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Jerome has a great post on local reaction to Dean's tour of Western states. In Montana, the state party chair was running away until he heard Dean speak. Then he couldn't wait to get his picture taken with the chairman. In Utah, he gave a cogent and passionate defense of the Democratic Party's stance on abortion:

"I'm tired of Republicans telling us we're pro-abortion. I served on the board of Planned Parenthood for five years. I don't know anybody who's pro-abortion," he said. "Most people in this country would like to see the abortion rate go down. That includes Democrats and Republicans. The difference between the parties is that we believe a woman makes that decision about her health care -- and they believe Tom Delay makes it."

But my favorite was in Idaho, where he said this:

"We didn't quite win in Idaho the last time, but we're not quitting," he said. "People say, 'Why'd you come here? This is a Republican state,' but they're wrong.

"This is a libertarian area. We're going to win on a Western platform next time."

We're not going to win Idaho next time, on any platform. But we can start chipping away. A "Western platform" is the future of the Democratic Party, and one that I embrace to my very core -- fiscal and personal responsibility, rugged individualism, freedom to live one's life without government intrusion into the doctor's office or the bedroom. The intersection of libertarianism, good government, and economic populism.

It's good that Dean is preaching that gospel, and it's awesome that it's being well received in the West.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:42 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Idaho (none)
    Perhaps Dean did not specifically mean we're going to win Idaho, but rather the West more generally, or the whole presidential race, by running on this "Western" platform.
    •  An appeal to Hunter S. Thompsonite... (none)
      individuals. Who thrive on the wide open spaces way out in them thar hills.

      Good on ya, Mr. Dean!

      ...put your flags in the air and march them up and down you can live it up, live it up all over the town... - The Escape Club: Wild Wild West

      by rgilly on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:40:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good for Dean.... (none)
        taking his message and his presence to places like Idaho was exactly what we needed.
        •  I love that portal! We need one like it (none)
          for New England. I would work on it personally.

          Ken Mehlman is a lying sack of crap.

          by lecsmith on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:28:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I hate to bring up Biden (4.00)
          and make everyone cringe, but I recall a few days ago where Chris Matthews (?) asked Biden if he wished the Dems had a guy like Rove. Biden grinned and said yes.

          Well, the fact is I think just maybe we have in Dean a guy as canny and shrewd as Rove except (a) he works for the good guys and (b) isn't a lying, traitorous fat pig piece of s#!t

          Attack their strength: go to places like Idaho, Utah and Montana and chip away. It's not like the Ohio-Florida strategy worked last time!

          The other thing I think the Democrats need to do out West is effectively address illegal immigration. Matthews hit the nail on the head when he said the reason no one wants to address illegal immigration is because the Republicans want the cheap labor and the Democrats think they'll become Democratic voters. I don't know why the Democrats can't hammer this point on why the GOP won't protect the borders because the fatcats get rich off this cheap labor and tie it to the "outsourcing of America" theme. And as an aside, I do wish Democrats would stop running away from the issue and start looking rationally at the problem of illegal immigration. If our party platform honors the rule of law, why do we pussyfoot around the issue when illegal aliens come into the country? It's not racist to clamp down on this! This is a huge opportunity which Democrats fritter away because of the need to feel all PC.

          •  go after the employers (4.00)
            that should be the democratic angle on undocumented workers: take care of the problem at the source.  employers like tyson chicken are bringing people across by the truckload - literally.

            plus we also make sure the employers follow the law when it comes to minimum wage and workplace safety, with no prejudice as to complaints from undocumented workers.

            repeat after me:  if you won't get serious about the employers, you aren't serious about immigration.

            we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
            — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

            by zeke L on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:32:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  couldn't agree more (4.00)
              there is something inherently unethical and sleazy about corporate America's policies of bringing boatloads of illegal aliens across the border so that GOP bankrollers from the boardroom can build an addition on their ski house in Aspen.

              They dump these people on the local counties and states who end up subsidizing their medical care and education costs, while the workers themselves are marginalized and often exploited by their employers. So there is absolutely a way to frame this an ethical, humane and moral light, while still appealing to vast swaths of independent and Republican voters in Western states who bear the costs of our open borders problem.

              Real immigration reform is yet one more way to unite strange political bedfellows. Environmentalists are concerned about land use, over-suburbanization and effects on natural resources like water. So to are conservative Western voters.

              •  Make Corporations Pay Their Fair Share (none)
                This is just one plank in a platform of having corporations pay their fair share. One reason taxes are so high is because government is saddled with paying for what corporations should, but won't. When a corporation doesn't pay a living wage they are not paying their fair share to their. To cover this, we have all manner of governmental programs for the working poor.

                Republicans talk about cutting taxes as if they are too high. If you can't pay your taxes, either the taxes are too high or the wages are too low. Guess what? Taxes are not too high. Wages are too low.

                Every time someone talks about cutting taxes or tax relief that should be a signal to talk about wages, salaries and compensation in general. We should always make this point. If you are struggling to pay taxes, you aren't earning enough money. Only people who are being underpaid have a problem paying their taxes.

                The idea of cutting taxes should always be linked in the voters' minds to how much they deserve to be paid more and how much their company is screwing them.

                Liberal Thinking

                Think, liberally.

                by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 02:53:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Yes! YES! (none)
            Jobs are what this country needs and we need to get our manufacturing base back up.  The Democrats need to show how the leisure, hotel jobs created in the last two years are low wage jobs that the immigrants fill and the high wage, advanced shooling jobs aren't being created. Immigration should be part of a discussion on job creation.

            Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

            by hairspray on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:33:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  immigration (none)
            LOL cutting off the flow of illegal aliens does not constitute honoring the rule of law. anyway, what happened to ellis island? give us your weak your poor your huddled masses.

            China Land Area: 9,326,410 sq km  POP 1.3 Billion
            US      Land Area: 9,161,923 sq km  POP 0.3 Billion

            this country is practically empty.

            the republicans aren't the only ones who know illegal immagration is essential to short and long term economic strength. the democrats aren't stupid. but anyone who proposes cutting off illegal immigration is. we have a patchwork partially enforced border just to keep the flow at manageable levels.

      •  you missed the mark a little on that one (none)
        you must be like from New Jersey. ha ha. Hunter Thompson liked weapons. That is about as far as it goes.


        by seesdifferent on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:13:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We are the party of sportsmen (4.00)
      I'm willing to give up on gun control legislation if it helps bring the Mountain West into play.  

      We give up too much on the issue as a signifier compared to what we actually gain in crime reduction.  I spent a lot of time in 2004 talking to NE PA union men (many of whom lost their jobs due to outsourcing) who were down with the Dems on the whole economic package, but were seriously freaked out that we'd take their guns away.

      We are the party of personal privacy.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:42:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not simply personal privacy (none)
        Though I recognize that this is the current best effort to frame our approach in a soundbite.

        I think it's more effective to say that we're the party that supports the rights of the individual, not the state or the corporation.  Key among those rights, of course, is the right to privacy.


        I'm a pro-gun, pro-nuclear-power Reform Democrat.
        UUJN: Brother Venerable Katana of Mindful Forgiveness

        by AlphaGeek on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:47:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  against the corporation, sure (none)
          But we believe that government has a role to play in giving everyone the tools (public education, redistribution of income, affirmative action) so that where you're born does not limit your options in life.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:54:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (none)
            One of my historical heroes, Teddy Roosevelt, said it best:

            "Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense."...

            "We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less."

            "The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us."

            I didn't mean to imply that individual rights were necessarily in conflict with corporate aims or good government.  I recognize that many folks here are rabidly anti-corporate, but I'm not among them.

            It's a loser to emphasize programs instead of the impact they have.  It is far easier to appeal to the voter's sense of fairness and morality when you talk about how you're going to help people, and how this benefits society.


            I'm a pro-gun, pro-nuclear-power Reform Democrat.
            UUJN: Brother Venerable Katana of Mindful Forgiveness

            by AlphaGeek on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:49:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Liberty, not privacy (3.83)
          The right to privacy emerges from Liberty, along with other rights.

          And abortion isn't about "choice" (what a weak word!), or "privacy" (a legal framework), but about LIBERTY.

          The right to keep and bear arms isn't about militias, it's about Liberty.

          Et cetera.

          There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:54:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Right to Privacey........ (2.00)
          Is not in the Constitution. This is why Roe Vs. Wade is terrible law. Even though I am against Roe Vs. Wade, I would actually support a Right to Privacy Constitutional Admendment due to the technological advancements of the last fifty years.
          •  Well, the courts have interpreted such a right (none)
            although conservatives like Thomas claim it does not exist.  I agree that a constitutional amendment would be a good political move.
          •  right to privacy, you can find it.... (none)
            You really should read actual judgements instead of news releases about judgements.

            Amendment IX
            The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

            Amendment IV
            The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seize

            Amendment III
            No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

          •  The Right to Privacy Is More Fundamental (3.00)
            Nothing personal, but, as this is one of my hot buttons. . .

            The right to privacy is more fundamental than the Constitution. Everyone has a demonstrable right to privacy. Every two-year-old knows that they have a right to privacy and will announce it loudly if they need to.

            Anyone who claims that people don't have a right to privacy I will immediately make my slave. Without a right to privacy, what right do they have to prevent me from going into their house and searching through their papers and effects? (If you say this is trespassing, you have admitted my point.) Why shouldn't I be entitled to know all of the gory details of their life? They are suggesting that they have no right to hide anything from me, and if they claim that they have no such right I will certainly take advantage of them.

            People who think we have no right to privacy haven't thought it through--what this means to society, what it means to others, and very specifically what it means to them.

            As for Roe v. Wade, you are right. It is bad law. It's bad law not because it is wrong or because the Constitution doesn't guarantee a right to privacy, but because we didn't take the time to get it specifically past the legislature and the executive. We didn't make it so entrenched in people's moral values that it is unchallengeable.

            When 70% plus of Americans believe that a woman has a right to determine the medical procedures that happen to her, it should not be a problem to get the right of access to abortion written into the law. By relying on a court decision and not going through the whole political process those who favor fair treatment of women have not done enough to seal the deal.

            We should not be depending on this. We need to make the case clearly to everyone that abortion is just one special case of a more general principle that affects them personally--the right to privacy. Would we put someone in jail if they used a bullet to stop a robber in their house? No, because we understand that each person has a right to safety and to the quiet enjoyment of their home. But many people think that it's fine for someone to invade a person's body for months without permission. A woman's body belongs to her. It is more sacrosanct than her home. She should never be forced to give birth when she doesn't want to.

            For the same reason, it is not within the legitimate purview of the government to decide which drugs you can take. When it's your body, you have an unlimited right to use it as you see fit. By what right does anyone else tell you what to do? As an adult, you should not have to ask the government for a permission slip to take a drug you want to take.

            For the same reason, no corporation has any right to pollute your environment, to any extent whatsoever. To mediate your claim and that of many, many others with that corporation we need (and currently have) laws to regulate pollution. The law, legitimately, can require corporations to limit their pollutants to such a degree as to not materially harm you and others. In the absence of regulation, you have an absolute right to take these people to court for any amount, no matter how trivial the insult. It is not legitimate for the government to limit torts for this. To do so is to curtail your right to privacy.

            The problem is that many of our politicians, including many Democrats, don't think that the government should have any limitation on power. They think that any problem, no matter what, is something the government should solve. There are limits to the power of government and the U.S. government has crossed them.

            Democrats must come to terms with these issues. We must be for individual liberty, where it doesn't invade someone else's privacy or threaten imminent harm to another. We need to defend Roe v. Wade both as legitimate law based on a fair reading of the Constitution and as an application of the right of privacy independent of the Constitution. We need to be strong in our defense of the right to privacy and know its place. It is guaranteed most indirectly by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments (and extended to the states through the Fourteenth). But people need to understand it for a fundamental moral principle, not subject even to what is written into the Constitution or an individual law. It is much more basic than that.

            Liberal Thinking

            Think, liberally.

            by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 03:44:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Democrats in a soundbite (3.50)
          Democrats: The party of support and privacy.  We give you all the tools you need to succeed, and we stay out of your life.

          I'm a Democrat because of my beliefs. Democrats believe in economic, social, and moral responsibility. Republicans take risks with our future.

          by Katydid on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:00:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (4.00)
            I've been hoping for a while that Dean would swing this way.  

            With the GOP swinging ever more authoritarian and totally losing any cred about financial responsibility, the dems have the space to pick up BOTH the libertarians AND the fiscal conservatives.

            And having something of a libertarian streak myself, I wholeheartedly support it.

            A lot of western states ... Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, have been on the border in the last few elections as it is.  These are people who don't like big brother.

            I stole this sig from someone cleverer than me.

            by IdahoEv on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:21:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Dean You're Hearing (4.00)
              Is Vermont Governor Dean.  Vermont has an awful lot in common culturally with the mountain staets of the west.  (After all, it's our own New England scale mountain state!)  A place that has never been terribly wealthy, but where people have deep ties to the land and by hard work people make a living and get by, where they expect the government to spend their scarce tax dollars wisely and well, where the individual right to be left alone is central to the strong communities built on that premise.  Where principles of personal and civic responsibility are still thriving.
              •  Exactly the Point I Made to the New Chair (none)
                The new Montana Chair hadn't looked past the hype to where Dean had been Governor.  Tried to explain to him the points that you made.  Now that had a Paul like conversion and had his picture taken, he may begin to put two and two together.

                There are only two kinds of Montanans, those who love Montana and those who want to use Montana.

                by MontanaMaven on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 02:08:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  not quite... (none)
          not "against the corporation" but "make sure people have more rights than corporations", and "make sure that people get preferential treatment over corporations".

          Wouldn't it be great to have a President who did the right thing as the automatic choice instead of a grudging last resort?

          by DemInTampa on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 03:02:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  AMEN! (3.90)
        Seriously, it is time for the Dem party to drop the "gun control" issue.  First of all, it was never consistent with the party's support for personal liberty.  Second, it's just too late.  The genie is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back.  This country is awash in guns and if you criminalize them, you simply alienate all the people who resent you for criminalizing THEM.  This issue has never been a winner for the Dems and has, in fact, kept a lot of our natural allies in the West and in rural areas away.  We need them more than ever, so let's give them what they want -- more guns than they could ever possibly need.

        I believe strongly, in fact, that the left should be arming itself to the teeth.  It is dangerous, in the current political climate, for the right to be armed and the left to be defenseless.  An armed populace is the last bulwark against totalitarianism, and it's getting to the point where we need to start thinking about where all of this (read: stolen elections, placing GOP agenda above basic patriotism, etc.) is going.  It is not inconceivable that the Left might need to defend itself some day.  I'm a pacifist and abhor violence, but I'm also damned if I'll be marched off to a Dobson-run re-education camp without a fight.  

        •  You make a scary but effective point (4.00)

          Never thought that I would agree with what you just posted but I am almost there.  Still can't see myself waving a gun around but I certainly would do as you say to prevent being taken to some "re-education" camp.

          I am very supportive of Dean's message and leadership as always...I support the concept of a liberty loving, independent and conservationist approach to our resources.  Westerners love the great outdoors and know how important these resources are to us ...

          I have less hope for the Democrats than for a progressive and libertarian minded revolution of our country's spirit.  The current Democrats and Republicans are old news and have outlived their relevance.  The question is how to replace them. I think that Dean is sounding the right message and the movement and organization necessary to implement it will arise around him.  It may or may not be the Democrats....

          Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

          by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:43:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Strongly disagree ... (none)
          I strongly disagree with the Democrats giving up their platform on gun control.  You and I and everyone else must take off our coat, our shoes, our belt, take out our laptop, etc., and place our items on five different trays in order to get on an airplane.  This to me is quite an inconvenience to undergo just to get on a darn plane -- particularly when I have no intention of hurting or killing anyone and never have done so.  I don't think it's too much to ask people to undergo background checks in order to purchase a firearm or register their handgun upon purchasing one when we live in a place where children hear the sound of gunfire before they ever hear an orchestra.  Over 30,000 Americans die every year due to firearms, so I think some of the things mentioned above are the least we can do to improve our nation's safety.

          As to whether gun control contradicts our party's principle of personal liberty -- I would say that gun control benefits the common good, and therefore is consistent with our party principles.

          Now every single political party in the universe holds unpopular positions.  When was the last time you heard Republicans talk about closing down the Education Department in order to shrink the size of government and balance the budget?  How many Republicans do you hear talking about their opposition to increasing the mininum wage or even the minimum wage law itself?  Before this year, when was the last time the Republican Congress voted to cut entitlement spending in order to balance the budget and decrease the size of government?  The American people aren't going to respect a party that only takes popular positions -- they want a party that has posititions consistent with their principles.  Sometimes you just have to fight the fights that need fighting.

          •  yes, but (4.00)
            They don't push their really unpopular positions, and they're not one of the first things one thinks of when one thinks of the Republican Party.

            Go back to my initial post: it's about the signifier effect -- it turns too many people away from the party who might otherwise be our allies.

            "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

            by Adam B on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:31:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I would agree (4.00)
            if gun control was good policy but there aren't any statistics to support gun control.

            Law abiding citizens who legally own guns do not commit crimes at a rate higher than people who don't own guns.

            There is ZERO correlation between legally bearing arms and commiting crimes.

            Criminals don't commit crimes with legally purchased weapons.

            I don't want to sound like the NRA here but this issue is not only horrible policy but an absolute political LOSER!!

          •  asdf (4.00)
            Gun control is a perfectly good place to exercise one of the diminishing foundations of American democratic principle:  federalism.

            The interaction between guns and society in Los Angeles has nothing in common with firearms' milieu on a ranch in Utah.   In the country, it's an essectial tool of survival, and gun violence is rare.   In the city, guns are primarily a hazard to both personal and social health.  

            So it's 100% appropriate for different states and municipalities to enact gun laws suited to their environment.  Let LA have firearms registration to help control gang proliferation and make it easier for kids to get to school safely, but let ranchers and hunters in the rockies have a lot more freedom and leeway.

            I think this could become a powerful middle ground the dems could use to solidif ranks with a lot of freedom-minded westerners ... and people of reason in general.

            I stole this sig from someone cleverer than me.

            by IdahoEv on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:30:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  except (none)
              Because of the interstate market in guns, doesn't laxity in any one jurisdiction largely defeat regulation elsewhere?

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:50:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not so sure of that (none)
              According to my last boss, a former ranger,
              a park ranger is statistically much more likely to die by gunshot that any other type of law enforcement officer.
              •  Marijuana (none)
                Without prohibition, these would be some of the safest jobs around--in terms of gun violence. A ranger would be more likely to get killed by a bear.

                This is all part of the same thing: the right to privacy. See above.

                Liberal Thinking

                Think, liberally.

                by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 03:56:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  exactly dean's position (none)
              this is exactly the position dean takes, BTW.  remember he was governor of a small rural state.  people think of new york and boston when they think of northeastern liberals, but there's still lots of hunting up there in the great north woods of VT, NH and maine.

              we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
              — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

              by zeke L on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:39:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Federalism (none)
              There's a lot to be said for this. People on farms have fundamentally different needs for guns.

              The problem is that, as others have pointed out, the Second is really about defending freedom, not about helping people defend themselves against robbers. If you only needed that, a sufficiently good police force would do the job.

              Regardless of what the Constitution says, we have to think about the consequences of taking guns away from people, even in the cities. The people in Washington (D.C.) scare me, too. I don't want to have to shoot them when they come for me, but what am I to think when they start looking through library records? When they cease to believe in habeas corpus? When dissent is called "treason"?

              The Bush Administration used the military overseas to force its political will on an unwilling people. Are they capable of using it in this country to force their political will on us?

              It is a shame and shows the depth of our decline from the heights of civilization when we have to contemplate whether to trust that our own government will obey the law. But that's where we are at. When we look at gun control, unfortunately the issue of freedom is a material consideration.

              And frankly, the gun control issue has been superseded by the security camera issue. It is now likely that we will have cities with such interwoven security camera coverage that no crime can be perpetrated without the culprit being caught. In the not-too-distant future the threat of gun violence may be obsoleted by technology.

              So, on balance, I'd be for scrapping gun control from the Democratic agenda, too. But, I think I'd tie it to scrapping drug prohibition, which is much more the underlying cause of gun violence than the guns themselves. And to fixing the security camera problem. We can't stop the deployment of security cameras and that would be unwise. But we can put limits on what security cameras can be used for.

              Liberal Thinking

              Think, liberally.

              by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 04:25:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The only people affected by gun laws (4.00)
          are people who obey the law to begin with.  Making assault weapons illegal, for example, isn't going to force street gangs and violent militias to give up their weapons.  Criminals are in the business of finding things which are illegal.  They're criminals.  That's what they do.

          There are many, many law-abiding gun owners who are disgusted with the NRA and the Republican Party in general.  Let's welcome them into our party instead of alienating them even further.  They want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mental patients every bit as much as we do.

          TK-421, why aren't you at your post?

          by Magnus Greel on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:27:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree too, (4.00)
          I always liked Dean's frame that states should deal with the gun issue, because guns in Detroit are different than guns in Vermont. But I have begun to realize that we may need guns to protect us from our government. I used to think it was irrelevant, because we would never be allowed all the stuff the government has. I mean, back in the day, the government didn't have much more than guns itself. They could add cannon, which is nothing compaired to the Atomic bomb. But the Iraq war has tought me that you can be effective with a far less firepower, we just need to get some RPG's!

          We are all wearing the blue dress now.

          by PLS on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:23:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Guns are a big loser for us at the National Level (4.00)

          If Dems can convince people they REALLY are for maximum individual liberty, but with a social safety net they will rack up votes in many areas we have lost in recent years.
      •  Frustrating (none)
        I thought that we had given up on gun control legislation. Every national Democrat and most Senators seem to go all-out for gun rights these days. It seems to me that the Republicans are better at keeping that message out there than the Democrats are at earning it.
        •  except for Kerry (4.00)
          Kerry made a point during the campaign of going back to Washington to vote for the scary-looking guns frighten us! Assault Weapons Ban.  Then he went on a goose-hunting photo op to show his solidary with the sportsmen.  It was a double-whammy failure - a pro-gun-control vote followed by an obnoxiously pandering photo op.  

          There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:47:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ...and I suppose... (none)
            he was goose hunting with an assault weapon?

            But seriously, folks, the assault weapons ban might have helped a little, but it was being circumvented in a number of ways by the gun manufacturers to the point where it was basically ineffective. I think it needed to be scrapped (hey, mission accomplished!) or entirely reworked. However, one of the many things it did not do (and was not intended to do) was prevent goose hunting, so I find your Kerry commentary to be without merit.

            •  His goose hunting photo op (4.00)
              looked fake and contrived. That what people said about it. It was style over substance on the gun issue.
              •  How could it not, (4.00)
                when Kerry was faked and contrived. See, both parties have been engaged in turning elections into marketing wars. You gotta be a good actor, good enough for "B" movies (ala Reagan, and Annaald), or you have to be true believer. The Repugs appear to be better at recruitng grade "B" actors, so I think we need to move on to plan "B". Get a real public servant that will say what he thinks people need to hear so they can make the best choice, not what they want to hear, so they can be led around by the nose. Dean's that guy, because he is at heart a doctor. He stayed in politics after his untimely  arrival to the governorship, because he realized he could help alot more people than he could as a GP. Furthermore, he had learned how to talk to ordinary people and explain very complicated stuff to them, in a way that would allow them to make informed decisions. He dealt with ordinary people everyday, and developed a huge respect for them. He really thinks that if you give people the info they need, they will do fine. And if they don't, well it was thier decision afterall. Oh, and he actually believes in Democracy, too. Got me to believe in it too, for awhile. Face it guys, we got to figure out how to get Dean to give into running again!

                We are all wearing the blue dress now.

                by PLS on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:48:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Not to many sportsmen (none)
            Like me. Kerry has hunted waterfowl every fall for most of his life. Why should only Darth Cheney and Anton Scalia get their pictures taken duck hunting?

            "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

            by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:53:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it wasn't the hunting (none)
              It was the photo op, which looked contrived because it WAS contrived.  I mean seriously... the dude was running for president.  Did he really need to take time from his busy schedule to go shoot geese for a few hours?  No, and anyone in a similarly busy professional position would have blown off the hunting for a season.  

              There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

              by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:18:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You don't understand many hunters (none)
                I know folks that would abandon their pregnant wife and dying mother to go bird hunting for a day. It was the mediawhores that made the event look fake.

                "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

                by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 01:03:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Scary-looking guns DO frighten me (3.00)
            don't they frighten you?

            You can support the assault weapons ban and go goose-hunting and not be a hypocrite.  They are two completely different issues.  The fact that we routinely conflate them is a major reason there is so much controversy about "gun-control."  There are a pretty limited number of guys out there who sincerely believe ordinary citizens need lots of heavy-duty weaponry to defend themselves.  But there are a LOT of guys, and gals too, who bristle when urbanites, who rarely hunt, make disparaging remarks about ALL guns, and all people who own and use guns.

            A nuanced approach to gun control, which recognizes differences and distinctions, is exactly what we need to defuse this rather brainless, entrenched battle.  It's not hypocrisy.

            •  actually, no (4.00)
              Scary-looking guns don't frighten me.  Guns don't frighten me at all.

              IDIOTS frighten me.  About once a week, as part of my commute, I have to dodge someone running a particular red light.  This intersection frightens me more than guns or terrorists (and I work in an actual terrorist target).  Maybe I should insist on banning cars.

              And i'm in no way suggesting Kerry is a hypocrite on gun control.  What a ludicrous interpretation of what I said!  No, what I said was Kerry turned off and offended voters, at least the NRA crowd, by making a point of voting for a gun control bill and then trying to soften it by a staged photo op. THAT is the point.  We're losing voters, and we lost a presidential election!

              There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

              by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:24:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, and something else (4.00)
        With Apocalyptic evangelicals actively trying totake over and subvert the military, do you really want to be without weapons?

        In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

        by jabbausaf on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:36:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  amen brother (none)
        I'd even give up my recently imposed prohibition against romancin with sheep....


        by seesdifferent on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:15:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've flipped on this issue (4.00)
        I used to be a passionate supporter of gun control, but I have completely changed my mind since 2000.

        All of a sudden my right to bear arms against the spectre of crazy fascists pounding on my door has become quite important to me.

        Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

        by saucy monkey on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:25:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  need to reframe "gun control" (3.00)
        I think the phrase in itself leave the impression that Democrats want to take away their guns.  That's simply not the case.  We just want responsible gun ownership.  If we can come up with some word manipulation with "gun control" then maybe we can change gunowners' viewpoint on Democrats.

        I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

        by blue drop on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:23:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We Need America to See and Hear the Real Dean.. (none)
      ...I'm trying to do that by finishing my documentary about the good doctor...three years in the making...I can't do it alone anymore...please help in any way you can...enjoy the show at:

      Thanks for understanding I have to ask you guys. This is your movie.


    •  Howard Dean (none)
      is not the solution to the Democratic Party's problems right now.  He should focus more on raising money and less on picking fights.
  •  Libertarian Progressivism (4.00)
    The key to national Democratic success.
    •  nah... (4.00)
      It's "post-punk liberalism." Same thing, really.


      by odum on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How does that work (4.00)
        I feel that Libertarians and Progressives have completely different beliefs in government.  

        I know the goal is to pick away voters who have been supporting the GOP but how can you preach the values of libertarianism and then support the primary principles of the Democratic party such as the current Social Security system?

        •  Just watch us. (3.33)

          Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

          by Cheez Whiz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:14:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  BECAUSE (4.00)

            When most people think Libertarian they are thinking stuff like no gov't snooping in my life, gun control, warrantless searches, workplace privacy, personal information privacy, being able to organize a work place or whistleblow without getting the axe. Some who even consider themselves conservative think legalization of marijuana.

            Many of these same people who don't want gov't intrusion in the areas listed above think Social Security, Pension Protections, and even National Health Care are good ideas, but they associate the Democrats with losing freedoms not gaining them. We need to change that perception.


          •  You're correct... (4.00)
            But when you have Hillary who's going after video game companies in a puritanical fury...

            When you have blue states pushing smoking bans and seat belts for dogs(?), you begin to wonder where the hell the nanny state is going to end..

            When you have Pelosi and a huge bunch of democrats refusing to help people out in the Kelo vs. New London decision by refusing to vote for helpful legislation..

            You prove the point that Democrats really aren't interested in individual liberty or helping people protect their own property. Democrats come across as more puritanical, pompous, condecending than any Republican.

            •  Hillary Isn't the Democratic Party (none)
              I don't think that Hillary going after video game makers will tarnish the image of the Democratic Party.  Unless we nominate her.  But there are plenty of good Democrats out there that can appeal to libertarian votes.  Many of us libertarian Democrats recently launched a new blog-community called Freedom Democrats.  

              Socially Just, Fiscally Responsible: FreedomDemocrats

              by LoganFerree on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:01:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •   When Gore Ran The First Time (none)

                I know a lot of people who didn't support him because of Tippers music label crusade back in the 80's.

                We tend to stereo type the GOP as Christian types who want to legislate morality because that small segment put them over the top, but there's probably even a greater number of libertarian leaning people.

          •  yep (none)
            Some who even consider themselves conservative think legalization of marijuana.

            Like William Buckley fer instance

          •  I agree with your overall point (none)
            but many Libertarians see Social Security and national health care as "government intrusion" as well.  One diatribe I saw on C-SPAN against public housing -- which I don't wholehartedly support anyway, but go with me -- was that, "There's no need for it.  Once the middle class saves money and moves up in the world, they'll leave behind less desirable property that's nonetheless in perfect condition that low-wage workers can move into.  And once they save up a little, those people will move out and new poor people will move in.  See, the government doesn't need to step in at all; the situation takes care of itself!"  People that think like that are tough to convert.
            •  Some Do (none)

                But there's a sizeable segment of people who don't want to be micromanaged by government, but who still don't see any way other than government to protect their pensions, retirement etc.

                 When the Dems push as hard for national healthcare, or to protect people  from gov't taking their property and giving it to developers, as they push for gun control or some other issues that people see as intrusive they will have the margin to win.

        •  Although.... (none)
          Bush has tarnished both the words "freedom" and "liberty", libertarianism still has meaning.  The values that Kos describes are Democratic to their core.  I would say that the Constitutional right to privacy is the key to this.  From this right, many other rights and privileges flow.

          At this time, we are in an excellent position to capitalize on America's fear of government intrusion in their lives.  Bush and the Republicans are advocating things that are anathema to both the traditional (paleo)conservative and the left.  For instance, Bush wants to be able to lock up anyone in the world on his say-so.  That cannot stand, even if the courts allow it(the Supreme Court struck it down in Hamdi, but will most likely be forced to re-address this outrage as applied to American citizens in Padilla).

          The misuse (and correlative evisceration) of the American military that has occurred under the Bush Administration with its Iraq invasion and occupation is another example where the paleo-conservative and the left can join forces.  The Paleos freely discuss their belief that the Iraq invasion has severely weakend our military, both structurally and in terms of morale, and they have had it with this approach to foreign policy.

          I believe there are also other areas where Dems can pickup "paleo" or libertarian votes, and this strategy fits well with a "Western" platform.  This doesn't mean we'll get everyone to love the welfare state, but if it's a choice between on the one hand a candidate pledging to eviscerate the welfare state but who supports the Bush attacks on our civil liberties and the military, and on the other hand a candidate who supports helping those who can't help themselves with a proven Social Security plan and who will also fight to preserve our civil liberties, I think we know what most Americans will choose.

          •  re: welfare state (none)
            one of the first things we need to do in this regard is ditch the phrase welfare state - even amongst ourselves.

            instead let's think of the various ways that good government promotes the general welfare as infrastructure investments.  in a modern economy infrastructure is no longer limited to roads and rails and waterworks (we say), it also has to include education and healthcare and social security in order to maintain a viable workforce without placing an anti-competitive burden on employers.

            and there's nothing there that's really incompatible with libertarianism either, when you think of it that way.  only with the extreme right-wing corporate apologist strain of libertarianism.

            we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
            — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

            by zeke L on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:55:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Only if the Democrats wake up (none)
      --- Still very little evidence of that, sorry to say.

      At the end of the day, I could care less WHO does it - just that it gets done and we once again have a real choice in leadership.  We havent in the recent past...

      Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

      by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:45:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good strategy (4.00)
    If the Democratic party was filled with guys like Dean and Schweitzer, the Republicans could lie and spin all they wanted, and they'd be a small minority.

    The problem is we have to many Bidens and Liebermans, even too many Kerrys.

    •  Platform AND candidate from 'the west' (none)
      I'm liking Brian Schweitzer more and more.  

      "The West" appeals to lots of social, political and economic emotions.  I hate to say this, but Reagan did his best acting when playing this role, but he strayed from the script when he talked his early career as a pol that was anti-government.  

      "pay any price, bear any burden"

      by JimPortlandOR on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:33:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  amen (none)
      hallelujah, amen


      by seesdifferent on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:16:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's unfair to Kerry (none)

         Kerry's only problem is that he's a poor campaigner, at least at a national level. As a Democrat, though, his record is very faithful to the party's principles, with the Iraq war vote being the one big lapse (though he was hardly unique in that regard).

         Biden sometimes shows a spine, but he folds like a card table way too often as well. I think he's a net liability, but he's redeemable.

         Lieberman is worthless. No disagreement there.

      A Beltway Democrat is one who attacks Howard Dean with a blowtorch and George W. Bush with a popgun.

      by Buzzer on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 01:21:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not Unfair (none)
        Kerry did not defend our liberties. He did not savage the Republicans for nearly irreparable injuries they've done to the country. (See How to Destroy Civilization.) He failed to tell the country that he was a liberal and defend it. (See How to Run as a Liberal.)

        It goes beyond being a poor campaigner. He didn't move to the LEFT. Our presidential candidate must move to the LEFT when confronted. Our presidential candidate must be a liberal and proud of it. Without that, electing them is a political failure in the long-term strategy of taking back the country.

        Liberal Thinking

        Think, liberally.

        by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 04:33:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Schweitzer would make the perfect (none)
    standard bearer for such a campaign.  I'm tired of people saying a first term Gov. can't run for President. It's just not true.  And I'd take a first term Governor over a 3rd or 4th term Senator ANY DAY!

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:41:41 AM PDT

  •  Exactly (none)
    The Western Platform fits perfectly for me.

    Economic populism mixed with getting government out of people's personal lives.

  •  Libertarianism (3.83)
    For too long, people have identified libertarianism with Republican values, ie "no safety net", minimal government, fiscal conservatism. But the republicans have betrayed those principals by interfering in people's lives, forcing religion down people's throats and spending our cash like a sailor on leave. Not to mention our "nation building" adventures on distant shores.

    Dean is spot on to reach out to these folks with a message that preaches personal responsibility and civil liberties.

    •  Not libertarianism (3.54)
      We need to remind people that those values are liberal values.

      I am sick and tired of those corporate whores who call themselves "libertarians" stealing our liberal heritage from us. Goddamned thieves.

      Who was it who protected and expanded rights of free speech in the '50s and '60s? Who fought segregation? The draft? Popular involvement in government?

      We did. Not those damn libertarians. Us. The liberal-left.

      It's time we embraced our heritage and told those greedy selfish libertarians "hands off."

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:03:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clarification (none)
        It was us who fought for popular participation in government, not against it - sorry for the inaccurate word choice. My overall point stands. Libertarians have stolen our heritage and I want it back.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:05:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorta what I was saying... (none)
          In that I think that self-described "libertarians" would find their principals lining up closer to liberal values than to conservative ones. Sorry if that was unclear.
        •  not totally true (none)
          many of the people who originally founded the libertarian party (before it got co-opted by Koch Industries, and Ayn Randian objectivism) were active members of YAF, and even the SDS in a left-right anti-government coalition.

          you'll get no argument from me that today's "L"ibertarian party is just a bunch of shills for corporate america, and often the Republican party itself.

          i see no reason why these whores should own the term "libertarian", which was originally a left-wing movement anyway. it is a powerful term, and one that we should try to recapture.

      •  Hello? (none)
        What in the world are you going off about.  Libertarians were very active in the 1950s and 1960s in opposing the draft and standing up for free speech.

        Socially Just, Fiscally Responsible: FreedomDemocrats

        by LoganFerree on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:08:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They were. (none)
          But they didn't lead that movement, nor did they originate it. We did. Libertarians were there, but mostly for the ride. In any case, they are clearly making a concerted attempt to hijack all of that history for themselves, and contribute to a definition of liberalism that is ahistorical and deeply troubling.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:31:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Close but no cigar. (2.06)
      I live in a Red State Area, have voted Republican since Reagan, and can tell you where you are "off" in your message.

      First of all, Christians do not want to "shove their religion" down anyone's throats. Sure there are some  religious nuts out there, just like there are some Left wing political nuts. However, we do want the right to talk about our religion and to practice it.

      The first admendment of the Constition guarantees me this right.

      What I don't want is the Federal Government telling me when and where I am allowed to practice my religion, which is what the courts are trying to do.

      Are far as fiscal conservatism, I find it rather ironic that the party known as "tax and spend" is now suddenly fiscaly responsible. I agree, however, that the Republicans have totally failed in this area (believe me, they are hearing it from  conservative voters).

      The simple reason that Kerry lost the election is because people understand that there is a global war with terrorism and they did not see Kerry as our Commander-in-Chief. The other problem is that they don't see the Democratic party lining up with "values".

      Mr Dean is nothing but a boon to Republicans. I have a lot of friends who voted for Reagen, and then for Clinton. They sit in the middle of the fence. They voted for Bush the last two elections (but many of them voted for Democrats in the House and Senate). These are the people you have to persuade to win the Election. They do not like Mr Dean and if the Democratic Party continues to position itself with his ideology they will not win another election for some time.

      Which disturbs me. Even as a die-hard Republican, I know the faults of my party, and competition is healthy for it. I agree with the article posted today that when one party stays in power too long it becomes corrupted (look what happened to the MSM).

      However, if you continue to maintain your attitudes that I see in these posts, you are not going to win a majority in the House or Senate or the Presidency for that matter anytime in the near future.

      •  You have the talking points down. (4.00)
        How did the Democratic Party come to be known as the "tax & spend" party?  That was a Republican talking point that was just repeated endlessly until it became part of the CW.

        Blah, blah, GWOT, blah blah, Kerry not "Commander-in-chief material", blah blah, "values".  

        You complain about Howard Dean & say that you know many people who don't like him.  Do you know ANYTHING about Howard Dean?  Are you familiar with his record as Governor of Vermont?  Would it suprise you to know that there were probably 4 candidates in the Dem primaries who are significantly more liberal than Howard Dean?  The MSM keeps painting Dean as this far-left wacko liberal that's out of the mainstream.  Try listening to what he has to say without the Hannity-headphones on & maybe you'll think better of him.

        Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. -- Mark Twain

        by GTPinNJ on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:25:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'll address the religion aspect (4.00)
        Because I'm sick to death of the spin coming from Republicans about this.  No one - not any Democrat, not any court, is trying to tell Christians they can't practice or talk about their religion.  But the bottom line is (and this has been established by the courts for decades - it isn't new to this conservative-dominated SCOTUS), the first amendment also ensures a separation of church and state via the establishment clause.  

        This means the state can't tell the church who to allow in their congregation, what to believe, when and how to practice their religion, or (this is important, so pay attention) what marriages to recognize and perform.  It also means the state can't favor one religion over another, and the church can't tell the state what to believe or which god is correct.  

        So should there be prayer in school?  Not as long as my taxes are paying for it.  Should a child be able to wear a shirt that reads "saved by Jesus" (I'm just making up an example here) to school?  Sure!  That's his or her choice.  Should the 10 commandments be posted in courtrooms?  Not as long as my taxes are paying for it.  

        You see, I also have a right to have my beliefs respected by the state.  We have a secular government, that should take no opinion on matters of religion.  You should be free to practice your beliefs in your way.  But when I have to pay for your beliefs, that's when the line has been crossed.

        The establishment clause has never meant, and has never been interpreted to mean, that religion must be removed from American public life.  I don't care which lawmakers are religious; I assume most of them are as most Americans are.  If they want to attend church or pray in their office, so much the better for them.  But the bible does not trump the law in our nation; it never has and I certainly hope it never will.  Remember that the establishment clause was designed primarily to protect churches from state interference in their dealings.  Once you remove that protection, the door is open for, let's say, Tom Delay to get a bill passed that requires all Episcopalean churches to adopt the Southern Baptist bylaws.  Or Rick Santorum to get a bill passed requiring all Baptist churches to begin saying Catholic Mass.  

        This is not what you want, nor is it what I want.  I want your beliefs, and mine, out of the public(ly funded) square.  Let the government be the government and the church be the church - stand on the street corner and proselytize, stand outside the post office and pray, I don't care.  But don't make me pay for your beliefs, and I won't make you pay for mine.

        The goal for the government is neutrality.  Just let them stay out of it.

        •  Clarity on school prayer (4.00)
          If a student wants to sit in class and pray, that's really his or her own decision.  Whatever.  However, if that praying involved distracting other students or causes the student to miss out on assignments, there should be consequences, just as if I decided to talk politics in class instead of paying attention.  If there's down time in the class and that prayer doesn't distract from learning, good for them.  Piety isn't a bad thing, as long as it's in it's place like everything else.  

          The bible teaches us there is a season for everything.   This includes a time to learn, and a time to pray.

        •  I had an epiphany! (4.00)
          You said something AMAZING: "Remember that the establishment clause was designed primarily to protect churches from state interference in their dealings."

          The current Christian Right doesn't believe that statement to be true any more!  They believe government should protect the church!  For the first time since our country's inception a decent sized group wants to DO AWAY with the Establishment Clause because they are whacked enough to believe that because they are the majority there need be no separation anymore!  They not only WANT government involved by giving them money and spreading their programs but they seek the REVERSE as well, they want to spread Christianity INTO government.  They betray the VERY REASON this country was founded, to FLEA A STATE RUN RELIGION!

          These religious nutbags love to quote the Founders and say dumb ass things like "we were founded on a Judeo-Christian" philosophy so what is the harm if we simply implement those beliefs into every part of government?  They couldn't be more wrong!  Even IF the Founders were Evangelicals (which they were not) the ABSOLUTE LAST thing they would want is ANY entanglement in ANY aspect of religion other than to protect religion to the extent that it should be free to exist.

          Not sure if that did anything for anyone but I feel like I see the issue more clearly for some reason.  Great posts btw everyone!

          "The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." -RFK

          by apmiller on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:19:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Looks like ther is still work to do... (none)
          Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Moore, August 14, 1800
          "The clergy, by getting themselves established by law, & ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man. They are still so in many countries & even in some of these United States. Even in 1783, we doubted the stability of our recent measures for reducing them to the footing of other useful callings. It now appears that our means were effectual."
      •  asdf (4.00)
        that'd be Dr. Dean to you, buddy ...
      •  and i'll take on fiscal conservatism (4.00)
        Interesting you should critique Dean AND Democratic fiscal conservatism in the same breath.  You DO know that as governor, he balanced the Vermont budget for 11 straight years, don't you?  

        It's an interesting question with two forks... either you knew this and are blathering talking points that you KNOW are dishonest, or you didn't know and are simply repeating talking points that someone else knew are dishonest.

        I shouldn't have to bring up Clinton's record of fiscal responsibility, compared to the spending binge and monstrous deficits of the Bush/GOP Congress era, should I?  Huh?

        There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

        by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:54:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Which courts are these? (4.00)
        You have every right to practice your religion as long as I don't have to pay for it and my family isn't forced to participate.  I shouldn't have to worry about public prayer in school or pay for Christian monuments just as you shouldn't have to worry that your public school will push ancestor worship and the Eightfold Path, or that you'll have to pay to erect Buddhas in your town square.  Who's taking away Christians' rights to gather?  Or to express their faith?  It's using my taxes and public, tax-funded areas for worship that is the issue and breaks the barrier between church and state.  

        And the Dean platform is pretty solid.  If fiscal responsibility, gun rights, good health care, supporting business, and get-out-of-my-bedroom politics are losing issues from a Republican standpoint, that's a pretty damning indictment of where your party stands.  To me, that's an American ideology, regardless of party, and it's where Dean stands based on his words and his long record as governor.  I'd vote for a Democrat that ran on that platform and could back it up.  I'd vote for a Republican that ran on that platform and could back it up.  It just happens that the Republicans are all talk and no action when it comes to being responsible and supporting the rights of the individual.  

      •  You said you had friends who do not like Dean (4.00)
        but you didn't state what they dislike about him.   If you heard his words come out of another person's mouth, would you be able to hear better what is being said?

        My family were Republicans since the Civil War.   But no more.   The Republican party is following the lead taken by Rush Limbaugh:  attack, lie, and sow the seeds of hatred.    Sorry, but those are not my family's values.    We were taught in church to love our neighbor.

        I'm a westerner.   I live in a rural area.   Howard Dean's message rings more true to me than do the lies from the right.

      •  No part of our agenda (4.00)
        Prohibits you from practicing your religion and clearly right wing Republicans don't have a monopoly on faith. But when your religion starts to impinge on my ability to practice as I see fit, then we have a problem.

        Funny your comment that people did not see Kerry (the war hero) as a commander-in-chief, but they did see Bush, the draft-dodger, as a strong military leader.

        Oh well. Thanx for visitin' us here at DKos.

      •  OK, but (4.00)
        savebyj, thanks for posting. It's refreshing   to see an honest Republican who is actually interested in engaging with us.  I gave your post a 4 for that reason, not because I agree with its content.

        The Democrats have been the true party of fiscal responsibility since Jimmy Carter. Since then, the deficit has fallen under Democratic administrations and ballooned under Republicans. That is not an accident. Reagan and George W. are two of the most fiscally irresponsible Presidents of all time.

        •  Ditto (none)
          Most of this post isn't particularly interesting or original but it does reflect fairly mainstream conservative thinking. I think this board is more entertaining when there are a few people around to state the conservative view even when I think it is obviously wrong.
      •  ahem........ (4.00)
        1. Nobody in the Federal government - including the courts are telling you where or when you can observe your religion because (as you correctly point out) it is your Constitutional right to do so. If, however,  you feel that that right extend to your being able to expound your religion in a publicly funded forum such as a school then you need to wean yourself from your diet of RNC talking points and go read the Constitution you're so fond of quoting - paying particular attention to the part where the 1st talks about 'establishing religion'.
        2. While I'm certainly no fan of 'tax and spend' (assuming you're naive enough to believe such propaganda of one party but not the other) it's one hell of alot more fiscally responsible than the 'conservative' Republican strategy which is to 'not tax and spend' - and leave the debt to our children.
        3. There are no simple reasons for anything in politics - including why Kerry lost the election. The sooner you understand this and stop listening to fucktards like Hannity and Limbaugh trying to tell you otherwise the better off you'll be. We're an incredibly diverse country with widely disparate views on many, many things and simplistic stereotypes and assumptions are counter-productive and ,frankly, ignorant. This is one the single most damning effect of the pundit class and MSM of both the left and right.
        4. Which part of Dr. Deans ideology don't you like? His fiscal conservatism? His States-right Gun control position? His stay-the-course-in-Iraq position? He'll be a boon to Republicans for about as long as they can convince you not to think any deeper than the talking points and faithfully repeat 'extreme liberal' every time his name is mentitioned.
      •  Ladies and gentlemen, fellow (4.00)
        kossacks etc. this is exhibit one of the fundamentalist persecution complex. Anytime that a fundamentalist doesn't get their way, it is anti-christian. Fundamentalists also take whatever the GOP says at their word. It doesn't matter that Bush has spent more money than any President in history or that Clinton balanced budgets, liberals are still tax and spend. You see, evidence and facts do nothing to sway them. They have decided and that's it. This is why Bush was able to get out of the primary in SC-fundamentalists!! They believed the lies about John McCain. They didn't even bother to check out whether they are true or not. You see-it is true because the GOP says it is true and that is all that is needed!!!!

        It's the same rhetoric that Osama uses. He claims that everything is a "war against Islam" just like the GOP claims that everything is a
        "war against christianity." We are beginning to see the fusing of fundamentalist beliefs. The same way that Osama gets people to do their bidding is the say way the GOP gets fundamentalists to do theirs.

        Remember now, it was the GOP that trained and taught Osama. The rhetoric is becoming identical.

        The GOP is the party of Somebody Else

        by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:26:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You say (4.00)
        that Christians do not want to "shove their religion down anyone's throat." But spreading the Gospel is part of Christianity's very mandate. An increasing number of right-wing Christians has absolutely no sense of propriety in knowing when to stop.

        Sure, you have the right to practice your religion--but that that right stops when I don't want to hear it.

        And it has NO business ever, ever, ever mixing into our government. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. (See Fathers, Founding.) It's in your own best interests as well as mine to make sure religion and government stay strictly separate.

        Please--who has ever infringed upon your right to worship in this country?

        Those of us who are not Christian are bone-weary of hearing about it. Really--we are assaulted by it 24/7.

        You know why some people have knee-jerk reactions against Christianity? Because of loud-mouth right-wing Christians who are promoting this bizarre hypocritical brand of Wal-Mart Christianity that's all mixed up with militant nationalism and consumerism. They demand conformity, and that's just not the American way.

        When I think that this doctrine is fundamentally a message of peace, love, tolerance, and compassion for the poor, and then I look around at what passes for "Christianity" in today's America, I really could sit down and weep for Jesus, whom I regard as a great historical figure. (And BTW, he taught his followers to pray in private, lest they become hypocrites for praying in public. Doesn't that negate the need for injecting more religion into public life?)

        Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

        by saucy monkey on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 02:51:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Reality Leak (none)
        I see that people have been rating you down, down, down. I put a little balance on that, not because I agree with your conclusions but because we need to hear what people on your side of these issues say.

        As long as they are polite, which you were, and don't call us names, which you didn't.

        As for your conclusion that "Mr Dean is nothing but a boon to Republicans," this remains to be seen. But I suspect that the Republicans may find him more nettlesome than they think, because he is bringing some needed truth to the political sphere. He only sounds to you like he's off his rocker because you've become so used to the neoconservative frames that what he says must seem quite loony.

        One of the strengths of the progressive movement is that it doesn't believe that there's just one right answer. What seemed right yesterday, on further examination, may seem wrong today, or simply inappropriate.

        Take the "tax and spend" frame that neocons have been using for some time. Does this stand up to scrutiny? No. Every budget-busting bunch in D.C. has been Republican and the only ones who have returned us to balanced budgets, by and large, have been Democrats.

        Take the whole concept of "tax relief". The reason it's hard for you to pay your taxes is because you don't earn enough, not because taxes are too high. Frankly, there are many, many unmet needs. Taxes rightly should be higher, especially for those who have benefited disproportionately from the infrastructure of our country and the protection that our stable and well-defended society provides, including our command of the seas (which is what really allowed many corporations to become multinational).

        The neocons, using the Republican Party as a front organization, have loaded your life with disinformation and slanted the playing field to a degree that you can't understand living within it. This isn't going to last. People like Dean are going to change how voters think about the issues.

        As for Kerry, people have been duped by this same kind of slanted language into believing that we need a "war on terror", even though the concept of maintaining a war on terror makes as much sense as maintaining a war on depression. It's a metaphor with delusions of reality. Now that people are getting a good look at what Bush actually means by a "war on terror", they are bolting in big numbers. They will continue to do that because the Bush Administration is self-destructing.

        The neocons will no doubt adapt to the new threats from Dean and other progressives, but it isn't a simple matter of the public rejecting Dean's message. If Dean frames it right, it will become the new polit-speak. Right or wrong, it will be what the public uses to evaluate all political discourse.

        Liberal Thinking

        Think, liberally.

        by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 05:01:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is the fundamental problem (none)
        What I don't want is the Federal Government telling me when and where I am allowed to practice my religion, which is what the courts are trying to do.

        You have the right to wave your fist around in the air- but that right stops just before your fist impacts my nose.  When your actions start affecting other people, unlimited freedom stops and starts becoming limited freedom.  This is a fundamental mistake a lot of people on the right make- "Look!  They claim to be for freedom, but they're denying me my right to wave my fist!  Oppression!"  "Um, no- we just don't like getting punched in the nose."

        You have the right to practice your religion- and I don't know any court decision or anyone on this blog which disagrees with that.  You even have the right to preach your religion.  Just not in my living room.  In my living room, I have the right to say what religions do or don't get preached.  

        I have the right to not be preached at in places I am legally required to go- including court houses and schools, I comment.  Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion.  I have the right to not have to listen to sermons on your religion if I choose to.

        If you disagree with this, I'll start exercising my right to wave my fist around in the air.

        "History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, 'Can't you remember anything I told you?' and lets fly with a club." --John W. Campbell

        by bhurt on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 01:43:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've cannot understand (3.40)
    why Libertarians seem to identify and/or vote more with the Republican party these days.  To the extent that Democrats favor government involvement and regulation, the goal is the protection of individuals from business interests.  The Republicans favor government involvement in people's personal lives...that seems the very antithesis of what the Libertarians stand for...goofy.

    In this regard, the current GOP is being very helpful in making clear that they want to stick their noses in everyone's personal business.  The Schiavo case illustrated that better than anything else.  We need to keep drawing attention to this as part of our strategy to peel off those Libertarian votes.

    Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. -- Mark Twain

    by GTPinNJ on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:43:50 AM PDT

    •  Duh. (3.33)
      Mis-matching tenses & verb-subject agreement are the penalties you pay for amending your subject line & failing to proof-read before hitting 'post'.

      I'm are not really an doofus.

      Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. -- Mark Twain

      by GTPinNJ on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:47:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (4.00)
      ...why Libertarians seem to identify and/or vote more with the Republican party these days.

      Many of them -- possibly the majority -- are really former conservatives who happened to get a few clues about civil liberties and militarism.  They have not abandoned other core conservative beliefs.  In particular, they have not abandoned the idea that "personal responsibility" means that if something bad happens to you, short of outright violence, it's your own damn fault, and quit even thinking that some aspect of society may have contributed at all.  Throw in all the youngsters who have just read Ayn Rand and you've got the bulk of the modern Libertarian Party.  

      You can find a number of left-leaning libertarians out there.  They're usually ones who espouse libertarian ideals as a goal while realizing the ends do not justify the means, and are open to discussions about what the best means are.  In other words, they are a lot easier to have an intelligent discussion with.  Unfortunately, they don't have much influence, either within the LP or in politics in general.  

      Environmentalist dinosaurs worried about the new iridium-enriched reactors. "If they blow," they said, "only the cockroaches and the mammals will survive..."

      by ColoRambler on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:56:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  eine kleine Lakoff Musik (none)
        Libertarians, for the most part, respond to the STRONG FATHER metaphor ... that's the real key ... they tend to reject notions of community, which are generally in opposition to same metaphor ...
        •  Strong Father? (none)
          I thought that most libertarians were like rebellious children.  Didn't think they'd respond to the strong father.

          Socially Just, Fiscally Responsible: FreedomDemocrats

          by LoganFerree on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:12:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Libertarians Don't Fit the Model (none)
          Libertarians don't fit Lakoff's model because they are neither conservatives nor progressives. (Nor liberals, to the degree that they fit what Lakoff defines as progressive.)

          Libertarians believe that people have certain rights and that it is illegitimate of government to invade those rights. This is neutral in the strict-father / nurturant-parent model. This is why most Democrats and probably most Republicans don't understand them. They are talking a different language.

          The way to appeal to libertarians is to acknowledge the truth that government should not have unlimited powers and to work within that framework. At the same time, libertarians need to be told that the United States cannot unilaterally reach the libertarian ideal of society without the use of force and that economic power can be abused just as much as physical force. These are the real points of disagreement between "statists" (like Democrats and Republicans and libertarians.

          Democrats do have more in common with libertarians than Republicans because embedded in the underlying philosophy of the Democratic Party is the belief in fairness and defense of civil rights. Democrats should move in the libertarian direction by repudiating drug prohibition and confronting some of the inappropriate beliefs of libertarians, such as their belief that only market forces benefit society in the end.

          Liberal Thinking

          Think, liberally.

          by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 05:16:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A Left-Libertarian (none)
        There's a group of Freedom Democrats, what you might describe as left-libertarians, that's started to organize following the 2004 election.  We were around before then, just didn't organize as much.  Many of us were involved in a Libertarians for Dean group.  You might want to check out the Democratic Freedom Caucus ( and the blog Freedom Democrats (

        Socially Just, Fiscally Responsible: FreedomDemocrats

        by LoganFerree on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:15:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  huh? (1.77)
      The democrat solution to virtually every problem is bigger government.  If a program is failing, lack of funding is ALWAYS blamed.  Anyone who thinks that the United States needs to become more socialist as Europe has will vote democratic.  You can't understand why people who identify as libertarian like me don't identify with the democratic party?
      •  sure (none)
        See, that's a pile of crap talking point that always gets through around without giving any real thought to it.
      •  First of all, (3.50)
        I disagree with your premise.  The Democrats do not think the answer to everything is bigger government.  The answer to most things is smarter government & the answer to most things concerning an individual's personal life is no government.

        Also, what I stated was that I cannot understand why Libertarians identify with the Republican Party, not why they don't identify with the Democrats.

        Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. -- Mark Twain

        by GTPinNJ on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:11:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And the republican answer (4.00)
        to any problem is to outsource it, and let the corporation take a profit off of your problem.  And low and behold, as Bush as privitized this war, the corporations are profiting, and the soldiers are not getting fed properly, nor armed properly, nor anything else as far as I can see.

        The answer is in the middle of course.  As it always is.  We cannot throw money at a problem without a plan, and we cannot give the problem to the corporations to handle, because they will make their profit at our expense.

        The middle is where Dean exists.

        •  BUT (none)

           Whether it's gov't jobs or the war time and time again it has shown that outsourcing cost the taxpayers more, because the private corporations have to pay the stockholders, the CEO and the lobbyists. With public employees the money goes to the people who administer the program and to the users of the programs. No middle men.
      •  Well, fine... (none)
        ....just don't go voting for Republicans then, because they're for even bigger government than Democrats are.
      •  If Democrats are the party of bigger government, (4.00)
        then why is it that the government always bloats and the deficits get run up during Republican administrations?

        By their works ye shall know them.  Republicans are all talk on fiscal responsibility and smaller government.  Democrats deliver the goods.  Enough with the GOP framing.

        It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

        by martianchronic on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:17:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  repubs are worse (none)
        I agree with you on this, but please don't tell me you identify with the deficit spending republicans.  The only good one is the libertarian from Texas, all the others are not in any sense "fiscal conservatives".
      •  Big Government comes in many forms. (none)
        When the Bush adminstration wants to override stae medical marijuana laws, criminalize abortion, lock people up without due process, keep soldiers in Iraq beyond their term of enlistment with "stop-loss", and pour $100 Billion/year in to an needless war you have REPUBLICAN Big Government in action.

        When you have Social Security, Medicare, Head Start, pollution controls on industry, seat belts available in every car, student loan programs and votings rights enforcment you have DEMOCRATIC Big Government in action.

        Take your pick.

        ownership society - you are on your own

        by Sam I Am on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:02:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rubbish (none)
        but I'm sure you'd earn brownie points from the RNC for perfect regurgitation of their completely
        obsolete meme. Don't you people have better things to do with your time, or have you given up trying to rescue Rove? Fine.
    •  One word: property (4.00)
      This is why most libertarians, be they of the small "l" or capital "L" variety don't identify with the Democratic Party.

      They prioritize property and property rights.  It's what defines you as a citizen in their world view.  Anything beyond property-rights absolutism is anathema to them.

      And we'll all float on okay - Modest Mouse

      by Linnaeus on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:05:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely right (4.00)
        And Linnaeus, you have explained exactly why libertarianism is as much a threat to us and our society and its values as is the sort of Christofascism advocated by the Dobsonites.

        So it's as I say above - don't let the libertarians steal our heritage.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:08:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you eugene (4.00)
          I think many folks agree with the watered down media publicized version of libertarianism. The heavy duty libertarians I have met in Montana are scary people, who identify more with feudalism than with personal liberty. They have their starter castles, their weapons and their private property and to hell with everyone else. One extreme libertarian argued with me about the role of nationals parks and public lands in the west. "If you like Yellowstone so much buy it yourself" he said "I don't want to pay for it".

          "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

          by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:46:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Property==not safe with our SCOTUS (none)
        I think it's time to tap into the frustration that many libertarians must be feeling with the SCOTUS' huge expansion of eminent domain.  Bush and the Congress have done nothing to fix this- and that's what they should have done immediately.  They just want to be able to hand off private property to other private entities.  That is actually a huge step towards socialism, because it's saying you don't really OWN your land- you're leasing it from the government, who can end your lease at any time if they can find a better leaseholder.  That's a huge problem, and is something that can be used to convince libertarians that the new Big Government Conservatives aren't really helping their agenda any.

        "democracy in a republican era - like a police state run by the criminally insane on a schedule set by cable news shows." ~skippy, the bush kangaroo

        by jjhare on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:36:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem (none)
          Without getting into an argument over the Court's decision in Kelo v. New London, the problem with getting into bed with hard-core libertarians on property issues is illustrated by Ed in Montana's anecdote able.  The libertarians don't like the Kelo decision, but they're not sympathetic at all to the notion of public property, either (at least in theory).

          Liberals tend to support the concept that property can be put to public use with public support.  We won't get libertarian support on that.

          And we'll all float on okay - Modest Mouse

          by Linnaeus on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:58:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Eminent domain (none)
          exists so a community can assemble the land needed to build a bridge that everyone will benefit from for generations to come, and not be frustrated by a few obstructing landowners.

          But it does violate property rights. So there needs to be a really strong, clear, unequivocal community need before it is invoked.

          Invoking eminent domain just to enrich a developer who buddied up to the local council -- is wrong.

          Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

          by Canadian Reader on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:52:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  not true (4.00)
        many small "l" libertarians do identify with the democratic party.  they just do not prioritize property rights in the same way; they often believe certain things can not be owned by an individual without properly compensating society for what they have taken away (land, natural resources, etc). the believe heartily in "the commons", the wealth of natural capital in the earth that belongs equally to all humanity, but they reject collectivist impulses. they are mostly very against intellectual "property" restrictions, and direct their ire towards corporate welfare, and special rights rather than individual welfare and affirmative action.

        see geolibertarianism for one example.

        •  Appreciate the comment (none)
          It might come down to semantics.  What you've described is so at odds with what my personal experiences have been that I wouldn't call such an outlook as you've put forth here as libertarian.

          And we'll all float on okay - Modest Mouse

          by Linnaeus on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:00:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Property (none)
        Property is a tricky issue. It only seems obvious to us because we are now used to most of the world being divided into little plots owned by private owners. Until the end of feudalism in Europe, this was not very common.

        When you think about it, why does putting an enclosure around a plot of land give you absolute rights to it? And who gives you those rights, and under what conditions?

        Division of property is a social convention more than an obvious and absolute right. (As opposed to the right to privacy, which I believe is inherent in being an "individual".) For you to own property, you must acquire it in a legitimate way. Either you create it of your own work or you purchase it with something you already own (in a trade of some nature).

        How did property, especially real estate in the U.S., come into existence? It came about as a result of the enforcement of power by the U.S. government against other claimants (including the native Americans) and through legal conventions of residents in the U.S. The legal convention was that the placing of an improvement on land entitled the resident to ownership of the land. In the same way, ownership of water came from putting it to use (in most of the U.S., especially in the West).

        Is any of this legitimate? It conforms to British custom at the time our country was founded, but that alone doesn't make it right. Wouldn't it make more sense to look at the good to which the property can currently be put to use and give control of it based on that? It's another option. In the end, I don't think you can find that our system of ownership is "right" in any moral sense. It is a convention that was adopted and enforced. It created social order.

        The system we have seems to be working. Unless someone can show why it should be fundamentally changed based on some cogent moral authority, it doesn't seem that this needs to change.

        However, these claims from libertarians are an indication of how much the public will tolerate intrusions on their lives. They can't be dismissed. Politicians tend to think of individuals as a limitless resource from which money can be extracted and put to good use. There's a balance.

        Democrats need to understand property and be able to talk about it with authority in order to talk effectively with libertarians.

        And yes, some libertarians are just irritating non-conformists. They should fit right in with the Democratic crowd!

        Liberal Thinking

        Think, liberally.

        by Liberal Thinking on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 05:50:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Taxes. (4.00)
      That's what it's all about to them: taxes.

      "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

      by ChurchofBruce on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:43:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Related thought (none)
        At least among the more vocal right-wing libertarians, adherence to general libertarian principles seems to trump everything else.  As a result, they have real trouble seeing shades of moral gray.  Namely:

        1. A 0.01% tax on activity X to fund highly popular and beneficial program Y violates libertarian principles.
        2. Rounding up lots of American citizens and putting them in concentration camps violates libertarian principles.
        3. Therefore, the tax is just as bad as the concentration camps.  

        In a slightly more extreme version, merely considering such a tax is just as bad as considering concentration camps.  

        Of the "better government through no (or at least really tiny) government" advocates, I actually find it easier to understand outright anarchists than most right-wing libertarians.  At least the anarchists usually want to create some sort of voluntary communities in place of government programs, often a true community rather than some faceless big corporation, whereas the right-wing libertarians don't seem to care what happens to everyone else.

        The good news:  the 2004 elections showed that a number of libertarian-leaning voters are realizing that being slightly poorer as a result of government activities (in their view at least) is enormously less obnoxious than being jailed or injured as a result of them, even if both possibilities violate their core principles.  As a result, I know a number of libertarian-leaning swing voters went for Kerry even if they felt his policies weren't ideal by their standards.  

        Environmentalist dinosaurs worried about the new iridium-enriched reactors. "If they blow," they said, "only the cockroaches and the mammals will survive..."

        by ColoRambler on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:01:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  because... (none)
      until recently, republicans weren't in power.

      now they are, and the disconnect betweem what republicans say and how they govern is becoming wider by the day.

      the shift towards a more libertarian ideology is was almost bound to happen.

    •  Didn't Think They Were Serious (none)
      I think a lot of libertarians started voting GOP with Reagan, and many of them at the time might not have thought that the GOP was serious about the social conservatism.  Reagan winked and would say things to pander to the Religious Right, but on the whole he wasn't like Dubya.  Not until the present, with Dubya and the Republican Congress, do you really have the social conservatism of the GOP taking total control.  And I think it's going to put a strain on libertarian voters.  I know one female friend who's mildly libertarian who voted for Bush and said that she didn't think he'd seriously appoint someone to the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe.  We'll just see about that.

      Socially Just, Fiscally Responsible: FreedomDemocrats

      by LoganFerree on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:12:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush has destroyed (none)
    the Republican Party's connection to true conservatism.

    I hope useful idiots like David Brooks continue to prattle on about the Republicans' new "Big Government Conservatism."  That's GOT to raise the suspicion (if not the ire) of the very voters Dean is talking about.

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:45:17 AM PDT

  •  Didn't somebody say "Go West Young Man" (none)
    for better opportunities.  Yup, we at the West of the Mississippi and in the West Coast may help turn this "Red Tide".  I hope that Howard Dean can prove that Dem's are on the side of reason, science, and progress.  Enough of the 90's living and I mean 1890's. It seems to me ,that's were the Repugs want us all to relive the "Robber Baron" legacy.  Keep talking Dr Dean we are all ears.
  •  not a libertarian (4.00)
    there are still plenty of socially conservative folks out there, even if they do love their guns and aren't espousing anti-evolution campaigns.

    i'm a socially conservative communitarian. i believe what others do does morally impact others--no man is an island. i think it unhealthy if society gets too much of a morally relativistic attitude. i just disagree with how the right wing chooses to address the issues, just like i don't like how the left wing so casually disdains the concerns of folks like myself who do not think high rates of abortion, divorce or single parenthood are good for the overall health of society, but believe you must have a robust welfare state and safety net to help everyone out.

    •  Does the represent where you are, or where they (none)
    •  Listen to Dean (none)
      not the Republican take on the "left wing." I'm probably about as far to the "left" as you can get, and I want to see lower rates of abortion and higher rates of solid, lasting marriage and coupled parenthood (including for me and my [gay] lover!). It's Republican, not Democratic, policies that are driving more and more people onto -- or, rather, through -- the "safety net."
    •  Remember, flaming liberal Massachusetts, (none)
      described by Senator Santorum as the axis of (immoral) evil,  has the lowest divorce rate in the country.  I wouldn't be surprised if the abortion rate was fairly low there as well.
      •  Dunno about abortion (none)
        but I remember reading our rate of teen pregnancy is in the bottom ten in the country. Seventh lowest, I think, if my memory is working. And most of the rest of the lowest ten were Northeastern states.

        "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

        by ChurchofBruce on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:48:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not really conservative either (4.00)
      folks like myself who do not think high rates of abortion, divorce or single parenthood are good for the overall health of society, but believe you must have a robust welfare state and safety net to help everyone out.

      You just described the left wing social belief system.  You're listening to people who are lying to you; we're on your side - not them.  They don't really care about abortions, divorce or single parents.  They care about ending welfare and the safety net, because they're afraid of communism.  I state that bluntly because it is as ridiculous as it sounds.  They equate helping others to communism.  We equate it to community.

      Again, you've been lied to.  We want lower abortion rates.  We want less divorce.  We want secure two-parent homes.  Our policies are all geared toward this (look at Dean's Success by Six in Vermont - it gives marriage counseling to new parents who need it, as a way of keeping couples together so kids grow up in a healthy home).  We believe a safety net must be there for those who can't make it.

      Those who are lying to you oppose everything I've just said.  Stick around, you'll find we're on your side.

    •  Disdain concerns? (none)
      This is not about disdaining the concerns; it's about finding a sensible, results-oriented approach which use the resources of the government while maintaining the liberal values of privacy and an even playing field.

      Example: unplanned pregnancies.  The GOP throws rhetoric at this issue and has adopted an absolutist attitude which not only strips privacy, but doesn't work to address the issue.  The Democratic strategy, which does work (please compare abortion rates under Clinton versus Bush), is to use governmental resources to educate the population about contraceptive use, and establish a legal framework by which those who do seek abortions do not have to risk their lives to do so.

      What you see as disdain is actually an incredibly sensible approach to the issue.

      I've made it very clear, he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was.-McClellan, 2003

      by GN1927 on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:52:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Red States and divorce (4.00)
      The rates in these states are consistently higher than in "blue states". This is one of those redd herring issues where you have been misled. Liberal policies that encourage community assistance and togetherness have an impact on divorce rates. When a couple encounters things like financial trouble the relationship always has troubles. I believe community safety nets help out here (and not just the type that are available to church going individuals.
      The republican mindset is a moral justification for selfishness and that doesn't help anyone (excepting those well off enough to be selfish) especially those that need our help.
    •  Didn't we find out that divorce, (none)
      abortion, pre-marital sex and several other signs of moral instability are more prevalent in red states than in blue states?  One might want to examine why that is true.  

      Groups who raise the biggest stink about moral relativism seem to practice moral relativism more consistantly than those who attend to the shades of grey in life.

      •  Nope, (none)
        blue states just have more "family" friendly policies, so thier families do better. Economic stess does not help keep marriages together.

        We are all wearing the blue dress now.

        by PLS on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:57:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  libertarian AND communitarian (none)
      i consider myself both libertarian and communitarian (although there doesn't seem to be a real consensus on how the latter term is defined, i've observed).

      that is, i believe in strong communities that are bound together by their values and social norms.  that's a vastly superior way to keep things running than trying to legislate morality.  but i believe anything above the community level should be libertarian to the greatest extent practical.

      because "socially conservative" and "traditional values" are themselves completely relative terms.  they depend entirely on the society and traditions in question.  a traditional/socially-conservative community of southern baptists will do things differently than a conservative mormon community, or an amish community, or a muslim community.  so why can't communities that are still defining their values such as the castro or houston's montrose be free to do things their way?  and if people want to live in communities with profoundly cosmopolitan values such as new york city, what's wrong with that?

      that's how i reconcile freedom and community.

      we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
      — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

      by zeke L on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:26:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ooh, a political "West Coast Offense" (4.00)
    Agile and full of audibles.
  •  Fiscal responsibility just loses elections... (none)
    It may be honorable, the right thing to do, etc., but so are most things the keep you from getting elected - so why is it a surprise that fiscal responsibility keeps Dems from getting elected?

    I'm not saying we should become fiscally reckless so that we get elected, I'm just saying it's time to face up to reality.  If people don't care about fiscal responsibility, then why make it part of your campaign?  Makes no sense...

    Donna Frye for San Diego Mayor! She got cheated last time - help us now.

    by shmooth on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:46:56 AM PDT

    •  I have... (none) freaking idea what you were trying to say here.  Try again?


      I'm a pro-gun, pro-nuclear-power Reform Democrat.
      UUJN: Brother Venerable Katana of Mindful Forgiveness

      by AlphaGeek on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:50:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cutting funding for social programs is unpopular.. (none)
        Raising taxes is unpopular, too.  So don't do either of them.  Find a way to get your work done without them.

        [Full Disclosure:  I'm not that smart where I can come up with stuff like this by myself.  I read it on an article linked from Political Theory Daily Review.  Couldn't find the article - was a couple of weeks ago, I think.]

        There is a strong argument to be made that fiscal responsibility can win elections, but only if that fiscal responsibility leads directly to economic gains across the voting population.  If you cut Joe American's favorite social program, but then come back in 4 years and say:

        But Joe - I balanced the budget!

        Joe is gonna say:

        Why'd you cut my program?

        And then Joe's gonna vote for the other guy.

        Here's the 'fiscal responsibility' route that some Dems like to follow:

        Cut social programs.  This cut loses 10% of his votes in the next election because people are pissed that their social program was cut.  But the cut adds 2% of his votes in the next election because people are happy to see fiscal responsibility.  That leaves a net 8% loss.  It's a losing proposition.  So don't do it.

        The point of this post was to say, "Hey Dems, stop losing elections by being fiscally responsible!"  That doesn't mean be fiscally irresponsible, it just means don't alienate your base for some lofty, idealistic goal that people really don't care about.  People may vote for fiscal responsibility, but they will definitely vote against pols who cut their programs.

        Most people love being on that gravy train - it just feels good, if you can remain aloof/selfish/ignorant/etc.  Whether you work for a defense contractor, or one of the big non-profit religio-fanatic-faith orgs that's about to get a lot of money from Bush - gravy is good.  Gravy helps you eat better food, drive nicer cars, get nicer equipment, hire more people, get a bigger salary, and just generally live a higher quality and/or easier life.  

        We're all selfish people at heart and will do what is in our own best interests.  [In other words, we've failed to learn the central economic lesson presented in this movie.]  So, when gangster Bush brings bails of cash to defense contractors and megachurches, those people says 'Welcome!' - whether they're anti-war or not.  Every sane person is anti-war, but when it comes to me losing my job, and subsequently my dignity, wife, my kid's college edumacation, my mistress, etc. because we won't be in Iraq next year - well, I've got something to say about that.  When that gravy train is cut - be it in defense spending, 'faith' spending, or welfare/social programs spending - people are hurt directly, immediately, and they notice that there are these politician people who do stuff - most of which doesn't seem to affect you at all, but sometimes it does affect you - and these get pissed.

        'Fiscal responsibility' is some lofty notion that only politicians can afford to talk about.  It's not real.  The government runs deficits whenever it wants to because it can.  Does that affect my life?  Nope.  That's why when Bush cut taxes the second time (?? - I lose track), he had those $300 checks sent out immediately and with great fanfare.  People thought the dude was a hero.  $300 in your pocket is a very simple concept to understand (tax cuts, good).  Shutting down your community swimming pool a few hours early is a very simple concept to understand (spending cuts, bad).  Bush pushing government debt that your children and their children will have to pay back is not simple - it's all theory, lofty, government nonsense (unrecognizable future debt to your children and grandchildren, irrelevant).

        Here's $300 Joe American - go grab a Bud and a steak at Applebee's, and I'm gonna work out this $4 Billion a month gig for Iraq that your children will be paying off - dumb b*itch.  Ha-ha!

        People don't connect the dots - that Bush borrowing billions now is going to turn into trillions later, and the non-rich people are the ones who are going to have to pay it back.  Ignorance is bliss.

        Dems shouldn't be breaking their backs to be fiscally responsible unless people are willing to vote for fiscal responsibility at least as strongly as they're willing to vote against tax increases and against cuts to social programs.

        Donna Frye for San Diego Mayor! She got cheated last time - help us now.

        by shmooth on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:54:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  why's that? (none)
      I thought it was "tax and spend" that cost us.

      Fiscal responsibility is a WINNER.  It just needs to be backed with steel.

      There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

      by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:51:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Talking about fiscal responsibility wins elections (none)
      Actually doing it? Well that is another matter entirely.
      •  Exactamundo, mi amigo... (none)
        Voters love pols who talk about fiscal responsibility, and some may like pols who practice a bit of it, but when was the last time you heard someone - anyone - get fired up about fiscal responsibility?  When was the last time you heard something like this?

        Yeah, man - that Clinton guy rulez!  He balanced the budget and like, had big surpluses and stuff dude.  Awesome!

        Yeah, me neither.

        Donna Frye for San Diego Mayor! She got cheated last time - help us now.

        by shmooth on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:59:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ummmmm... (none)
      What about "it's the economy, stupid?"

      Fiscal responsibility was, in my opinion, what made Bill Clinton win.

      •  There is an argument to be made for that... (none)
        The "it's the economy, stupid" argument is legit, but that is an entirely different topic than 'fiscal responsibility'.  Reagan's economy wasn't so bad, but he mortaged our future for it.  Clinton's economy may have had something to do with fiscal responsibility, but I'm not yet ready to jump to that conclusion.

        If you could get voters to link 'fiscal responsibility' with 'good economy', then at least you're headed in the right direction, but think of the challenges.  First off, you have to prove that fiscal responsibility produces a good economy - not an easy task.  Then you have to convince voters that what you consider to be fiscal responsibility is actually fiscal responsibility.  If in a recession, do you institute a set of massive public works projects to help the nation climb out of the recession (FDR), or do you offer massive tax cut taxes to big businesses and/or small businesses, start a war, some of the above, or do nothing at all?

        Just seems like a lot to handle in the short term.  I'd rather we just stopped alienating our voters to achieve some lofty goal that nobody but the think tanks/interest groups/political spinsters cares about.

        Donna Frye for San Diego Mayor! She got cheated last time - help us now.

        by shmooth on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 12:17:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Arkansas Democratic Party Chair Jason Willett... (none)
    ...provided a strong, unabashed defense of Dean on Fox News during the last flap over his comments.  Other Democratic leaders should watch his great appearance and take notes.  

    The video is available here.

  •  utah (none)
    i had no idea DEAN came to utah recently. i would've liked to have seen him speak. so rarely do national politicians come to utah to drum up support...i think both parties know that at this point it's a waste of effort....repubs know they're gonna win and dems know that, too...after all, utah did give the highest percentage of votes to SHRUB than any other state in the union in 2004. go utah!
    •  Buzzflash linked to a Novak article (none)
      The point of the linkup was to refer to Gillespie getting a WH office and moving to Andy Card's position, but later in the article Novack (I know we don't believe him) writes a smear about Dean and how D.C. dems are still speaking against Dean.  Novack reports (from his makebelieve world) that Louisiana dems walked away from Dean when he went there -- Landrieu among them.

      Any truth to this last (LA dems not appearing with Dean) or is Novack hallucinating again.

      •  Yup (none)
        It was diaried here, a fair number of Louisiana bigshots avoided Dean.  There was according to the reports, though, a good and enthusiastic crowd there.  The LA Democratic establishment has always tended to be conservative and very insular.  I suspect taht story is getting spun out there a lot because it may be the only state so far where Dean has had that problem, despite hitting one "red state" after another.  As noted in this thread and elsewhere, both the Idaho and Montana chairs were leery of Dean but have since enthusiastically climbed on board.  I suspect that when the 50-state program gets to Louisiana, the usual suspects will find themselves dealt out of the game.  According to the Huey Long operating manual for Louisiana reform that's how it's done anyway!  :-)
        •  Thanks D.L. (none)
          Sorry to hear that.  I wonder if they have talked to him privately.  This might make sense for Dean to make an offer in D.C. to meet in a less local manner.  He might be able to persuade them.  Hell, he got me off my couch.
    •  It may be a while till we get Utah's EVs. (4.00)
      No Democrat has won Utah since Lyndon Johnson, in 1964, and that holds for most of the other Western Mountain states.  However, with a strong state party organization, even super-red states can send Democrats to the House and the Senate (like Stephanie Herseth, Byron Dorgan, Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Tim Johnson) and elect Democrats as governor (Brad Henry, Kathleen Sebelius, Brian Schweitzer).  Dean travelling to Utah will help energize the party there and make people realize that Democrats do indeed take an interest in them.
  •  The Party of Liberty (4.00)
    I've been ranting on this for a while now - we need a statement of principles, and policies should arise naturally from principles.

    If Liberty is the first principle, and I believe it should be, then gun control is bad policy.  And in the real world, we can see the effect by how much gun control turns off blue-collar types who would otherwise be Democrats.

    Ditch gun control completely, under the umbrella of Party of Liberty (which also appeals to anyone calling themselves "libertarian", either left or right), and win BIG in the West.  

    I believe Kerry lost seven states (including Ohio and Florida) that he would have won were it not for his pro-gun control stance, his obnoxious pandering to hunters with the goose hunt photo op, and the general "Democrats will take away your guns!" conventional wisdom.  We went from a landslide to a loss on that issue alone.

    There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

    by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:49:54 AM PDT

  •  And it's not fanatical, selfish or Dem-defeating (4.00)
    ... when women and/or gays demand this:

    freedom to live one's life without government intrusion into the doctor's office or the bedroom

    (as has all too often been the accusation here.)

  •  "Western platform?" wtf? (none)
    As much as I respect Dean and agree with the need to  focus on the west, going out there and saying we need a "western platform" sounds lame. Why not just say we're for individual rights and responsibilities, clean air and water, etc. Calling it a western platform makes it sound too focused-grouped.
  •  I ran into similar (none)
    apprehension about Dr. Dean from some Democrats at the Clark convention this past weekend.  It was clear to me that they didn't really understand what the good Dr. is doing.  Even among faithful Democrats there are those who are misled by the anti-Dean spin in the media.  I think they just need some interaction with him and they will see that he is mainstream and not as far left as he is portrayed to be.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:55:01 AM PDT

  •  Your definition of "Western Platform" (none)
    is wonderful. It needs to be emblazoned on the party logo. BTW, perhaps you shd cross-post to TPM Cafe - Reed Hundt discussion?
  •  Dean rocked Montana! (4.00)
    The 450 people attending the Saturday night dinner in Great Falls MT gave Dean a five minute long standing ovation when he walked into the room. It was wild. Dean responded with "Now if the presidential primaries had started with Montana rather than Iowa, things might be different."

    If there was anyone there that had any misgivings about having Dean in town at the convention, I didn't meet them. And they couldn't help but be impressed by the enthusiastic welcome that Howard got from the grassroots. I can't emphasize this too much; there were around 300 demo delegates at the state convention and an additional 150 people (including myself) came over just to hear Dean.  Montanan's don't sacrifice beautiful summer days on weekends easily just to hear some politico talk indoors, so this was a HUGE crowd for this time of year.

    Dean flew into Great Falls in early afternoon on Saturday, and met privately with democratic leaders at the state demo convention before attending a Sponser's Reception at 5PM where about one hundred folks (including Mrs. Ed in Montana and myself) ponied up $125 a ticket to meet the chairman. Dean gave a short speech standing on a chair saying such great jems as 'We are not going to lay down and play dead for the right wing anymore!"  After shaking hands with these supporters for about an hour, Dean proceeded over to the banquet hall where he got the first of many standing ovations.

    Aside from Dean's now standard barn burner speech (which I had never heard up close in person before) the crowd loved his approach of hiring 3 or 4 field workers in Montana "financed by us, chosen by you," as he said. Dean also mentioned that this was a result of a "needs assessment team" visiting Montana, and asking Montana democrats what resources they needed to win more races. Imagine that, the DNC actually asking dems in red states what they need to win! Also it appears that the DSCC and the DCCC committees will target the Montana Senate and House races next year.

    Thst's the way you win back the West, with outspoken plain talk and demo organizers on the ground.

    Photos to come in a diary later this evening.

    "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

    by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 07:56:59 AM PDT

    •  Videos available (none)
      Of Dean's Montana speech over at Democracy for Montana.

      Many thanks to fellow deaniac Scott Dowdle from Billings.

      "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

      by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:01:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Montana dems (none)
      Had a bit of a controversy when the Schweitzer/Baucus endorsed candidate for state party chair Dennis McDonald said two weeks ago that "he wouldn't want to get his picture taken" with Howard Dean because of harsh comments Dean has made about republicans. Last week before the state democratic convention, McDonald reversed his statement and said that he would be glad to appear with Dean. Which is good because I have half a dozen pictures of him with our chairman Dean from Saturday's dinner

      Dennis McDonald was elected as the new state party chair last Saturday morning, replacing Bob Ream, who is retiring after doing an outstanding job for the last eight years. McDonald took two ballots to gain a majority of delegate votes, besting Tracy Velazquez from Bozeman (former congressional candidate), labor leader Gene Fenderson from Helena, and Ron Talbot from Missoula. In a surprizing move, MT dems rejected McDonald's running mate for vice chair, and voted in Tracy Velazquez in her place.

      Governor Schweitzer and Senator Baucus pushed McDonald as chair, citing his success at building a progressive rancher's organization and his ability to organize in rural Montana. Opponents cited McDonald's lack of experience with the democratic party in Montana, and Fenderson tweaked McDonald by distributing a photo showing Fenderson with Al Franken under the headline "I will appear with anyone that agrees with democratic values".

      In my opinion, McDonald should be a good state party chair as long as he realizes that ranchers are not the only demographic that need to be appealed to in Montana. That and that Howard Dean still speaks for me, and hundreds like me in the state democratic party.

      "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

      by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:25:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is Howard Dean reading this? Or his staff? (none)
    I hope so.  Maybe somebody will respond to me.

    Mr. Dean, your idea of Democracy Bonds does not work.  It's just another way to get general cash, and liberals who give are tired of it.

    Democracy Bonds would work if we targeted all of this money to 30 House races to get the House back and impeach Bush.

    I've waited and waited to hear word from your staff to get an Epatriots ID.  I'm not going to push Democracy Bonds, flawed though they may be, without a marker on the money I've brought in.  Nobody gives a shit about what one can do in this country politically, it seems, unless one can bring in cash.  I'm not doing it without the recognition.

    I've mailed twice and called once--nothing.  That's what you'll get from me, Mr. Dean, nothing.

    I'm a nobody from nowhere and a complete idiot for thinking I could ever make a difference or that just showing up would be valued by the Democratic Party.  I've writtten like crazy for four years, donated thousands to candidates and thousands more to bloggers.  I wore the clothes, registered voters, put the stickers and the signs up, I fucking paid my dues for that EPatriots link, it wasn't much to ask, No would be have been fine, but, no shit, I got ignored again.

    Anything but being treated like I'm a worthless jerk best ignored.  Thank you so much.

    •  It's obvious that you're frustrated (none)
      (and it also sounds like a bit unappreciated and let down), but Howard Dean is not personally handling your money.  I would recommned sending a letter to get your concerns resolved instead of posting to a blog.  
      •  What the fuck? (none)
        Of course I  realized I just shot myself in the foot.  Who fucking cares?  Not me.

        We had to win that last election!  Why on Earth do I do any of this?  So I can read how no Democratic Congressperson will support Howard?

        Where is the agenda and plan to take back the House?  Nowhere.  Where are jobs, health care, day care, and retirement security in the Democratic agenda?  Nowhere.

        Where are the Democrats in power?  What a fucking surprise, absoulutely nowhere.

        [spits]  How may hours of brutal labor did I put in, Jesus how much cash did I just piss away, all to get ignored?  What a fucking idiot I am.

        Three and half years of more felons wrecking the country, assuming we have a country. Well, I tried.  I tried all that I could and I am just done.  Finally done.  I may write some more for Steve Soto but the rest of those fucking John Kerry Can't Beat GEORGE BUSH! democrats can go fuck themselves.  Let Dianne Fenstein and Joe Lieberman be their heroes, fucking losers.

    •  Make Sure Dean Gets the Message (none)
      Paradox, you make a valid point about the bond thingies. If you want word of your opinion to actually get back to Dean, post it on the Dem Party blog, there's much less traffic there and he'll hear about it:
  •  I am so glad to hear this, (none)
    such positive news about the 50 state strategy!
  •  No Preference (3.66)
    kos, my mother's family is from Montana. I love it dearly. However, it's a fact that those states get more per captita Federal assistance than most blue states. So I don't go along with the notion that the people out there are more self-reliant than the rest of us.

    I would prefer to hear Democrats say that there is a place for government. That government does a lot of good things, including helping ranchers and farmers stay afloat.

    Let's be the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. Personally I thing this "rugged self-reliance" stuff from Republicans is a lot of hooey. Let's be honest.

    •  Federal involvement in the West (none)
      The federal role in the American West has been pervasive.  Federal policies have been just as crucial to the economic development of western states as the individuals who moved there.  Land purchases, the Indian Wars, mining laws, involvement with the railroad companies, military spending, the New Deal...all of these have had a profound impact on the development of the western states.

      And we'll all float on okay - Modest Mouse

      by Linnaeus on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:25:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point (none)
      Montana is one of the bigger federal welfare states, getting back $1.75 from every $1.00 paid in federal taxes.

      As an old joke says: "Why do they bury Montana ranchers only six inches deep?" Answer: So they can always get a hand out.

      "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

      by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:25:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        A Montana housewife tells her husband he needs a pair of loafers. He goes into town, comes back with a couple of farmers under his arms.
        •  LOL! (none)
          Hadn't heard that one before.

          What do you call a basement full of Montana ranchers? A whine cellar.

          "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

          by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:27:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Funny! (none)
            But i gotta defend my home a bit.

            The ranchers/farmers are the state poster boys for receiving federal assistance and grazing rights on federal land; however, a large chunk of the money coming in goes to road construction and maintenance, rural mail service, etc... not just payouts for stock and crop losses.

            Ed, On your comment above about the fake liberatarians:  YES!

            They want the guv'ment out of their life until fire season.  Then they are the first ones in line asking for firefighters to protect their slice-o-heaven.  Same with the lumber industry.  Environmentalists be damned, but then they will cry to high heaven for federal trade protection when an international vendor cuts into their market.  Remember the freemen?  They are the biggest bunch of hypocrits of them all!  They want open markets when wheat is high but then are the first ones in line asking for subsidies when the wheat prices tank on the international market.

  •  why can't we win next time???? (none)
    I don't understand WHY we can't win in IDAHO 'next time" especially since next time is congressional elections...surely we can pick up at least ONE idaho house seat...i hope we damn well try as hard as we can.

    ....I just finished reading a diary on Dkos about 'framing' our message...a great idea..i hope Dean embraces 'framing'  mad ave and fundraisers have done it in that vein of thought why arent we reframing the meaning of progressive from 'librul weenie' to RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM...

    surely we can make a case for just how individual we all are...heck we cant come together on ANYTHING soooo instead of letting the gop frame us their way...lets claim "individualism" for democrats  :)

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:09:35 AM PDT

  •  I Fear That 'West Coast' (none)
    is code for "frontier," one of the biggest and most enduring myths still being pedalled to the people.

    In my work I run into some of the rarest activities known to humanity, global communities that barely count a thousand people, that are up against automated labor and problem-solving, and outsourcing.

    There is absolutely no place I can run or hide to be the mythical rugged individual. I'm dependent on my intercessors in either the economy, the government or culture to decide what life space to grant me, and then to defend it from forces whose greater efficiency would let them grab it up.

    I'll watch the evolution of this "western" strategy but I'll be much friendlier to the concept of libertarianism after I bankrupt my first global corporation competitor.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:13:03 AM PDT

  •  I think... (none)
    the Dean message is going to play just as well in the South as it seems to be playing in the West.  

    Is anybody else optimistic about '06 like I am?

    "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

    by stumpy on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:14:32 AM PDT

  •  Western platform! I love it! (4.00)
    I'd like to see a diary about why the West votes Republican parallelling my attempt to do the same for the South: Get the Government Off Our Backs:  Why the Conservative South hates Democrats (crossposted at My Left Wing).

    At the end of that diary I echo some of what BrewUnit and GTPinNJ and others have said about how it helps Dems to emphasize R interference in people's daily lives:

    If we have learned anything from Karl Rove (and we should learn from him while we still can) it is that you attack the opponent at the place where he believes he is invincible.
    I propose a two-pronged attack right in the heart of this stronghold of Republican brand image. It may resonate not only in the South and West but in other parts of the country where faux-libertarian values have been swallowed whole by "hate and bait" radio audiences only because they have never heard any alternative.
    The Terri Schiavo fiasco, so helpfully engineered by the Republicans themselves, was the first salvo in rebranding the Republicans as the party that wants to impose government controls on your personal and family life. [snip] People who think the privacy issue is a non-starter are wrong. Privacy and personal autonomy are HUGE wedge issues for us and we have failed so far to frame the most resonant privacy arguments. "Rs aren't the party that wants to get the government off your back, they are always on your back, in your marriage bed, in your hospital bed, in your living room, in your church, in your computer files, under your clothing and on your ID cards--butting in every aspect of your life. That's why Dems are the party of privacy, because your personal business is your personal business."
    Second: it is way past time to rebrand Republicans as the party that wants to define your relationship with God. I don't understand why we haven't grasped this one with both hands. The factionalism within the theocratic sympathizers of the conservative coalition is already beginning to strain at the seams with the O'Connor resignation. [snip] If we settle on the right frame for this one, we win big big big. "Rs aren't the party that wants to get the government off your back, they are always on your back, assuming the mind of God in trying to impose a single religious perspective on the entire country. That's why Dems favor the separation of church and state, so that different worship preferences can co-exist in public, while members of individual denominations can still adopt whatever behaviors they find appropriate and avoid whatever behaviors they find unacceptable.

    I hope HBD includes some messages like these in the "Western platform."  I believe they will be highly effective in the West and South.  Some of these states only need to flip a few percentage points to go Blue.

    I am so excited by Howard's approach that it almost (almost!) seems worth it that he was not elected President... I can't believe that I, stone cold Deaniac that I am, could even say that, but as president it would have been inappropriate for him to have this level of hands-on involvement in party politics, and he is clearly the first party leader in a long time to have a clue and a vision about how to compete on a national level and appeal to the widest umber of voters as possible.

    Don't concede any states!  Take the Blue fight right to their strongholds, even in Idaho and Utah!  Go get 'em, Howard!  The Doctor is IN YOUR FACE!

    God, I love that man.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:15:59 AM PDT

    •  The Dean campaign (none)
      is just taking longer. It was about expanding democracy by putting the people back in control, by getting them involved again. We were and are part of a revolution, we just found out revolutions take longer than we had originally bargained for. I wasn't politically active prior to Bush's rush to war with Iraq, and Dean's ability to say out loud what I was thinking. I thought at the start of this that I was making a short term committment, I would eject Bush and they gratefully return to what I formerly defined as "life", once a real public servant was back in charge. Didn't quite work out that way. I have given up on ever returning to my "real life".

      We are all wearing the blue dress now.

      by PLS on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:16:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  By the way, (none)
      I want to say that I love "The Doctor is IN YOUR FACE"!

      I think it is a pefect frame for Dean.

      We are all wearing the blue dress now.

      by PLS on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:19:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  early Dean campaign buttons (none)
        somewhere in the packrat chaos of my life I think I have some buttons that say "the Doctor is in your face" from the summer of 2003.  I didn't make it up, I either saw it on some buttons or t-shirts or something from the old Dean for American days.

        It is a great slogan though, and I hope Howard's supporters will revive it and use it over the next 15 months.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 06:51:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree wholeheartedly (none)
    It's nice to see that you get it, Kos, and that Dean does as well. David Sirota is another who has embraced this idea. It's great to see our Party's most talented people are now focused on, and moving in, what I believe to be a long-term winning direction.

    Brian Schweitzer is clearly the model here and  Sirota been hard at work laying a groundwork of good ideas based on his success.

    I think we should all be optimistic and excited about this Party's future.


  •  Western Strategy (4.00)
    We're not going to win Idaho next time, on any platform. But we can start chipping away. A "Western platform" is the future of the Democratic Party, and one that I embrace to my very core -- fiscal and personal responsibility, rugged individualism, freedom to live one's life without government intrusion into the doctor's office or the bedroom. The intersection of libertarianism, good government, and economic populism.

    Kos- I  think you just framed a perfect Democratic brand.

  •  I don't wanna sound like a poo-poo head... (none)
    but how many electoral votes/senate seats/congressional seats are we talking about?
    •  Enough to win. (none)
      Red electoral votes in the West:

      Montana - 3
      Idaho - 4
      Utah - 5
      Wyoming - 3
      Colorado - 9
      Nevada - 5
      New Mexico - 5
      Arizona - 10

      Now, Kerry had a decent chance of winning those last four.  Had he won three of them, he would be the President today.  Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming are more distant (though Montana may be promising) but if we can force the Republicans to spend resources there, even if just for state races, and not the White House race, that's less money that they can spend elsewhere.

      •  not just those states (none)
        I think a Democratic message that could win us Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado could also win back Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio, and Florida - landslide time!

        There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

        by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:03:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Enough to swing the election. (none)
      And that's what matters.  Democrats lost in part, I believe, because they stopped caring about the "little states" and focused too much on only addressing New York and California.
    •  Every State is equal in the Senate (none)
      Since each state gets two and only two Senators it is well worth the time and effort to rebuild the Western States Democratic Base as a means to control of the Senate.

      Replacing Idaho/Montana/Arizona/Nevada republican Senators with Democrats would kick the Senate back to Democratic control eventually.

      The House being based on population is different though every rep you change is a win overall and these changes will only come with time and with the viewpoint of always and I mean always running a competitive opponent for every office.

      Winning the Whitehouse does no good if you don't have control of the House or the Senate and to win those you have to look at every state.

      Also don't discount Govenors races in these states, 50 positions of power that can force/guide Washington policy if united.  And often State Governors are less concerned about party unity and more concerned with keeping their state solvent in the "Bush Economy of Illusions".

      Idaho (I am one) voters are often portrayed as hard core Republican zombies yet the real truth is that most are rather liberal, many are thoughtful educated people and usually are always ready to fight (almost any fight).

      Most Idaho voters vote for the best candidate available; it is just sad how often the candidate put up by the Democrats is not very good.  Good Democratic people can get elected as shown by the shifts in the states house and senate (small changes true) that were seen on the last election.

      But these things take time.....after all the Republican Cons/RWE have been undermining the GOP for over 25 years now.

      It took us 200 years to screw this nations political system up so it may take a little while to fix it.

      I seem to have lost my nation, I appear to have stepped through the Looking Glass into a "Homeland"

      by mdgluon on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:33:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  2008 (none)
    This is exactly why I think Brian Schweitzer will be the next president.
  •  As we've said out here for generations (none)
    Do what you like, just don't frighten the horses.

    Which minority group would Jesus hate?

    by NorCalJim on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:25:03 AM PDT

  •  I couldn't read all the comments (none)
    so I'm sorry if this is repetitive: Did the remark about Tom Delay get a good laugh? It certainly cracked me up.

    Ken Mehlman is a lying sack of crap.

    by lecsmith on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:26:01 AM PDT

  •  Maybe this is too simple ... (none)
    but when I look at Kerry, I saw an elitist.  And when I look at Dean, he's too emotional.  I rather did like Dennis Kucinich, but he wasn't given a lot of press or high visibility.  He strikes me as somewhere between the two extremes and would appeal to the greatest number of people, especially if he were to get married.  
    •  That's too simple (4.00)
      and you clearly haven't paid enough attention.  Dennis is pure emotion, and he turns a lot of people off with his ideas, rhetoric and mannerisms.  You've got Dean and Kucinich switched (with the exception of the press and visibility).

      <engage Dennis defense shield>

      •  You forgot... (none)
        ...and has a penchant for engaging in off-putting activities that make him look like a weirdo.

        Exhibit A: Allowing himself to be filmed (during his campaign!) demonstrating a yoga posture on the kitchen floor, in the house of someone sponsoring a campaign house party.

        Also, I'm not at all certain that America is ready for a vegan president.


        I'm a pro-gun, pro-nuclear-power Reform Democrat.
        UUJN: Brother Venerable Katana of Mindful Forgiveness

        by AlphaGeek on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:16:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You and many westerners (none)
      See Kerry, Clinton, etc. as east coast elites and won't vote for them regardless of policy. Would rather vote for fake Texans.
      If we had western candidates and an early primary it might be different.
  •  Don't forget environmentalism (none)
    This is part of the Western strategy as well.

    The Republican Party: Redefining Oppression for the 21st Century

    by daveriegel on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:30:24 AM PDT

    •  Absolutely. (none)
      Kos had best stop bashing on the environmental movement and realize it is a key part of any 'western strategy'.  People out here are really looking for someone to save us from the Right Wing land rape.  If you embrace a western strategy Kos, your strongest backers are enviros.

      dont alientate them.

      One doesnt need laws if one lives in harmony

      by environmentalist on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:35:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love Howard. (none)
    Reading those articles linked in MyDD brought tears to my eyes.  Howard Dean is a true American hero, bar-none.
  •  or Brian Schweitzer would be an (none)
    excellent choice too.  
  •  Idaho is home to great Democrats like (4.00)
    Senator Frank Church and

    Governor and Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus

    Church was elected to the Senate 4 times, and among many other things led the way in trying to get the U.S. out of the Vietnam War. He was a strong advocate of Congressional oversight of the executive branch, and he sought to rein in abuses by the CIA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies.

    Most importantly, he believed that Congress alone has the Constitutional authority to take the country to war, and he sought to reestablish that through the War Powers Act during the Nixxon administration.

    Andrus was elected governor many times, and served with great distinction as Jimmy Carter's Secretary of the Interior. A great environmentalist, Andrus was probably more responsible than any other person for saving the millions of acres of wilderness on the public lands of Alaska.

    People like Andrus and Church prove that men and women of principle can be elected in Idaho or any other place.

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:38:41 AM PDT

    •  Things have changed substantially (4.00)
      The Senator and Governor were wonderful men, and family friends. My first political experience was going door to door with my mom for Cece in his first governor's race. I was 4.

      The influx of extremely conservative folks from places like southern California, combined with the right-to-work law passed in '86 (the death knell to labor) decimated the Democrats. Losing the labor strongholds in Bannock county and up north were blows that we still haven't overcome.

      I appreciate so much Dean's willingness to invest in the infrastructure of the Party in Idaho, because it's that kind of investment that is necessary to start getting folks involved at the local level. We're really still in a position of needing to cultivate candidates.

      lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

      by Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:50:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I met Andrus several times (none)
        Back in the 70s and 80s. The last time in the early 80s, I personally thanked him for pushing the 1980 Alaska Lands Act. Andrus said "And you know why we won that one, don't you?" I shook my head no. "Because we were right and they were wrong." We both got a good laugh out of that one.

        "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

        by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:33:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Democratic Party to Abandon Liberalism? (none)
    Is that it? The Democratic Party needs to abandon Liberalism?

    We have a Libertarian Party to represent those who can take care of themselves.

    We have a Republican Party to represent the wealthy.

    The Democratic Party used to represent the working class and the poor. Only LIBERAL programs can counter the wealth-concentrating effects of capitalism.

    If the Democratic Party cuts its last ties to Liberalism, it becomes nothing more than Republican Lite. A subsidary of big business.

    Let's not abandon the disenfranchised. Liberal is not a bad word.

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:39:47 AM PDT

    •  Populism doesn't abandon the disenfranchised. (none)
      Howard Dean has the right idea.  He focuses on the state and local parties, and if my predictions are correct, that means he would probably encourage the Democratic Party to focus on "the disenfranchised" from a state and local level, too.  Great for libertarians AND liberals.

      (I have more than a few libertarian bones in my body, but I identify myself as a liberal.  The two are far more similar than any Republican, and most Democrats, would admit.)

      •  I Like Dean, But Where's the Liberalism? (none)
        "A 'Western platform' is the future of the Democratic Party, and one that I embrace to my very core -- fiscal and personal responsibility, rugged individualism, freedom to live one's life without government intrusion into the doctor's office or the bedroom. The intersection of libertarianism, good government, and economic populism."

        Unless "good government" is code for "Liberalism", I don't see any reference to Liberal ideas. Liberals ask for sacrifice. Nowadays, everybody wants something for nothing, and woe unto the politician who says they should sacrifice for the common good, or (heaven forbid!) for those less fortunate.

        This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

        by Mr X on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:59:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're reading too much into it (none)
          Dean is hitting on THEIR buzzwords, not repeating yours.  Does anything he said actually contradict your own values?

          You win people over by speaking to them in a language they can understand.

          There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:14:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I Said, 'I Like Dean' (none)
            I was addressing Kos' words, not Dean's.

            I am quite Libertarian, but I am also Liberal. I don't like the fact that the Democratic party is abandoning Liberalism. At best, it is doing this for "electability". At worst, it's become almost as pro wealth/business as the Republican party.

            This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

            by Mr X on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 12:12:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Western Values... (3.75)
    Democrats need to:

    1. Respect gunowner's rights.  Dean does.

    2. Talk conservation not environmentalism.  People in the west love the land--and love to use it some too.

    3. Fiscal conservatism.  The line that no Republican has balanced a budget in 40 years is a very powerful argument out here.

    4. Surface owner's rights.  It's the next sagebrush rebellion, folks.  If Bushco wants to drill under every mountain in the west he's going to make a lot of enemies.  Polluting wells and obstructing views is not what people in the west want.

    5. Let go of the love for big government programs.  They don't work.  People work.  Responsibility.

    6. War in Iraq.  People in the west volunteer for the military.  People in the west depend on the gaurd for firefighting in the summer.

    7. Be bold.  Mealy-mouthed handwringing doesn't play out here.  We like folks that say what they mean and mean what they say.

    8. Race.  You are never going to get the haters.  Don't play to them.  But also recognize that illegal immigrants ARE here illegally.  Learn Spanish and speak to Latino/a voters like they are adults.  Don't write them off as "too conservative."  Legal immigrants are welcome across the west and Latino/as and Native Americans are strong Democratic voters--and they are growing in voter power.

    If I owned both Hell and Texas I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell. W.T. Sherman

    by Ralph on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:40:06 AM PDT

    •  Great post (none)
      Regarding #4, Bush's nuclear initiative may hit hard here too (think Yucca Mtn.)

      And regarding #5, I couldn't agree more.  No matter how charitable a "big government program" may be, they're inefficient.  It's like what Dean has said about gun laws: you can't have the same ones in Vermont and Southern California.  We're a diverse country.  We need diverse government programs that don't try to sweep us all under one label.

      •  Yucca mountain (none)
        I wish you were right, but Nevada knew what they were getting into in 2004 and voted Bush anyway.

        If I owned both Hell and Texas I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell. W.T. Sherman

        by Ralph on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:01:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's going to get worse, though. (none)
          The whole "new energy plan" is going to put Yucca Mtn. at the forefront again, and I think it's going to seem a lot more "real."  You'd be surprised at how much of the American public probably doesn't think we have any nuclear power anymore, except the plant owned by Montgomery Burns in Springfield.

          On a similar note, I had a geology class last term where the professor was a very strong opponent of nuclear storage at Yucca Mtn (but, as we know, the current administration hates scientists).  Why?  Because the area's geologic history shows a potential for cindercone volcanoes (i.e. "baby volcanoes" that pop up, go boom, and go away).  There haven't been any in the past thousand years, but this is a very serious point.  Volcano near nuclear waste storage = bad, and I think most people would understand that.

          In conclusion, if the "less oil, more nuke" plan goes ahead, Nevada residents may be asking some questions.

      •  And what about "big government" (none)
        programs like social security, which keep large swaths of our population from poverty?

        In one of the comments above, someone cited a statistic to the effect of some Midwestern states receiving a grossly disproportionate return for what they contribute to the federal government.  How does this mesh with the libertarian ideal?  Certainly, liberalism can and does embrace notions of self-determination and self-sufficiency.  However, liberalism also embraces the values of an even playing field and a safety net for those who need it.  The Democratic party can not be the party of wholescale libertarianism.

        I've made it very clear, he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was.-McClellan, 2003

        by GN1927 on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:08:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Social security... (none)
          is actually a fairly small government program, in terms of administration.

          That's not just splitting hairs.  But there's no reason to be logical.

          Three big government programs that are horribly inefficient, but very popular in the west:

          1. Water storage.
          2. Agricultural subsidies.
          3. Military procurement.

          If I owned both Hell and Texas I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell. W.T. Sherman

          by Ralph on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:23:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No Preference (none)
        Social Security, the biggest government program, is extraordinarily efficient. Westerners like it as much as everybody else. Probably more, because the West is not rich and people may depend on it more.

        Let's talk straight to people. Let's not just simply pander to delusions.

        Sorry, but I'm just tired of all-pervading PR, aka  dishonesty.

        On the other hand, I like all the rest of the points.

      •  What's more inefficient than (none)
        a big government program? A big corporations' program.

        Look at healthcare in the US. Profit motive all the way, right? Well, so what's happening to health insurance premiums these days? Skyrocketing. Where's that vaunted private sector efficiency everyone talks about? Disappearing into the pockets of stockholders and top executives, that's where. Oh, no -- that's not where all of it is going. Some of it goes to pay the salaries of whole departments of people whose job it is to routinely deny legitimate claims. And then there's the mind-boggling duplication of paperwork, as every insurance company offers a number of different policies to employers, with different provider forms and different coverage rules.

        Meanwhile, countries with a "big government program" to provide their citizens with healthcare get better results by every measure -- lifespan, infant mortality, you name it -- while spending about half the amount per capita on administration. Much, much more efficient.

        And we're not talking some uniquely American propensity for inefficiency in government, either. Medicare also spends far, far less on administration than private insurance does.

        The "big government programs are always inefficient" idea is just a lie, pure and simple. It has been repeated so often, people don't bother to look at the evidence.

        Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

        by Canadian Reader on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:20:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Surface owner's rights (4.00)
      seem to me to be a big reason why Schweitzer won in Montana. I don't live up there, so I can't say for sure, so feel free to correct me. On the other hand I've got quite a bit of family there.

      Anyway, vast stretches of land have been ruined by BushCo's energy corp cronies, and a lot of cowboys are not going to forget it! They don't like it when their ranches get destroyed.

    •  "big government programs" (none)
      Let go of the love for big government programs. They don't work. People work. Responsibility.
      i see your point, but it doesn't quite hit what i feel.

      social security is one big government program that works and that i won't let go of. the interstate highway system is another. i also think we should nationalize healthcare.

      the question is not whether government is or isn't the answer. the question is whether government is doing what i as a democrat hope--to expand my opportunities and protect me from injustice.

      i want a big-government healthcare system because big corporate interests are compromising my health. i want big-government energy regulation because my business, and my family shouldn't be beholden to a large corporation anymore than a large government agency. government shouldn't necessarily be a pro or a con--it should adjudicate between the two.
      •  Yes and no... (none)
        the interstate highway system causes sprawl.  It worked when gas was $.50 a gallon.  Not when it's $3 a gallon.

        In retrospect, I agree, it isn't "Big Government" but government that doesn't work.

        I think most westerners believe in work as a way to get and stay out of poverty.  Even more than most Americans.

        If I owned both Hell and Texas I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell. W.T. Sherman

        by Ralph on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:51:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Regarding point #5 (none)
      This would require admitting that much of the west is built on "big government programs."  People like government when it does something nice for them.  They don't like it when it does something nice for someone else.

      And we'll all float on okay - Modest Mouse

      by Linnaeus on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:07:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think... (none)
        More or less I was saying that Westerners don't like Washington.

        "Get government out of our lives and keep them agricultural subsidies comin'."

        If I owned both Hell and Texas I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell. W.T. Sherman

        by Ralph on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:14:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  so (none)
      what is your recommendation w/ regard to #6 exactly?

      Re #5: Sorry but some big government programs do in fact work. I'm thinking primarily of Social Security in the U.S. but other countries efforts at universal healthcare have also been vastly more successful than the US's free market alternative (getting bled dry by Big Pharma). Your comment about people working responsibly is true but completely ignores the elephant in the room - corporations. Do you really want your government to abandon you and your community to the predations of a multinational? Think about it.

      •  My recommendation... (none)
        is to pack up and get to the airport.  This is not a  widely held view.

        As for opposition to big government, lots here at Kos will argue against it, and indeed it is not a logical argument, but it is a widely held Western value nonetheless.

        If I owned both Hell and Texas I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell. W.T. Sherman

        by Ralph on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:17:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Idaho!! (4.00)
    God, how I love it when we get a chance to talk about Idaho! Yeah, I know, one more weird obsession for mcjoan.

    Seriously, though, at the federal level and in the top state positions, I wouldn't expect a lot out of Idaho yet. There's far too much Party rebuilding that has to be done, but that's exactly what Dean sees and wants to do.

    lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:44:09 AM PDT

    •  Ha! Me too! (none)
      And for some reason little ol' Idaho seems to come up quite a bit here on Kos!Don't really know why,  but I love talking about Idaho!

      We have one of the hardest battles here in Idaho, but for some reason I think we can do it.

      Idaho will go blue by 2012! That is my hope at least.

      •  Hmmmm (none)
        I love optimism, but 2012? I'll grant you a Congressional seat, and maybe even a governor, but I think the best you can hope for by 2012 is a nice purple. Which I'd be happy with!

        lib·er·al: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

        by Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:53:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Optimism?! (none)
          I think sadly that is my number one trait!

          Yeah, you are right, but it is a fight worth fighting. And one I am going to work hard for.

          I do feel that Idaho is on that verge of voting blue, with a little (or a lot) of nudging of course!

          From what I gather around the water cooler, a lot of Idaho Republicans are not happy with Georgie.

      •  Blue by 2012? (none)

        I grumbled to myself (something uncharitable) on reading Markos' 'We're not going to win Idaho next time, on any platform.' So I did a superficial scan of comments here, checking to see if anyone had thrown down on Markos for that... and I hit your Blue by 2012 remark.  And it got the same sort of grumbling out of me that Markos provoked.

        I'm sure you know that being an Idaho Democrat is a bit more complicated than 'Blue by oh-1-2' or 'Not Gonna'.  So many Idaho dems are religious, conservative, gun-toting, and less-supportive of social programs than blue-staters that I've joked  for years that 'As an Idaho Democrat, I'm so conservative that I'm not sure they'd even let me into the Massachusetts caucus'.

        Meanwhile, even at that right-edge-of-left stance, we regularly get hammered as out-of-touch extremists by the ultraconservative wing-nut crowd.

        But Idaho's shrillest conservatives (and Kos) ignore a deeper statistic: while Idaho Dems are miles from gaining a majority, Dems do have roughly 30% of the voters overall in Idaho's red precincts, and those red precincts have enough swing voters (self-described independents) for a Dem to win an election.  Idaho's elected representatives may number 90-some percent Republican, but close-race elections usually net them closer to 55% of the vote.  And polls here consistently show that 20-30% are independents.

        Population Center Demographics:  

        Of Idaho's half-dozen major populations, each has their own personality:

        • Twin Falls: Historically very conservative, yet it has a healthy, growing progressive constituency.
        • Greater Boise area: considered conservative, but marginally.  Dems/Progs in city/county offices.
        • Ketchum: LOTS of blue money, every cent tainted by Idaho republicans as being wacko ultraliberal.
        • Pocatello: A fascinating microcosm.  An aging Blue infrastructure struggling along on life-support.
        • North Idaho: Sandpoint's going blue.  Moscow is purple, thanks to U of I.  But other counties are red.  Cd'A's a tossup.  Overall, the region has been won Blue by tickling timber, mining, union, quality-of-life, conservationism, and avoiding wingnut wedge issues.
        • Idaho Falls: hey, I live here and it baffles me.  Crimson, and in dire need of Dem attention and TLC to grow understanding and a base.  I suspect that people more liberal than Al Gore would still run as republicans here because (D) currently means 'unelectable'.

        The rural vote:

        • Farm towns like Terreton: We'll probably never win here, and I'm ok with losing those 300 votes.
        • Former timber/mining towns like Plummer, Potlach, Wallace, and
        • farm towns like Preston, Ashton, Hagerman: they'll vote for a deeply-Idahoan candidate with some empathy, whether it is a rancher, or someone with mill, timber, mining or similar roots.  Being ignored by statewide repubs just improves that chance.


        • Tetonia: 15 yrs ago, I considered it the epitome of wingnut red-state backwardness and John-Birch paranoiacs... but suddenly quality-of-life and progressivism via Driggs/Victor has scrambled the local voting.  Land use planning vs. John Birch is a republican-wedge that makes the area winnable.
        • Custer County: Like Terreton, incredibly small and equally hard-to-win.  However, someday soon it'll flip like Driggs and Ketchum.  Unlike Terreton (or it's congenital-twin community, the aptly-named Mud Lake), Custer County is too beautiful to remain the near-empty fiefdom of narrowminded douchebags like Lenore Hardy-Barrett.


        Andrus, Evans, Church, Stallings, and others that have won statewide in the last 25 yrs. weren't flukes.  They stayed focussed on local value issues, avoided being painted as 'ultraliberal', and won over that middle third of the electorate.  

        To me, the irony is in seeing them win elections by moderation, and that's something I can't stand to see Lieberman and others do in Bluer states: move rightward.  More Dems could win Idaho (at all office levels) by focussing on locally-relevant values and issues, and avoiding being painted with the DamnLibrul brush.  Put another way, Brian Schweitzer (Montana) would win Idaho in 2008.  Compared to the top-two republicans planning to run for Governor, he'd make Risch look like Boss Tweed or Scrooge and locals would pick his clean-cut populism over Otter's bad habits.

        No matter how good of people the candidates are, Idaho Dems should shy away from damaging stereotypes: Clinton's former Ambassador from Ketchum, any Democrat who looks better in a boardroom than on a horse, and all former Earth-Firsters are doomed.  Incidentally, Dems let negative stereotypes get politely overlooked in Idaho Republicans.  Some smart Dem someday will learn to paint locally-negative stereotypes back onto sex-scandal-cityboy Kempthorne, gender-confused Craig, and a few corrupt, profiteering nitwits.

        No, we're not going to go Blue by 2012 (although BushCo's incompetence makes me wonder!).  But we could win a significant office or three.  No, we're not impossibly Red. These two extremes are soundbites and simplifications.  Somewhere between Red and Blue is the truth.

        Besides, it'd be fun to be a swing state for a while.

        •  Wow... (none)
          I hate to sum it up with something this short; but, yes, I agree with you completely on nearly all points.

          It is hopeful optimism to think that Idaho will go blue by 2012, but that optimism is what keeps me going. Optimism tends to be both a negative and positive trait for me.

          While I do agree Idaho more than likely won't be blue in 2012, we will be able to chip away at being the second reddest state in the Union, hopefully winning a few congressional seats on the way.

          It is a tough and dirty road ahead, but this is a battle that I do think we will win. But we have a lot of ground work to lay before we gain full steam.

          But we can do it.

          Thanks for the great analysis

        •  My dad just moved to Riggins (none)
          I have a general idea of where it is.  From what he described, it seems very "get the government out of my ranch, that's why I moved here in the first place" type of libertarianism more than hyper-religiosity.
    •  Didn't Lewis and Clark (none)
      Skip Idaho and go around it thru BC? <snark>

      "Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?" Aldo Leopold

      by Ed in Montana on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:37:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It'll Probably Work in the Blue State Suburbs Too (4.00)
    Sounds exactly like my kind of platform! Before the current president occupied the White House, I was pretty ambivolent about my party affiliation. I'm a keep out of my bedroom and be careful about the money you take from my pocketbook kind of person. Most of my suburban friends are too. Clinton convinced me that Democrats could be fiscally responsible. I'm hoping Dr. Dean can find a way to get this message across to others who see the world the way I do--I don't think we're all that rare!
  •  Dean Challenges Bush on ROVEGATE (Video) (none)

    Howard Dean, DNC Chairman: "Who do you value more, Mr. President, the security of the American people or your political cronies? Will you keep your word, Mr. President?"

  •  See the Video ClipHere
  •  Not getting a lot of play (4.00)
    but there was a framing nugget of brilliance in his Idaho appearance.

    The press asked about gay marriage and abortion, and he said "that's an issue for the families, not for government."

    Not "something that should be legal".  An issue for the families.  This is a nice, strong, tight frame (and I hate talking about frames, but here I go).  Families have to face abortion.  They have to face gay family members.  They have to face many difficult decisions about life and death, marriage and divorce, right and wrong, and the government shouldn't be telling them what decision they can and can't make.

  •  I love this guy! (none)
    Is it me or does it seem like every time we hear something from Howard Dean, he makes you glad to be a Democrat!! Always unbowed, uncowed and standing firm!!

    Dean Rocks man! I can't wait till he comes to NC.

    "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

    by alnc on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:55:00 AM PDT

  •  It's quite possible to be (none)
    a social liberal and embrace conservative economic ideals.  

    The first is what being a liberal is about, the second is what can be afforded in a budget.  They are not contradictory at all.  

    It would be a grave mistake for the Democratic party IMHO to reject liberal values.  

  •  Nix 'conservative' economic ideals (4.00)
    that has a very unpleasant association...substitute 'responsible' economic ideals.
  •  For clarity on school prayer (none)
    If a student wants to sit in class and pray, that's really his or her own decision.  Whatever.  However, if that praying involved distracting other students or causes the student to miss out on assignments, there should be consequences, just as if I decided to talk politics in class instead of paying attention.  If there's down time in the class and that prayer doesn't distract from learning, good for them.  Piety isn't a bad thing, as long as it's in it's place like everything else.  

    The bible teaches us there is a season for everything.   This includes a time to learn, and a time to pray.

  •  Interesting (none)
    I am curious, how do people view a "Western" platform in comparison to an. let's say, "Eastern" platform.  I have never looked at the issue this way and I am very intrigued.  

    "The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." -RFK

    by apmiller on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:07:29 AM PDT

  •  I wouldn't go to church to learn geography (none)
    so why would a student come to school to pray?  That just doesn't make sense.  
  •  Don't sell out to gun nuts (none)
    I don't wanna see the democrat party whore out to gun nuts.  
  •  what's "rugged individualism?" (none)
    If by that you mean the opposite of the enfeebled I'll-pay-a-guy-to-do-it individualism as modelled by George Will, Ken Mehlman, and Steve Forbes, sure. Funny, though, that most "rugged individualists" I've known have been union members.
  •  The West: Taxes and Scandals (none)
    The west is about taxes and dirt. Simply put, if we want to win in the west, we need to expose the corruption on the other side (which they will call mud-slinging, but it's not) BEFORE they can promise a huge tax break.

    Taxes and scandals are about all that matters. Sorry to be such a grouch about it, but that's the way it's been here in Washington for a long time. Finally the dems learned how to get the word out about the creepiness of the Republicans, and it ended their 10 year reign of anti-tax bullshit.

    Is it really so hard to put the focus squarely where it belongs? And that should be corruption. All these republicans a sleazy sleazeball sleaze mongers who take big money from corporations in exchange for deregulation. Everything else is small time.  

  •  Thats the combo we need. (none)
    Since the neo con have taken over everything i disliked about what used to be considered the left and combined it with everything that sucks on what used to be the right. Taking a progressive/ humanitarian economic plat ang combining it with greater protection for cival liberties and state rights.
    State rights are what we should be focusing. All the supposed left/right conflicts have more to do with the difference between liveing in a rural or urban area. I suspect that the reasons that the Dems lost ground by putting all thier eggs in the city's baskets and pushing agendas that were not relevant to rural communities. Guns for instance, we take the urban approach because of Gang violence, but in rural areas where you have livestock, the threat of predators or rabies infections are  and one can't be without, since any police are probably quite a distance off.
    And the so called moral issues, they should be a state issue as well. I live in San Francisco where anything goes, but even amongst the bi-sexual polyamorous types they still know not to screw around within a close group of friends,a sthat causes drama that no one needs. In a more sparesly populated area there are not enough people to be like that without causing problems, so people will naturaly take a more conservative approach. We keep fearing that each side wants to impose thier views on the other region. I think we could repect each others differences if we focused on leaving those issues to the states to handel.

    "Just when they think they know the answers, I change the question!" R.Piper

    by McGirk SF on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:01:19 AM PDT

  •  Libertarianism and States Rights (none)
    Bush has trampled on states rights, and that is a wedge issue as well if you frame it right.
    Btw I think Barbara Cubin (R-OIL) is beatable here in Wyo. She was in trouble in the primary last time around against two challengers, both drastic improvements (pro choice e.g.) but they split each other vote (they both talked about dropping out to help the other but chickened out). Won by ten points or so against an unknown, but her only issue was I am more from Wyomng than you are.
  •  Amen to the Western platform (none)
    I've thought a lot about this whole issue of democratic core values.  I keep coming back to one thing:

    Republicans (at least Karl Rove Republicans) instinctually trust authority/power and instinctually distrust individuals.  Hence, Dobson.  Hence Tom Delay.  Hence, the Patriot Act.  Hence, the uncritical embrace of the Catholic Church.  Hence, the antipathy toward science (which has always been viewed as a threat to authority).  Hence, the subjugation of governement to corporate interests.

    We Democrats (at least the Democratic party I want to see and that I hope Howard Dean will help create) have the opposite instincts.  We instinctually distrust authority/power and instinctually trust individuals.  Hence, liberty.  Hence, economic populism.  Hence, a skeptical view of war (which is so often fought to defend the interests of those in power, not the interests of the people).  Hence, the importance of good government (bad government is always about vested interests).

  •  Social mobility is the link (none)
    Social mobility is the link between traditional liberalism and libertarianism.  

    My progressive friends are always talking about class conflict and how the only resolution is for one class to eliminate the other.  I disagree.  The solution is to eliminate class by eliminating the barriers between them.  

    I think this idea would have enormous appeal and has a strong footing in the history and ideology of the US.  Plenty of flag waving opportunities - going back to the roots of what made America great.

    Back this up with an emphasis on education, job training and cast welfare as a system which provides the most disadvantaged in our society the basis from which to climb the social ladder rather than as a subsidy for the unemployed.

    Pitch it as a practical solution to the impact of globalization on the American worker, and create a vision of the American worker as the most capable and productive in the world.

  •  Media coverage (none)
    Yesterday's Great Falls Tribune had an article about how Dean was energizing my fellow local party members; the beginning of the article was above the fold on the front page. It's a minor thing, but, it helps with the brand-building.
  •  Dean Rocks! (4.00)
    I volunteered for Dean's presidential campaign back in March of 2003. Back in those early days he was still relatively unknown and our little group got to meet him several times when he came out to the San Francisco Bay Area. I saw him speak live half a dozen times, met and shook hands with him and hung out with his brother Jim, (now head of Democracy for America).

    What I love about Howard Dean is that he doesn't mince words. Sure sometimes he sticks his foot in the poo but he does that because he's a real human being not some slick product created by a marketing team. He's a real person, an experienced medical doctor, and a former governor.

    He really epitomizes what a public servant should be. Washington is full of professional politicians who spend more time being wined-and-dined by lobbiests than concerning themselves with the business of the people from their districts. Dean's efforts to rebuild the Decayed Democratic Party from the ground up state by state is really the only way we can beat the GOP. Most American's prefer the "values" of the Democratic Party Platform but there's been such a relentless 30-year campaign to relabel (or should I say libel) liberals that few "moderate" folks will admit they're Dems.

    What burns me up more than radical right attacks against Dean is when fellow Democrats attack him. It's inexcusable and embarassing to allow these DINOs to pubically attack Dem leadership, and you can bet the GOPers love it. I'd like to see faux Dems like Zell Miller and a couple others removed from the party. It's just a sham to allow them to stay, it isn't an pretense of being a big tent party, it's self-sabotage.

  •  Democrats and the Western platform (none)
    I think that the West is a important area that needs to be cultivated by Democrats. A good start would be to completely drop support for gun control legislation. Gun laws don't reduce crime and Democratic support of such legislation has helped us lose elections.

    Democrats also need to focus on strengthening the party in the South. While it will be even more of a challenge than the West, the Democratic Party is unlikely to ever have a Congressional majority again without making the party viable again in the South. Of course, gun control and party activist favorites like late term abortion and gay marriage are killing us in the South. A couple of interesting articles on how Democrats can win back the South can be found at:

    Working class voters in Middle America simply don't believe that either party has their economic interests at heart, so they end up voting on the basis of maintaining their personal right to self defense and moral values. That is why Kerry lost working class white voters by 23 percentage points in the last Presidential election.

  •  Don't give up on Idaho (none)
    Two words. Cecil Andruss.

    Two more. Frank Church.

    Don't give up on Idahom Kos. Democrats can win anywhere. But they can't win when they don't compete, they can't win where they don't listen to voters, and they can't win if leaders like you give up before the campaign starts.

    On this Dean is right, and you're just wrong.

    Bruce Schweitzer won last year in Montana, and Montana is no more Republican than Idaho is. He won by listening, by localizing, by being himself.

    Get with the program...(sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's meant with affection.)

  •  Dean in the West (none)
    "The intersection of libertarianism, good government, and economic populism.

    It's good that Dean is preaching that gospel, and it's awesome that it's being well received in the West."

    First, Montana is in the west, but it has fewer people than the Manhattan subways at rush hour.

    Second, when Howard Dean gets an SRO gig in Colorado Springs, I'll begin to believe the Dems have crawled back out of their collective assholes and started to resemble an opposition party.

    Third, the ironic juxtaposition of the Dean article with the latest spew from Tom Tancredo, a 4 term Congressman from Colorado, whose xenophobia is also "well received in the West".

  •  How do we deal with the issue of race (none)
    ...particularly if we have a minority candidate.

    As an Indian-American who previously lived in Montana for 7 years, and who now lives in Texas, I can safely say that I experienced far more racism in Montana than Texas.

    Idaho and Utah have similar issues.

  •  We need gunfighters... (none)
    I've said all along that Harry Reid would impress doubters as minority leader and I was ready to campaign and vote for Dean for president. What the two have in common is straight talk and the willingness to call BS when they see it.

    I left Kansas because the hypocrisy was getting too much to bear. I chose the libertarian west because my sense of politics fit best with fiscal conservatism and the right to total privacy for every citizen. Nevada was obviously the first choice for jobs, climate and future potential.

    I am and will be for the forseeable future a registered Republican but you can have Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana and Colorado with regularity if you'll put real people out there as representatives of the voters. I voted for Kerry simply because I refuse to vote for criminals, draft-dodgers and puppets to lead me. But Kerry was not a real person. Not because of where he was from, not because of his education, but because he allowed himself to be packaged, prepped and processed until he was more vanilla than vanilla. If that is the fault of the Democratic leadership, then Howard Dean is more a savior than even I thought. But in the end, the candidate allows the changes to be made and must bear the responsibility and consequences.

    Give me a Reid with his nasal voice which speaks the truth. Give me a Dean with a war whoop who speaks the truth. Bring a Napolitano or Sebelius into the mix too. You want to shake up the world we live in, try some home-spun honesty. And call BS when you see it.  

  •  the wild wild west (none)
    You've got it wrong. The ideology that embraces all of your terms ("rugged individualism", "personal responsibility" and "fiscal responsibility") is exactly what we don't need. Allowing hunters in Montana or Idaho to own rifles is one thing. But we do not live in a world where individuals really make their own way. Each of us, even someone living on a ranch in a remote part of Montana or Idaho, is part of a network of people who co-produce the things and services we rely on. The hunter is able to hunt because of his gun, which he was able to acquire because of a complex labor network of factory workers, miners, truckers, clerks and technicians. The hunter's sense of independence and isolation is an illusion, and a dangerous one at that if it encourages him to support politicians whose polices wreak havoc on the environment and injure the workers whose exertions made his ownership of the gun possible. In the context of rugged individualism, personal responsibility means providing for oneself without counting on anyone else. This, too, is a preposterous fantasy. As already shown, the hunter is utterly dependent on others for his rifle. And this dependence obtains in every other area of his life, as well. In the world-view you suggest, fiscal responsibility means no decent social programs, because government would be confined to a tiny budget: The rugged individualist falsely regards taxes as a theft of economic resources which belong to the atomized individuals who single-handedly created them. Any sort of progressive taxation is especially offensive, since it penalizes the most those individuals whose ruggedness had enabled them to provide the most for themselves. In short, the vocabulary you have chosen suggests a belief-system more asinine than Creationism and much more pernicious.  
  •  Dean is a Fraud (none)
    As someone who worked for the Dean campaign, it is difficult to tell the truth in this matter, but it should be said.

    Howard Dean constructed an anti-war position to acquire media attention and base support. As far as I know, he has said extremely little about the war since he was appointed chair of DNC. This proves that he never really cared about the war. If he did, he would use his position of power to bring an end to the occupation.

    He created a universal health care program for children in Vermont and said he would do the same thing as President. He hasn't been talking about that much either lately.

    Disappointing, but true. Dean was never who he pretended to be.

    David Masciotra

  •  Warner-Feingold (none)
    I'm all for the Western strategy, but we had better be careful we don't go so far with it that we lose a huge segment of our voting block. I say Warner-Feingold. I'd hate to see a liberal independent or green candidate garnish a portion - even small part of our base. Warner has the executive experience; Feingold is palpable to the liberals. We have to realize that we need to run a race with NATIONWIDE appeal!! The cabinet is important. How about: Sec. of Defense Clark, Sec. of State Nunn, Attorney General, John Edwards. Let's keep Reid and Dean "where they are". They balance eachother out, and make noise.
  • Close


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