...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Monday, August 18, 2003
      ( 2:32 PM )
Rise Up and Join the Revolution

Great Katha Pollit editorial on the Main Man.

Alter also finds "the diminutive family doctor" "brusque"
and says he "strutted like a little Napoleon onto the floor of
the usually genteel Vermont State Senate."

A little Napoleon? Is that the problem--Dean is short?
(He's 5' 8".) In order to run for President one must not only
be white, a man, married, religious and Southern--not to
mention whatever the opposite of brusque may be--one must
be tall as well? No wonder I love this man!

Every time the press pooh-poohs his chances, every
time they gloat over some trivial misstatement, every time
they make fun of Vermont and describe his supporters as
"Birkenstocked" "Deanyboppers," I think about the free ride
the media give Bush, who says more false and foolish things
in an afternoon than Dean has said in a lifetime, who is unmaking
everything good about this country from Head Start to habeas
corpus, who is stacking the government with faith healers and
fanatics, my fingers itch to write Dean another check.


On July 14, Bush explained why the United States invaded
Iraq as follows: "The larger point is, and the fundamental
question is: Did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program?
And the answer is: absolutely. And we gave him a chance to
allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And therefore,
after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power."
Eat your heart out, Hans Blix! The President of the United States
can bizarrely declare that weapons inspectors never entered Iraq,
and that's not a news story. He's "likable," he's tall--he's
not a Democrat.


Indeed, some pundits predict that when Dean's lefty supporters
discover Dean's center-right positions on such issues as Israel
and welfare, his campaign will fizzle. "The guy they think Dean is,
Dennis is," Jeff Cohen, Kucinich's ebullient communications director,
told me, predicting an exodus of progressives from Dean to Kucinich
as the truth comes out. (Presumably despite the fact that Kucinich
is a whole inch shorter.)

Maybe so. But I've talked to quite a few Dean supporters, including
mainstream Democrats, lapsed voters, flaming leftists, Naderites,
gay activists, civil libertarians, anti-death penalty lawyers, pro-single
payer health professionals and even a surprising number of Nation
staffers. I have yet to find one who mistakes Dean for Eugene Debs,
or even for Paul Wellstone, whose line about belonging to the
"democratic wing of the Democratic Party" Dean likes to borrow.
They've gone for Dean because, alone among the major Democratic
contenders, he has taken Bush on in an aggressive and forthright way,
because he's calling the craven Democratic Party to account and
because they think he can win


What the media see as progressive self-delusion is actually
the opposite: a bare-knuckled pragmatism born from the
debacle of the 2000 elections.

Give 'em hell, Howard. It's time to take back this country - no matter who it is, it has to be we that decide, not the richie riches, not the corporations, not the big money, not the backroom connivers. It has to be we, the people, the citizens. This is our way to do that. Howard Dean isn't merely a possible candidate, he is a viable candidate and one that will speak FOR us, but we are the ones who control our own destiny. If only we will take hold of that power and use it and keep it.

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