Friday, March 17


A great reminder of the kind of thinking and courage we need from our Democratic leadership today.

In a speech Dean made at Drake University in Des Moines the year before, as the campaign began to heat up and we were getting ready to invade Iraq, he had this to say:

“I believe it is my patriotic duty to urge a different path to protecting America’s security: To focus on al Qaeda, which is an imminent threat, and to use our resources to improve and strengthen the security and safety of our home front and our people while working with the nations of the world to contain Saddam Hussein … .
“That the President was given open-ended authority to go to war in Iraq resulted from a failure of too many in my party in Washington who were worried about political positioning for the presidential election.

“The stakes are so high, this is not a time for holding back or sheepishly going along with the herd.”
“If we go to war, I certainly hope the administration’s assumptions are realized and the conflict is swift, successful and clean. I certainly hope our armed forced will be welcomed like heroes and liberators in the streets of Baghdad.

“It is possible, however, that events could go differently… . Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms.

“Anti-American feeling will surely be inflamed among the misguided who choose to see an assault on Iraq as an attack on Islam, or as a means of controlling Iraqi oil.”

Is that spot-on, or what? The guy was right in every particular -- and he might have been our president right now but for the idiotic machinations of a mainstream media that is so juvenile in attitude that it turned a simple rallying cry into evidence of serious nuttiness. I, for one, am very, very glad that Howard is our DNC Chairman. He continues to turn in one impressive performance after another on the Sunday talk shows, much better than Dem party Beltway insiders, and he's doing the right, and farsighted, thing once again in building a party organization with a 50-state strategy.

The American press – “media” they call it these days – has become an embarrassment to the First Amendment. It habitually inflates the trivial and trivializes the significant.

Thus, when Dick Cheney failed to report his shooting incident promptly, the press responded with loud outrage. I thought they were going to storm the lectern in the White House briefing room.

But when Cheney met in secret session with energy experts to craft a national energy policy, then refused to divulge names of the people in the room with him, there was hardly more than a peep from our watchdog press.

Dean was also the guy, you’ll remember, who said the capture of Saddam Hussein – much heralded as a turning point in the war – wouldn’t matter much. The press’s response was to ridicule him.

How’s the Saddam thing working out, by the way?

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