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June 9, 2005

Backing Each Other Up?

-- by Dave Johnson

If you want to know what NOT to say on any given day, go to NewsMax (Scaife) and the Washington Times (Moonies) and don't say what they're saying. As I write this the headlines at NewsMax are

Sen. Obama: Dean Using 'Religion to Divide'
Dean Riles Both Sides of the Aisle
Dean Defends Slurs Against GOP
And the Washington Times is happy today, Democrats decry Dean's rhetoric,
Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut -- who like Mr. Dean sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 -- said he doesn't think he will be the only one to recommend an apology when the chairman meets for lunch today with Senate Democrats.

"I thought the comment that he made about the Republican Party being a white, Christian party was just way over the top," Mr. Lieberman said. "It was divisive and wrong, and I hope he apologizes for it."

Too many Democrats, like Lieberman, are criticizing Dean! How does that help us? Do you hear Republicans criticizing each other in public? Bill at Liberal Oasis says,

Stand Up For Dean and the DNC,

They all have done nothing but feed the GOP narrative that our party leader has contempt for voters.

[. . .] Instead, they could have stood with Dean, put Dean’s words in proper context, and amplified the message Dean was trying to send, not the message the GOP is trying to send.

Question, when was the last time you heard Lieberman calling for an apology from a Republican for remarks about Democrats or Liberals? The Agonist says,
"...when was the last time you saw an orgy of recriminations in Republican ranks about what Tom DeLay said? He is certainly a lot more powerful than Dean."
Atrios has a good solution,
"So if you're a wee bit unhappy with the way the spoiled brat Dem insiders are behaving, go give Howard Dean a few bucks."
And raised more than a little bit. (Update - more here.) But Stirling Newberry at BOPNews goes after Atrios for it.

What do I think? It happens that I was there in the room when Dean said,

"you know, the idea that you have to wait on line for eight hours to cast your ballot in Florida -- there's something the matter with that. You think people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever, and get home and then have a -- still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? Well, Republicans, I guess, can do that, because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."
It was clear what he MEANT. It was a great line. You have to parse that pretty closely to dig out the line people are complaining about. But Republicans talk about "Democrats" and "liberals' all the time. THEY never specify "Democratic party leaders."

I thought the things Dean said were quite good, and are exactly the kind of things the country needs to be hearing. It's called a strategic narrative, a "story" that leaves an impression. The Republicans have a narrative about Democrats being treasonous, weak America-haters and they say it all the time. They say terrible things about ALL Democrats and liberals because it advances the narrative. Well, Dean is advancing a narrative about Repubicans, and it is a good one and it is the right one and it is true. Good for him!

But beyond that, Democrats should not be aiding the Right's efforts to divide us. The "Dean's mouth" story is a right-wing narrative. It is driven by Drudge and the rest of them. Don't fall for it. If you want to attack someone, attack someone who is on the other side.

Click here to donate some cash to the DNC.

Update - What he says.

Posted by Dave Johnson at June 9, 2005 8:12 AM

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» A Gaggle of Losers, Part II from The Left Coaster
This Washington Times article collects the comments of some of the Democrats (Nelson, Lieberman, Biden, etc.) who publicly expressed unhappiness with Gov. Howard Dean's remarks. I hope these Democrats feel satisfied by the irony of an organ of right-wi... [Read More]

Tracked on June 9, 2005 9:19 PM


If you want to attack someone, attack someone who is on the other side.

That is exactly what the likes of Lieberman and Obama are doing. Which side did you think they were on?

(Anybody still wanna give me any crap about Obama? I said the day after "the speech" that he sounded like another milquetoast centrist to me -- and I admit I was wrong -- he's a center rightist on his very finest days.)

Posted by: richard at June 9, 2005 10:32 AM

I think Obama is building a resume for the VP shot in 2008.

Posted by: James E. Powell at June 9, 2005 11:14 AM

Which party?

Posted by: richard at June 9, 2005 11:32 AM

It seems to me that it's alright for the right-wing to call liberals communists, to call Kerry a liar about his war record and to question his military medals, to say that John McCain is crazy and his wife is a substance abuser, to continue the lie about the liberal bias in the news media, to say that anyone who does not support this administration and their war is on the side of terrorist, to call whole countries "evil", and on and on ad nauseam but don't dare say anything (especially the truth) about them otherwise you are not acting in a proper manner. So, who died and left them pure and untouchable?

Posted by: Jane Algozzini at June 9, 2005 12:37 PM

Let's not forget these Democrats at election time. We need to clean house. Get rid of the democrats who are republicrats and wannabe's and fill the Congress with true Democrats who have the courage to stand and fight for what's right. Let Boxer, Conyers, Dean and others like them to be the new role models and get rid of the other trash like Liberman.

Posted by: Jane Algozzini at June 9, 2005 12:42 PM

Welcome to the circular firing squad.

Posted by: Don Snabulus at June 9, 2005 3:12 PM

Maybe we really are being too harsh on the Republicans. Maybe the Republicans truly believe that Democrats don't care enough to vote, or that standing in line all day would interfere with our minimum wage graveyard shifts.

Posted by: grannyinsanity at June 9, 2005 4:26 PM

The circular firing squad is bullshit. The right wing republicans are not all powerful because they refrain from criticizing republicans. It's because they don't criticize right wing republicans. They crucify moderates and liberals of any party. THAT is the obvious course of action we must emulate. Tolerating center right democrats is why we are fucked. In case you haven't noticed.

Posted by: richard at June 9, 2005 6:11 PM

Newberry's comment was depressing. That guy is tremendously smart, and he writes wonderfully, but he's way too full of himself. He presented himself as a wise old owl and truthteller, but it was just Stirling being Stirling. He really needs an editor.

Glad I'm out of the blog biz.

Posted by: John Emerson at June 9, 2005 6:22 PM

I agree with Richards shot.."which party?" I watched that kid at the convention...I thought to myself, we finally have a speaker...what a disapointment,just another damn politician.At any rate at this point in time to my way of thinking...he has any number of false starts to make up for and it's gonna be awhile befor I'll ever trust him to be anything but another wanna be.However to give him his due.He is so very articulate.

Posted by: Kay at June 9, 2005 6:38 PM


Here's my take, for what it's worth.

Posted by: Hesiod at June 10, 2005 6:09 AM

So, who died and left them pure and untouchable?

Senator Paul Wellstone.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten at June 10, 2005 12:48 PM

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