Two or Three (.net)

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. - Jesus


Long live Howard Dean the DNC Chairman!

by Aaron Earls [+/-] show/hide

As infuriating as his comments are, Howard Dean gives more quotable statements than any other politician. Most of those statements are very easily turned back on him and his supporters. This is no exception.

Who else would have the guts to blatently say, "We're going to use Terri Schiavo later on"? (Scroll down, the quote is buried.) Not "We're going to use this issue later on" or even "We're going to use the Terri Schiavo issue later on," but Dean says that the Democrats (he is now their official spokesman) are going to use the now dead person of Terri Schiavo.

I'm sure he or some other Democrat spokesperson will say he was strictly speaking of the issue, not her personally, but he didn't say that. Regardless, he showed no class or compassion in speaking of a deceased woman as a political tool only weeks after she was buried.

Here's another story strictly on Dean's statement, but curiously it leaves out that flamable quote.

I'm sure this will be a lead story on every major newscast and daily newspaper. We have a politician saying they are going to use the death of an individual for political gain. I am holding my breath as I anxiously await this.


  • Aaron,

    Wasn't it the Republicans who did PRECISELY the same thing that Dean is now openly proposing to do? And isn't Dean saying that he's supporting a smaller government that doesn't intrude on the private decisions of families? And isn't that exactly that you as a small government person would like to see?

    And yet, you hate Dean...

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/18/2005 10:44 AM  

  • Actually, we don't hate dean. He just represents the foolishness of the extreme current Democratic stances for unrestricted abortion (such things as denying parental notification and permission for a surgical procedure like abortion is mind-boggling in its usurpation of parental rights), removal of faith from public life (although many democrats are religious, the ACLU's extremism gives their liberal allies a bad name), and their tacit support for "judicial legislation."

    Dean is also fun for us because, similar to George Bush, he makes many a faux pas in his public speaking - his bravado comes across as derisive towards people of faith (who exist across the political spectrum, not just in the conservative right he thinks he is demeaning), and his feints at attracting the people of faith in the middle appear so obviously disingenous, that republicans respond with glee because they believe he is pushing people *away* from the Democratic party.

    But there is no hate here - maybe some enjoy a cynical glee, but Dean is actually a likeable guy - I still can't figure out why that stupid "scream" backfired on him so badly - I thought he was just fired up. Go figure.

    By Blogger papa, at 4/18/2005 11:02 AM  

  • By the way, I wasn't aware that Dean is preaching smaller government - of course, I don't listen to him closely right now, it's too far from the election.

    I'm sure that he is using many of the same tactics that republicans use to get elected. They all play the game.

    The question is, do we beleive him? Do we beleive the democrats? I think most people feel that they are putting on an act of moderation (a la Bill Clinton in the past and Hillary now) to get elected, only to revert to a more radical liberalism once in office.

    By Blogger papa, at 4/18/2005 11:04 AM  

  • Actually I like Dean, he is my favorite Republican. ;)

    Your Republican comment was what I was alluding to at the end. Yes, a Republican senate staffer wrote a memo about using the issue for political gain. I have said that he was a moron and that was totally unacceptable, which was the position of most people including the liberal media that pushed that story to top of the list. I wonder how high this story about the Democratic spokesman giving an even worse quote will go?

    If Dean actually supported a smaller government, I might be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. In the Schiavo issue, the federal government didn't "intrude on the private decision of families." They allowed part of the family to take their case to the federal level, that is a far cry from, I don't know, sending the US Marshalls in to grab a small boy screaming from a closet to send him back to a communist country. Since we are talking about Florida and the powers of the federal government.

    If Dean's or other liberals support of smaller government extended some to issues they did not agree with, like returning abortion back to the states or actually decreasing federal spending instead of screaming every time any Republican mentions merely cutting the growth of a federal program that they are starving old people and children or any other of dozens of issues I might believe them when they campaign on smaller government.

    Again, I had reservations about Congress stepping in and doing things in the Schiavo case because of my smaller government stance. I wrote many of my conflicting thoughts here. I struggled with it, but all I see from people like Dean is they use smaller government when it suits them, but when it doesn't then it's "praise God and pass the pork!"

    By Blogger Aaron, at 4/18/2005 11:14 AM  

  • Dang... somebody already took my line:

    "Howard Dean is my favorite Republican." One comic strip refers to him as a "Karl Rove Mole" -- a Republican operative in the Democratic party. He seems to be an expert at convincing people to vote Republican.

    sam, remember the media firestorm over the Republican memo? The memo that was written by a staff member of a new congressman, never read by that congressman or any other on the Republican side, and somehow made huge news headlines as a talking points memo from Republican leaders? But now we have exactly the same sort of statement made by a Democratic leader -- not by a staff member, but by the DNC chairman -- and I doubt it'll get any coverage whatsoever. When there's a rumor that maybe the Republicans are using the issue for political gain, the media is all over it, but when the Democrats come out and actually SAY they're using the issue for political gain, the media doesn't care.

    That's really the two issues:
    1) Dean is good for Republicans
    2) the media is a joke

    By Blogger LotharBot, at 4/18/2005 2:34 PM  

  • While I find plenty of evidence that the media is largely liberal (fox news excepted - they're just the opposite extreme - which wouldn't even be necessary if the liberal extreme hadn't been present but denied for so many years).

    However, there are plenty of times when the media is just a pawn of the current power structure, which is currently conservative.

    The myth is that the media is neutral. While many good reporters try to overcome their bias one way or the other, many just don't do a good job of it, or when they do, they get shut down by their publisher, or by other powers that be in the industry.

    That's why I published Where Should Christians get their news?. The more general point is, you should not only look for and read reputable mainstream news sources, but the sources that share your bias and the opposing bias, as well as the sites of watchdog groups. That way, you can counter the bias that is endemic in news coverage.

    By Blogger papa, at 4/18/2005 3:07 PM  

  • All right fellas, I'm clearly outnumbered here, but I'd like to point out one thing - Dean said he planned to use Terri Schiavo to point out that the Republicans in charge now would rather have the state making life or death decisions than anybody else. Obviously, you folks are the sort that are going to choose life every single time there's a decision to be made - although I'll note that privately, some of you have stated that you'd rather die than lay on a bed for fifteen years taking food in through a tube in your stomach.

    Dean's obviously planning a charge that Republicans are big government hypocrites who'd like to use the power of their government to make personal and private decisions for millions of Americans. I don't think pointing out that GLARING hypocrisy is such a horribly bad thing. If Republicans really are what they claim to be, then they'd butt out of private family matters and leave individual decisions to individuals. (Gay Marriage? Hello. End of Life? Hello. Drug Use? Hello.)

    Instead, we have a government on a crusade to protect Christians from lifestyles that they do not approve of, at the expense of the rest of us who had the sheer audacity to not be Christians. Aaron's already written numerous times that this isn't what the Bush administration wants, but I'm having a hard time believing anything else.

    And so, back to Dean. He sees the blatant hypocrisy of the Right (and particularly the Christian Right) on this one, and he's pointing it out. And what he did is no different than what the Republican staffer did, except that the Republican staffer wanted to use Terri Schiavo to make decisions for other Americans. Dean wants to use Terri Schiavo to show that those decisions should be left up to Americans.

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/19/2005 6:29 AM  

  • Sam, now you know how I feel at Insulted. ;)

    As I said this is not a federal government makes a decision for private people. All that was done in this case (that I had questions about myself) was Congress allowed the federal courts to look at the case being appealled by the parents. It was a family decision that was ruled on by the courts, how did the Republicans or Bush or anybody else force the federal government into their personal decision.

    As to your other examples of big government hypocrisy, my argument on gay marriage remains that the government doesn't have the right to redefine what marriage is simply because some people want them to. As far as drug use goes, I didn't know you were a liberiterian (sp)?

    I actually do think the Bush administration has been hypocritical in some areas (although you are not going to like my areas).

    In my mind you cannot call yourself a conservative and spend the amount of money they have. We spend entirely too much money on education and government programs, not to mention corporate welfare (which maybe you agree with that one).

    Also it is hypocritical to talk about being serious about the War on Terror when you have no intentions of securing our borders. Any terrorists in the world could basicaly stroll across the US/Mexico border and we would have no idea.

    As a Christian I don't need the government to protect me from anything expect criminals and terrorists. I wish they would do a better job at that and stop worrying about other things.

    Sam, you have to stop with the conspirarcy theories though. Nobody (that I know of) wants to use the federal government to force everyone to live on feeding tubes and ventilators. It was the other circumstances of the Schiavo case that made it newsworthy. If someone has a living will, none of this should be an issue. If the family is in agreement, none of this should be an issue. Only when there is no family will and immediate family members are in disagreement does this situation arise. That is a far cry from the federal government forcing a specific action on the populace.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 4/19/2005 8:40 AM  

  • "If Republicans really are what they claim to be, then they'd butt out of private family matters and leave individual decisions to individuals. (Gay Marriage? Hello. End of Life? Hello. Drug Use? Hello.)"

    I wasn't aware Republicans claimed to be Libertarians.

    By Blogger LotharBot, at 4/19/2005 10:36 AM  

  • Aaron (Others),

    Here's the guy who doesn't approve of living wills and instead believes that the state should make all life and death decisions right here.

    As for my alleged conspiracy theories, I don't honestly believe that what I'm suggesting are conspiracy theories. I believe that the George W. Bush wants us to live in a state run on Christian values in which governments make decisions based on Christian teachings. I don't believe that he has any interest in nonChristians and I don't believe that he has any interest in running a secular state. And, finally, I believe that some of his supporters on the farthest right would love it if we lived in a theocratic state that reminded everyone of Iran. If somebody can point me toward actions of his that aren't blatantly religious in nature, I'll be more than happy to read what's written. But I don't think its out there.

    (Finally, while I am not pro-drug USE, I see no reason why these substances shouldn't be legal and taxed. If some idiot wants to ruin their lives by making stupid decisions, so be it. Besides, it'd HAVE to be cheaper to allow for drug use than to ban it and fight an alleged "war" against it.)

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/19/2005 10:40 AM  

  • Lotharbot,

    What a name. Anyway, I thought Republicans supported a small government that didn't seek to make decisions for its citizenry (hence all of the rah rah gun stuff). You know, all of that, "We're the party of small government" stuff.

    If I've gotten this wrong, please inform me so.

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/19/2005 10:41 AM  

  • Sam,

    Stop with the "you people" stuff. We are not a monolith, not even on this site! Check out my article Deconstructing Euthanasia's Slippery Slope, where I take to task both liberal and conservative extremes.

    And I don't think hypocrisy is really the right word. It's illogic, hence my other post, Confused and Tortured Logic in the Schiavo Case. Enjoy.

    By Blogger papa, at 4/19/2005 10:45 AM  

  • Conservatism and Libertarianism do share some of the same views on limited government - it's just that Libertarianism is more extreme in it's desire to remove government from all life.

    The Xian view of Civil Government believes in limited govt, with well defined repsonsibilities. See The Five Spheres of Government.

    By Blogger papa, at 4/19/2005 10:50 AM  

  • Wow, who knew a seemingly innoucous post on Howard Dean would illicite 13 (so far) comments. Thanks Sam! I like having you around.

    I didn't catch that from the article you linked. I'm not saying it wasn't there, but I didn't see it.

    I can tell you several things that Bush has done that wasn't explicitly Christian (which does not mean good or bad) - campaign finance reform, more spending on government programs, tax cuts, invading Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. Virtually everything he has done is not Christian by nature.

    If you are saying that most of what Bush does is rooted in his faith and that by definition disqualifies him or his actions, then you are proposing discrimination against people of faith holding public office. You cannot (nor should you) ask someone to disreguard their beliefs simply because other people don't share them.

    If you elect a Christian, most likely you get a Christian president which may do some things that look Christian. Should that be shocking to us? If we elected an atheist, I wouldn't expect them to push for a Christian agenda.

    I'm all for small limited federal government. I'm not sure what that has to do with gay marriage, drug use or end of life. Especially since the states are doing their own thing right now with marriage and end of life situations, which I agree with for the most part. And I think are plenty more important issues to debate than whether college students have the right to smoke weed on the weekend.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 4/19/2005 11:56 AM  

  • Aaron/Seeker,

    Where did I call anybody "you people?" I've reread the posts and I can't see anything. Now, if you're referring to my criticisms of political Christians who seek to force their religion on disinterested Americans, well, then I am dealing with a "you people" situation, except that I'm not sure that those people are part of this conversation. Even you. Still, if I have written "you people" I certainly apologize.

    As for my issue with "Christian" government. Obviously, every president this country will ever have will be religious (some less so than others, but all will make sure to go to church). Which means that the possibility that I'll ever see a President who reminds me of what I believe is an almost certain impossibility.

    I see George W. Bush's regressive social policy as representing that of those claiming to be "Christians." He's anti-gay-marriage, he's anti-choice, he's anti-drug-use, he's anti-anything-that-isn't-allegedly-wholesome-and-good.

    I'm not. I don't believe that the government of the greatest freedom on Earth should take time to tell its citizens what they are and aren't allowed to do within the privacy of their own homes. I also don't think that ruining our Constitution with an amendment designed to reduce the legal rights of some citizens makes any sense at all.

    Of course, we've been over this.

    But what I'm arguing is not that men (or women) of faith shouldn't sit in the White House, but that they shouldn't force their beliefs on me (or, for that matter, anybody else). Nobody forces Christians to take drugs if drugs are legal. Nobody forces Christians to like gays if gay marriage is legal. Nobody forces Christians to watch Nip/Tuck if that show remains on the air (although what with Brent Bozell's jihad against good television, the chances are slim). Christians aren't forced to do anything. But Bush's policies force his religious beliefs onto me.

    And, as I've said and written before, if I had any interests in being a Christian, I'd already be one. The fact is that I want Presidents who don't make decisions designed to force their beliefs onto others. I don't think that's the point of government.

    It is early and this is sprawling, so in summary: I'm sorry Seeker, although I can't find the evidence that I should be, and I don't want a government who doesn't respect my right to make my own decisions.

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/20/2005 6:10 AM  

  • Sam,

    1. "You people">
    Sorry, your exact phrase wasn't "you people", but:

    Obviously, you folks are the sort that...

    We are not a monolith, as I said, any more than liberals are.

    2. Morality in Government
    As to the function of civil government, I do agree that it should be limited in what is approves and disapproves of.

    However, I think the tacet approval of homosexuality through approving of gay marriages is not good for society, so I find this a critical issue for government, in at least NOT approving of it. Now, condemning homosexuality, or making it criminal, that is too far.

    I think that killing unborn children is awful, and we should be doing something about that - I do not have the choice to murder my post-natal children, and at some point during pregnancy, I should not have the "right to choose" to kill the pre-natal child.

    I'd say those stands can be seen as wholesome and good.

    3. Being a Christian
    As to being interested in being a Christian, that is up to you. Each of us has to evaluate the various claims about god for ourselves.

    Good luck in your own search for truth. I was an agnostic scientist, then a Christian, then an ex-christian Buddhist, and now, a Christian again, with Buddhist sympathies (I'm writing a book about it :).

    By Blogger papa, at 4/20/2005 10:53 AM  

  • Seeker,

    Point taken. My apologies. I remember writing that and thinking, that's going to irritate the people arguing here. Anyway, my bad.

    As for the other issues, I doubt we're going to agree, so for the sake of sanity, why don't we not waste time and effort by trying to convince each other of whatever.

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/20/2005 6:43 PM  


    "Dean regaled an appreciative audience for nearly 90 minutes without once raising his voice, as he did after last year's Iowa primary election. But he did draw howls of laughter by mimicking a drug-snorting Rush Limbaugh.

    "I'm not very dignified," he said. "But I'm not running for president anymore.""

    Howard Dean, he's a class act.

    By Blogger LotharBot, at 4/21/2005 10:14 AM  

  • If Rush Limbaugh had been a poor person hooked on painkillers, and had been caught using multiple doctors (and even doctor shopping), he would have gone to jail. Fortunately for him, he's a Republican talking head who is worth millions, so his addiction is written off and the blatant hypocrisy of usually drug hating Republicans is revealed. Again. For the millionth time.

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/24/2005 8:06 AM  

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