind.
Debunked? Puh-lease!

Sorry, pal. I actually saw Howie's meltdown as it unfolded. You can try and blame it on the crowd, the microphone, or the media, but I know what I saw. More than that, I know what I heard - and it was eerily similar to the sound of a muppet being strangled.

I'm all for Howie's continued efforts as the DNC chair. Yes, it is easy to take shots at him, but that's only because he makes himself such an easy target.

If you want to act as a Dean apologist, you might try and defend some comment other than his scream. That speaks for itself.
First, let me say that I'm not just some Dean apologist. As lame as it sounds, I had to do a 50-page research project on media coverage of the Dean scream in college.

When I say debunked, I mean the speech wasn't what it was played up to be. Journalists at the scene actually reported that Dean hadn't lost a step and that his demeanor was invigorating. In fact, you are the first person I've ever encountered who says that they (a)were present at the time of the scream and (b) could hear anything over the crowd noise. Tom Harkin, who was standing right next to him, said he couldn't hear anything.

The point is: the media screwed up in that case, painting it as some sort of meltdown when it was anything but. But you don't have to take my word for it:

An admission of guilt from CNN

Ethics Scoreboard Story

Ithaca College study
While I admire your research abilities, I'm not going to concede your point. Howie went up on that state and had the biggest political meltdown in recent memory. He went from a headline to a punchline faster than any other Democratic presidential candidate.

And with Al "Slim Shady" Sharpton in the mix, that took some serious work.

You can try to pin the cause of his downfall to any number of different culprits, but remember this - Dean wasn't giving that speech for the Iowa crowd - he was giving it to a national audience via the cameras, and the cameras caught his moment.

There is a fine line between being a cheerleader and becoming a laughingstock. Howie blew past that line in Iowa and hasn't looked back since.
Toasted:

So what was the conclusion of your 50 page research project?

(1) The predominately conservative/right-leaning main-stream-media focused on this issue so as to destroy a potentially easy win for the incumbent president.

(2) The left-leaning MSM obeyed orders from Karl Rove to scuttle Dean's presidential hopes, and willingly complied since they adore Rove.

(3) The left-leaning MSM knew Dean had no prayer of winning against Bush and thus stuck the proverbial fork in him, and he was done.
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