You gotta love election year politics! :thumbup:Dean's foot and mouth disease
As Democratic chairman, Howard Dean is alienating one group after another.
May 15, 2006 03:35 PM
The Democratic national chairman, Howard Dean, isn't a dumb guy: he got through the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, after all. But sometimes his mouth works a lot faster than his mind, and sometimes he panders worse than Bill Clinton.
Last week, for some strange reason, he went on Pat Robertson's 700 Club television show and assured the religious right audience: "The Democratic Party platform from 2004 says marriage is between a man and a woman." Oops. Actually, it saysWe support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families. In our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there. We repudiate President Bush's divisive effort to politicise the constitution by pursuing a "Federal Marriage Amendment".There's a little wiggle room there: the platform does not endorse gay marriage, and it allows Democratic candidates - such as John Kerry and John Edwards - to support bans on gay marriage in the states while still claiming that they support "full inclusion [and] equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections".
But it doesn't say anything close to what Dean claimed. At least when Bill Clinton pandered to the religious right with ads on Christian radio stations in 1996 boasting of his support for the Defence of Marriage Act, he was telling the truth: he really did sign the law that for the first time said the federal government would not recognise a marriage made under state law.
This is not the first time Dean has conjured up a set of facts that would appeal to his audience. Last year, when the US supreme court said cities could take land under eminent domain and give it to other private owners, Dean was outraged: only rapacious rightwingers could screw the little guy like that, he told an audience of college Democrats, denouncing "the president and his rightwing supreme court".
Actually, it was the four most liberal justices, plus one swing vote, who approved that taking, with the three conservatives and one swing justice issuing heated dissents.
Dean has already annoyed Democratic congressional leaders and party moderates, who think he presents the wrong image for a party trying to win a majority of the vote. Now he has ticked off gays and the leftwing bloggers. Start the search for a new party chair.